Job Action Day 09: His Resume Savvy Helped New Career Rise from Layoff Ashes


Today is Job Action Day 2009, a day for job-seekers to take action steps right now — today — to move forward in their careers. The Quintessential Careers family of blogs (including this blog and Quintessential Careers Blog, Career Doctor Blog, and A Storied Career), is looking at a promising aspect of the currently employment scene — turning unemployment into entrepreneurship.
As a result of the current recession, Sacramento-based Jerome Young was laid-off from his job at Hewlett-Packard, along with 12,000 other employees. When he was laid off, in addition to looking for employment for himself, he also helped friends and family members who were also unemployed write their resumes, cover letters, find hiring manager contacts, and more. He was fortunate enough afterwards to get 10 job interviews and multiple job offers in less than 30 days — or perhaps it was more than luck that made him so successful in his job search. When former co-workers and friends also impacted by the economic downturn learned of his success, they flocked to Young for assistance, which he gladly provided. Young started a new job but amazingly then quit. Why? “My first ‘aha’ moment was when so many of my former colleagues began asking for resume assistance that I was literally staying up until 3 a.m. every morning working on their resumes and then working 9-10 hours at my job,” Young recalls. “A choice had to be made.” “The second ‘aha moment’ was a moment of validation,” he says. “People I helped began getting job interviews very quickly, some within just a few days after posting their updated resume. Once I knew I could deliver job interviews quickly on a consistent basis with people in various fields, it was truly time to leave work and help people. Young established Attract Jobs NOW, where he helps victims of the recession daily. “My new job is to help others who have been laid-off to find and get jobs quickly,” Young says. “Helping others get jobs is now my passion and I love what I do.” I interviewed human resource managers to find out what they’re looking for from candidates. I also interviewed previously displaced workers to find out what worked for them in their job searches. The combination of information compiled from each of these groups enabled me to create the highly effective job search strategy, which is now Attract Jobs NOW. Young shared two of the techniques he learned, used in his own resume, and now deploys in client resumes to attract interviews:
  • Focus on your return on the employer’s investment (ROI) and positive results in your resume to stand out and distinguish yourself from other candidates. “Each bullet on my resume showed positive results directly linked to the company’s bottom line of increasing revenue or decreasing cost,” he says.
  • Add a keyword section to your resume to highlight skills and phrases a recruiter would use to find someone for the job posting. Appearing in keyword search results is the first step to being considered for a job. If recruiters cannot find you, they cannot interview you.
Young also notes that “most people position themselves as generalists in an attempt to cast a wider net but in this market, only specialists, not generalists are hirable. And only specialists can demand what they’re worth when the time comes to discuss salary and benefits.” You can see a recent interview with Young on FOX News, his nomination for the American Express “Shine a Light” award by a client who received multiple interviews and started a new job within 30 days, and a recent interview with him on “Good Day Sacramento”
17 bloggers, who are members of a community of resume writers and career coaches called the Career Collective, are blogging in support of Job Action Day today. Please enjoy their informative blog posts: These additional bloggers also have joined the Job Action Day 09 effort: