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The new year is the perfect time to finish off that job search with a new or better job!

RochesterWorks! will host its eleventh Career Conference & Job Fair on Wednesday, January 16 at the Monroe Community College Brighton Campus Flynn Center from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

John Premo, the Director of Community Business & Services for RochesterWorks!, and Workshop Specialist Rosa Smith-Montanaro discussed the event Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“We’ve done it every January for 11 years,” said Premo. “We have great partners with Monroe County, the County Executive’s Workforce Development Team, the Department of Labor, MCC and ACCES-VR, which actually specializes in V-R and helps people with disabilities.”

Premo said more than 70 different employers will be at the event. “People, what they need to do is show up, be ready and put their best face forward. We encourage, if they go to our website, you can get all of the information on the event. You can see all of the employers. You can see all the tips and pointers that we might advise for someone who is preparing for the event.”

The website is

Smith-Montanaro said do your research to make the most out of the opportunity. “Look at what organizations are going to be there. Have a game plan of who you want to speak to, and know a little bit about the company so you don’t ask them what they do, you know a little bit about what they do. Definitely update your resume so that it’s the most relevant and shows your most recent work experience, maybe ten years of your recent work experience. Also use this as networking opportunity. There’s an opportunity to make connections with other people, the participants as well as the employers. Even bring some business cards so that you can exchange them, if you have business cards.”

There are workshops available for attendees. “We have couple workshops that we’re excited about,” said Smith-Montanaro. “One is ‘Behind the Scenes with a Recruiter.’ We have a guest speaking who will be talking about what’s going on when they’re sourcing candidates, using applicant tracking systems, which is very big now. Seventy-five percent of companies are using a database to track potential employees, and they’re using keywords to search for that. He’s going to speak a little bit to that. He’s going to speak about what goes on in the back of his mind when he’s looking at similar individuals. The other one that I’ll be facilitating is ‘Optimize Your Mind, Maximize Your Outcome,’ and that’s on developing a positive mental attitude and staying in the best frame of mind so that you can get the most out of this.”

In addition to the job seeker, events like these are valuable to employers as well. “RochesterWorks! can be very helpful to businesses,” noted Premo. “Aside from the job fair itself, we can help them post their positions, and help them get visibility on who they are, what their needs are and so forth. We have some training grants that may help to train an individual that may need to be ‘up-skilled’ a little bit, and what have you. We also throughout the year – not only at this large event, but throughout the year – we offer recruitment events. Employers can come in when they’re struggling or when they’re trying to look for employees. They can come in and use our services. We hope to be a conduit to the job seeker.”

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