CareerConnect2Jessica Pierce, Career Connector’s founding Executive Director, and her family were going through a job search. Her husband, a recruiter, had been laid off three times. Then, in May of 2009, Jessica was forced to close the doors on her staffing company. Her family had to make drastic changes —short-sell their home, change schools for the children, and downsize drastically. Jessica looked around and noticed highly intelligent and professional friends and family were experiencing similar difficulties. Jessica decided to take action. She asked her local church if she could launch a program to help people write resumes. At the first event, there were only 25 people in attendance. Within three months, word spread. Attendance soared, 250 people attended! That day Jessica realized there was a huge community need for this support. Jessica has been on a mission since!

My “Career Connector” Experience:CareerConnect1I was originally introduced to Career Connectors by a business associate, Bill Markham, a career consultant. I was amazed at the attendance, offerings, and overall organization. Bill had previously seen my presentations covering image, networking, and business etiquette seminars for the Southwest Job Network (founded by Chris Vacari) and felt my topics for a good fit for Career Connectors as well. (The SJN has since dissolved.)

Bill introduced me to Jessica Pierce, the founder. She politely said that they already had someone on image and networking in their speaker bureau. I certainly respected her loyalty to these speakers. I knew that I had a different approach and broader topic range so gave her my portfolio. I just had to be patient. My opportunity came when a speaker on networking had to cancel at the last minute and other options were not available. I followed the format already in place and have been on their speaker bureau roster ever since. That was in 2014.

They have an amazing three-hour morning agenda that begins at 8:30 with networking. The main program begins at 9:00. Topics have included; salary negotiation, image, personal branding, Linkedin, and more. Next, hiring companies offer an overview of their respective companies and announce job openings. Following the presentations, attendees are invited to visit their tables. Volunteers offer a variety of services to job seekers including resume coaches, Linkedin advice, and professional headshot photos. Also, educational institutions are there to help those needing to brush up on or expand their knowledge.

Career Connectors is the HOT SPOT to geteducated, connected, and hired for those seeking new career opportunities.And it is all FREE to attendees!I am proud to be a part of their team.—Gloria Petersen

CareerConnectorsCareer Connectors is a non-profit organization that has served thousands of people in job transition, is recognized as a major Valley networking group, and has garnered attention as far away as the White House. The original mission of “helping people with their resumes for free” has grown to serve a newly formed demographic born of the recession—the midlevel professional who has been displaced. Career Connector’s access to this unique sector has attracted hiring companies, corporate partners, and city and state placement organizations. And always, at the core of Jessica Pierce’s vision is what Career Connectors delivers best for Job Seekers—hope.

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