It was her fourth try at landing a job after earning her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Marketing degree at National Teachers’ College in Quiapo, Manila just last March 2016. The fourth, which took place at the 114th DOLE Labor Day Job and Career Fair at World Trade Center, gave her a gift that any new college graduate dreams of—first job.
Katherine Pontoy Gervacio, 19, of Pandacan, Manila, is among the more than 33,000 job applicants who trooped to the DOLE Job and Career Fairs held nationwide on 1 May 2016, and one of the 5,112 hired-on-the-spot (HOTS) applicants as the biggest recruitment event culminated at around five o’clock in the afternoon.
A certified millennial, Katherine said she prepared herself for the recruitment event by browsing through the internet and getting tips on how to prepare for job interviews. “My mother, and also my classmate, informed me about DOLE’s job fair in Pasay. That is how I got here,” she said in an interview.
Katherine, the youngest in the family of four, looks forward to helping her parents when she starts her gainful employment in a private company, Techno Trade Resources, Inc, as marketing assistant. Her mother works as a cook in a carinderia and his father is a customer service representative.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz hopes that more fresh graduates will be as determined as Katherine in preparing themselves in the world of work.
“I have always emphasized that fresh graduates need not be choosy with jobs. For first time jobseekers, it is practical to accept the first available job and get the needed experience. Experience is necessary for employability and marketability. What one needs after graduation is work experience and a good employer who is willing to give you the chance to apply what you learn,” Baldoz said.
Aside from being determined in getting a job, Baldoz added, first time jobseekers must remember that while skills and competencies are very important, exemplary conduct and positive attitude towards work is also equally significant.
In the national job and career fair preliminary report yesterday of DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment, the 1 May Job and Career Fair registered a total of 33,055 registered applicants. Those who qualified and were referred for interview totaled to 20,312, and 790 were referred for training, while 960 were referred for livelihood assistance.
The total number of interviews totaled to 37,125 and the near hires, or those applicants who are “nearly-fit” for a job or were asked by employers to return for additional interview, or to submit additional required application documents.
One of the featured events in the DOLE Labor Day Job and Career Fair is the career guidance counseling given by human resource management and recruitment specialists from DOLE’s partner organizations and companies. Applicants were given free lectures throughout the day, such as how to prepare resume and ace interviews, as well as about proper grooming and building the ideal work attitude.
DOLE will continue to monitor the nationwide result of national career and job fair as the progress of recruitment and hiring by the participating employers will grind for several weeks.
Baldoz also looks forward to the continuance of nationwide job fairs, which are scheduled throughout the year. “This employment facilitation strategy has been a proven method in fast-tracking the meeting of jobseekers and employers in one venue to reduce cost, time, and effort, particularly on the part of the applicants,” the Secretary said.
Job Fairs are held to facilitate the job searching of all unemployed, skilled and unskilled workers, fresh college graduates, graduates of training institutions, displaced workers and other employees seeking job advancement.
“The advantage of jobs fair to applicants is that they are able to select several vacancies suited to their qualifications, and employers could interview and hire on the spot qualified workers,” Baldoz said.
The Secretary added that in job fairs, several agencies are also invited to provide self-employment and training assistance as a means to strengthen job preparedness of applicants or to provide other viable employment opportunities.