Help Over the Higher Ed Hurdle: $230,000 in Scholarships Now Available Through JVS Career Services

JVS Career Services has become a key source of scholarship assistance to qualified Greater Cincinnati residents and many members of the Cincinnati Jewish community. Both JVS Career Services and the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati recognize that deciding to pursue higher education is a big step and that finding ways to pay for it can be an even bigger hurdle. To help, JVS Career Services currently administers five different scholarship funds through an ongoing partnership with the Federation.

The Hilb Scholarship Fund has been administered by JVS Career Services since its inception. Gus Hilb established the Hilb Scholarship Fund at the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati in 1955 in honor of his parents, Mannis and Yetta Hilb. Scholarship committee members determine policies and allocations, and JVS Career Services administers the fund.

The Anne and George Heldman Family Scholarship Fund was established in 2009 by the Heldman family. It is designed for Jewish students who are graduating high school. Additional funds include the Saidel Award, the Guthman Award, and the Weiss Award, each of which are available to subsections of the scholarship applicant pool.

“JVS Career Services’s long-term partnership with the Hilb Scholarship Fund is committed to making funds available for students who want to further their education after high school and adults who want additional education and training,” said JVS Career Services CEO Joni Burton. “This scholarship serves middle-class residents of the greater Cincinnati area and is awarded based on need and academic standing. The scholarship committee currently defines ‘middle-class’ as a total family income that does not exceed $130,000.”

“We’re here to help students get the education and training they need to succeed in the future,” said Scholarship Committee Chair Edie Rau. “By providing an applicant-friendly process and assisting students on a one-on-one basis, members of our community are better able to reach their goals.”

Students interested in applying for any of the scholarships administered by JVS Career Services should keep several deadlines in mind. The last day to submit an application and make an appointment for an interview with the scholarship administrator is March 15, 2016 for the 2016 summer term, and May 1, 2016 for the 2016-17 academic year. A grant application and policy statement are available here. For more information, contact Barry Wolfson, Senior Career Consultant and Scholarship Administrator at JVS Career Services, at (513) 936-9675 or by e-mail at

Has Your Job Search Left You Feeling Old?

Do you feel passed over by employers looking for younger talent? We can show you how to familiarize yourself with what’s hip, and then use your age and experience as an asset.

The job search process can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. In a changing society, it can become even more stressful for the more mature and experienced job seeker as you begin to realize that your prior approach to getting a job seems to not be working at all today. After sending out tons of résumés and sitting through countless interviews, you still haven’t landed that job. It is easy to get discouraged and even to begin to think “what am I doing wrong?”

Well, it’s not necessarily your fault. Employers may assume that you may be more expensive to hire or are planning to retire soon. You may have to change your approach to job searching. Here are some tips that will allow you to be more successful in your job search.

  • Let employers know you are interested not only in getting the job, but also in staying at that particular company for a long time by expressing your desire to grow and contribute to the company over time.
  • Research current wages to confirm that your salary requirements are appropriate, and be ready to communicate your enthusiasm to tackle the position offered, rather than a higher-paying position.
  • Cite your attendance history in prior jobs if it’s strong, and communicate with energy and engagement during your phone interviews.
  • In your résumé and interviews, note technology training and skills. If this is not a strong suit of yours, explore resources to help you expand your skills and get up-to-date for the positions you seek.
  • Make it clear that you are comfortable with change and will follow protocol.
  • Limit your résumé to two pages and your work history to the last 10-15 years.
  • Make sure your email address is up to date and professional.
  • Have an active and robust LinkedIn account and include your professional LinkedIn URL on your résumé.
  • Treat each job posting like the ideal opportunity without trying to replace everything about the job you had before. Employers will include detailed job functions and their “wish list” of a candidate for a certain position. If you have experience doing most of the job functions, and you meet the “requirements,” then go for it —even if you may not have what’s asked for under the “preferred” column.
  • Remove work experience that happened more than two decades ago from your resume, and list your college/university education without the corresponding education dates.
  • Highlight your skills and use current terminology.
  • Use a font no larger than 12 point on your résumé.
  • Decide whether to keep your glasses on or off during the interview. Constantly putting on and taking off your glasses to read something may date you. Opting to wear contacts instead of glasses during an interview may give you a younger look.
  • Stay away from saying “when I was your age,” or, “back then” during an interview.
  • Stay positive! If you keep these tips in mind and are persistent, the right opportunity will find you.

To contact JVS Career Services, please call (513) 936-9675, email, or use the Contact page.

Speaker Jill Haney | Crafting an image that sets you apart

jill-haney-portrait Join us Wednesday, January 13, 2016
6:30 PM Mass Mutual Building at Rookwood Exchange, 3825 Edwards Road, Room 210, Cincinnati, OH 45209
Network, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and learn how you can be a successful business professional.

What does your image say about you?

Communicating a confident and powerful image is a key element of being a successful business professional, even if you rarely leave the cube. With two decades of experience in image consulting, Jill Haney will provide you with concrete examples and tips about how to improve the way you are seen by others.

Jill Haney is a certified image consultant and founder of JH Image Consulting. Her client list includes Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Fifth Third Bank, PNC Bank, and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce. Jill writes a regular Sunday column in the Cincinnati Enquirer. She’s also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, and as a guest expert on WLW Radio and WCPO TV.

Sponsored by JVS Career Services and the Young Adult Division (YAD) of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

Click here to register.

All I Want for Hanukkah Is a Job!


By Kim Slaton, CPRW, Managing Director, JVS Career Services

Contrary to what you may think, December is a great time to be job searching. While companies and industries have differing hiring cycles, if there are open positions, they need to be filled. It doesn’t matter if it’s the holiday season or not.

Instead of putting your job search on the back burner, ramp up your efforts even more during the weeks between Thanksgiving and January 1.

Here are some reasons you should continue to send out résumés, set up networking meetings, and prepare for upcoming interviews:

  1. There is less competition. Take advantage of the smaller candidate pool. By increasing your efforts over the holidays, when other job seekers are focused on activities other than job hunting, you increase your chances of standing out and landing the job offer!
  2. Hiring managers want to maximize their budgets with January hires. Hiring managers are under a lot of pressure to get candidates set up for interviews and hired before everyone in the company goes away for the holiday break. Often times, the first weeks of December are the busiest hiring times so that budget dollars aren’t lost or reallocated elsewhere.
  3. You’ll have lots of chances to deliver your “elevator pitch” at all of those holiday gatherings. Attend as many events as you can with the added agenda of setting up networking meetings and sourcing open positions. Because you can never predict who might have a job lead to share, make sure to mention your job search to those you meet.
  4. The holiday spirit puts people in better moods. Now is the time to leverage that good will. Everyone is a little happier with the constant parade of gifts, treats and parties. In addition, managers and HR professionals have often just received end-of-year bonuses. In general, people tend to make themselves more accessible and are more generous with their time during this jolly time.

Granted, it’s not easy staying motivated through a job search in today’s competitive job market. Success during the holidays takes perseverance, and the ability to deal with situational blues and financial fears. Rely on trusted friends and family members for support. You can also find professional job search assistance at JVS Career Services, where career consultants are experts at offering support and strategies for staying strong, winning job interviews and landing new job offers. Don’t let the holiday hiring myth get in the way of your next career move.

Check out the JVS Career Services Job Listings.

Kim Slaton, CPRW, JVS Career Services Managing Director, is a Senior Career Consultant with more than 12 years of experience advising people in transition about how to prepare a successful marketing strategy for today’s competitive job market. Kim is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and a certified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs® personality assessment tool. In addition, Kim has contributed to and reviewed several college career course textbooks. Kim’s focus is on building relationships with her clients by getting to know them and learning about what empowers and motivates them to achieve. Partnering with clients from all backgrounds and industries, Kim provides focused and effective methods for navigating various life transitions. This includes college graduates, young professionals, mid-career professionals, executive level clients and retirees seeking encore careers.

JVS Career Services Reinvented: Career agency grows and changes to meet the needs of a blossoming Jewish Cincinnati

September 2015 was a record month, with 27 clients beginning new chapters in their career journeys. That’s more job starts in one month than the agency has ever seen, and the future only looks brighter.

By Barbara Miller, Director of Community Building, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati

Some things never change. Throughout history, the Jewish community has continuously prioritized helping people get to work.

Jewish Vocational Service was founded 75 years ago to do just that; only back then, the Jewish community was largely made up of immigrants looking to make new lives for themselves in a new country. Now, we are college students, looking to jumpstart our careers. We are business executives, climbing to the top of our industries. And we are everyone in between. Just as the career needs of our people have evolved, the agency with a mission to meet those needs has, too.

Over the past few months, this agency has transformed to embody the qualities of its new name: Jobs Vision Success Career Services (JVS Career Services). Guided by the beacon of Cincinnati 2020, Jewish Cincinnati’s collaboration to build an engaged and empowered Jewish community, JVS Career Services has expanded its services to support jobseekers throughout their careers; from intern to senior-level executive. The agency has also changed to meet demand from the employer side of the job market, launching a whole host of recruiting and staffing services for Cincinnati businesses.

“When Jewish community leaders thought about the kind of Jewish community we want to be in the year 2020, everyone agreed that it made sense to grow JVS Career Services,” said Kim Slaton, JVS Career Services Managing Director. “They realized they were going to have to invest very heavily in the jobs piece if they wanted Cincinnati to become a city that’s going to lead America in attracting and retaining people.”

A grant from The Jewish Foundation provided the capacity to double the agency’s size. With extensive experience in recruiting, Joni Burton came on board in February as the new CEO. She oversees a staff of a managing director, three career consultants, a business development manager, and an office administrator. Together, the team’s approach to serving jobseekers has gone from reactive to proactive.

“In the past, people have thought of us as resume writers. People to run to when they’re desperate for a job. We’re still here for those folks. But now, we’re more equipped than ever to come up with a proactive career plan for a client. That’s not just finding a job. That’s helping people reach heights they may never have thought possible. That’s changing lives,” said Burton.

Services for the applicant

From helping their clients navigate social media career sites like LinkedIn, to providing them a place to interview via webcam, JVS Career Services has updated its menu for jobseekers. They offer free workshops on resume and cover letter writing, networking, and interviewing. For those ready to take the next step, there’s a package that includes three customized one-on-one sessions with a career consultant, unlimited email and phone follow-up support, and even help negotiating offers.

“People are paying big dollars for this elsewhere,” said Slaton. “When clients realize the deal they’re getting here, they can’t believe it. They see that we’re experts in this. We’re not just shooting from the hip here. We know what we’re doing. And we do everything that an expensive career consulting company does, except we’re not charging those fees.”

Services for the employer

In addition to broadening services for people looking for work, JVS Career Services is now helping employers in their search for qualified applicants. With her years of expertise in recruiting, Burton has started a business within JVS Career Services, where employers pay the agency to fill positions.

“We will do everything from documenting the job requirements, to understanding the culture of the business, to sourcing the candidates, to conducting the interviews, to negotiating and even writing offer letters on behalf of the companies that hire us,” Burton said.

The JVS Career Services team is also debuting a cutting-edge online searchable jobs database. In a matter of months, they’ve already developed relationships with more than 50 employers, and that number is growing daily. Those relationships only enhance the agency’s ability to help people looking for work.

“Where are these companies going to look first to fill those positions? From our candidate pool!” Burton said. “We’re spending a lot of time with the relationships on the business side so we can develop their trust to pick our job seekers’ resumes out of the pack.”

Because of this new investment in employer services, JVS Career Services is seeing more demand from senior-level executives who are looking to take the next step in their careers.

“We’re working with lawyers. Insurance agents. Engineers. Physicians,” Burton said. “We’ve negotiated offers for some of the executives here in the Jewish community who are changing jobs. We get them better benefits and salaries so they can walk in and feel really good about their offer.”

A whole new level of collaboration

Inspired by Cincinnati 2020’s objective to more efficiently and effectively collaborate across Jewish communal agencies, JVS Career Services is working with Miami University and University of Cincinnati Hillels to connect college students with Cincinnati’s top employers through the Careers Cincinnati internship program. The agency is also helping Workum and Onward Israel interns fine-tune their professional portfolios. This past summer, with JVS Career Services’ help, 46 college students were employed in Cincinnati internships.

“It’s part of our process now when we’re talking to these employers. We’re documenting what internships are out there and we’re working with the Hillels to advertise them,” Burton said. “These college students that do engage us, they soar when it comes time to graduate.”

The agency has also developed a partnership with the Esther and Maurice Becker Networking and Mentoring Center, the young adult engagement arm of the Federation focused on creating a connected young Jewish community. The two organizations host joint programs and networking events for young professionals.

“When young adults are thinking about where they want to settle, the Becker Center helps them integrate into and network within Jewish Cincinnati’s social scene. We are focused on the jobs piece,” Burton said. “We work together as a team because you need both pieces to attract and retain young people.”

Ringing in the future

The frequent ringing of a small brass bell inside the JVS Career Services offices is a constant reminder for staff that the agency’s reinvention is already a success.

“Whenever someone starts a new job, we ring the bell,” explained Burton. “And it’s been ringing off the hook!”

From January through September of 2015, 156 JVS Career Services clients started new jobs, a 38 percent increase over last year. The economic impact of those 156 jobs, based on the total reported annualized salaries, is more than $8 million. On its own, September 2015 was a record month, with 27 clients beginning new chapters in their career journeys. That’s more job starts in one month than the agency has ever seen, and the future only looks brighter.

“I think we’re going to be known as the career center for the Cincinnati community,” said Slaton. “At 75 years young, we have a strong board and wonderful support from the Jewish Federation, The Jewish Foundation, and the community as a whole. We will continue to set the standard.”

“Working Magic”: JVS Career Services catapults careers for family of 5

By Danielle Minson, Chief Development Officer, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati

When long-time Montgomery resident Carol Wolkoff sent her 24-year-old daughter Rachel to talk with Dedra Perlmutter, a career consultant at JVS Career Services, she had no idea the visit would result in new career opportunities for her entire family.

Six months later, Rachel is happily settled in a new career. Carol’s son, Jeffrey, is excelling in his first job out of college. Her college-aged daughter, Samantha, is ready for the right internship. What’s more, Carol and her husband, David, have discovered that work can be fun again. Both have started new careers utilizing their existing skills in more satisfying and challenging ways.

“JVS worked its magic for all of us!” said Carol.
Rachel: finding the courage to change paths

It all started with Rachel, who had a bachelor’s degree in nursing, but was curious if another career path might work better for her.

Dedra updated Rachel’s resume, showed her how to network using LinkedIn, and administered several career assessments.

“Turned out, Rachel has a very outgoing, extroverted personality and she decided she had an interest in becoming a recruiter,” Dedra said. The two worked over the course of regular sessions to build Rachel’s portfolio and prepare her for interviews.

It wasn’t long before Rachel had landed a job with Maxim Healthcare Services, a home healthcare provider.

“Dedra really helped me see that there were so many opportunities out there for career paths, especially in the healthcare field,” Rachel said.
Jeffrey: perfecting the presentation and negotiating for the best opportunity

“Rachel met with me two times, and she said, ‘I have to send my brother!’” Dedra recalled. Soon, Dedra was meeting regularly with Jeffrey Wolkoff, who was about to graduate from the University of Cincinnati.

“I was starting to apply for teaching jobs, and I was clueless,” Jeffrey admitted.

“He was very confident,” Dedra said. “He had the skills and the personality, for sure. He just needed to do things the right way in order to get himself in the right position to get the job he wanted.”

The two worked together to make Jeffrey’s resume stand out by highlighting his coaching experience. They carefully put together application materials for him to take to an upcoming job fair, and they worked on his image.

“I recommended he get a tie to help market his enthusiasm for the school he wanted to work for. He picked out a green tie that matched their colors!” Dedra said. “At the career fair, he got a lot of interest. Schools heard about his coaching experience, and they saw him standing out with his bright green tie,” she added, with a proud smile.

After the fair, he got a number of calls from school systems with which he’d left his resume. Then it was a matter of picking the right offer and negotiating the best package.

“When it was time to make a decision, I called Dedra. We walked through all the possible situations and we picked the best option for me,” Jeffrey said. He accepted a coaching and teaching offer from Hamilton City schools.

“Dedra is more than just a resume helper,” Jeffrey said. “She’s a friend and a lifeline.”
Samantha: launching a career by preparing for an internship

It wasn’t long before the youngest Wolkoff sibling, Samantha, caught wind of the success her older sister and brother had through JVS Career Services.

“After seeing their progress, I decided it was probably a good idea to start to schedule meetings,” said the University of Cincinnati business major.

Dedra polished Samantha’s resume, and the two have been working on Samantha’s interviewing skills while Dedra continues to look for upcoming internship opportunities.

“I now feel like I know I’ll have a future after I graduate college,” Samantha said.
David: re-inventing a resume and making the right connection

Having seen what JVS Career Services did for his three kids, David Wolkoff was hopeful Dedra could “work her magic” for him, too.

“He hadn’t job searched 13 years, so he really had nothing put together that was anywhere near current,” Dedra said.

She helped David define his background and get his experience formatted into an updated resume. The materials came together just in time for a facilities management opportunity that Dedra heard about before the job was even posted. She put David in touch with the hiring manager, and it was a perfect match.

“It sounds serendipitous, but it wasn’t,” Dedra said. “This is what we do every day. It’s our connections. We’re working both sides of the aisle. While we’re nurturing our clients, we’re doing the same thing with our business contacts.”
Carol: “My entire family is forever grateful”

After having watched her entire family re-invent themselves, Carol started wondering if, after seven years as the Assistant Aquatics Director at the University of Cincinnati, there might be something better out there for her, too.

What Carol thought might be an arduous job search came to an end in just two weeks, when two different employers called with interest. Thanks to Dedra, Carol’s resume was updated and ready to go in time.

“What people don’t realize is that when there’s a job that’s available, things don’t drag on. It happens like that,” Dedra said. “I had her ready so she was able to take action on that job.”

Dedra also helped Carol craft an exit strategy, which allowed her to leave the job she’d spent nearly a decade doing in time to take an exciting new position in administration at Sycamore High School.

“My entire family is forever grateful to Dedra for her care and diligence. It transformed all of us!” Carol said. “JVS Career Services is batting 100% for the Wolkoffs,” her husband David chimed in.

Wolkoff_wDedraDedra Perlmutter (right), JVS Career Consultant, with the Wolkoff family.

JVS Career Services 2015 Annual Meeting


On May 26, 2015, JVS Career Services held its Annual Meeting and launched the celebration of its 75th anniversary.   Rabbi Sissy Coran of Rockdale Temple delivered the invocation, referencing the sanctity of the work of helping people find jobs.  Shep Englander, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, presented Board Chair Sandy Kaltman with a large check, which was directed to JVS Career Services by the late Bill Friedlander.  Mr. Friedlander was a former board chair of Jewish Vocational Service and a community philanthropist.

Sandy Kaltman’s Board Chair report focused on the major events of the past year, which included the search for and the hiring of CEO Joni Burton, a senior management executive with decades of experience in the employment industry.  Another significant event was the receipt of a capacity building grant from The Jewish Foundation, designed to expand JVS Career Services and position it to become the lead agency in the community’s Cincinnati 2020 effort to create a jobs and networking hub here.  Kaltman reported that in 2014, 108 members of the Jewish community working with JVS Career Services found new jobs, collectively earning $4.5 million in wages.

