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December, 2013

Ready for the working world

Dress for Success workshop highlights self-marketing for job seekers
Meline Grigorian, Dress for Success Program Manager

Photo by: Deb Parrilli

Meline Grigorian, program manager, introduces the YWCA's Dress for Success program to students at Gateway’s Elkhorn Campus. The Nov. 18 program included a resume and cover letter presentation, a fashion show and a job fair.

 Gateway student Antoinette Ziesemer, Racine, who is on the cusp of earning dual degrees in computer support and web development, feels she is “ahead of the game” after attending the Dress for Success workshop, hosted by Gateway’s Step Up program. The workshop included a resume and cover letter presentation, along with a fashion show and job fair Nov. 19 on the Elkhorn Campus. The event was free and included complimentary lunch for attendees.

“The cover letter part of the presentation will help me immensely,” Ziesemer said. “It was very helpful because I had no clue how to write a cover letter. Now, I can write a very good one. And, learning how to dress for business was huge for me because I’m kind of a tomboy and that part of this really helped.”

“The first impression is key to meeting with any employer,” said Ken Riley, Gateway Step Up program specialist. “Plus, you will feel more confident if you are dressed professionally.”

The Dress for Success program provides professional clothing, a network of support and career development tools for disadvantaged women seeking jobs. Additionally, it provides up to a week’s worth of professional outfits for women who have secured employment. The Dress for Success program receives its clothing through donations.

“Gateway’s Step Up program held a clothing drive for Dress for Success and was able to donate over 1,000 clothing items,” Riley said. “Students just need to call Dress for Success and make an appointment to meet with one of their staff to get started.” That phone number is (262) 898-5530.

“An event like this is great because oftentimes students don’t think about marketing themselves,” said Danira Grady, a career counselor on the Elkhorn Campus. Grady was the presenter at the cover letter and resume portion of the workshop. “It’s much better to be ahead of the game instead of catching up.”

After the presentations, attendees went into the student commons area where business representatives were on hand to answer their questions in a job fair-type format.

Find out more about the Racine YWCA Dress for Success program at ywcasew.org