At 69 years old, Jerry was at a crossroads.
“I had been laid off from my position after 16 years, for financial reasons,” noted the Cherry Hill resident, husband, and father of two adult children. “I like to work, and would definitely miss it, so I took a week to get my bearings and then went full-force into searching for a new job.”
Like so many others who haven’t looked for a job in a while, he was surprised just how difficult the search could be.
“I tried the newspaper, the Internet, talking to friends and family, networking, everything,” he remembered. “But my niece is a recruiter in California, and she mentioned that she saw a notice on LinkedIn about career help through JEVS in Philadelphia.”
Fortunately, JEVS Career Strategies does exist – not only in Philadelphia and surrounding counties in Pennsylvania, but now (with partnering agency Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Service) in southern New Jersey! With one call, Jerry was back in charge of his job search.
“I had been going on interviews and not receiving any firm offers, so when I met with (Career Advisor) Charlene (Chicalo), she immediately started giving me what I might call job search tools or concepts to use.”
Those “tools” included helpful tips for: the updating of Jerry’s resume for today’s job search; reprioritization of skills and work history; customization of talents listed for each job opportunity; and highlighting achievements – as well as interview, social media and negotiation skills for job seekers.
“Our sessions are very interactive,” noted Charlene. “Jerry would leave with homework – he was receptive to ideas and fully responsive and an active partner in all tasks!”
After a few days, Jerry began receiving job leads from Marilena von Rohr, the Job Development Specialist, in Career Strategies New Jersey office.
“One day, she sent me a small job description which did not include much detail, which was unusual,” said Jerry. “I thought, ‘This won’t fit my goals or my level of expertise,’ but she said to try it, and I thought ‘What do I have to lose?’”
“I had a good feeling about Jerry’s chances,” said Marilena. “He had been putting in the effort and I encourage everyone to look at an interview – even if it’s not exactly the level where they were before – as a networking and sales opportunity.”
Jerry’s performance at the interview was so impressive, in fact, that the company not only offered him a position – but modified the role to allow for Jerry’s deep experience. As a result, Jerry was out of work only three months and is happily employed today.
“I really felt cared about at every turn,” said Jerry. “Charlene was very honest about my initial resume and Marilena with her extensive contacts and matching ability – they both knew how to make me feel utilized, first in the job search process, and then in finding a role I hope to excel in.”