Gary Gekow said he believes the job landscape is getting better, but it certainly hasn't recovered to the pre-recession glory days.
Gekow watches the changes in the job marketplace from the perspective of a coach, a coach who has devoted the past three years to helping people of all backgrounds find jobs in the murky world of post-Recession, Internet-driven job searches.
Gekow, a longtime recruitment and management expert, now works as a senior employment specialist with Resume Your Career. In 2009, he agreed to give what he thought would be a one-time-only employment workshop at Stoughton Public Library. He expected the audience to be filled with mostly English Language Learners, but was shocked when dozens of people from all walks of life and life stages showed up.
“Word of mouth spread and certain themes kept coming up,” Gekow said.
Today, he offers a variety of workshops geared toward navigating today's job market, which he said has become intensely impersonal thanks to the Internet-centered nature of job searching.
"People spend a lot of time jumping through hoops," Gekow said. "It’s become this black void once you apply for a job. I genuinely believe that the onus is on the job seeker to make this transaction more personal.”
Gekow will be sharing his expertise during four workshops at the Wayland Public Library in October and November:
- Resume Writing Review -- Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.
- Cover & Thank You Letters – Tuesday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.
- Interview Workshop – Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m.
- Salary & Benefits Negotiation – Tuesday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m.
Gekow said the needs of the seekers who attend his workshops seem to have shifted from the resume-focused help they wanted from 2009 through late 2011. Now, he said, there's a new focus on mock interviewing.
He said that shift is indicative of the changing jobs outlook. Today's job seekers "have a lot at stake," and are focused on performing well when they do secure an interview. Before, the focus was simply on getting the interview.
"I do feel it’s getting better," Gekow said. "I think it’s taking a little longer than people would have thought.”
Gekow said his workshops are designed as informal conversations during which attendees can ask questions and receive one-on-one feedback. He encourages people to bring a resume for him to critique.
"No one really chooses to be out of work," Gekow said. "I do whatever I can to make this process easier for people so they can gain some confidence.”