Thursday, September 29, 2016

Today's Merced Job Fair for Veterans and The Public

Today’s job fair started off with a presentation of the colors by veterans from the VFW - a definite distinction between veteran job fairs and other job fairs.

You can see the presentation ceremony at the CBC YouTube channel here in the next couple of days –

This job fair was well attended, bucking a recent trend of having fewer than the anticipated number of attendees at other employment fairs.

Community Business College was asked to step in and provide workshops when the original presenter canceled at the last minute. We, of course, were more than happy to provide the service.

We pulled out our tried-and-true four most popular presentations:


        10:30      Most Commonly Asked Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

“If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?” That’s just one of the questions that sometimes takes interviewees by surprise.

One of the interesting trends happening in today’s job search world is most employers are using online job boards as a resource as much as job seekers. Sites like and have gotten larger. What this means is employers are downloading their interview questions straight form the source that job seekers can access. Practice a few answers to each question and you are more than half way there on what to expect from most interviews.

What’s the answer to the tree question? Just remember when you hear a question like this (sometimes instead of “tree” it’s “animal” or “cookie”) the interviewer is not that interested in trees, but in the qualities you admire of the tree you select. The “why” in this answer is much more important than the “what.”


       11:30     Your Resume - The Right Tool For The Right Job

Someone once said that a good resume is never “finished,” you just stop working on it.

One of the best tips is to customize your resume every time you apply for a job. Do you have a resume designed for clerical jobs but you want to apply for a supervisory position? It’s time to make a copy of the resume and rework it to fit a supervisor. Of course you never lie on a resume but you can phrase your work history and experience more in terms of a supervisor. For example, if you have ever trained fellow employees on new software or new policies, that’s a good thing to put into a resume for a supervisor.

We find this to be a common hurdle for people who sign up for our Groupon resume development.

Here’s one new question that came up regarding filling out job applications – “is it better to write ‘by supervisor died,’ or ‘my supervisor passed away?’” Which do you think? The consensus was “passed away” reads a bit better.


       12:30     Job Hunting In A Tough Economy

Where do you find the job leads if “no one is hiring?” We’ve heard that question a lot at Community Business College and that’s what this seminar is all about.

The secrect? Don’t just rely on newspaper Help Wanted sections or even Internet job boards. You have to go out there and beat the bushes to scare up some new job opportunities.

Try cold calling.

Use your people contacts to spread the word that you’re looking for work.


       1:30 PM   Use Social Media to Turbo Charge Your Job Search


The new technology offered to today’s job seeker is staggering. From smart phone apps to automated resume development systems to access to professional resume critiquers (e.g. Groupon), it is easier now more than ever to get your job search going.

That includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and all the others out there. They can be “double-edged swords” in that they can help supplement your resume to an employer by providing additional information, but sometimes people aren’t careful what they post on these sites and it can be a turn-off to some employers.

Yes, employers are allowed to look.

One way to fix the problem if you post embarrassing things is to set your page settings to “private” while you’re looking for a job. Then you can turn it back to public once you get the job.


The Job Fair Itself

The number of recruiters is up from prior years. Organizers also expect to see an increase in job-seekers. Last year’s fair drew at least 650 people seeking work, which more than doubled the previous year’s turnout.


Having a job fair right now in Merced is timely. Unemployment in Merced County is at 11.9 percent, according to the most recent figures released from California’s EDD. According to the same report, veterans are nationally unemployed at a higher rate than the general public.

The Veterans Affairs office in Fresno will sent a medical and administrative team to help veterans enroll in employment and training assistance programs.

Companies who sent recruiters to the fair include Save Mart, Foster Farms, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Tenet Health, Joseph Farms, the City of Merced, Dole Foods, Quad Graphics, Home Depot, Amie Senior Care, Best Buy, and the National Park Service.


One bit of surprise to many of our job seekers is how many local companies are still accepting paper job applications.

By the end of the job fair the exhibit room was getting a bit warm. The air conditioners were having a challenge keeping up. Luckily it was a milder day than it had been earlier this week and so it was comfortable enough right up till the end.


In addition to finding new employment opportunities at this job fair, one person in one of the workshops joked that you can pick up candy from the vendors just in time for Halloween and save money on your candy budget.

Happy Valentine's Day 2019

Our students are the best! Thanks for the chocolates and thanks for sharing with the class! We really do have the Best Teachers Ever! ...