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Job fair encourages paperless resumes

September 6, 2013 Updated: September 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm
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For the first time in forever you can forget taking that huge, heavy stack of paper resumes to a job fair.

Thursday is the Pikes Peak Workforce Center's Fall Job Fair. But you don't need a resume if you prepare early.

This Thursday's job fair will have more than 90 employers looking to fill more than 2,400 jobs, said Charlie Whelan, executive director. The fair is at the Double Tree Hotel at 1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Veterans can enter at 9:30 a.m.

But instead of wasting time passing off paper resumes to employers, applicants can go online to ConnectingColorado.com, investigate each open position for which they want to apply and submit their applications online before attending Thursday's fair, said Traci Marques, business specialist.

"The website is tied to all the companies that will be at the job fair," she said.

Applying online before the job fair is more important than ever, said Mike Kelly, an Army vet who struggled to find work for several months. Kelly tried several times to hand resumes to company officials, only to be told they no longer accept paper applications. Kelly finally landed a job as a senior technical project manager with Comcast after learning how to navigate what he called "the electronic gauntlet."

"Many times, you can't give a resume to a person any more," he said, "not even at a job fair."

Companies attending this month's job fair include: Ace Hardware, Booz Allen Hamilton, the Colorado Springs Police Department, USAA and Wells Fargo.

"And each employer attending this year's job fair has open positions they are trying to fill," Whelan said.

ConnectingColorado.com allows job seekers to go online now and search available positions by industry type, such as: government sector, retail or finance. Next week, a floor plan will be added to website, showing the exact location of each company attending Thursday's job fair. There is a free writing resume software program and also training videos on the website to help applicants with math and writing skills, how to prepare for the fair and other help. Some of the videos included are "30-second elevator speeches" to help break the ice with prospective employers, Marques said.

Last year, the Pikes Peak Workforce Center helped more than 59,000 El Paso and Teller county residents find and secure jobs, Whelan said. The center, inside the Citizens Service Center off Garden of the Gods Road, provides computer training, interview workshops, resume building help and job search assistance for those seeking employment.

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Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.

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