Armed with the right clothes, résumés and eager smiles, about 1,000 teenagers were on the hunt Saturday for employment.
The bright-eyed high schoolers and college-age students were sharply dressed and prepared to win over potential employers at the Omaha Public Library's annual teen job fair.
They had goals and plans, and they were prepared.
Sarah Myers, 16, wore a flattering skirt suit with conservative high heels. Her hair was pulled back into a clean, braided bun.
The ambitious North High student looked sharp.
"I'm going to college in two years, so I need to save money. I want to get a car. I need money to work toward financial independence," Myers said.
Metropolitan Community College student Carlos Rivas, 19, not only was dressed to impress, he made sure his 16-year-old brother Raul was prepared.
Raul, a Belleuve East High student, had a brief but professional-looking résumé courtesy of his big brother, who is majoring in business administration.
The two stopped at the McDonald's restaurant employment table. After hearing about the company's flexible hours, medical insurance, benefits and opportunities for advancement, the siblings headed for a table to fill out their applications.
This was the first year the teen job fair was held at the Mutual of Omaha Dome at 33rd and Dodge Streets.
The larger venue offered more space for the 20 employers, booths for on-site interviews and a quiet room with iPads for teens to fill out online applications.
There were also several tables for the students around a fountain next to the parents' waiting area.
"It was awesome," said Helen Hill, 19.
Hill and her sister Pareshia Perry, 18, are both seniors ready to graduate from Burke High next month. Their college plans are in place, but both were looking to snag jobs for the summer and beyond.
The two agreed that the job fair was a great opportunity.
"Everything is in one location. You're not wasting gas going from one place to the next, and this is a really nice place to have it," Perry said.
The employer representatives were kind and made them feel at ease, Hill said.
Perry said she'll likely follow up with the Army Reserve and the Omaha Area Health Education Center.
Hill was drawn to a phone service position with Gallup or First Data Corp. because of the above-minimum wage salary and flexibility.
Contact the writer: