Happy #TestimonialTuesday to all! This week’s testimonial comes from the lovely Tracy Mueller. Tracy has been a part of Job Seekers’ Garden Club as a Connector since 2021.
When Bob originally reached out to Tracy, she was astonished by the alignment between JSGC’s mission and her own.
Job Seekers’ Garden Club started at the beginning of the pandemic as much of the world was shutting down. People were losing jobs and businesses were closing their doors. In such a tumultuous time, JSGC brought hope with a mission to foster a warm and caring community in which job seekers, recruiters, and connectors come together to nurture and support one another, and to find both career and growth opportunities through networking in order to make St. Louis a stronger and more vibrant community.
“Bob was talking about helping these people who were losing jobs. It was perfectly aligned with my mission in life to help business owners but also to help employees get the jobs they want and to eliminate the anxiety of having to go through interview after interview. It’s all about the relationship!”
Tracy is an incredible connector and master networker so I asked her - Why Job Seekers’ Garden Club? What makes this group so special?
“This group gives job seekers an opportunity to be in an atmosphere that is kind of neutral. There is no stress or anxiety. Basically, you’re just connecting. You’re taking a job seeker and a recruiter or HR person and seeing where they work together - if that is the candidate or if they can make another connection. It’s eliminating all the negative stuff because you’re just building a relationship. It all goes back to relationships. Once you start making that relationship, you can be your authentic self. It gives the job seekers an opportunity to show up and be themselves and then the recruiters can get to know the job seekers at the events. As a connector, I can help job seekers connect with recruiters at the events and with connections in my network.”
Tracy shared several stories of the connections she’s facilitated or witnessed within Job Seekers’ Garden Club. We’d love to see you at our next event and help you get connected as well! You can find our calendar here > https://jobseekersgardenclubofstlouis.net/calendar.
Happy #TestimonialTuesday to all! You do not want to miss this week’s testimonial from Emille Koebbe, Emille is a true testament to the mission of this organization.
“Coming from a different country, I think that networking is a huge thing in the workforce here. Not only to get a job but to learn what career path to take., make connections, and get to know people who can be an inspiration for you.
I met Bob for coffee. He gave me advice on my resume like things that would align more with formatting here in the U.S. and recommended a couple of recruiters and agencies that I could touch base with to see if recruiting would be a good fit for my career. It was very important to my job search to see how their jobs were and make sure it would interest me.
Then, I posted my resume in the Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis group and Chris Stark reached out to me and introduced me to my now boss.
This group was truly a connector between me and my job. It started my career path here in the U.S. and I’m very grateful when I can do anything to help other people here in the same situation.”
Today, Emille serves as an IT Recruiter & Diversity Ambassador at AEG! Emille, thank you immensely for sharing your incredible story. You are an inspiration and a beautiful testament to this group’s purpose.
Roger is the CEO & Founder of Advisors Commercial Capital, an organization designed to help small & medium-sized businesses find capital without having to dig for it themselves. Currently, Roger is training TWO Job Seekers to become Account Executives with Advisors Commercial Capital! Curious how that came to fruition? I knew you would be!
Here is what Roger told me about finding TWO Job Seekers at the July Coffee, Conversation, & Connection event in July:
“Basically, I gave my 60-second elevator speech for my company, what my company does, and what I was looking for. The first person that caught my eye was a teacher and I thought, ‘Oh this is absolutely perfect!’ She can go into a room of people she doesn't know. She has enough self-confidence to be able to talk to people that she doesn't know yet. She realizes the fact that it doesn't matter whether you've met them before or not. It just matters how you're going to approach them and interact with them as time goes on. Obviously intelligent, quick learner articulate, well read. There was just no downside to this so I said I am interested in talking with you and seeing if this would be a good fit. As it turns out, it was. Right now, she is in the training cycle for Advisors Commercial Capital.
The second is a gentleman who was also at the July event. He is currently employed but looking to transition and that is fine. This can start off as part-time. If you look at this as an opportunity, so will I. For both individuals, we are giving training within their schedules and staying within their comfort levels so they are excited to take the next step.”
How exciting! Two Job Seekers are currently in training for roles that meet their skill set and their schedule with an employer that is setting them up for success.
I’m sure you’re wondering the same thing I was…”Hey Roger, are you still hiring?” And the answer is YES! Roger would like to have FIVE Account Executives by the end of the year. Here is what he is looking for:
> Someone who is hungry. They get up in the morning with an agenda. They have things they want to accomplish for their own success.
> Someone who believes they can do anything they set their mind to
> Someone who realizes that if they do nothing, they get nothing in return.
> Someone ready to learn. They know it doesn’t matter what they don’t know, it only matters what they can find out.
