Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on October 4, 2009 · Page 45
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 45

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Page 45
Start Free Trial

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2009 D5 Career crossroads Professionals assist 3 women as they reassess their interests, seek new jobs Stories by Chad Graham, Photos by Jill Richards I The Arizona Republic Mx4 r mm a THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC I r in Zk : PAH W'W- HjWii . mil .mum- ji ...ww,- niwiumwn i.ihi - jJjmPWW i: n 1 J XT7 I w l i 1 K i - " ; - ' . ' Wendy Urias-Smith (left) turned to resume writer Gloria Aguirre for assistance in updating her resume. Eye-catching, well-organized resumes key Her story: Wendy Urias-Smith has more than a dozen years of experience in marketing and public relations. But since she was laid off from her job as a regional-tourism marketing manager for a department-store chain, she has had a tough time finding a full-time job. She sent out dozens of resumes and got only one interview prospect. That, no doubt, was due to the terrible economy, but her resume wasn't catching the attention of hiring managers. For any job seeker, that's one sign to hire extra help. Urias-Smith last used a professional resume writer years ago. This time around, she created her own document. "You don't realize that things change. It's important for people to look for that professional, especially if you've been out of the interviewing market for a while," she said. The Arizona Republic put her in contact with professional resume writer Gloria Aguirre, owner of A Perfect Image Resume Service in Tempe. Diagnosis: Urias-Smith has the background to get a job as a marketing manager, Aguirre said. She just needed her experience and skills to be better organized on her resume. Aguirre went to work. She placed Urias-Smith's name at the top of the resume in 16-point type. "A resume needs to be very eye-appealing," Aguirre said. "And it needs to be an effective marketing tool not just a list of everything a person's ever done." Lesson: When it comes to resumes, the devil is in the details. Here are Aguirre's suggestions for Urias-Smith: A great resume must incorporate job descriptions with job achievements, with separate headings for each. It might be a good idea to italicize or boldface achievements. Making a resume' too short and choppy can make it look like an outline. "If (recruiters) don't have enough information, I don't think they can select someone for interviewing," Aguirre said. A candidate must show how he or she added value to a company's bottom line. Bullet points allow the hiring manager to scan the document quickly. Specifics are important. How many people did a person supervise? How many locations was he or she responsible for? The top one-third of a resume is the most important. The skills and background listed in this section should serve as a snapshot that captures the reader's attention. The language must be precise and non-repetitive. Instead of writing "researched and updated media database for market-specific targets and other media-reference material," Aguirre ended the sentence after "targets." Update: Urias-Smith continues to look for full-time work. "It looks fantastic," she said. "It is so much more professional than what I had created." Contact Urias-Smith at wurias Contact Aguirre at 480-967-3456 or JW: . JOT I .. a i A .1 ) v, v. Nancy Garrett (left) is embarking on a new career path in Web design with the help of Martha Rockwell of A Resumes and Career Coaching in Scottsdale. Boomer takes time to study new fields Her story: Like many Baby Boomers, Nancy Garrett had planned to retire from her previous job. But in January, she was laid off from the engineering firm she'd worked at for eight years. Garrett was a team leader responsible for the firm's computer-aided drafting in the land-surveying department. She's had trouble finding a new job. The collapse of the real-estate market has made these jobs incredibly difficult to come by, especially in Arizona. Garrett also has seen her career path change. New technology has allowed land surveyors to do drafting and field work. "The money was good, the hours were flexible and the company I'd worked for felt like family," she said. Garrett is at a professional crossroads. She could stick with computer-assisted drafting but would need to head back to community college for other kinds of engineering. Or she could leap into graphic or Web design, which would also require college courses. The Arizona Republic put her in contact with Martha Rockwell, a licensed career counselor and certified resume writer, who owns A Resumes and Career Coaching in Scottsdale. Diagnosis: Garrett needs to find a job quickly - and she needs more training. Both require a wider network of contacts. Garrett is passionate about travel and has experience in designing and writing for travel publications. Before making a jump, she wants to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the industry. The recession has hammered the travel industry as consumers cut back on spending. To help make contacts and conduct research, .Rockwell recommended that Garrett call an expert and set up a quick meeting. Maybe she calls a hotel manager, explains that she's considering making a career switch and would like to meet to talk about different directions. "You get the skinny from the inside before you make the big plunge," Rockwell said of these informational interviews. Lesson: "Networking is the key," Rockwell said. "Seventy-five percent of jobs are obtained through who you know." Garrett has reached out mostly to friends, family and colleagues, and has posted her resume on the major online jobs sites. Rockwell thought that strategy was too passive. Garrett needs to get her resume in front of a greater number of people who are knowledgeable about various industries. "The networking (component) was the biggest thing for me," Garrett said, adding that she is considering setting up a meeting with an expert and joining more professional organizations. Update: Garrett is still looking, but she believes the labor market is improving. "One reason for my optimism is that some of my colleagues who were also laid off are now finding work," she said. "It may be contract work or part-time hours, but at least there seems to be a glint of light in the proverbial tunnel." Garrett has also used her time to brush up on new computer skills in Web design and civil-engineering design. Want to contact Garrett? E-mail Want to contact Rockwell? 