Hundreds Seek Employment at Iron Range Job Fair

By KBJR News 1

March 20, 2012 Updated Mar 20, 2012 at 6:46 PM CDT

VIRGINIA, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---Hundreds of job seekers were seen by more than 40 employers at the Iron Range Job Fair in Virginia Tuesday.

Several Iron Range mining companies are looking to hire employees this year.

Essar Steel expects to hire 200 employees in 2012.

Steel Dynamics expects to hire an additional 65 employees at its Mesabi Nugget and Mining Resources plants and Magnetation expects to hire 100 more employees by 2012.

Many who attended say they were surprised at how many positions were open.

After three years of unemployment, Kim Johnson is finding it's a little easier that she expected to get back in the game.

"The President, everybody tells us there's no jobs out there," she said. "You go to one of these and there is jobs everywhere. You just have to put yourself out there and get out of your house."

Landing the job is what many struggle with and the Iron Range Job Fair is designed to help.

Range business leaders gave seminars on the basic do's and don'ts of job searching and offered ways to promote your professional image.

"It's all about being visible," Jim Currie, President of the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce said. "It's all about volunteer opportunities. It's all about a way for you to get plugged in."

Employers say a good resume is necessary to landing that first interview.

"Right off the top if there are misspellings, if there is an incomplete application, that would be something that we would generally take you off the list," Jeff Tillman, a Senior Professional Engineer at SEC said.

Job coaches from the Workforce Center recommend tailoring your resume to the employer, using key phrases listed in the job description.

"Skip all the personal pronouns," Sharron Williams, a Job Coach with the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency said. "Just go with simple phrases that have some dynamite in them. Use his phrases and feed that back. That's what he's looking for."

Many who attended the job fair left feeling a little more confident in their job search.

"It feels like we are going to get a step up over everybody else that didn't come here because your actually talking to the people," Jeff Ridlon, a college student at Hibbing Community College said.

Job coaches also remind people to be sure to include an e-mail address on your resume.

Jennifer Walch
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