Stores in the Ocean County Mall in Toms River are already taking on a festive holiday glow. Who'll send all those busy shoppers home with bags full of goodies and smiles? Maybe this Saturday's Holiday Job Fair in Center Court.

If you can use some extra cash this season, or even looking for a new career direction, this might just be the fair that fills the bill.

Christine Karaska, Employment Specialist with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development says that from 12:00 noon until 3 PM on September 28th, more than 30 stores will be on the hunt for part-time and full-time employees - some seasonal, some permanent, and most with flexible hours.

Eager beavers who want the inside track are heading to the Ocean County Connection in near center court before Saturday, to pre-register.

Christine says that the lineup runs the gamut of sales and service. "Sales associates, cashiers, counter help, stock...and there are management positions."

Christine acknowledges that there's a strong trend toward applying for work through websites. But, she says, a firm handshake always trumps an e-mail, and the Internet just can't compare to the fair. "You have the opportunity to advocate for yourself," she gushes. "Get that interview! Go face-to-face with the HR person! And it's a great way of getting a job."

Karaska suggests anyone who is interested show up a little early and bring their resumes.

As always, it's wise to sport a look that tells potential employers that you mean business...khakis and sport shirts, suits, separates, good grooming and a smile. Plus, bring copies of your most recent resume, highlighting all your retail experience.

“That is the best thing about going to a job fair," Christine enthuses. "You've got about ten seconds to impress somebody. Give them a handshake like you really mean it.”

Not yet 18? Don't let it stop you. There are a limited number of spots for folks under age 18. Plus, Christine's looking out for you. "I will be there with a list to show what stores in the Mall will hire them," she says, "and I will also hand out a list of stores in Ocean County that will hire minors."

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