Dress for Success

    2018 Grant Recipient

    “It’s not about where you have been that matters….but where you are going”

    Every woman has the right to realise her full potential and achieve financial independence in a more egalitarian world. For some time, Dress for Success Perth has supported this goal by providing personalised suiting, interview support and career workshops for women who face particular challenges looking to enter or re-enter the workforce – including those of indigenous heritage, in social housing, in transition from correctional facilities, youth at risk, and the long term unemployed.

    Through conversations with their clients, it became apparent that the combination of low computer and functional literacy created an additional barrier to the job application process – resume and selection criteria writing. Some women relied on employment agencies to develop and submit resumes on their behalf – with varying degrees of success. Others who prepared resumes on their own were not able to articulate their experiences and career/life skills. While DfS has been able to assist on an ad hoc basis, they identified a real need for a formalised resume development program to enable clients to apply for jobs independently and with confidence.

    Resume Development Support is Key

    In response, DfS developed a new program of training, mentoring, and on-site computer access in a “Resume Hub.” Participants will learn how to tailor their resumes to job descriptions, address selection criteria, and develop a personal narrative that draws on their strengths and achievements. Perhaps most importantly, the program focuses on the development of self-management skills, with the women being guiding through the application process rather than “experts” doing the work for them. These skills will be transferable to other areas of the woman’s professional and personal lives.
    100 Women is providing $25,877 to support the start-up of the Resume Hub, where up to 60 women will benefit in the first year alone. Over time, the Resume Hub will operate under a fee for service model, becoming a sustainable part of DfS service offerings.

    Summary

    – Women of indigenous heritage, in social housing, in transition from correctional facilities, youth at risk, and the long term unemployed face particular barriers to finding employment.

    – For some time, Dress for Success has helped women such as these through personalised suiting, interview support and career workshops.

    – Low confidence, literacy and computer skills lead to particular challenges in developing a resume and responding to selection criteria.

    – 100 Women is providing $25,877 to support the start-up of a Resume Hub, where up to 60 women in the first year will have access to a computer, training and mentoring to learn self-management and practical skills that will support their job application process.

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