JVS Career Services Boosts Skills, Confidence of East Coaster Returning to Cincinnati

“I tend to be hard on myself and discount my skills because I think everyone can do what I do,” said Jen Cobb, a recent East Coast transplant. “But JVS Career Services got me to embrace that I am special and worthy of getting the job I wanted.”

After more than twenty years away from Cincinnati, Jen, who grew up in Roselawn, was looking for a change—and a location with a more reasonable cost of living. Once she decided to return to her roots in the Queen City, she started planning her move.

Her stepmother knew exactly where to start.

“‘Don’t worry about a job,’ she told me, ‘because I’m going to connect you with Kim at JVS Career Services. She will help you find something.’”

Jen set up a meeting with Kim Slaton. In the meantime, however, she found and applied for an open position with R Investments, a real estate, construction, and property management company that buys distressed residential buildings in disadvantaged neighborhoods, guts them, and turns them back over to the community.

“Instead of building luxury condos,” Jen said, “R Investments creates nice, affordable housing so people can stay in their own neighborhoods, where they have a network. And as part of the project, the company builds ‘empowerment zones,’ which give residents the resources to build resumes, find jobs, and even take computer classes.”

Jen was drawn to the company’s mission, and was pleased to find out they had already completed a project in her childhood neighborhood.

By the time she sat down with Kim, she had an interview with the COO scheduled for two days later.

“We were supposed to talk about the job search process, but as soon as I sat down and told Kim about the interview, she said, ‘So now we’re talking about something completely different!’”

Kim got her ready for the interview. Jen had good interview skills already, but Kim gave her that extra polish. Kim coached her how to walk into the room, what to wear, and what questions to ask. She helped Jen create business cards, a printed portfolio and resumes, and a reference sheet.

And it didn’t end there. Kim prepared Jen to glean information from R Investments during the interview process to help her make a good decision about the job—assuming it’s offered.

“I felt prepared for the interview in a way I never have before,” Jen said. “It was the best interview I ever had. I wasn’t any different, but I felt different going in. I felt in control.”

Jen described Kim as her “chief motivation officer.” Kim was positive and organized and left little to chance. “She has been doing this a long time, and she knows exactly what needs to happen for things to fall into place. Instead of me trying to figure it out on my own, she gave me the tools and showed me how to use them.”

The interview went well, and Jen landed the job. She is responsible for putting processes in place for new construction projects. This fall, Jen is working on sites in Indianapolis and Nashville, and in December, she will help mobilize new projects in Cincinnati.

Jen recommends JVS Career Services to anyone looking for a job or a career coach.

“They helped me identify my strengths and gave me the confidence to capitalize on them.”

To learn more about JVS Career Services’ career coaching, contact us, email careerservices@jvscareers.org, or call (513) 936-9675

JVS Career Services Hires Talent Acquisition and Process Leader

JVS Career Services has named Denis Keegan as its Talent Acquisition and Process Leader. Keegan is dedicated full time to providing recruiting and process improvement services to Shared Business Services (SBS), a program managed by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, which provides a full range of consolidated business services, including finance/accounting, payroll, benefits and HR administration, and business planning functions for Jewish nonprofit agencies, congregations, and schools.

As Talent Acquisition and Process Leader, Keegan will lead and manage the recruiting process for SBS clients, including the Jewish Federation, Mayerson JCC, and Jewish Family Service. He will also provide consultation on staffing strategies, sourcing, selection, and hiring.

“JVS Career Services and SBS would like to welcome Denis Keegan to our team,” said JVS Career Services CEO Joni Burton. “Denis brings a successful track record of helping organizations hire top talent and assure a best in class hiring process.”

Keegan brings 17 years of recruiting and employee development experience to his role at JVS Career Services. He came to JVS Career Services from Kroger, where he was a recruiter. Before that, he was the east market healthcare recruiter for Mercy Health Partners. Keegan has a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and a Master of Science in Human Resources and Change Management, both from the University of Central Florida. Keegan moved to Cincinnati in 2012 from Orlando, Florida with his wife, Lindsay. They enjoy the many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in Cincinnati, as well as the vibrant arts and music offerings.

“I’m incredibly excited to work for JVS Career Services and Shared Business Services,” Keegan said. “I’ve never experienced such a supportive and tight-knit group of collaborators that are devoted to the missions and people they serve. People here are truly inspirational!”

To contact Denis Keegan by phone, please call (513) 985-1507, or email him at dkeegan@jfedcin.org.