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P.E.I. tourism operators optimistic with high turnout at job fair

Yubii Vu makes her pitch to Kim Doyle, right, and Jessie Duffy of Resonate XM at the tourism job fair Saturday. (Shane Ross/CBC - image credit)
Yubii Vu makes her pitch to Kim Doyle, right, and Jessie Duffy of Resonate XM at the tourism job fair Saturday. (Shane Ross/CBC - image credit)

More than 1,500 job seekers offered their resumés and a firm handshake to tourism operators in Charlottetown on Saturday.

But some prospective employers said personality is the key to making a good first impression in their businesses.

"Fundamentally, we hire on people first, your energy, do you have any experience working with folks, do you have great integrity, do you respect yourself and others, those are really the core values that we can work with," said Kim Doyle, CEO of Resonate XM.

Doyle was hoping to find a "rockstar" who could work as an event co-ordinator.

She and the 45 other employers had plenty of candidates at the Delta Hotel on Saturday for the annual Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. job fair. The number of people looking for work far outpaced the 600 or so people who attended each of the past few years.

Corryn Clemence
Corryn Clemence

TIAPEI's Corryn Clemence says the job fair is an opportunity for prospective employees and employers to see if they are a good fit for each other. (Shane Ross/CBC)

Corryn Clemence, TIAPEI chief executive officer, said that's good news, given the labour shortages faced by the industry after the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're really optimistic that we'll be able to fill some of those gaps that we've traditionally seen," she said.

"I think it's a great opportunity for our operators to really get out and see the individuals looking for work. On the flip side, job seekers have the opportunity to see the different operators, the positions available and really find that right fit for the business and the individual."

We're really optimistic that we'll be able to fill some of those gaps that we've traditionally seen. — Corryn Clemence, CEO of TIAPEI

Yubii Vu, who moved to P.E.I. from Vietnam two years ago, is studying Tourism, Travel and Event Management at Holland College. She applied at several places Saturday hoping to find a summer job in her field — such as a tour guide, a hotel front desk operator or an event co-ordinator or staffer.

"I'm good at talking to people, analyzing situations, and also I'm kind of very creative, if they need creativity there's a lot of room for that in my brain," she said.

Forty-six tourism businesses were looking to hire for the upcoming season at the job fair at the Delta Hotel by Marriott Prince Edward on Saturday. (Shane Ross/CBC)

Nazia Amiri, a Grade 12 student at Colonel Gray High School, was looking for her first job.

"I'm really good with anything, working with people or any sort of job. I'm pretty adaptable to anything."

Clemence noted the wide range of ages within the job seekers, and the diversity of jobs available from the employers. But she said server jobs are always in high demand and Cows "always has a lineup, every year."

The best piece of advice she could give to someone looking to work in the tourism industry?

"Don't be afraid to ask questions and show a little bit of your personality. People remember that and that's what they want to hire, is that personality, somebody who's outgoing and friendly and I think this industry helps to grow and build that too so if you're a little nervous and shy, just kind of take that first step and it will pay dividends in the long run."