Companies are beginning to hire, and that means they will actually be at the Job Fairs this year.  If you want to get the most our of your time at a job fair, some helpful tips are in order.  Here are my top 7 “DO’s and DON’Ts”:

  1. DON’T go to a Job Fair expecting to get a job.  Very few people actually get a job from a Job Fair.  If you are putting all your eggs into this basket, you will be very disappointed.
  2. DO go to a Job Fair expecting to gain information about several companies – one of them MAY become your next employer.  Ask lots of questions related to the company, industry, and how a person with your background might fit in.
  3. If you attend a Job Fair with others, DON’T “cluster.”  Spread out.  Meet new people (employers AND Job Seekers). Make sure that you do not spend all of your time talking to people you already know, that defeats one of the most important reasons for attending a Job Fair – to meet new people and grow your network.
  4. DO be clear about the kind of position you are seeking.  Have a career objective in mind, and stick with it.  This will help you and the recruiters find a better “fit” for you and the company.
  5. DO keep your eyes open for opportunities to help connect others in your network.  If you can connect a potential employee with a potential employer, you will build credibility with both parties!  (Of course, this “DO” assumes that you have a network to share information with.  If not, build one NOW!)
  6. DO have plenty of business cards and resumes to hand out.  Distribute the business cards liberally, and give a copy of your resume directly to a potential employer.  (In other words, don’t just set it on a pile, or it will probably go directly into a recycling bin!)
  7. DO plan to meet 2 or 3 new people, get their business card, and ask if you can follow up with them for a cup of coffee within the next week . . . then DO follow up!  Remember, “the money is in the follow up!”

Have fun at these fairs.  They can be a great place to meet new people and learn about a company or two that you may have some interest in.  Just don’t expect to come away with a job, or you may be very disappointed.

If you lived in Seattle in the 1970s to 1990s you can’t help but recognize the Wheedle. With his huge stature and furry orange coat he sticks out like, well, the Space Needle in the Seattle skyline. As a non-native, when I first heard Sasquatch Books was re-releasing Wheedle on the Needle, I didn’t have a clue that the fuzzy creature lounging on the cover of the classic picture book was such a local celebrity.

It all began in 1974. Richard Nixon resigns, heiress Patty Hearst robs a bank, ABBA climbs the music charts, and Stephen Cosgrove and Robin James publish a children’s book titled Wheedle on the Needle. What began as a simple explanation of the blinking red light atop the Space Needle swept through Seattle like a characteristic rainstorm. Seattleites felt a fondness for the gentle Wheedle and adopted him as an icon of their city. Ironically, the creature who so craved his peace and quiet in the story was thrust into the spotlight.

From 1978 to 1985 the Wheedle helped stoke fans as the mascot at Seattle SuperSonics basketball games. One need only Google the words Wheedle and Sonics to see what a part of the team he was. (Seriously, do it. The resulting images are priceless.) The lumbering orange fellow could be seen frolicking on the sidelines and even posing with the star players and their tiny shorts on a line of Sonic’s greeting cards.

The busy Wheedle divided his time cheering on the team as well as serving as another mascot the Space Needle From the late 1970s to 1984. Todays Skyline Level of the Needle even existed as a restaurant called The Wheedle in the Needle for a year.

A few years later, the Wheedle could be seen as an ambassador for KOMO-TV. He even found time to explore his creative side, with a cookbook and a gardening book for kids (How to Cook a Bunch of Stuff and How to Plant a Bunch of Stuff).

I never thought I would meet a real live Wheedle, but the stars aligned last month at Seattle Bookfest. As publicist Tess Tabor and I were setting out the books, a gregarious gentleman working the Seattle Times booth noticed Wheedle on the Needle. Ah, the Wheedle! he exclaimed. Im sure you folks are too young to remember, but I was the Wheedle.

He described how wearing the heavy fur costume required breathing through a foot-long tube, and, in their excitement, children would surprise and nearly topple him as they ran up and threw themselves on his back. Yet as he painted the picture of a challenging job, there was a gleam in his eye that was a testament to the affection Seattle must have felt and continues to feel toward the Wheedle.

