A West Hempstead couple wants to help unemployed not-for-profit professionals get back on their feet.
John and Susan DeCristoforo launched LongIslandJobLink.com in late June, looking to give not-for-profit job seekers an easier and more direct way to apply for positions in the field. The site allows users to control what information is posted and when job availability is relayed to employers. Here, John DeCristoforo describes why the Web site is different from larger job searching sites.
Why did you decide to start the website?
The original idea for the site came when my wife was looking to re-enter the work force on a part-time basis. She found that looking for a local part-time job opportunity on Long Island was somewhat frustrating. She was looking to stay locally so she could pick up the kids after school. Everything that she looked at redirected her to New York City, because that's where the bulk of the opportunities seem to be. Both of us have been in non-profits for close to 20 years and thought of this idea.
What can people find on the Web site?
They can find any full-time or part-time job opportunity. We’re also going to be doing freelance work, contract, per diem, volunteerism, and internships. The types of jobs are similar [to those found] at any for-profit business. With non-profits, you have a fundraising arm that deals with all the revenue generation. [They also have] traditional jobs dealing with marketing, communication, accounting, maintenance jobs, clerical and administrative support, and program management.
What makes the Web site unique?
You don’t see anything dedicated to the non-profit market. We’ve really carved out a niche opportunity. It serves and focuses on a specific market. There’s about 8,000 non-profits [on Long Island]. That includes social services, health and human services, hospitals, universities, and civic groups ... We employ about 130,000 jobs in the non-profit sector on Long Island. It’s a big market and there’s some great potential. Right now, there’s not a site that specifically serves this market. That was our goal, helping connect non-profit missions with local talent.
What advice do you have for jobseekers?
First and foremost, be organized. Make sure that you're being patient, but also persistent. Jobseekers need to utilize their networks and all the resources around them. Reach out through LinkedIn, Facebook, and all the resources that are available.
How has the site been received by users?
This is the third week [since launching the site] and I’ve been pleased. I’ve already had over 500 unique visitors. I’ve had 50 people sign up as jobseekers. That’s a testament [to the fact] that folks are looking. I’ve gotten very positive feedback about the look, the feel, and the usability of the site. That’s important to me. When designing it, I wanted it to be very easy for the jobseeker to use.
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