Video: What’s an Employer Looking for at a Job Fair?

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Victor Neain of GameStop (right) tells City Limits' Marc Bussanich that he hasn't time at a job fair to pore over an applicant's work history. Rather, he is looking for people with the right attitude with whom he will follow up after the event.

Marc Bussanich

Victor Neain of GameStop (right) tells City Limits' Marc Bussanich that he hasn't time at a job fair to pore over an applicant's work history. Rather, he is looking for people with the right attitude with whom he will follow up after the event.

Almost 100 employers gathered for a job fair last week hosted by the New York State Department of Labor and while some said that gaps in a person’s resume might raise a red flag, others said that didn’t make a difference when considering candidates.

At the Bronx Career Expo at Hostos Community College, we interviewed two employers. In the accompanying video, Kimberly Matthews, a hiring manager for the elevator manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, said long spells of unemployment in a candidate’s resume doesn’t concern her.

“Nowadays, gaps in a work history are understandable. I, myself, left the industry for two years to become a mom, and then I came back to the industry. That’s not something that immediately makes us shy away from a candidate; as long as they can explain and a reason why, we’re OK with that,” said Matthews.

Victor Neain of GameStop seemed to concur with Matthews that, at least at first glance of a potential candidate’s resume, gaps in a work history isn’t an issue.

“We try to see as many people as we can, so we don’t have the time to comb through a candidate’s resume at a job fair. Rather, I’m looking for where do they live, do they have work history and an educational background. But if they bring the excitement, passion and energy that we’re looking for then that’s the opportunity to bring them for an interview to discuss their background in a more intimate setting,” said Neain.

Both Matthews and Neain were expecting to interact with hundreds of potential candidates at the job fair. We asked what does a potential candidate have to do or say to really stand out so that both Matthews and Neain will call the candidate when they get back to their offices.

“Someone who took the time to come up to us and has an outgoing personality and is assertive because a lot of the positions we recruit for is sales. Also, someone who has a technical and/or engineering background to work out in the field and supervise mechanics also rings very high with us,” Matthews said.

Neain said he looks for three things when he begins his selection of candidates to come in for that interview.

“Do they have excitement to be here learn about GameStop and really want to work with us? Also, how much did they prepare; did they bring a resume, or are they just [casually] asking about the company? And I look for the type of skillset they bring to the tableā€”do they love video games, because if they do then that’s the person that we want,” Neain said.