EVERY Cambodian who wants to get a job – or a better job – should go to the Job Fair and Career Forum on Diamond Island next Saturday and Sunday, on June 25 and 26.
Organiser Alexandra Herbel, Director and General Manager of the French-Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, says this is the only such event available in Cambodia today and anyone looking for a job, or looking to hire people, should attend.
“If you are really looking to improve your future, you should look up the companies there – look who is doing what – so that when you go and show up at the booth you are not one in 15,000 people, but you are one in 10 who will stand out. Go there with a goal,” Herbel said. “Trust your instinct and go for it.”
The Job Fair will go from 8am to 5:30pm on both days.
Herbel says young professionals should visit with plenty of copies of their CVs to the 2,500 square metre floor space, at which a variety of employers will have booths and will be looking to connect with people to hire
This is the seventh year the Job Fair and Career Forum has been in existence – and it has been growing steadily to 15,000 visitors last year, and even more are forecast to visit this year.
Herbal says job seekers should dress as if they are going on a job interview and use the opportunity of the Career Forum to polish their interviewing skills and skills at presenting themselves.
“This is a great time to do preliminary interviews,” she said.
“Our exhibitors need to hire people for middle management – young professionals, and people with experience. We are looking for young professionals to come and not just graduates. Job seekers should come dressed as if they were going on a job interview, and bring multiple copies of their CV.
“Everything is completely free for the visitor. It is entirely free and extremely important.”
Job seekers can take advantage of the free training and six to eight career talks per day at the Career Corner, with speakers, panelists and interview simulations that help people go through the process of interviewing for a job.
“These career talks are easy and informal so that people can ask questions,” Herbel said. “We will have panelists of different profiles and a common message to job seekers which is be patient, hang in there and build your career. It is very important to me that people have a more realistic approach to the job market.”
Job seekers need to remember simple things like reading the job offers carefully. “People will apply as a doctor when there is an offer for a medical supply salesperson.”
Herbel says people should be open to opportunities in the provinces outside Phnom Penh.
“The garment factories are also going to start moving away from the city. Don’t be afraid to take a job in a remote area because you may have a much better chance to get a better job when you come back. Be open to new job opportunities that arrive, mainly in the provinces.”
Herbel, whose father is German and mother is French, speaks both languages along with English and more and more Khmer. She is someone who has taken bold steps herself to get jobs during her unusual career.
She had a year-long fellowship at New York City’s Intercontinental Hotel in Manhattan and ended up living there for seven years, studying art history, working for an Italian glass company, moving back to France with that company and eventually arriving in Phnom Penh, with her partner, two children and three suitcases.
Soon, thanks to her willingness to take risks, she had a job and now loves living and working in Phnom Penh – and she’s the boss.
“Be bold in your choices. Make an impression. Trust yourself,” she said.
“Go out there and get information for yourself. If you feel convinced that a job in Mondulkiri will be the most boring place in the world for the next two years, but that you will have a unique work experience that you can then sell really well, do it.”