SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Veterans looking for a job during the Coronavirus Pandemic are learning to use virtual job fairs to grow their careers.
"It's sometimes difficult, but overall it's been a positive experience," says Army Veteran Steven Padilla, who has been looking for a job since March.
"You can only do so much interacting. You can't shake hands. You can't wait in line for a conversation."
Padilla says his job search has been more difficult since the Pandemic hit. Companies have stopped hiring or removed job postings.
He's not alone in looking for a job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Veteran Unemployment skyrocketed during the Pandemic, peaking at 11.8% in April. That means more people competing for fewer positions.
But RecruitMilitary.com, the Army's primary contractor for helping service members transition from the Army to civilian employment, says there are still plenty of jobs. They're hosting multiple virtual job fairs every week to help veterans find one.
"It's really just a way to dip your toes in the water and visiting a lot of companies," says Chris Stevens, the Vice President of RecruitMilitary.com.
He says the company has gone from holding about 15 virtual job fairs each year to more than 130 planned for 2020.
"It's just like any other typical chat room," Stevens says. "Candidates and companies can go into private chats. They can do audio or video broadcasts and reach a larger audience."
RecruitMilitary has a virtual job fair planned for the Southern California area on Thursday, June 18, from 11 am - 3 pm.
Registration is free and open to all military veterans and their spouses.