Follow-Up File: Persistence pays off in getting a job

Name: Kathy Marcove

Job: Employment services manager

Business: Shoreline Workforce Development Services, a division of Goodwill Industries

What they said then: In September 2010, employees of Shoreline Workforce Development Services told The Tribune about the challenges clients at the One-Stop Career Centers were facing.

“Their homes are in foreclosure, they are already in the shelters or they are moving in with family,” said Liz Repp, lead employment services specialist. “People have to cross all these barriers before they become employees.”

The centers in San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach and Paso Robles offer resources for job seekers. In 2009, Shoreline introduced a virtual One-Stop System, a computerized job search tool.

The Five Cities center had added a workshop to motivate the discouraged.

“Many times, people feel hopeless,” said David Draggoo, an employment resource specialist. “One of the things we do best is to give them a sense of hope.”

What she says now: The number of job seekers visiting the One-Stop Centers in 2011 was about the same as in 2010 — roughly 6,000 people a year, said Kathy Marcove, Shoreline’s employment services manager.

“People are spending longer to find a job than five to 10 years ago,” she said. “Those who are persistent and see their job as getting a job, they are finding employment.”

But some who had never experienced prolonged unemployment in their careers have been surprised.

“This is a different market,” she said. “We have homeless who you’d never expect to be homeless — who’ve never been homeless in their life.”

Because of this, the center offers services beyond skills assessment and interview prep.

The collaboration with Cal Poly has resulted in a support group led by graduate students for those dealing with the ancillary effects of unemployment, such as family and relationship conflict, housing problems, panic and stress.

“Part of looking for a job right now is really about having your head in the right space,” Marcove said. “They’re going to face a lot of rejection.

“We’ve had people go into interview situations and break down and beg for a job,” she warned. “That’s the worst thing they can do, especially when it’s so competitive.”

With more people out of work or underemployed, job listings tend to draw a larger pool of resumes. But the hiring companies are often doing more work with a smaller staff — leaving less time for screening job candidates.

Gone are the days when you could send the same resume to 100 different prospective employers, Marcove said. Today, each resume must be individualized to the specific company and job.

“People need to be very strategic,” she added. “You have about seven seconds and the top third of your resume to speak the same language as the employer.”