UF students conducted mock interviews and revised resumes for 25 unemployed Gainesville residents Wednesday in order to help them become competitive job applicants.
Get a Job Gainesville, a one-day career re-entry conference held at Santa Fe College's Center for Innovation and Economic Development, provides unemployed residents with an opportunity to hone their skills in an effort to become more viable job candidates.
Students in Free Enterprise, an UF organization aiming to improve the quality of life in the Gainesville community, organized the conference.
Robyn Greco, 54, was laid off March 7 after 10 years at the same job.
During the conference, a UF student sat across from Greco and pointed out tips to improve her resume such as what belongs at the top and bottom of the page.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve made a resume,” Greco said.
Even if Greco does not get a permanent job, she said she hopes to get a temporary part-time job to help bring in some money.
Greco wasn’t the only person out of work from a former long-term job.
Charisse Ellis has been out of work since September and is ready to get back into the workforce. She resigned from an insurance company that she had worked at for 11 years.
She’s been looking online for a new job for the past two months, she said.
“Since I’ve been out of the field for a while, the interview tips and resume critique was very helpful,” she said.
Clearly, the number of unemployed Gainesville residents needs to be lower, said Mallory Hodas, a marketing senior at UF. Many people can become overwhelmed by the job process and give up.
“The goal of this event is just to connect our participants with resources in the community that will help them with their job search and give them the confidence and motivation to go out and find a job,” she said.
The idea started three years ago, when one SIFE member created a similar event after her mother had difficulty finding a job. Originally the event was targeted at women and was called Women’s Career Expo.
Year by year, men started trickling in, Hodas said.
“If you need a job, male or female, why not open it up to all of Gainesville?” she said.
Hodas said that attendees seemed more enthusiastic about finding a job this year as shown by the positive feedback from the new additions of the mock interviews and resume critique.