Get your resume right, get the job you love… maybe the job of your dreams


Zaffar Akbar knows the right resume can lead to the right job. Zaffar shares, “I immigrated to the USA in 1994 with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. Growing up, I loved reading car magazines like any boy did. It then became my childhood dream of working in Detroit, the car capital of the world.”

“As newlyweds, my first job was with a used car dealership in Alabama. But I kept looking and found a job with a company in Detroit that designed, constructed and installed paint shops, as we call them in the car industry. It was my dream job. I had to oversee the construction and launch of them in many car plants all over the US. It was a learning curve for me for eight years. But unfortunately, they fell on tough times.”

“So I moved to Georgia to a company that built and manufactured external trims for the car industry. It was a great job but I wanted to be challenged; that’s when an opening turned up with a company in Newnan. They manufactured motor-sports vehicles. But in late 2013, I left with my severance pay.”

“I was worried with my wife and kids to support. But thankfully, the company hired O’Farrell Career Management to help me in my next job search. Dave O’Farrell, founder and career coach, updated my resume and summarized my core competencies, which was construction and installation of paint shops for the car industry. Then he posted me onto LinkedIn. Not a lot of people have that kind of expertise.”

“Dave O’Farrell and Stephannie O’Donnell, Marketing Director, helped me with mock interviews. I never knew getting one’s resume right could be so beneficial to getting the right job. When my resume was posted on LinkedIn, I got a lot of calls and within three weeks, I had my first offer.”

“I moved to South Carolina to a multi-billion dollar company that manufactures automotive external trims for a major luxury car manufacturer. As their Production and Paint Manager, I’m in charge of the complete production of their paint shop.”

“It’s what I love, cars!”

By Umah Papachan, Digital Content Writer

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    Dream Job for Zanebis

    dream job

    Greg Zanebis

    When Greg Zanebis was laid off earlier this year, he wasn’t interested in repeating the mistakes he’d made in 2009. No sir. Even though he received outplacement services from a large career management firm, he decided to invest in a personal service to shorten his search, earn more money, and get better results.

    Greg, so very proud of you. Thank you for allowing me to help you land your dream job!

    – Dave O’Farrell

    – – – – –

    Dear Dave,

    I wanted to let you know that after five intense months of networking and following your recipe for a successful career search, I’ve been blessed with a dream job offer which I accepted on Monday.

    I’ve accepted the role of VP Sales for Morris Business Solutions (MBS). MBS is the largest Xerox dealership in the U.S. They’ve recently been awarded a brand new territory in Charlotte. I will oversee sales and operations beginning Monday, December 2nd.

    As you know, I suffered a similar job loss at the beginning of 2009. I wasted several months twiddling my thumbs. It wasn’t until I attended two JobSeekers of PTC meetings did I feel blessed and not lost.

    Fast forward four years and I’m part of a massive company layoff again. I wasted no time in reaching out to you. I was determined to keep a positive outlook with lots of prayer and perseverance!

    I am so thankful I ‘invested’ in your 1:1 program to get back into the workforce in minimum time! Your marketing campaign letters, personal branding ideas, and networking guidance were priceless. And, quite frankly, the one-day mock job interview we did in your office was the most intense of the 10-15 face-to-face interviews I had with some pretty big corporations including Michelin, Ricoh USA, and Canon.

    This time around I felt so confident that I actually passed on four offers before accepting this latest one. My compensation package is more than what you and I discussed and includes excellent commissions and quarterly bonus opportunities. They are also providing me with an apartment for the first six months. Too soon to know when family may move or if I commute back and forth for a year.

    I promised I would follow your recipe and it worked!

    Feeling truly blessed today!

    Thank you Dave!!!

    Best regards,

    – Greg Zanebis

    PS: Passed a church the other day. Sign read, “Worrying only puts question marks where GOD has already placed a period.”

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      Interviewing Skills and 90-Day Plan Land New Job

      Interviewing Skills

      Rick Becker

      I was delighted to arrive at work last Friday afternoon and see this message in my inbox. Rick mentions his long job search, and, pardon this shameless plug – he also mentions what he believes got him unstuck. We overhauled his résumé in mid-August, we worked on interviewing skills in mid-September, and he landed a job in mid-October. That sounds like some kind of 30/60/90 day plan.

      Rick, I am very proud of you; congratulations and God bless you on your new job!

      –    Dave O’Farrell

      – – – – –

      Hey Dave,

      This is one of the “Hey Dave, I got a job” emails you like to receive. I start Monday morning as Strategic Accounts Sales Manager for Darby Printing here in Atlanta. I am extremely excited about this new position and the challenges it presents.

      I cannot begin to thank you and the Ship’s Crew for all the support and guidance given to me over the last… well, let’s not say how long. I know it was not a coincidence that the job offer came after, finally, seeking individual help from you with my interviewing techniques. In the interview, when my new boss mentioned that the first thing he would want from the person filling this position was a 30/60/90 plan, he was naturally impressed when I gave him a rough draft of one on the spot. This, of course, came from your suggestion.

      Thank you again and thanks to all the people I met along the way. I know that the group made a tough time a great deal more tolerable and helped keep my emotions on an even keel.


      Rick Becker

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        Networking Leads Directly to a New Job


        Dale LaDouceur

        Dale LaDouceur and Tom Jackson were at JobSeekers a few weeks ago. Tom, a member of the JobSeekers leadership team, told me about a great GM position in Newnan. When he asked if I knew anyone who’d be a good fit I said, “That guy right there” and pointed to Dale LaDouceur.

        Dale was delighted with this opportunity, he’d written to me several days earlier and said, “Most of the positions [I’m interviewing for] would require a relocation.” He was red hot on LinkedIn and he was generating attention from all over the county.

        Notice that face-to-face networking led to a local position. Come to think of it, that makes a lot of sense. If you want a local position, get out and about in the community. Now there’s a novel idea.

        Congratulations Dale; super proud of you!

        – Dave O’Farrell

        – – – – –

        Hello Dave,

        Thank you again for the introduction to Tom Jackson; I greatly appreciate it.

        I have accepted and started my new job as General Manager for US Beverage in Newnan. We make blends of choice teas for the food industry including premium liquid concentrates, private label, bottling, gallon, bag-in-box, and 55-gallon drums.

        Have a great Labor Day weekend.

        Yours truly,

        Dale LaDouceur
        General Manager
        US Beverage

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          When One Door Closes, an Elevator Opens


          Sherry Brooks

          Wonderful story this week from Sherry Brooks. A great example of “when one door closes, another one opens.” In February 2012, she had a 28-year career in aviation safety, two degrees, five credentials, and a pending FAA dispatch certificate. At that time she was Director Corporate Safety and Compliance at World Airways. Prior to that, she’d held safety leadership positions at Northwest Airlines.

          The first “job” she got was a good consulting contract up in DC. Later she landed a position as a Dispatcher with ExpressJet. She said it was the “hardest, most stressful job that I have ever had in my life.” She worked four days on, three days off, all shifts. In March 2013 she began working a straight shift – overnights from 6p to 4a.

          Once onboard with ExpressJet, she was promoted to Manager Internal Evaluation Program (IEP) in Corporate Safety, Security & Compliance. ExpressJet, by the way, is a regional carrier for Delta, United, and American, and they are known as the largest regional carrier in the world. Their headquarters are here in Atlanta.

          Here’s the backstory of how she obtained this great job. Sherry, I am so-o-o-o-o proud of you for hanging in there – for doing the difficult things you had to do on your journey, for taking a job that was way below your experience and skillset, and for maintaining a positive, prayerful outlook throughout.

          – Dave O’Farrell

          – – – – –

          On March 17, I sent an email to the Director of Safety at ExpressJet, Brad Sheehan. Although I had not met Brad, we were connected on LinkedIn, and I had contacted him a couple of months after I lost my job. He even replied to me on LinkedIn, but nothing further.

          In my email, I told Brad that I was working as a dispatcher and would like to get back into safety if an opportunity presented itself, and asked if I could forward my résumé to him. He wrote me right back, and said he remembered me on LinkedIn. He said because I already worked for the company, it would be easier to fit me into the safety department now and that he wanted to meet me, but that he was going to be out of town for a couple of weeks. My schedule was crazy, and between Brad’s schedule and mine, we were not able to meet … until …

          Mid April: I am driving to work, and I am having a terrible pity party which was very unusual because, I normally prayed all the way to work, for God to help me with my job and thanking Him for having one at the same time, but this day I was feeling sorry for myself. I was early for my shift, so I took my time walking in, and took my time in the ladies room, and then headed up to the 3rd floor where I worked.

