By Sandi Gunnet, BS, Director of Staffing and Recruiting
Most of the applicants I interview tell me their story. The story usually involves a relative or close friend who is older and is experiencing the challenges of aging. Often in the story, some wonderful experiences are related and the individuals want to give back to someone who helped them to become the person he or she is today.
Many of those who choose caregiving as a career, do so because they are called to this profession. Whether by the personal experience of seeing a loved one age and wishing that there was more that he or she could do, or by choice, sometimes as a second career in a challenging economy, either path works. Often, stay-at-home moms, come to us and say they have taken care of their kids, and to some extent their parents, and realize they have many appropriate skills. Some come to us fresh from CNA/LVN/RN schooling to get hands on experience in a companion care environment.
In today’s market, one thing is certain, people are still aging and many need help. The model at Eldercare Services is client-centered, we strive to go where the client is so that his or her independence can be retained whenever possible. Sometimes, we care for people in their homes, in a facility, and throughout the different stages of their aging process. Our caregivers come from a variety of backgrounds and the perfect recipe is: dedication to seniors, compassion, a willingness to learn and be open and the desire to be part of a team.
Our caregivers work as companions. The ability to understand those struggling with forms of dementia and physical challenges is essential. With an open mind one can learn a lot from our Professional Geriatric Care Managers and from the training that Eldercare Services provides to appropriate candidates. Some clients require just a few hours of help and others have live-in 24-hour care.
If you can communicate clearly, have no criminal background, a clean driving record, a reliable automobile, automobile insurance and are in good health, you may be a candidate for a career in care giving.
How to apply for a job in a professional manner
I receive hundreds of resumes a month from those looking to begin or advance a career working in caregiving or administration for our company. The challenge is to read all of the resumes and choose the best candidates. I am often asked how I do this.
The first thing I recommend is exploring the company’s website. By looking at the website, if one exists, you can gain great knowledge about the philosophy, mission and vision statements of the company. This also indicates an interest in the company and what their focus is on. The second thing I recommend is reading the job description clearly. If the job ad states to refer to something in the memo line do so, it is a good way to prove to the prospective employer that you can follow directions. Next, be sure to have a reasonable email address. Think about what the human resources representative may see when they open up your e-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org might not look as responsible as Gunnetts@anywhere.com. Be sure, if there is a cover letter that it is addressed to the correct individual and everything is spelled properly. Showing attention to detail might get you noticed. Using an appropriate readable font is a great idea. Colors of print and flashing lights probably are going to be more annoying than creative depending upon the job you are applying for. Finally, let the company know about your education, your job experience including months and dates of work and contact information for supervisors.
Be honest and straightforward. A willingness to learn is more attractive than someone who is not truthful. In a challenging economy, the best way to be noticed by recruiters and companies is attention to detail, following directions, and selling your self without compromising integrity or professionalism.