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    Career counselor offers advice for tight job market

    By JULIE CHURCH

    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 1, 2001


    As the nation enters what some believe is an economic slowdown, the Tampa Bay job market could become the tightest it has been in recent years.

    Layoffs are becoming more common at local businesses, said Art Frank, a career counselor and president of Resumes "R" Us in Palm Harbor.

    "Call centers are suffering an enormous downsizing right now," he said.

    Frank, who lives in East Lake Woodlands, has contributed to four career development books, including Cover Letter Magic and Expert Resumes for Teachers and Educators.

    Frank, 53, has spent his career helping people find and keep jobs. He worked in Newark, N.J., for 25 years before moving to Florida six years ago and setting up his office in East Lake.

    Frank refers to himself as a "personal job coach."

    "I definitely go beyond the writing of a resume," he said.

    Frank said he can help people make themselves stand out from the crowd and get the job for which they are best suited.

    "A lot of people get multiple interviews, but not a lot of people get multiple offers," he said. "In essence, I provide a road map for smooth sailing through the job market."

    Frank offers the following suggestions for people looking to become "layoff proof":

    Develop a contact network within the company and get noticed.

    Know the company's business. Learn the history, relationships between divisions and the hotbeds of activity.

    Think and act positive. Don't be a naysayer.

    If, despite a person's best efforts, a layoff is inevitable, Frank also has advice for job seekers.

    The last person interviewed for a job is hired 55.8 percent of the time. The first person interviewed fares less well: She or he is hired 17.6 percent of the time, he said.

    When called for an interview, try to schedule it as far in the future as possible, which will increase the odds of being the favored last candidate.

    According to Frank, studies show that Monday is the worst day of the week to schedule an interview, while the worst time of day to interview is late afternoon. Try to avoid these times. .

    School wind ensemble earns high marks

    East Lake High School's wind ensemble was awarded straight superior ratings at the 2001 Florida Bandmasters Association District 9 concert in Clearwater on March 16 and 17.

    The band's stage program included March from a Little Suite by Malcolm Arnold, Symphony for Band, Movement 11 by Vincent Persichetti and George Washington Bridge by William Schuman. After the stage performance, the band sight read two pieces.

    The band is directed by David Carbone. It was one of four groups in the district to achieve the distinction of straight superior ratings.

    The East Lake High School concert band also performed with distinction, earning an overall rating of excellent.

    Two 'model' students honored for April

    April's students of the month at Brooker Creek Elementary School share a love of sports and serve as role models for fellow students.

    Alex Hanhold has been named third- through fifth-grade student of the month by the Oldsmar/East Lake Rotary. Alex, 10, is in fourth grade and was nominated by his teacher, Susan Hickman.

    "Alex is an exemplary role model," Hickman said. "He follows all class ground rules and always looks out for his peers."

    Alex is the son of Jeff and Diana Hanhold. He lives in Lansbrook. His interests include tennis and baseball. He has been involved in Sunday school and recently wrote letters to the Salvation Army with his classmates.

    Kindergarten student James Hickman is the Oldsmar/East Lake Rotary student of the month nominee for kindergarten through second grade.

    Jimmy was nominated for the award by his teacher, Rosemary Fair.

    "Jimmy is a model student, well-liked and respected by his peers," Fair said. "He is a team player outside the classroom as well as inside."

    Jimmy is the son of James and Susan Hickman of Lansbrook. His interests include playing on soccer and baseball teams.

    Little League dedicates concession stand

    A dedication ceremony will take place today for the East Lake Little League's new concession stand at the Upper Pinellas Youth Sports Complex off Old Keystone Road.

    The $80,000 concession stand is the result of months of fundraising by the Little League, said David Root, president of the organization.

    "A lot of hard work went into this effort," Root said.

    The dedication will take place at 1:30 p.m. In addition to the ceremony, which will feature all the past presidents of the Little League, there will be a dunk tank and moonwalk for the children, and team pictures will be taken.

    The league has 525 players this season in boys baseball and girls softball. The season starts in February and runs through June.

    The Upper Pinellas Youth Sports Complex provides facilities to three separate sports organizations: Upper Pinellas Youth Football and Cheerleading Inc., Upper Pinellas Youth Soccer Association and East Lake Little League.

    -- If you have News or photos about East Lake schools, churches, businesses, neighborhood groups, community organizations or people can be sent to Julie Church at the North Pinellas Times. Call her at (727) 445-4229, e-mail material to her at church@sptimes.com or mail material to North Pinellas Times, 34342 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.

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