Pay It Forward to Help Others Get Ahead

If you or someone you know has not taken advantage of my standing offer to CRITIQUE YOUR RESUME FOR FREE, it still stands. Just forward a copy to and I’ll give you my honest opinion and specific recommendations on how to make it shine. If you think this is a scam, read on.

Hi Perry –
Thank you for your help with reviewing my resume. I spoke with you just under 2 weeks ago… You offered some very pointed and easy-to-apply advice for ways to improve my resume, and I followed your advice. Shortly thereafter, I submitted this new copy of my resume and within a week interviewed for and was offered a position at an organization I have been trying to get into for nearly a year. I wanted to thank you very much for your help and willingness to offer advice; I know you did this pro bono, so to speak, and I thought you should know the impact it has had on my life. Thank you! KS – 8/16/09


I can not take all the credit for Kelly getting an interview and landing her dream job; her skills were as much, if not more a part of the equation than the professional advice I offered her.

However without my desire to PAY IT FORWARD, Kelly might still be another statistic on the jobless rolls. On the other hand, let me tell you there is no better feeling than having someone let you know you made a positive impact on their life.

We are now submerged in an economy where the jobless rate is growing with no end in sight and prospects for economic growth are at best uncertain. From the dozens of new people I get to talk to and coach each week, way too many of them are stuck in the mud spinning their wheels and going nowhere fast. They do not know what to do or where to turn to for assistance. What can you and I do to help them!

This past week was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and much was written about this seminal event in American history. As an 18 year old college student who was there in Bethel, NY, I was struck first hand by one thing more than anything else; how over ½ million people looked out for each other without asking for anything in return. Townspeople, police, event organizers and attendees looked out for complete strangers as if they were close family members. This is where I learned how important it is to pay it forward.

Over a period of 72 hours I was offered food, water, shelter from the rain, and a pair of shoes (I lost mine in the mud) and a ride back home to Brooklyn, NY from dozens of people I never met before. And not one of them asked for, let alone would anyone accept payment from me. For me this is the timeless enduring legacy of Woodstock, people selflessly helping other people when they need it most.

In April I attended a seminar where the featured speaker was Dan Doctoroff, president of Bloomberg L.P, and a former deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding of the City of New York from 2001-2007

When asked how NYC was going to return from the devastation of the current economic crisis on the heels of 9/11, his answer was simple and straight to the point. He told us that big business will not rebound quickly enough to save most of us. However out of the depths of despair will come a new breed of entrepreneurs who will create new jobs; first for themselves and slowly but surely for others.

What I am asking each of you to do spread the word! If the prospects of you or someone you know finding a new job are as dim as a 15watt light bulb, change direction and create a job, or better yet create a business.

More important PAY IT FORWARD and help people you know build their network. Don’t wait for people in need to contact you for help. Reach out and help them first. You may not know about a job, but you do know people who if put in contact with each other might be able to start a small and perhaps even a thriving business. If you are a professional offer some people free or at least deeply discounted legal, accounting, marketing or other professional services you provide or if its possible barter with them.

If you are a successful business person, volunteer to help people in your community write their resume, learn how to interview, or gain new skills that will make them more marketable. This more than anything else is what will fuel our economic recovery, and take it from me it will make you feel great as well.


Perry Newman, CPC, is President/CEO of First Impressions Resumes and can be reached for a no cost consultation at 646-894-4101.

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