          When the elevator arrived at the 2nd floor, the door came open, and the custodian was pushing his big garbage bin into the elevator, and I was trying to get out of his way, and greet him at the same time. I looked up and saw two men talking outside of the elevator, one of the men caught my eye, stopped talking, and said “Sherry, and I said “Brad.” I stepped out of the elevator, Brad came toward me, and we started chatting like we were long lost friends. We only knew each other from the LinkedIn pictures. The custodian was still holding the door for me, and Brad told him it was ok to go.

          Brad talked so fast. He was so impressed with my résumé and experience. He said “I need you in the department, and we will work something out soon.” I went up a floor to my dispatch job grinning!

          Brad and I met the next week, and talked safety philosophy, etc. He said he was working on a position. On April 30th, I met with Brad again, and he told me that he had the Manager of IEP open, and if I was interested he wanted me in the position. He kept saying, “the stars have lined up”! He was so excited to get my expertise, and I was so excited about getting back into my field. The job was posted on May 10, and it closed May 17. Brad called me the same day to officially offer me the job. I dispatched my last day on May 22nd, and began May 28th as Manager IEP with a 62% pay increase! Keep in mind I was making extremely low wages, so I am not even close to my previous salary, however, this is what I also have:
          1) A job in my field that I love, 2) a good director, and 3) a good team and company.

          The saying, “when one door closes, another one opens” is so true except in my case it was an ELEVATOR DOOR! The fact that the custodian was pushing the garbage bin into the elevator as I got off adds even more serendipity to my story.

          Each of my friends and family has gasped when I have told them this story. There is so much detail I could write, but I will spare you.

          Dave, I am so blessed. I kept praying and thanking God for every little blessing that came my way. ExpressJet took a chance on me, a newbie dispatcher at age 58, and I will always be thankful for the Director that hired me, and I told him so when he congratulated me. He said “Sherry, I knew when I hired you that you would not be in dispatch long.”

          Here’s what you can tell other JobSeekers:

          1) Be persistent and never give up; keep praying for God to lead you and thanking God for your blessings. Be prepared and ready! You never know when God is going to put you in the right place at the right time!

          2) LinkedIn is an awesome tool! Use it to make connections. I am currently at almost 550, and when I came to JobSeekers I had about 30! LinkedIn helped me get a contract when I started my own business before I got another job, too.

          3) A 58 year-old CAN start over and CAN learn new things, even HARD things, and hang in there with the young ones! And sometimes when you start over, it’s at the bottom, but you will not be there long!

          4) Losing your lifelong career changes you. You look at the world differently, you see people differently, and you see jobs differently. Everything is not bad; however, it is a very difficult and humbling experience that does leave scars. Some of the friends that you thought were friends do not stand by you and turn their backs on you. However, new friends and acquaintances are made.

          5) Pinching pennies becomes a life style, if it wasn’t prior to your “RIF” (reduction in force).

          6) God and prayer becomes your “best friend.” And that is where I gained the most, in my faith. I would not wish this experience on anyone, however, if it happens, trust in your faith. God will bless you.

          Take care, thank you for all of your help, and God Bless!

          – Sherry Gentle Brooks

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            Cut Your Job Search Time in Half

            job search career coach resume writer

            Frank Vitiello

            Want to cut your job search time in half? Read this message that I received this afternoon. Read it carefully to see the learning points about using LinkedIn, networking, looking for a job in the summer, coming to JobSeekers, and using a professional résumé writer. These five things, combined with faith and hard work, cut Frank’s job search time in half – down to less than four months.Awesome news; congratulations Frank!

            – Dave O’Farrell

            – – – – –

            Dear Dave,

            Yesterday I accepted a position as Project Manager at Grenzebach Corporation in Newnan. I start next Monday. It all started when I asked you for an introduction to Michael Smallwood on LinkedIn in June. Through further networking, a phone interview, and three face-to-face interviews (in which all of the tools learned from you – résumé, networking, interview skills – were employed), I received an offer. I feel truly blessed that I will be working close to home again.

            Your advice about working through the summer was also correct. For over a month, not a week went by without a phone and/or face to face interview.

            None of this would have been possible without my prior (and recent) association with you and JobSeekers. I know this was a big reason that my job search took less than half the time of my previous search. God bless you and all of the Ship’s Crew for the education and inspiration given each week.

            Best regards,

            – Frank Vitiello

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