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Hanna Lebetkin, 40, from the UK, has been in Israel for 10 years and held down a series of administrative positions in the hi-tech field. She left her last job by mutual agreement, but four months later she found herself still unemployed.
When she encountered LEAP (Linking English and Professionalism), an employment agency specializing in English speakers, it was a matter of days until she found herself in a new position.
"I went to the interview with Orly Rosenfeld, the head of the agency. I felt that she really wanted to help, and she made me feel very secure, very confident that I would find a job. The next day she had already sent my resume to a company that called me within an hour of receiving it. I went to an interview with them that same day. They conducted two interviews on the spot, gave me a test and hired me," says Lebetkin, whose new job is in the field of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics and is also close to home.
"It could have been just coincidence and luck, but I would certainly recommend LEAP," says Lebetkin.
Ariel Avitan, 28, was born in Israel. His family moved to the US when he was seven and then to Australia when he was 10. When he returned to Israel at the age of 11, he didn't speak a word of Hebrew. He went on to learn his native language and serve in the IDF, after which he earned a BA in computer science from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
"I was project manager for a company that dealt in hi-tech weapons, and I wanted to go back to real hi-tech," says Avitan. "I sent my CV all over the place in search of a job. Two weeks later I got a phone call from Orly's secretary at LEAP, who said they had received my CV - I have no idea how - and told me about their business of finding jobs for English speakers.
"I found LEAP to be very professional. When I met Orly, I interviewed her in a sense because I had never heard of the concept of an employment agency that specialized in English the way they do."
Less than a week after his interview with LEAP, Avitan was offered a job at Cyota as a product analyst. That was three months ago and he says he is very happy.
"I think Orly has a lot of connections, a lot of networking; she is seems to have an in with companies, and they listen to her when she has a client to offer them. This is very important today, with so many people in the job market," says Avitan.
Lebetkin and Avitan are just two of the more than 1,200 who have come through the doors of LEAP since its inception a year and a half ago. Although Orly Rosenfeld and her staff of LEAP have not found jobs for all their clients, she says she remembers each of them and has placed many.
LEAP defines itself as a recruitment agency for English speakers, specializing in marketing, sales, business development, administration and customer service, Marcom, technical writing and copywriting, primarily with international hi-tech companies in which the job interfaces with companies abroad.
LEAP's candidate base is not limited to native speakers, but their English has to be of a very high level. Everyone is interviewed in person in English.
"Businesses already know that everyone I send them are people I have met and that I stress quality over quantity. Companies are bombarded with resumes. I explain to people why they should pick the candidates I send them," says Rosenfeld.
She relates the story of a candidate who came to her asking for a job in administration, but Rosenfeld saw by the candidate's resume that she had a lot of experience in writing. When Rosenfeld asked her why she was not following this path, the answer was that she had been told that her skills were not relevant.
"I need a job and am willing to put writing aside," said the applicant.
"Since then, we have placed her twice for writing positions with great companies," says Rosenfeld.
Another success story is someone that LEAP placed in Tel Aviv as a team leader for sales, and after six months she moved to the north of the country where LEAP was able to find her another job in the same field.
The secret of her success, says Rosenfeld, is that her candidates are "really great people."
"Sometimes I interview someone and I know that they are right for a certain company, and that is the only company I refer them to. Unfortunately, we don't have jobs for every single person. I wish we did." says Rosenfeld.
"Sometimes placing someone is not instant - it's a process. It could be that the jobs I have on hand are not senior enough for a particular individual, so we have to wait until the right job comes in. I feel bad for them; I really care about it," she says. "There are still so many people out there. That's the sad part."
LEAP cooperates with Nefesh B'Nefesh and is constantly in touch with immigrant organizations. Rosenfeld and her team have built up a reputation as an employment agency that sends quality people on relevant interviews.
"I don' t just forward a bunch of resumes. I do the work for the candidates, finding out about shifts and salaries, as much information as possible about the position. Different places have different recruiting methods. Companies trust us and they know that if we send candidates, they are worth meeting," she says.
Rosenfeld is an Israeli who grew up in the US. She has a master's degree in human resource management & industrial relations; a BA in behavioral sciences; and 10 years' experience in human resources and training in the hi-tech Industry.
"As an employee, working with many international companies, I came to realize the significance of qualified English-speaking personnel and their role in the success of these companies. I identified a need in the market. With so many professional English speakers out there, it was clear to me that here was an advantage that shouldn't and couldn't be overlooked," says Rosenfeld.
Therefore, she decided to found LEAP.
"Work takes up such a large part of your life, so it is important to feel satisfied at the job you do. For me, finding a candidate his or her next job is the most rewarding job in the world," she says.
Rosenfeld's roster of resume tips
There is a difference between an Israeli and an American resume, says Orly Rosenfeld. Israeli human resources managers have to be able to look at your resume and get an idea about your experience right away. They are not impressed with terminology.
Here are some of Rosenfeld's tips on how to write a resume for the Israeli job market.
* Resumes should be concise and clear.
* A resume should preferably be one page long.
* Provide your contact information at the beginning.
* You may include a short career objective.
* Always start from today and work backwards:
- Relevant professional experience
- Army service (if any)
* Too much detail about each position is unnecessary.
* If previous employers are not well-known companies, include a brief description.
* Do not repeat all your responsibilities, duties and tasks.
* Don't worry about a gap of a few months between jobs.
* Proofread your resume at least twice before sending it.
For more information about LEAP, call (03) 611-4530 or visit www.leap-now.com