Sunday, March 04, 2012

Resumes spread word as 'secret' service assists jobseekers

RIGHT: The REPS HQ (image from

THAT fabulous four-letter word, 'free', is a fantastic eye magnet in the Classifieds, whether it comes in big block capitals or lurks modestly in the small print.
True to tradition, it has recently featured in an unexpected place with some restrained use of bold type asking, "Need a resume?" and then proclaiming, "Free Service!"
The notice closed with the words "Redland's best kept secret", but the Redlands Employer Placement Service is no secret to the many thousands of job seekers and businesses it has helped through the decades.
Free assistance with resumes is just one facet of Cleveland-based REPS, which has a long history as a jewel in the Redland community crown, having been incorporated as a non-profit organisation since 1994, after starting as a federal government program.

EXECUTIVE officer John Conley says the support of federal and state governments and the Redland Council has allowed REPS to keep up its work specialising in employment and training assistance for the mature aged, parents and carers returning to work, the unemployed and a sector that statistics often overlook, the underemployed.
By the way, the 'mature age' range, according to the REPS guidelines, starts at 40 nowadays, so the sociologists who invented the idea that "60 is the new 40" should question their logic. I don't expect to see the Sunrise team debating whether "40 is the new 20".

BACK to the subject: John says the importance of the resume continues to increase with the job market always becoming more competitive.
He says a keen focus is necessary from the instant the job seeker spots an opportunity. Many clients who engage REPS for resume support realise they can benefit from other aspects of its programs, which suit those who have: been out of the workforce and want to update their skills; recently lost their job; and have retired but want a "downsized" work role.
Clients also include people needing to top up their 'super' payments, former managers or supervisors who find they are 'overqualified' and others who have limited qualifications but heaps of experience.

JOHN says REPS, with a staff of five part-timers, has an annual government funding contract for 195 places but "we hate to turn anyone away – we try to help everyone as best we can".
In the style of a community service that does has not want to rely solely on government and council support, REPS also raises funds. For the past 14 years it has run the Thursday night bingo sessions at the Redlands RSL Club.

Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

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