Does that sound like you? Roger would love to speak with you and find out if you are a good fit for this opportunity!
Here is what Jeff has to say about Job Seekers’ Garden Club:
“The Job Seekers Garden Club provides a welcoming, nurturing space for job seekers, recruiters, and the employment professionals who support them. I’ve left every event I’ve attended with a little more knowledge, connection, and/or inspiration.”
Are you looking for a warm and welcoming community where job seekers, recruiters, and connectors come together to nurture and support one another and to identify career and growth opportunities here in the St. Louis area? You are in the right place because that’s what the Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis is all about! We’d love to see you at our next event, Transition to Position Happy Hour on August 15th at the Bracket Room.
(Link for more event info - https://lnkd.in/gzeXKfvP)
Melissa Ammari, a Recruitment Specialist with Friendship Village, was one of the recruiters present at the Cultivating Futures FUNdraiser & Job Fair held on June 23rd at St. Louis Premium Outlets. Although she was not able to fill open positions from this event, Melissa spoke highly of the Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis and the connections she made.
“Job Seekers provides a really great opportunity for outreach, much more than the things we pay extra for like Indeed and ZipRecruiter. The opportunity through Job Seekers is a low cost to join and allows you to connect with so many people. That opportunity for outreach is why I am so excited to go to my next event in August at the Bracket Room!”
As a recruiter, Melissa is no stranger to hiring platforms and the high costs that come with them. For substantially less, she was able to meet face-to-face with potential applicants, talk about the open positions the company has to fill, and build connections. We’re excited to see Job Seekers connect with Melissa at future events and fill some of the roles she has to offer!
Jake was introduced to the Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis while attending another local networking event. His first JSGC event was the Triple Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Job Fair on June 23rd in Chesterfield. While he didn’t land his dream job at the event, Jake enjoyed learning more about Job Seekers, putting faces to names, and connecting with others. This month, he was able to attend both the July First Friday Coffee, Conversation, & Connection event at Enterprise University and last week’s Networking Happy Hour at the Bracket Room.
During our conversation, I asked Jake the following question. What would you say if another job seeker asked you why they should invest their time and come to a Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis event?
“I would say that Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis is perfect for getting to talk to people. I find the hardest thing for job seekers is that first step of showing up and initiating conversation but Job Seekers’ Garden Club makes it that much easier. I know a lot of my friends are looking for jobs and it feels very hard to show up. Dressing up isn’t horrible but it’s starting those conversations with people you don’t know and people who have more experience than you. It can be intimidating but I feel like I am on the right track for finding a job and meeting new people.”
As a recent graduate and new professional, networking may be a new frontier. What a gift it is to have a support system that shows you the ropes and puts you in the same room as recruiters, connectors, and other job seekers. Thank you, Jake, for a great testimonial and for showing other recent grads and job seekers how JSGC can help them build connections as they begin to build their careers.
The number one way to get a job has been and always will be networking.
If you heard Frank Alaniz speak at our June Coffee & Connections event, you may have heard him say something to this effect in person. Networking has been and always will be the number one way to get a job. In our one-on-one conversation, Frank shared that, based on statistical analysis, only 3% of candidates land a job by searching for open roles and filling out online applications.
“So where are the other 97% of the jobs coming from? Networking. And most people don’t understand that networking can be as simple as picking up the phone and calling a sibling, calling a parent, or calling a friend down the street and saying ‘I just got laid off. I don’t know what to do.’ They may say ‘You know what - My company is hiring. Let’s sit down and talk. Give me your resume and I’ll take it to the hiring manager.’ That’s networking.”
It may sound simple, but it’s true! Networking, simply talking with others, is the best way to get the support and connection you need during your job search. Job Seekers’ Garden Club goes the extra mile by bringing Job Seekers, Recruiters, and Connectors like Frank together for everyone’s benefit.
“When you have the ability to meet one on one with a recruiter, one on one with a connector, or one on one with another job seeker and have that conversation, one thing that’s going to give you is a little bit more insight. Second, you’re going to realize you’re not alone. More importantly, third, you might learn something new.”
How awesome is that?! Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis is a prime example of how networking can help job seekers land their dream role and recruiters find their next awesome team member. Thank you, Frank, for sharing this testimonial and insight! We are so grateful for Connectors like you!
Robin Mueller has spent more than 32 years with Stivers Staffing Services, including the past 4 years as Division Director. She knows a thing or two about Job Seekers and recruiting! Robin spoke highly of the quality candidates she has helped place through the Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis, as both a Recruiter and a Connector. When asked why Job Seekers’ Garden Club is a great opportunity for Job Seekers, this is what Robin had to say:
“It is absolutely a great opportunity! With Job Seekers’ Garden Club, you are connected with others and there are so many resources to help you in any way. Everybody is so willing to help people. There are a lot of people willing to give their time, help with resumes, and make connections.”
