CompleteCandidate is both the name and the mission of a new Rye-based career coaching program that teaches recent college grads the skills they need to land their first career-focused job.
The heart of the program run by recruiting veterans Nadine Varca Bilotta and Nancy Thomas is a day-long session that zeros in on the skills college graduates need to land their first career-directed job. Participants also get a detailed workbook that outlines critical in-person skills, plus exercises that help hone their conversational abilities. Bilotta and Thomas also critique and sharpen clients’ resumes and help with cover letters and thank-you notes.
Equally important, the CompleteCandidate founders make themselves available long after the initial session to help clients with future job hunts, and even link them with other recruiters who specialize in fields participates want to purse.
Bilotta and Thomas are certain their $595 fee is quite reasonable, considering the amount their clients have already invested in getting a college degree. They’re also certain they fill a gap left by many, often-overwhelmed college placement offices that have neither the time nor inclination to offer more than perfunctory guidance. And, they emphasize that there are no additional charges for post-sessions callbacks.
Furthermore, CompleteCandidate is also available, via Skype, to anyone too far from Westchester to attend the seminar in person.
One key factor in the program’s success is the help clients receive in improving their conversational skills. “Though today’s college grads are very digital, the job search world is very analog. Many seminar clients often are petrified talking on the phone, preferring to text whenever possible,” explains Bilotta.
Recruiting veterans Nadine Varca Bilotta and Nancy Thomas are now using their experience to guide grads through job-hunting process.
“Many of the students we encounter really have trouble with one-on-one conversations,” she continues. “Since they can’t converse via texting with an interviewer, we help clients get ready to explain why they are passionate about their goals in the language interviewers will understand.”
The program appears to be a genuine win-win situation. The founders say a very high percentage of participants are now working in jobs they find satisfying. And many of them are certain the program definitely played a critical role in their job hunt success.
For instance, Matthew Wong of Mamaroneck, a May 2015 graduate of Tufts University, took the program after several months of frustrating post-graduation employment searching. He says the program was critical to his securing a position at Omnicom Capital in Greenwich. Wong was particularly pleased by CompleteCandidate’s scrutiny of his resume, follow-up availability, and connections with a recruiter who was the prime link to acquiring his new position.
Also impressed was Jack Galasso, a May 2014 Iona College grad who will earn an MBA in 2016. “I found the course to be extremely helpful, professionally run, and well organized,” Galasso says. “CompleteCandidate lays out everything you need to know about the job search process and takes out all of the guesswork. Even after finishing the course I still find information that I learned beneficial.”
For 15 years prior to launching CompleteCandidate earlier this year, Nadine Bilotta and Nancy Thomas were partners in The LOF Group, which connected recruiter (“headhunter”) companies with potential recruiters.