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Project Jobs: Resume Makeover

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PARKER, Colo.- The down economy puts a strain on almost everyone looking for a job, especially those who have been out of work for a long period of time.

For the past 19 years Karen Jara has worked as a full-time mom. Her three children are all grown up now, with the youngest on the way to college, and now Karen wants to get back into the work force. “With my kids being the age they are now…I’m more willing to be out there.”

The problem for Karen is her resume lacks nearly two decades of experience, but that’s not stopping her from trying. “If you have the skills to be at home, and you manage your home, and manage your children, you have something to offer outside.”

Recently Karen took a seasonal job with a large retailer, and it turned into a part time job. Now she’s looking for something more fulfilling. One of Karen’s concerns is that the main work experience she’s had for the past couple years is running fundraisers. “I know this translates into the workforce”

Fox 31 Denver set Karen up with resume expert Roberta Gamza who operates Career Ink. She says the things Karen did as a mom translate the business world. “Volunteer work presents the same skills that you’d find in a business scenario.” As far as the numerous fundraisers over the years, Roberta says that’s a huge plus. “Fundraising in the private sector, or even the non-profit sector relates to revenue generation in the corporate sector.”

Before Karen’s meeting with Roberta her resume was, for lack of a better term, unimpressive. “This was pretty much a chronology, a history, pretty much bare bones.” But after their meeting, the resume came to life with key words employers look for, along with a job title. Something the old resume lacked. Gamza says now, “there’s a direction.”

Instead of focusing on work history, which Karen lacks, the new resume focuses more on job capabilities. In a detailed table, it spells out exactly what Karen can do for a potential employer using what Gamza calls “buzz words.” A recent study shows employers spend an average of just six seconds looking at a resume before deciding yes, or no on a candidate. Gamza says, “this is pure marketing, and more targeted marketing is more effective.  It always is.”

As far as how Karen feels about her new identity on paper, she says, “I feel more confident – she makes me look really good on paper.  And that is a boost in your confidence in and of itself.”

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