Meet Jody GothardPresident of CareerPro Resumes
I have been President of CareerPro Resumes since 1991, the year that I moved to Atlanta from my hometown of New Orleans. While earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature from the University of New Orleans (UNO), I wrote several short stories, one of which was published in the Elipsis literary magazine.
After graduating from UNO in 1985, I worked as a Sports Editor of L’Observateur Newspaper. I earned two journalism awards from the Louisiana Press Association, and I have written numerous feature and cover stories for publications such as New Orleans Magazine, the Times Picayune Newspaper, Atlanta’s Style Magazine, and a New Jersey-based Murdoch Magazine titled Sports Travel. My other writing experience includes TV commercial writing.
I’ve headed numerous community fundraising initiatives, appearing on morning talk shows and with the former Mayor of New Orleans at major fundraising events.
Along with helping my clients find and progress on their career paths while maximizing their potentials, I have taken numerous classes and workshops from world-reknown Native-American trained trackers, including the author, Tom Brown, Jr.
As the former President of Mosaic Outdoor Club of Georgia, I have motivated hundreds of individuals to reclaim their connection to nature and spirituality. As the President of CareerPro Resumes, I have helped 10,000+ job seekers triple their interview rate, increase their salaries by tens of thousands of dollars, change career direction, and often land their job of choice.
Jody Gothard Interview
How I Became a Resume Writer in Atlanta
My father, a former Court of Appeals Judge still living with his wife of 60 years in New Orleans, where I grew up, said, “See yourself as others see you.” In high school people started telling me “You are a writer.” My grandfather, a sports junkie said, “You should become a Sports Reporter/Announcer. That’s a good profession.” At this point, I thought that I might be a good writer.
While studying English Literature at the University of New Orleans, I wrote a short story about a 10K (6.2 mile) road race that I finished in 37:50, which is just over a six-minute mile. When you are running that fast for that long, your muscles start screaming for oxygen, your mind plays tricks on you telling you to slow down, endorphins begin to flow, and you have to be hyper-vigilant to maintain the pace. The resulting heightened sense of awareness makes every sensation come to life, and this created an amazing short story.
The story, called “Running the Line!” won Runner-Up for UNO’s Robert F. Gibbons Award for Best Fiction, and was published in the University’s Literary Magazine. At this point, I knew that I was a good writer. During a year studying at Brandeis University just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, I was selected to participate in an Independent Study program with Curious George Author, Margret Rey, and also studied with best-selling author, John Irving.
Upon graduation from UNO, my first job was Sports Editor of an award-winning Cajun newspaper called L’Observateur, or The Observer in French. I won several Louisiana Press Association Awards for Best Special Section, Best Feature Story, and Best Overall Sports Coverage.
After covering high school, college and professional sports (Who Dat!) for four years, I began working as a Freelance Writer, creating TV car/truck commercials for a Top Ten Louisiana advertising agency. I also began writing feature stories for Newspapers such as The New Orleans Times/Picayune. I wrote/edited cover stories for national (Murdoch) and city (New Orleans) magazines, daily (The Times-Picayune) and weekly newspapers, tourism (Greater New Orleans Tourism & Convention Commission) and trade publications.
In 1991 I took the show on the road and moved to Atlanta with the intention of making a living as a staff writer, and not just a freelancer. As fate would have it, two months after being hired by CareerPro Resumes, which was then a 32-year-old, 450-office nationwide company, I had the opportunity to buy the Sandy Springs office. After two months of employment, I went from employee to company owner. It was almost as if the universe was saying, “You want to make a living as a writer? Well, here it is on a silver platter!”
CareerPro is not a franchise, it is an independently owned company. All of their offices were sold outright, including the eight former CareerPro offices in Metro Atlanta. As a new resume company owner, what I quickly discovered is that to be successful in this industry, you have to be very good at two things:
I have proven to be very good at both, and this has served me well in building upon the success of a resume writing company in Atlanta.
Lewis Grizzard, a former Atlanta-based southern humorist and author of 30 books of comedy, was a legend in Atlanta and used to write a syndicated column which appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mr. Grizzard passed away in 1994, three years after I moved here from New Orleans. A few weeks later, Mr. Grizzard’s literary agent walked into my office and said, “Jody, I am a sophisticated shopper, I’m a writer’s agent, and I know good writers when I see them. Not only are you the only published, award-winning journalist writing resumes in Atlanta, you are the only resume writer how comes from a creative writing background.”
Mr. Grizzard’s former agent then said, “I didn’t visit anyone else, and I don’t have to because the minute I step foot out of your door, the quality drops. I got on the phone with some other folks, asked them what they did before they opened up their resume companies, and none of them are writers. They are all former administrative and sales professionals. If I go with any other company besides yours, I am going to get less interviews and less job offers, and it could easily cost me $10,000 in my next salary. I am going with you. Show me where to sign on the dotted line.”
As a journalist, I win awards for myself or my publication. As a Resume Writer, I win interviews and jobs for my clients, with new salaries which are sometimes tens of thousands of dollars more than they were making before they came to see me. I also started making the news instead of covering the news, and I and my staff have been featured on Channel 2 TV, the V-103 radio station (The Frank Ski Show), Atlanta Employment Weekly, online blogs, and online radio shows.
I have helped in excess of 10,000 happy clients regain their financial footing, reset their course on lucrative, new careers and jobs, find less stressful and more enjoyable work environments, and finally get the monetary compensation and professional recognition they deserve. Yes I am a writer, and yet it takes more than just a good writer to write an attention-getting resume. It takes a spin doctor, and my uncanny ability to make my clients look great on paper, combined with our attention-getting brochures and award-winning writing, has helped changes the lives of thousands of clients and their families. That is the most gratifying part of my job, knowing that I am playing a meaningful role for so many worthy individuals. That is greater than any writing award I have ever received.
Why Choose CareerPro Resumes?
Our clients are very sophisticated shoppers, and choose from a plethora of online and local choices for many reason. Many clients say that they were attracted to CareerPro Resumes because we have been in resume writing business since1958. We are not just Atlanta’s oldest resume writing company, but we are America’s oldest resume writing company. Our clients are extremely impressed that CareerPro Resumes has had the same location since the early 1970s! When so many companies go out of business each year, it is almost unheard of for a local company to still be in business, in the same location, for almost five decades!
Shortly after I took over ownership of CareerPro Resumes, a client walked in with a big smile on his face, and said, “I’m here for my update!” I looked on the computer file, and he wasn’t there. I looked in the file cabinet for old resume files going back to the 1980’s and he wasn’t there either. I found one last batch of ancient files, and finally found the client’s file. When I asked the client, “When were you last here?”, he proudly answered, “1977.”
Not only were we still in business, but we still had a hard copy of the original resume we had done for him, and were able to do his update. Fortunately, all files have since been automated, with clients receiving electronic versions of their resumes, along with white originals for Faxing/Reprinting, and a set of 25 hard copies for mailing. Meanwhile, we constantly update our resume formatting and content layouts to remain current with what Human Resource Managers expect to see when they choose one of our client Brochures or Executive Folders from the pile, or open up our client file from their email inbox.