FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Military spouses traveled from near and far Sep. 15 to attend the MilSpo Career Expo at Smith Lake Recreation Center, here.
These attendees were looking to help enhance their employment prospects and gain skills to navigate the job search process.
“Our goal is to give our military spouses the time and space they need to be able to focus on their employment search,” said Melanie Tucker, Army Community Service Employment Readiness Program manager. “And that is exactly what this event gives them, plus so much more.”
This is the second annual event the ERP has co-hosted with the Women’s Business Center of Fayetteville. Guest speaker, Torette Williams, military spouse and small business owner, got the day started by sharing her inspirational experiences about personal branding. Her presentation was live-streamed on Facebook @FortBraggACSERP for those job seekers who were unable to attend in person.
The spouses then had the opportunity to connect with other military spouses and network with prospective employers who were looking to hire military spouses.
The 28 employers in attendance made numerous viable leads and the spouses gained valuable face-time with local and national employers in various fields.
“Many of our military spouses stopped at every table to engage with the employers,” said Tucker. “They gained a lot of confidence through those positive interactions. When you can be more than just an application or resume in a stack – when you can be a face and a personality to an employer – you can make a more personal connection and lasting impression! There is a lot to be gained in an interaction like that, for all parties involved.”
Attendees also had the opportunity to review their resumes with certified career counselors. This one-on-one resume review is one of the many services the ERP offers on a day-to-day basis. Bringing it to the event gave the spouses an on-the-spot opportunity to discuss how to make themselves more marketable.
Many attendees also chose to get a mini makeover followed by a professional headshot photoshoot for their online presence. In addition, they gained helpful tips and tools from various breakout sessions – all designed around effectively marketing themselves to prospective employers.
“I heard so much positive feedback from the employers about the spouses they spoke with during the event,” said Tucker. “One employer even mentioned that she had made a lot of very viable applicant leads and was excited to get back to the office and connect with them again.”
Connecting military spouses with the success of obtaining their employment goals is critical to the mission of ACS.
Spouses who were unable to make the event and would like to meet prospective employers, could benefit from a resume review or other job search assistance, can stop by the third floor of the Soldier Support Center on Fort Bragg, or call 910-396-2390.
Service members and Families can also follow ACS ERP on Facebook @FortBraggACSERP or connect via LinkedIn.
Story by Audra Satterlee, Army Community Service marketing specialist
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