Happy #TestimonialTuesday! I am thrilled to bring you a glowing testimonial from Melissa Baldwin, BS, MBA (ENTJ). Melissa recently landed her dream job as a Training Project Manager with Ameren! 🥳 She will be the first to tell you, the Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis gave her the support and resources she needed to succeed. Don't take my word for it! Here is what Melissa had to say:
“The resources that the Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis offer are something that other networking events, companies, and organizations do not offer. If you go to a hiring event or a job fair, it’s the job seekers walking around to the recruiters at tables, handing out resumes or business cards, and hoping they get a phone call back. Every event here at Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis is tailored to the recruiters coming to the job seeker and sitting at a table where they can actually talk and get to know each other and the job. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. And, of course, everyone is so welcoming! It’s a total package to help a job seeker!”
Happy #TestimonialTuesday! This week’s testimonial comes from…
Hey there! I am Nikki Otte, your friendly neighborhood copy and content writer. A little different than the typical job seeker, I am a freelancer. I started my freelance writing business in November 2022 and left the corporate world in December. I am similar to a job seeker in that I am searching for businesses that need my talent, however, I work in a contract role instead of a W-2 employee role. Writing for entrepreneurs and businesses that serve their people to the very best of their ability is my jam - I absolutely love it - and I love networking, connecting with others, and forging connections for others.
I realized at Friday’s Coffee & Conversations event that, while I do write the testimonials and interviewing myself may be strange to some (I am an only child - I’ve been talking to myself for decades), I have things to say!
Friday’s event was a prime example of how special this group is. Even during the introductions portion of the event, you could see connections being made. To see a job seeker's face light up when a recruiter is looking for exactly what they offer - that’s magical! To hear someone’s introduction end with “and I for sure need to talk to [insert name here] because I think I can help you” - how cool is that!
If you [or I 😎😂] asked me what makes the Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis THE group for Job Seekers, Recruiters, and Connectors, here is what I’d say:
“This group truly cares about people. It’s a beautiful thing to bring Job Seekers, Recruiters, and Connectors together to build a community of support and resources. It’s bigger than finding someone a job or helping a business fill a role. Job Seekers’ Garden Club of St. Louis is facilitating lasting connections, helping Job Seekers secure their dream roles, and pairing Recruiters with the talent that they need to best serve their customers. This is not your average networking group. JSGC is changing the landscape for employment in St. Louis.”
Do you have something you’d like to say about this incredible group? We want to hear from you! Hit me up on LinkedIn Messaging or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All that is required of you is 15 minutes or less of your time! Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy! 🍋
I am eternally grateful for all the activities the
Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis does so
one can meet people and find multiple job opportunities.
Sofia became a member of the
Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis in July , 2021.
"I would like to thank Bob and his group for their amazing job!
Last year, I was looking for my first job, here in the United States.
I attended one of their job fairs and everyone was very attentive and warm.
The best thing was that, after the fair, I finally got a job at Catering St. Louis.
I am eternally grateful for all the activities the Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis does so that one can meet people and find multiple job opportunities.
I recommend that if you are looking for a job, contact the Job Seekers Garden Club! "
...being able to give an elevator pitch to a recruiter face to face at a JSGC networking event instead of relying only on the standard cover letter and resume helped distinguish me from most applicants...
Vito was one of the original members of the
Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis.
"I attended Job Seekers’ Garden Club (JSGC) events beginning in August 2020. Their networking events were a game changer for my job search because of the in-person connections that I made. The opportunity to meet recruiters face to face along with other job seekers makes the experience more humane and meaningful. A staggering statistic that I faced as a job seeker is that 80% of jobs are found through networking.
My strategy of applying to job openings through online applications was not giving me the traction needed to land interviews. On the other hand, being able to give an elevator pitch to a recruiter face to face at a JSGC networking event instead of relying only on the standard cover letter and resume helped distinguish me from most applicants. Through an in-person career networking event in April 2021, I was able to meet a recruiter that offered me a short-term contract human resources role at St. Charles Community College in May 2021. In June, I interviewed for a role in human resources at Bayer and started my current role at Bayer in July as a Human Resources Data Management Associate. An existing relationship with a recruiter is how I was able to land an interview and receive the job offer at Bayer.
Networking and finding ways to distinguish yourself from others are my recommendations to job seekers and recruiters alike. The in-person connections are far more meaningful and humane because it allows you to have a natural conversation and get better acquainted with others. The Job Seekers Garden Club has proven that networking can be done safely during a pandemic. In addition to career fairs, they offer Happy hour Thursdays which enable you to network with others in a casual environment on a monthly basis. You could also volunteer to help with events to open up greater networking opportunities. There are so many ways to enable networking to lead to a job leads, interviews, and job offers. The Job Seekers Garden Club is a promising start to new employment opportunities."
