July 26, 2009

Empowering Women Back to Work

FROM THE SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE - Sunday, July 26, 2009

Free seminar for women seeking jobs

Tribune Correspondent

GRANGER — Standing apart from other job candidates in this economy could perhaps be the most challenging aspect of job hunting nowadays.

With so many people trying to woo employers for the same job, getting a leg up on the competition is the first order of business for job candidates, says Tammie Carr, who owns a recruiting firm, TalentSource Staffing, in South Bend.

And job recruits must be polished on all levels: appearance, skills, résumé and first impressions alike. That's why Carr, along with Michelle Beplay, owner of Serendipity Consignment Boutique, and Kathy Friend, a wardrobe expert and fashion stylist, are teaming up with WorkOne to provide a free seminar and shopping event, Empowering Women Back to Work, for women Aug. 3 at Serendipity Consignment Boutique, 7106 Grape Road, Granger. Two identical seminars will be offered, one at 2 p.m. and one at 6 p.m.

Sponsored by the Michiana Chapter of Society of Human Resource Management, Carr will help women create a professional résumé and perfect their interviewing skills, Friend will work with women on their first impressions and dressing for the job they're seeking, and all who attend will receive 20 to 50 percent off the purchase of an interview outfit from Beplay's Serendipity Consignment Boutique.

"We're trying to help professional women from all angles to get them back to work," Carr says. "Because of the current economic strain, many women may need to go back to work, and we want them to stand out because there are so many job candidates right now."

She says she hopes women take away a better understanding that something as simple as a résumé is not as cut and dried as it seems. She recommends women write a résumé with a focus on their accomplishments.

"The résumé needs to get them the interview," Carr says. "And some professionals may not have a lot of experience writing a résumé. If it does not quickly capture the attention of the employer, it could get lost in the shuffle."

And, too, many women may not realize that in this job market more than ever first impressions count. Carr says if you don't look the part, you probably won't be considered for it.

"Our simple goal is to meet a need and help local women by empowering them with tools and tips to move forward from a place of underemployment or unemployment to a place of productive, planned job search," says Friend.

And because of the current economy, many women may be entering the work force for the first time in many years and need to brush up on what it takes to successfully snag a job these days.

"Women now have to do what they have to do to make ends meet," she says.

"We just want to help guide them throughout the entire process to get that job," Carr says.

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