The staff of YouLaunchU took its first field trip to the mean streets of Job Searching yesterday to get a glimpse of what’s really going on.

We visited the SacJobs Fair just outside Sacramento for a “meet and greet” where local employers introduced themselves to job seekers. Presenters included health care providers, financial institutions, auto dealers, government and law enforcement agencies, hospitality and consumer service companies. Many were offering hourly wages, others salaried positions. Some were entry-level, others required experience. Some included training, all offered a range of benefits.

Here are our takeaways from the day:

Jobs are out there – steady entry-level positions in high demand fields. The jobs we heard about aren’t flashy, new economy jobs but they’re good opportunities in established, high demand fields. And they’re looking for good candidates.

Many do not require a specific set of skills. What we heard was this – if you’re honest, hard working, and ready to learn – you’ve got a shot. The employers believe they can train staff to do the work required if the candidates demonstrate those fundamental attributes. And many offered paths to advancement.

In all cases, you need a solid resume and a ready pitch. Some attendees shared resumes and appealed to the employers with their personal pitches while others floundered when asked what they were looking for. The differences were stark.

And lastly, you need to be positive. This is a tough process requiring grit and determination. Times are still tough and jobs are still scarce. But those exuding confidence and approaching things with the right attitude are going to find opportunity. Good luck.

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