I would like to thank Bob Kolf and his team
for all of their support during my job searching effort...
Kiymet was one of the original members of the
Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis.
"I am an immigrant professional in the St. Louis area who moved to St Louis from
Milan, Italy 3.5 years ago. As of today, I have been working in my new role in the USA
for a month within in my professional area, Purchasing Management. The reason to share
all of these details with you is that I would like to thank Bob Kolf and his team for all of their support during my job searching effort over the past 3 years.
Bob and his team supported me by introducing me to new business contacts
in their business events which was very useful for me. They also provided to me a good understanding of the job market in the St. Louis area, as well as updating my resume.
Thanks again Bob for all your effort during my job search."
I made so many connections, gave and received encouragement,
and most important, it's how I landed my current position.
Melissa was one of the original members of the
Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis.
"I wanted to share my testimony about this group with you -
especially those of you who need encouragement today.
When I joined the group over a year ago, I was in the middle of a huge life change. I was leaving 20+ years in public education behind and anxious to begin my new career - to even see if I could do it. Daunting, yes, but in the face of the pandemic, and while competing against so many experienced job seekers in the field of Talent Development, my situation felt a bit impossible.
It was around that time I became acquainted with the amazing Bob Kolf and he told me about the group he was starting – one that would bring together the dream team – job seekers, connectors, and recruiters in a supportive, encouraging, and mutually beneficial way. It worked! It wasn't easy. I searched, applied, and was rejected (sometimes not even acknowledged) for over a year. But, as a member of this group, I made so many connections, gave and received encouragement, and most important, it's how I landed my current position. I took a very scary step and posted my resume for all to see. The VP of my company saw it and reached out to me. The rest was literally "history".
Job Seekers, no matter where you are on your journey I want you to know what a great organization and community you are part of. Bob is one of the most encouraging people I have met. He believes in you and helps you to believe in yourself. By the way, I am now working as an employment skills specialist and coach so I've been able to bring it full circle.
Hang in there. You got this!"
Sending a big shout out to the Job Seekers' Garden Club
April joined the Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis in January 2021.
"Sending a big shout out to the Job Seekers' Garden Club and especially to Bob Kolf for all of his hard work turning this group into something very special. I joined back in January 2021 and have seen this group grow into a place where job seekers and recruiters can gather and share information to help each other succeed! I'm happy to be a part of it and appreciate all of the many posts and messages from Bob and those in the group. I searched for a new position for nearly 8 months after being laid off and this group was a great place to come for inspiration, leads and most of all support and encouragement. Best of luck to everyone in the group!"
After 1 year of actively looking, many applications and interviews, I am happily employed...
Cindy was one of the original members of the
Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis.
"I joined the Job Seeker’s Garden Club LinkedIn group after being laid off April 30th,
2020 due to the pandemic.
This group provided me the opportunity to network with others in the same boat as me
as well as providing a host of additional resources. I had been at my previous job for 27 years, so needless to say, I was embarking on a whole new world. From navigating unemployment, establishing my LinkedIn profile, drafting a resume and writing cover letters,
it was a lot to navigate and at times very overwhelming.
Having a group of people I could go to, to provide guidance or best practices on utilizing LinkedIn etc. was extremely beneficial. At that time I joined, it was a smaller group, but it quickly grew to ~3K members made up of other job seekers, recruiters and those that were there as ‘connectors’ to network with, provide mentorship etc. It’s all about who you know in this world and this group allowed for the opportunity to meet and network with lots of different people all which provided me with an introduction to a new connection, which is the name of the game when you are trying to get your foot in the door at a new company. Whether you are the person that can open doors for others and provide an introduction, the cheerleader providing the positivity and encouragement to keep others pushing ahead or the mentor who provides a listening ear and great advice, this group needs more connectors like you! Of course this group wouldn’t exist without the job seekers and all the recruiters who are working so hard to help get everyone back to work. So please consider being a part of this great organization.
I am thrilled to have ‘graduated’ from job seeker to ‘connector' after an unintentional gap year. After 1 year of actively looking, many applications and interviews, I am happily employed as the new Director of Guest Care for Panera Bread."
Keep Your Spirits Up, Your Time Will Come.
Murat was one of the original members of the
Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis.
“I attended almost all the virtual career fairs, STL Job Seekers’ activities, reached out to anybody that I can reach, and told almost everybody I know that I was looking for a job. In short, I kept knocking on doors and finally I found a job. I really wanted to work for this company and it was my seventh application to them. So, please keep your spirits up. Your time will also come.”