Business owners share resume skills, advice

Posted2/16/2015 5:00 AM

Need resume help? Check out the free assistance offered by volunteer members -- many of them active or retired small business owners -- of the Resume Review at St. Hubert's Jobs and Networking Ministry.

Based in Hoffman Estates but working through a network of about 30 suburban churches, the St. Hubert's Ministry is a broad jobseekers' support program founded in 2003 by Bob Podgorski, now principal of RPP Enterprises, a career programming consultancy in Hoffman Estates.


Chances are you'll find the people seeking -- and sharing -- resume advice are a lot like you:

• Senior C-Level executives to maintenance workers, is Podgorski's description.

• High-level engineers, computer people, waitresses, says Larry Prentis. "Most have no idea of what to do" in their job search.

Prentis is principal, LJP Services Inc., a Bloomingdale IT staffing and consulting business.

• Bob Placko's most recent review session included one individual out of work just a day; a Mom returning to the workforce after 14 years at home; and a father accompanied by an adult daughter. Dad needed a resume for the first time in 59 years.

Placko is a retired senior vice president of HR at Motorola Inc., Schaumburg.

Podgorski calls the review process a "bakery system. People come with their resumes, sign in and take a number. When a reviewer is free, the next number is called" and the reviewer and jobseeker get to work.

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Reviewers, Podgorski says, "will tweak the resume, offer suggestions, and answer hiring or employment related questions."

Prentis says he often "will write a resume for them while we're talking. The resume is the beginning of their job search, one of the first things to do."

Mike Ruhl, former executive director of the Executive Network Group of Greater Chicago Inc., which meets in Arlington Heights, packs as much advice as possible into what typically is a 20-minute one-on-one session.

Resumes, Ruhl says, often lack a summary statement at the beginning, but "You have only a short period of time to capture someone's interest or get key words in place that a computer review will capture.

That makes the summary statement especially important. In fact, the guide given to volunteers notes that "Employers want summaries of experience, skills and applied knowledge, not verbiage on what the candidate wants."


Ruhl is big on "adverbs and action words that quantify what you've been doing. 'Spearheaded' or 'created' are better than 'assisted,'" he says.

Because a job search can be a lonely task, "We try to give a sense of direction and instill some degree of confidence," Placko says. "You don't have to go through a job search alone."

Placko encourages job hunters to "celebrate small victories. 'I sent five resumes today. I got an interview. I did well on an interview.'"

The next Resume Review (free, remember) is Saturday, Feb. 28 at St. Thomas the Apostle (old) Church, Crystal Lake.

• Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Listen to Jim's Business Owners' Pod Talk at 2015 Kendall Communications Inc.

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