LAKE WYLIE -- After 15 weeks of job hunting with little success, Amy Burton has a fresh outlook and a "polished" resume.
The 45-year-old's new objective: finding a "challenging administrative position" with a company "committed to integrity, ethical business practices and an outstanding level of customer care." She hopes that will help her stand out in a crowded job market.
"A prospective employer will know something personal about me after reading the first sentence," said Amy, a wife and mother of two who was laid off in October from the Rowley Company in Gastonia. "I don't know if it will help or hinder my chances of landing a job.
"It's not all about money either," Amy explained. "I would rather take an entry level job with an awesome employer that I can grow with."
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In the last week, Amy spent "countless hours" searching the Internet, applying for jobs and sending out e-mails. The only response: automatic replies thanking her for the resume.
"It's very impersonal. Everybody wants you to fill out an application online, even the local companies," said Amy, who has an extensive background in the drapery industry. "The market is flooded with resumes."
She also made several phones calls, which included two businesses that invited her to fill out applications at their stores. She visited those stores this week.
"The advantage to that is handing them a resume in person. I want to make that personal contact. First impressions are very important," Amy said.
Meantime, Amy is optimistic about a field and a supervisor's test she took with the Census Bureau. Amy said she "did well" on those tests and is hoping to be called in for interviews soon.
Life at the Burton household involved an unexpected expense last week. The Burton's dog, Nikita, developed an ear infection, which came along with a $117 vet bill. Luckily, the Burtons have an emergency fund to cover such expenses.
Being unemployed has allowed Amy the flexibility to spend time with her friend, Gloria, who is battling a rare form of cancer. Last week, Amy took Gloria for chemo treatment like she does every other week, which presented a job networking opportunity.
"One of the nurses told me the company her husband works for is hiring, so I am following up on that lead," Amy said. "More importantly, I am happy to take Gloria while I'm unemployed and have the time to do so.
"It's a very special time together."