PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Around 200 people came out to the eastern Kentucky benefits fair at the expo center in Pikeville.
Many have been affected by recent layoffs and say the competition for jobs is tough.
Workforce professionals said there are tips on how to prepare yourself to impress the company or employer you want to work for.
“Are you all hiring?” was one question many had for employers at a benefits fair in Pikeville.
“You get one chance to make a first impression, so we tell anyone anytime you go in to get an application, look like you want to go to work,” said Jim Stewart of Pike County JobSight.
Some said the stakes are high.
“It is very important, it is that first impression you give that employer or that customer,” said Pikeville MicDonald’s Area Supervisor Jerry Kestner.
“If you are interviewing for a position, you may be interviewing with nine or ten other people that might be vying for the same job you are,” said Brian Mullins, who works as a recruiter for Human Resources at the Pikeville Medical Center.
Those who work to connect people with jobs said you need to cater to who you want to work for, on paper and in your appearance.
“It is really important to get across that you want to work for this particular company so you have to dress the right way, you have to look the right way,” said Stewart.
Career assistance professionals and employers themselves said they are looking beyond what's on paper when they are searching to hire someone. They said sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover.
“You know, it is right down to a wrinkled shirt or a well pressed shirt, shirt tucked in or a shirt that’s not tucked in, the image is important,” said Kestner.
“Most of our policies are based on what customers want to see when they come into our restaurant.”
Stewart said some people believed that denying employment because of refusal to adhere to a dress code is not discrimination.
“Sometimes people think that's not fair, and it's not necessarily being unfair. you have got an image that you have got to protect that you have worked for years to establish that and you don't want to lose that by the people you hire and the way they look,” said Stewart.
A study by The Patient's Guide found the amount of people getting tattoos removed is up 32 percent from 2011 to 2012. Of those, 40 percent said it was for "employment reasons."
“Visible tattoos is a policy that we have in our company, you have to cover those up,” said Kestner.
Stewart said most places had a dress code that required body art or piercings to be covered up.
“Our employees interact with the public, with the patients and their families and you want that impression to be positive,” said Mullins.
Workforce professionals said it is important to do your homework and tell the company why you would meet their needs. For instance, do research on the company and tell the person you are interviewing with what you know and how you fit in.
Officials with most businesses we spoke with today say they did have a tattoo cover up policy and many even have uniforms.
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