It's a job seekers' market, but finding the right job still takes time

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Unemployment is at record lows in the islands, hiring is up and the economy is booming.

All that means that finding a job is pretty easy, job seekers say, but finding the right job still takes time, patience and a competitive edge.

That's why hundreds came out Wednesday for Career Expo 2018 at the Neal Blaisdell Center, which featured more than 130 Hawaii employers.

Among them: Navy Region Hawaii, which was hiring for security guards, federal firefighters and social workers.

Faith Chong, Navy Region Hawaii's head of staff classification, said job seekers were being hired on the spot.

"We drew a crowd here earlier for federal firefighter positions," she said. "We're still hiring for 50 security guards."

The positions, she added, are mostly entry level.

And that's the problem, said job seeker Derek Reubenstahl, a University of Hawaii at Manoa graduate.

It might be a job seekers' market, but "everyone is wanting experience. You really do have to start at the entry level."

He did that, he said, working a number of positions in clerical and retail. Now he's ready for a challenge.

Sarah Zelk graduated two years with a degree in biology at UH-Manoa. She said it's been "pretty difficult" to find a job that meets her expectations.

"A lot of the places don't offer anything with science," she said, adding that she's very confident.

At the job fair, she spoke to the state Education Department. Her goal: To get a license to teach biology.

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