By Angela Williams, Army Flier Staff WriterMarch 7, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Mar. 8, 2012) -- Debbie Gaydos has invested countless hours of work into her side of a partnership. She expects those who attend her employment readiness workshop to be willing to do the same.
Gaydos, the Army Community Service Employment Readiness manager, has been giving people the tools they need to find jobs in the Fort Rucker area for nine years, but she has worked with ACS for 21. The group sessions she teaches twice a month are the cornerstone of her employment readiness program.
"I promise people will come away with a better understanding of what they need to do in their job search," she explained.
At each session, Gaydos gives every participant a binder full of information she has compiled over the past nine years. The binder contains a list of employment websites, sample resumes, interviewing questions taken from interviews done locally and possible answers to those questions. It also includes a list of all the local schools, colleges, banks, staffing agencies, professional occupational licensing and scholarship information.
After attending the session, the participants are entered into Gaydos' email base. When she receives information about any new job or scholarship opportunities, she passes on that information to the people in that base.
"My clients usually get at least four emails a week," she said.
Gaydos has more than 130 companies off post that send her new job postings.
"I do a lot of networking outside the gate so that I can build trust and build relationships with businesses so that they will call when they have a job," she explained.
Gaydos is also willing to meet with people one-on-one, but she usually asks that people come to an employment readiness session before making an appointment. She maintains an average of about 300 active clients, so the regularly-scheduled sessions are the easiest way for job seekers to have access to all the information she provides.
Krista Gallant, an Army spouse, attended the most recent session. Gallant has lived in the area for about two years, but she is finishing up a degree in psychology and wants to start paying off her student loans as soon as possible.
"The class gave me a lot of good resources to find job openings. That's the hardest part for me," she said, adding she would definitely recommend the class to anyone who is looking for a job.
Stacy Hall also attended the Mar. 6 session. She recently moved to the area from Ohio to be closer to her boyfriend who is in the Army. She said the class taught her a lot about the community and how to look for job openings in this area.
Though the session is important, it is just one of many things Gaydos does. She also offers services like resume help and continuing education information.
"My part of the partnership is to give them every tool possible to help them in their job search," Gaydos said, but job-seekers can't neglect their part of the partnership if they truly want to find a job.
"I'm not here to get people a job. I'm here to help them in their job search. The result is a lot of people do get jobs -- because of their efforts and because of joining together in this partnership," she said.
Gaydos said she expects people who are looking for employment to construct a really good resume, to check email frequently, to check websites for job postings and to stay in touch with her.
Over the past few years, she has noticed a specific resume format that works well in this area. She often helps clients get their resume into this format.
"Because there are a lot of people applying for the same job, that resume has to be easy for (employers) to read and see if the skills are a good match," she said. "It is amazing how you can fix that and make that work for you."
Gallant and Hall both said they learned a lot about formatting their resumes in the session they attended.
Gaydos also helps people who want to build their resume by taking a few night classes or brushing up on computer skills. She says a lot of companies are interested in people who are taking the initiative to better themselves.
One thing she encourages people to do before beginning their job search is to decide what they want to accomplish while they are here. Some people, such as the spouses of Soldiers in flight school, aren't here very long and just want a way to stay busy. Others have serious financial needs.
Gaydos can help people in either group, but she asks those who have financial needs to let her know.
If a job search "is finance driven, we need to make sure that client has every tool possible to get into the right position," she said.
The next session is scheduled for March 27. To register for the free class, stop by the ACS office, Bldg. 5700, Rm. 390.