100 attend small job fair Monday night

December 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
More than 100 people looking for work took advantage of a small job fair on Monday and it included some of the Bay Area's biggest and highest-profile companies. This event offered some great opportunities.

Before job seekers were able to meet with recruiters, they got practical tips on how to find a job. Many have been out of work for months and are looking for any help they can get.

"There is no one answer on how to find a job, but there are several things that you can do as a candidate," said Tom Brouchoud to the crowd.

Brouchoud is senior manager of global talent acquisition at SanDisk. He and seven other recruiters from Bay Area companies got together in San Jose to give a room full of job seekers some words of advice.

"Go broad in terms of being seen and being found, but be specific about what you think you can do for that company," said Chris Galy from Intuit.

The latest national unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent -- a two-and-a-half year low -- but Bay Area job seekers will tell you it's still tough out there. Louie Yan has been looking for a PR job since January.

"I would normally on a normal week send out maybe 30 to 50 resumes, depending on what openings are out there. I'm lucky to hear back 10 percent," said Yan.

Yet despite those daunting figures, this event is designed to motivate and boost confidence. Jobs are out there. Twitter, for example, will potentially double its number of employees by next year. They're looking to fill positions in everything from sales to finance.

"We're moving to a new office in San Francisco next year, so we want to fill those seats and hire a lot of people," said Andrew Heywood from Twitter.

Recruiters say the best thing job seekers can do is do their homework on the company at which they're applying. That may be considered a no-brainer, but recruiters say that's where most often candidates drop the ball.

"So I'll say, 'So, what do you know about Sungevity?' They have no idea. They haven't even gone on the Internet. The information is there. It's accessible to you. Do your research," said Karyn Fishman from Sungevity.

For Bill Morales, all of this is good advice. The father of five has been looking for a job installing solar panels, since June.

"It's hard out there, it's hard, but I'm a motivator. I don't give up so I'll get a job," said Morales.

The event was sponsored by CSIX Connect, which is a non-profit that helps unemployed professionals. Next month, the group will organize a workshop where recruiters will critique resumes.


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