The Wheedle has been out of the spotlight for many years (retired to his position on the top of the Space Needle no doubt), but not for long. Sasquatch Books is delighted to bring Wheedle on the Needle back to Seattle this winter. Look for the new 35th anniversary edition of this favorite childrens book wherever books are sold.

In my quest to learn more about Seattle’s fond history with the Wheedle, I’ve discovered that nearly every Seattleite seems to have a Wheedle memory. What’s yours? Post a comment here with your story or memory of the Wheedle.

I grew up in a household that was passionate about the Winter Olympics. When they were on, regular TV shows would be abandoned, dinners would be eaten in front of the glowing white screen, and homework would be put off until the next morning. In my family there was only one reason to watch the Olympics, but it wasn’t patriotism or admiration for amazing athletes or even the adrenaline of a good competition.

No. In my family, we watched the Olympics for the ridiculous, shimmering figure skating outfits.

The 2010 Olympics were great: We had Russians in controversial aboriginal outfits; men in their customary tights, frills, and sparkle; and women with more makeup than Broadway stars.

But while the outfits were laughably fabulous, the Olympics aired another important segment this winter. As the Olympic torch relay passed through Churchill, British Columbia, cars were stopped in the streets to make way for passing polar bears. In the spotlight of the Olympics, people also stopped to think about the threats to polar bears in Canada. As the self-proclaimed polar bear capital of the world, the city of Churchill is worried that global warming is beginning to destroy their claim to fame, and without changes by humans, polar bear extinction is all too possible.

We love polar bears here at Sasquatch Books. Even more than a muscular man ice-skating in feathers, sequins, and body glitter. A few years ago our press published Winston of Churchill, a book about a debonair polar bear fighting global warming in town of Churchill, Manitoba, in Canada.

The polar bear hero, Winston, says, “The ice is melting. We are losing our home. The time has come for action. This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.” With words for action, strength, and hard work, Winston sounds like he is encouraging a gold-winning Olympic team. The Olympics may be over, but the fight to save the polar bears from global warming is just beginning.

While the residents of Churchill were excited that the Olympics visited their town, they were more proud of their furry white neighbors. In an interview in Montreal Gazette, Gary Lunn, Federal Minister of State for Sport, diplomatically said, “There’s the power of the flame and the power of the bear. And nothing would be cooler than for a polar bear to see the flame go by.”

Just imagine a polar bear—wearing sequins and feathers and ice skates—watching the Olympic flame pass by! That would be a great show. Until then, as you’re remembering those shimmering figure skaters and chuckling to yourself, grab a copy of Winston on Churchill to keep polar bears in the spotlight.

You can also enjoy and celebrate them with our fun new polar bear title, Polar Polka. (You’ll need to entertain yourself somehow now that you can’t make fun of the figure skaters’ outfits!)

Reading is my earliest memory. Occupying the book of Dads arm, I’d crack open my favorite board book beneath a wash of lamplight and squish myself deep down into the armchair cushions, waiting for the familiar hum of his voice. We read the same book a hundred times (a testament to his patience), but for me—age three—each reading was just as magical as the last. And while the days of reading board books have long since passed, I believe that my current love affair with books is deeply rooted in those evenings with Dad.

Now it’s emails and voicemails we exchange, not stories by lamplight, but the memory remains, a vivid reel in my head. This memory was stirred when I had the privilege of working on two board books from our Spring 2010 list: What is Green? A Colors Book and Who Hoo Are You: An Animal’s Book.

Brimming with wide-eyed animals (I’m a playing, spraying elephant), and vibrant splashes of color (What is red? A heart, a tulip, a sweater), these books are the creation of Seattle-based artist Kate Endle. Endle—whose art has appeared in murals, greeting cards, and magazines—has found just the right ingredient list for her books: a big batch of fun, colorful images; a dash of playful rhyming schemes; and a copious amount of almost-painful cuteness.

Mix it all together, and you have the recipe for memorable reading moments. And I’m not just saying this from the point of view of a former three-year-old. I dare you not to be smitten with Endless curious calico kitten or the smiling yellow sun (which, by the way, we could really use more of in this city). Simply put, there’s no grown-up too grown-up for the bliss these little books bring.


I hope you liked this post! Stay tuned for my next ones!