by Nicole Reitz
Oswego County Workforce New York sponsored an employer forum recently event that helped prepare job seekers for employment.
Local job seekers sat through a panel where area employers gave insight into what they are looking for in applicants. Chad Whelsky, an employment specialist with Oswego County Workforce New York, facilitated the forum.
Whelsky said that many of the people he sees out of work tell him that there aren’t any jobs available in the county, which is not so.
Nick Habel, human relations director at Huhtamaki, said that the company is currently accepting applications.
Other employers on the forum, including Oswego Health, Constellation, Little Lukes/Rehab Resources, State Farm and Novelis, are also currently hiring and hire on a regular basis.
“Oswego County, if you think about it, has a wide variety of different opportunities,” said Whelsky. “We’re not as small as you might think.”
The most common place to determine if companies are hiring are on their web sites. These jobs are also posted to external web sites across the internet, like careerbuilder.com or simplyhired.com.
“Applying online is the number one way to get in front of a hiring manager,” said Holly DeMar of Oswego Health.
“I want to know that if you’re savvy enough to go out and find these positions online, transitioning in to our in house computer systems shouldn’t be that far of a stretch,” said Ron Terra, a State Farm insurance agent.
Employers agreed that basic computer knowledge is required — even with entry level positions. Every job out there to some degree now uses a computer, whether its typing information or printing labels.
“If you are a person who isn’t comfortable or feel uneducated on a computer, you’re missing the boat on some really good opportunities,” said Whelsky.
The One Stop Employment Center, located on 200 N. Second St., Fulton, offers classes on Internet job searching and online applications. Job seekers can sit with someone in a small setting and learn the basics of working on the computer.
The next internet job search session will be held May 30 from 9 a.m. to noon. “Intro to Computers” will be held on the same day from 1 to 4 p.m, Those seeking more information or to register may call 591-9000.
The Fulton employment center at the county building also offers workshops on resume writing and cover letters. Employers on the forum reminded job seekers to create a professional e-mail address if they do not already have one.
A personal e-mail address and voicemail are sometimes the employers’ first glance at an applicant and make a first impression. A cover letter is not the time to be funny; it has to be neat and organized with no spelling errors.
“The effort that you put in with your resume, cover letter or application has the power to bring you in and the power to shut you down,” said Whelsky.
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