Department of Labor event in Augusta helps veterans looking for jobs

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June Murphy couldn’t stress enough the importance of an articulate résumé to veterans Friday at a Georgia Department of Labor workshop.

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Business services recruiter Sarah Byrum (left) offers résumé help at the Georgia Department of Labor's Job Readiness Kickoff at First Baptist Church of Augusta.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Business services recruiter Sarah Byrum (left) offers résumé help at the Georgia Department of Labor's Job Readiness Kickoff at First Baptist Church of Augusta.

“Employers will look at résumés for maybe eight seconds,” Murphy told veterans who sat in front of her. “You really want what will grab them in the first quarter of the résumé.”

The Georgia Department of Labor held a Job Readiness Kickoff on Friday at First Baptist Church in preparation for its inaugural Paychecks for Patriots career expo, scheduled for Oct. 17 in five cities across the state, including Augusta.

The workshop offered veterans seeking civilian jobs mock interviews, résumé advice, and help setting up social media profiles and navigating a job fair. Labor department officials expected about 60 veterans to trickle into the church throughout the day.

“You only get one chance at a first impression and when it comes to jobs; that’s really huge,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, who attended the Augusta event.

Veteran Watha Hooper, medically retired from the Army since 1987, said what she learned at the workshop was helpful for her jump-starting a different career.

The 59-year-old retired in January after working for seven years at the Fort Gordon Commissary but soon realized retired life didn’t suit her. Hooper sat in on a program designed to help veterans 40 and older in their job search.

“It’s given me a little oomph to just really get out and go for it,” said Hooper, who served as a supply sergeant in the Army. “I believe that I needed this to make me feel that I can really succeed and it’s not over yet.”

Don Mathews hasn’t served in the Army since 1975 but said Friday’s event gave him insight into what employers today are looking for. Mathews spent 40 years working locally in TV production.

“Things change,” said Mathews, 61, a former Army musician who played in Fort Gordon’s band. “Technology changes. That business is changing so much that in order for me to exist I might have to get into a different field.”


WHAT: Paychecks for Patriots, Augusta career expo

WHEN: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 17

WHERE: U.S. Army Reserve, 15th Street and Lane Avenue, Fort Gordon, Building 14401

MORE INFORMATION: Call Bob Keith at (404) 273-4804

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bclicious 09/21/13 - 09:55 am
Well, we ought to do something!!!

As a 3 time disabled combat veteran of OIF, I quite frequently visit the uptown and downtown VA hospitals for treatment. As I am in various waiting rooms, I have conversations with many other veterans.

It is ridiculous for me to see all these very young veterans who are out of work, and even homeless in Augusta. I know that there are several people that are working on it, but it is still a dam shame!

Oh, and it is not all a bunch of drug abusing, alcoholic, and uneducated veterans who don't want help. Most of them just want an opportunity. ANY OPPORTUNITY!!!

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