Written by Joanna Huang
Finding a job, whether as a teen or an adult, can be difficult. In order to tackle this difficulty, the Palo Alto Youth Council (PAYC) is hosting a job fair on April 9 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Mitchell Park Community Center. The job fair aims to connect teens to local businesses, and includes scheduled workshops on how to approach job interviews, cover letters and resumes.
This event will be PAYC’s first time hosting a job fair. Palo Alto Youth Council president and Gunn High School junior Uma Bahl supported a council member’s idea of a job fair, because she realized teens may have difficulties finding and preparing for jobs. “It’s hard for teenagers to get jobs, because people think they’re less experienced,” Bahl said.
Senior Annie Chandra is planning to attend the job fair because of the event’s youth aspect. “I think the fact that it’s geared towards youth is definitely a major part of why I wanted to go,” she said. Chandra hopes to get a job to gain work experience while earning income.
Bahl believes Palo Alto in particular could benefit from a job fair. “I think it’s exciting to help people get normal jobs, because getting a job as a teen is really good life experience,” she said. “And it’s important for people in Palo Alto to do regular activities. You see a lot of Palo Alto youth doing these really high-tech camps, instead of just normal teenage things.”
Company representatives will be at tables, and students can walk around to talk to them. Chandra appreciates how this fact offers her more insight into her job search. “It’s good that they are inviting company representatives for us to talk to, so I can get a real feel of what kind of job I want to get,” she said.
Unlike typical job fairs, the students can attend workshops to improve their interview and resume- and cover letter- writing skills. Chandra believes using the workshops to refine these skills leads to long-lasting benefits. “These skills are really helpful to have when applying for a job during or after college,” she said.
Bahl enjoyed the process of preparing for the job fair. “I know it’s really intimidating to just say ‘I want a job’–you don’t know where to start,” Bahl said. “You feel like you don’t really know that much. It’s fun to help people get informed.” Chandra is eager to attend the fair. “I’m really excited to check it out and see if I can find a job,” she said.