Three months ago, O gave four unemployed women new looks, new résumés, and new optimism to face a grueling job market. Their stories continue...
The Multitasking Mom
Tania Jaffe, 42

When O stepped in to help Tania, she was mired in a divorce, juggling two teenagers' schedules and the prospect of reentering the job market as an administrative assistant after years of volunteer work. She's since learned that job searching requires her full attention, and that applying for positions online is less effective than networking through acquaintances. Also, an extra dose of chutzpah never hurts: After a recent exploratory phone interview with a recruiter at Gartner, a global information technology research and advisory firm near her home in Greenwich, Connecticut, Tania requested an in-person meeting, during which she and the recruiter discovered their shared Argentinian heritage (she got to show off her fluent Spanish). "If I hadn't asked for that meeting," she says, "I'd still be another piece of paper on his desk."

The Fund-Raiser
Valerie Cole-Davis, 58

When Valerie was laid off by the United Negro College Fund, she decided to pursue a job in corporate philanthropy. O's experts freshened up her look with bright separates from Macy's and arranged a practice interview with Scherri Roberts, vice president and director of human resources at Hearst Magazines, who cautioned Valerie against nervous rambling. She's now working on letting her natural confidence shine through. So far, she has been interviewed only for fund-raising jobs. "I'm willing to consider anything," Valerie says.

The Project Manager
Norma Ferro, 50

Laid off from her job at a chemical company, single mom Norma has enjoyed spending more time with her 10-year-old son, but now she needs to find work. O updated her résumé and her look (again, courtesy of Macy's), and soon she had a second-round interview at the corporate offices of a large toy company. Unfortunately, it didn't lead to a job offer. Armed with excellent references and experience, Norma now needs endurance. "I know that something is going to come through," she says. "I want to be there already!"

The Recent Grad
Britnee Foreman, 25

A music lover since childhood, Britnee wants to manage rock bands. But dream jobs are elusive in this economy. O helped Britnee stand out from other entry-level applicants by giving her a grown-up look and polishing her interview skills (no more "likes" and "you knows"). She's now a new media contractor at Universal Motown Music and an intern at MCT Management, working with artists such as Jukebox the Ghost. Britnee is still toiling nights at J.Crew until one of the jobs becomes permanent, but she's encouraged. "I worked a concert in Brooklyn," she reports. "Hanging out with the band—it just felt natural." Go, Britnee!

To reach Valerie, Tania, Britnee, or Norma about a possible job opportunity, please email

Looking for your dream job? Get career coach Barbara Safani and Louise Fletcher's new rules of networking

Career experts: Barbara Safani, Career Solvers, Finding the Path That's Right for You; 866-333-1800; Nancy Collamer, career consultant, author, and speaker; 203-698-3160;; Louise Fletcher, president of Blue Sky Resumes; 914-595-1905;


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