Joni Burton and Managing Director Kim Slaton reported on changes taking place at JVS Career Services directed at working with clients during their full career spectrum, from college through retirement.  In addition to Slaton’s reorganization of client services, the agency now has a business development manager who will work with CEO Burton in building business relationships with area employers.  The agency is assisting other Jewish agencies and organizations with hiring, and will be offering fee-based services to employers, such as recruiting and outplacement.

Nominating Committee Chair Bob Oestreicher presented his committee’s report.  The Board approved the recommendations of the Nominating Committee, adding Peter Landesman, Ari Mann and Lev Orlov as new members.

In honor of the 75th Anniversary, the meeting concluded with a historical review by former CEO Peter Bloch.  Bloch noted that “from the very beginning, the Jewish values of Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah have been at the core of Jewish Vocational Service’s culture and decision making.”  Board Chair Sandy Kaltman stated that “the agency has been blessed with hard working and dedicated leadership, both lay and professional, over 7 and ½ decades, all with the same goal of helping clients find meaningful employment.”

JVS Career Services officers for the coming year are: Sandy Kaltman, Chair; Robert Oestreicher, Vice Chair; Lori Frischer, Treasurer; Ed Freeman, Secretary; Jan Armstrong Cobb, Immediate Past President; and Jody Brant, Past Chair.  Continuing board members are Stan Better, Shary Levitt, Jamie Dalin, Jeffrey Stern and Blair Wolkoff.

JVS Career Services Announces New CEO

Joni Burton

The Board of Trustees of JVS Career Services is pleased to announce the hiring of Joni Burton as CEO.  Burton brings decades of experience in recruiting, staffing and management.  For the past ten years, she has served as CEO of ERB Solutions, a permanent placement and staffing company that assisted organizations in recruiting top-notch talent.

Burton has a large network of established contacts with Cincinnati employers, along with a proven track record in starting and managing businesses in the employment field. “After all my years in the corporate world, I am excited to have the opportunity to give back to the community by helping people find jobs and by expanding the services provided by the agency,” said Burton.

As one of her first acts as CEO, Burton has promoted Kim Slaton, an experienced Career Consultant who has also served as Director of Connections and Interim CEO at JVS Career Services, to Managing Director. She will oversee the agency’s career services, which include connecting job seekers with employers and mentors, one-on-one support to clients during the job search process, assistance with preparation of resumes and cover letters, organization of a job search plan, and improving networking and interviewing skills.

Sandy Kaltman, JVS Career Services Board Chair, noted, “We are thrilled to have Joni as our CEO. Under the very capable leadership of our new management, we look forward to working with our community funders at the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Foundation to grow the agency and make Cincinnati the best networked Jewish community for finding jobs.”

With the assistance of a generous capacity-building grant from the Jewish Foundation, JVS Career Services will be able to significantly expand both the types of services offered to job seekers and employers, and the number of clients served. “The Foundation was very proud to partner with JVS Career Services, the Jewish Federation and Cincinnati 2020 in selecting such a skilled and accomplished leader as Joni Burton,” said Jewish Foundation President Beth Guttman. “We look forward to working with her and our community partners on collective efforts to make Cincinnati a more connected Jewish community where people can find meaningful careers and supportive networks.”

JVS Career Services will be taking a leading role in the Jewish Federation’s Cincinnati 2020 Jobs and Networking Initiative. This multi-agency collaboration is designed to help make Cincinnati a Jewish destination and increase its Jewish population by strengthening life-long employment and community connections. JVS Career Services will be working closely with the Federation’s Esther & Maurice Becker Networking and Mentoring Center on shared strategies for networking and for attracting and retaining Jews in our community. Tedd H. Friedman, V.P. of Strategic Planning, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, commented, “Cincinnati 2020 envisions combining our strengths to become the best community in which to build a gratifying career. The Federation looks forward to partnering with JVS Career Services to help community members find and keep jobs and enjoy their careers. Joni Burton’s decades of experience will enable JVS Career Services to partner in a community-wide effort to bring Cincinnati 2020’s vision to reality.”