480-663-0681 or K 'Of jLlte A version of this story originally appeared in the September issue of AZ magazine, published by Republic Media. To subscribe, go to Cynthia Paulson (center) worked with Jane and Al Andersen of Compass Consulting Team to find a new career. Mom hopes to make music part of career Background: Cynthia Paulson's passion is music, particularly women rockers in Arizona. The Mesa mom has promoted the local music scene by writing articles for She is skilled at social media such as Twitter and MySpace. Paulson always considered her love of music more of a hobby. Her "grown-up" career had been in human resources and payroll until she was laid off in November. "That's what I know and thaf s what I'm good at," she said. "Thaf s safe." But playing it safe by applying for human-resources or payroll jobs wasn't working. Interviews were scarce. Her online resume was getting only a few online clicks per month. Paulson was starting to feel as if she'd never find a decent-paying job. It was time for a career makeover. The Arizona Republic put her in contact with Jane and Al Andersen, a hus-band-and-wife team who own Compass Consulting Team in Chandler. Diagnosis: When the Andersens looked at Paulson's resume and then learned about her passion, they saw two different people. "I looked at her and said, "What do you want to be?' " Jane Andersen recalled. "Well, I really want to be in radio," Paulson replied. Paulson, has the skills and background to be a production manager, a graphic artist, an executive producer or an assistant in the radio industry. When Paulson realized that she could try to find a career that fit with her love "of music, "her whole attitude and demeanor changed," Jane Andersen said. "I could see a brightening in her face. It was like this big weight had lifted off of her shoulders." Lesson: Many job seekers are scared to turn a passion into a career. They figure it will be too difficult to make money, that competition in a particular industry is too tough or that there isn't enough financing to start a business. But there's truth to the adage, "Do what you love and the money will follow." Examine ways to incorporate your interests into your career path with a little expert guidance. That can come from a career coach or such agencies as the U.S. Small Business Administration. Update: Paulson has yet to find a job but said that more recruiters are looking at her resume. Her search is better-targeted, she's attending more networking events and she's applying to radio stations, particularly for copywriting and marketing jobs. Paulson is volunteering for an Internet radio station for troops, veterans and military families. She has also enrolled at Scottsdale Community College, majoring in mass communications with a minor in journalism and plans to transfer to ASU. Want to contact Paulson? E-mail cyn Want to contact the Andersens? 602-684-9300 or qompassconsultingteam .com. Tips for hiring a career coach Not all career coaches are created equal. It's important to do your homework before paying hundreds or even thousands ol dollars to a professional to help you find 4 job, a new career direction or to improve yoiir interviewing skills. "There are lots of good-hearted, well meaning people right now who want to help people who are unemployed, and now they're billing themselves as a career coach but 90 days ago they were a real-estate person," said Linda Baugh, founder of American Career Executives in Phoenix. The Arizona Republic had questions for Baugh, who also serves as a vice president on the state committee that helps establish licensing standards for career coaches. Are there distinctions between a career coach and a professional resume writer? Yes. Anyone who is doing career work must be licensed by the state of Arizona. If the person isn't licensed, that's a red flag. A resume writer doesn't have to be licensed unless he or she also offers career coaching or job-search coaching. What does getting a license require? The career coach must go before a state board, successfully pass a test and have his or her contract for clients approved. That contract must state that the career coach cannot guarantee a client a job. ' Whom can I contact with questions about my career coach? Call the Industrial Commission of Arizona, which oversees the licensing procedure. The agency keeps records of complaints against career coaches. It can be reached at 602-542-4661. How do I know whether I've found a good career coach? Look at length of experience, their reputation through a Web search, get references and meet nim or her in person. Have they authored career-related books or been quoted in the media? If their pitch sounds too good to be true, it probably is. How much should I pay for a career coach? It depends on your needs. The cost can range from hourly rates to thousands of dol lars. What kinds of help will I get? There is everything from improving interviewing skills to networking to resume development to career assessment and creating Web portfolios. Is hiring a career coach worth K? It sounds expensive. Think of it as an investment that could help a job seeker find work more quickly and such job-search expenses are tax-deductible. Additionally, career coaches can improve a client's negotiating skills; that will possibly get them a higher salary. Chad Graham

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 18,200+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the Arizona Republic
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free