We interviewed Donna Shannon, founder and President of Personal Touch Career Services, as our featured business this month. Read the full interview below!
S&S: When did you open Personal Touch Career Services? Tell us a little about the history of the company.
DS: I got started in the career coaching business in 2004, when I started teaching job searching classes based on my years as a corporate recruiter. Basically, I was tired of having to cut qualified applicants just because they didn’t understand how the process worked. For several years, I worked with clients in tandem with my professional career. In 2011, I resigned my corporate job to work in the business full time.
S&S: What different kinds of services do you offer?
DS: As career coaches, we focus on the practical tools for the job search, including resumes, LinkedIn profiles, job search training, online classes, and interview coaching. We work not only with professionals in the luxury domestic management and services industry, but traditional corporate roles as well. Additionally, we work with employers, providing outplacement services to help their employees who they lost through a reduction in force.
S&S: Tell us about the Personal Touch Career Services team.
DS: In addition to myself and my Business Development Manager, April Hartmeister, we have five staff writers and coaches. They each have several years of writing experience and/or hold a certification in resume writing. One of our writers, Latricia Friend, was selected as DEMA’s Private Service Professional of the Year in 2017.
S&S: What qualities do you look for in an employee?
DS: First and foremost, my team members are honest and compassionate. Searching for a job can be a rough business, and our coaches provide not just writing services but also that understanding ear. Second, my writers are creative as well as conscious of what recruiters and employers look for in a resume or LinkedIn profile. Finally, everyone on my team knows how to maintain confidentiality.
S&S: What advice can you give someone seeking employment?
DS: Since we don’t offer recruitment services ourselves and our team is full, I will give insight into the job search overall. Number one, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and accurate. It is still possible to be on social media and keep your employers’ information confidential. Just remember that LinkedIn has grown to be one of the foremost spots that employers seek candidates. Number two, perfect your resume, cover letter, and any other documents you are sending to an employer. A high-quality candidate can be instantly dismissed for spelling, grammar, or content errors. Number three, take the time to fill out the online applications accurately. While these can be tedious – I know some take up to 45 minutes – they are critical to getting registered correctly with the employers or agencies. Plus, it is a test to see if you can follow written instructions!
S&S: Tell us about the process of seeking career advice/employment services through PTCS. Do you start this process in person or via your website?
DS: We usually start with a free 15-minute consultation. The best way to get on our schedule is through the online calendar.
S&S: Have you received any awards or accolades you would like to mention?
DS: DEMA Educator of the Year, 2014
S&S: What sets Personal Touch Career Services apart from other career consulting services?
DS: We are one of the few services in the country that understands the luxury market. However, we are not exclusive to just private service. With our team of writers and coaches, we hold deep experience in multiple businesses and industries.
S&S: Do you service clients nationally?
DS: Yes, and internationally on occasion.
S&S: Any exciting plans for the future of Personal Touch Career Services?
DS: We are in the process of updating our coaching programs. In 2018, we will be publishing the third edition of our acclaimed book, “How to Get a Job Without Going Crazy.”