HIRED LEARNING: Carla Schwarz – Your LinkedIn Profile is Essential!

By Sonny Palko (& Carla Schwarz)
Former PSGCNJ Training Committee member, Carla Schwarz, landed with Schiavone Construction Co., LLC in Secaucus, NJ after being in transition for 18 months. She just reached her 90-day milestone with the company this week, as an Assistant Ethics & Compliance Officer.         
Carla credits much of the success of her landing to the training she received (and gave!) at PSGCNJ—with special emphasis on the LinkedIn portion of training. Carla said, “I saw the (job) posting on LinkedIn at the same time as the company contacted me. A good LinkedIn profile is essential! My advice to everyone is to take the training class as many times as you need to.  The (PSGCNJ) LinkedIn training is unsurpassed and so worthwhile.”
Here are Carla’s responses to our questions about her landing process.
The hiring process:
The company contacted me after finding me on LinkedIn. As I had contacts in the company and in service to the company, I was able to get insight and information to assist in the interviewing process. I studied the company in order to be informed and address their needs. I sent timely thank you letters, and then kept in touch with Human Resources. The hiring process took a while because people were taking summer vacations. I did not lose faith, though there were times when I was frustrated.
What worked?
Keeping organized and holding to a regular routine was very important. Balancing mental and physical activity kept me motivated. If I sat for too long, I could feel myself starting to get discouraged. If I needed more to do, I volunteered to facilitate an extra training class during the week. I found helping others through the training process gave me immediate satisfaction and a sense that I hadn’t lost my value.
The mental frame of mind is so important. It was easy to become discouraged and to feel overwhelmed, and it was during those times that I followed the group’s advice and just kept moving forward.
In addition, networking and the support of friends and family helped me to keep going. There were times when I had no desire to spend yet another evening at a networking group, but my friends encouraged me to stick with it. I think when you understand that you are not the only one out there, and you believe that your situation is not forever, you get through. Being unemployed was not easy, but it was a time when I could self-assess and take the time I needed to reorganize and re-energize. PSGCNJ helped me to do all of these things, especially to keep a positive attitude.
How PSGCNJ helped
PSGCNJ is composed of smart resourceful people and was an essential tool for conducting my search, networking, brain storming, and emotional support. I kept my presentation skills sharp by working on the Training Committee. Volunteering my time to such a great organization gave me purpose. The reward was comfort in knowing that I was helping other people go through a very difficult time. The speakers at the weekly meetings helped me to keep fresh and the group interaction kept my spirits up. The talented people and the resources offered at PSGCNJ helped me to stay focused and hopeful.
The importance of committee work
I kept my creativity and presentation skills sharp through my Training Committee work. I was fortunate in collaborating with great people from all professional disciplines to improve the training program and expand the committee’s offerings to the group. I cannot say enough about the quality of the training or the level of talent on the committee. The people on the committee also mentored me through the hiring process. It was great to have people to talk to and to learn from.
Much of my career has been spent delivering presentations. A large part of my new position is in training and education so my Training work helped me hit the ground running.
PSGCNJ helps with the new job
Employers ask us to do more than ever, so time management and project planning are critical. PSGCNJ offers members the opportunity to self-assess and design a workable project plan for the job search.
I have been asked to do things I have never done before in my new job.  Each project gets a plan that includes not only what I need to do, but where I need to go for help and information.  Job seeking and working all require a level of project planning.
My experience at PSGCNJ continues to help me welcome new challenges with an open mind because I know myself better than I used to, and I have the skills to meet these challenges head on. If you can find a job in this environment, you can do just about anything!
Advice for job-seekers:
–          Keep an open mind.
–          Ask for help.
–          Don’t squander your time.
–          Keep doing what you are doing; it only takes one opportunity.
–          Believe.
Believe, PSGCNJ members, believe indeed!

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