Prosper on the job: Job fairs

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- As if losing your job is not overwhelming enough, you can often feel totally out of control once you are in the job market. Many jobs require online applications where you get little or no feedback.

But Gail Lockett found a way to take back control and put her skills and personality front and center.

"In the beginning, I wasn’t so hopeful," Lockett said. "And the reason being, I had been looking for six months, on the Internet, and everything on the Internet was apply online. So I was getting a little frustrated with the search pretty much."

But today, Lockett is hard at work at a brand new job,

"I am gainfully employed again with a great company," she said with a smile, but added that getting here took some work and some soul searching.

"It is a new beginning for me and a totally different career path."

After nearly 30 years in the mortgage industry Lockett was laid off and tossed into a tough job market.

She knew she had the skills and personality to find and prosper in a new job, but did not know how to get herself in front of the right people. Until she saw a report on 3TVM, "I heard Channel 3 was advertising, I think there were 2 job fairs in the Valley," she remembers.

And although she had never been to a job fair before, she decided to give it a try.

"So I told myself if I go to the job fair, at least I will be in front of a live person," she said, "So let me go out, it won’t hurt to go out and see who is hiring, and what is going on."

That is where Lockett found herself in front of a recruiter for BAO, By Appointment Only.

Derek Gray said BAO helps clients with sales, marketing and meetings, so job candidates must prove they can sell themselves first. "We are looking for professional strong hard working individuals and they have to portray that when they come here," advises Gray.

Lockett said she did use that meeting to set herself apart. "Well I think just being myself, my personality pretty much."

And she said she was able to do that thanks to the job fair, "But just meeting with real people, really pays off because now you are in front of a person, and it really helps you to present your skills."

She also advises others to look at all of their skills.

"We tend to stick with what we know best, for me it was pretty much in the mortgage industry, as an underwriter, as a loan processor so I had to dig deep within myself and look for the other skills that I have."

We also asked how she knew this was right, since it was a career shift.

"I think what it was interviewing the recruiter even as he was interviewing me. I wanted to find out more about the company," Lockett remembers.  

For her, those tips paid off with a new job and she said it can work for you as well.

"There is a company out there for you, don't give up, I had to persevere and say I can do it.”

BAO is still hiring.