Career Wardrobe held our quarterly client engagement event, Work It!, on Monday, July 10, 2017 One of our four Professional Development Events held annually, Work It! is a day dedicated to the importance of networking…. both online and in person! Throughout the day, 14 women learned best practices in networking and how to build an online presence that is as professional as their resume.

Networking Starts with Your Online Profile

In the morning, activities included presentations on networking from Jena Burgess of Coach Jena B., LLC, and maximizing LinkedIn for the job search and career advancement from Linda Hollenback of Hollenback Consulting.

As our clients learned, a professional head shot on LinkedIn is step one in communicating your personal brand to potential employers or connections, and profiles with pictures are far more likely to be viewed and connected with. LinkedIn takes networking online, so the importance of a credible, polished first impression cannot be overstated. Presenter Jena affirmed the importance of activating one’s network before, during, and after the job search, as upwards of 75% of jobs are found through networking.

A Professional Headshot and Outfit Helps Open Doors

The afternoon included mini-makeovers so that each participant left with a professional headshot to use in their newly created or revised LinkedIn profile. Volunteers with backgrounds in human resources and hiring assisted everyone with one-on-one LinkedIn optimization that will make their online resume and profile work best for them.

The event was kept small and participants were selected from over 30 applications for the program. The small group allowed for personal attention and support. Attendees also received a new professional outfit before the event, making their headshot even sharped.

“When I came here, basically all I had was scrubs and sweats,” said attendee Carolyn Day-Jamison. “I had no clothing really, professional clothing, for the type of work I want to do, and they helped me.”

As Career Wardrobe knows, the outfit is just the beginning of the process for moving from unemployment to work and eventually, financial self-sufficiency. And the event concluded with a networking reception with volunteer experts from various fields so that everyone could practice their new skills

Professional Development Leads to Employment Success

The additional support that programs like Work It! provides to our clients allows them to leverage their network and connections to obtain employment that will allow them to begin re-building their careers towards self-sufficiency.

Because of programs like Work It!, 97% of our clients leave Career Wardrobe with improved confidence and 95% stay engaged in their job search – two powerful outcomes that lead to 60% of clients gaining employment and over 70% transitioning off of public assistance within six months!

Career Wardrobe’s Professional Development Series

Career Wardrobe’s quarterly events were developed to complement its professional clothing services, and designed to be an accessible option for individuals facing unemployment to develop critical skills and reduce barriers to success and independence.

Work It! directly supports Career Wardrobe’s program goals of:

  • Decreasing barriers to employment while increasing their self-confidence and professional skills.
  • Increasing clients’ skills and ability to obtain and retain sustainable, competitive employment leading to economic self-sufficiency.

To learn more about Work It! check out our feature on CBS-3!