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West Hempstead Couple Launches Job Site for Non-Profits

A Q&A with the creator of LongIslandJobLink.com, a site for unemployed not-for-profit pros.

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. 

Would you like to see your business profiled on Patch? Email Tara.Conry@Patch.com.

Sue Reichert July 17, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Lots of luck, DeCristoforos! In this economy, your service will prove invaluable!
John DeCristoforo July 17, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Thank you Suzie Q. First and foremost, our goal is to help Long Islander's get back to work. We want to make it easy for them to connect with employers from the nonprofit sector who are looking to hire qualified candidates. Please feel free to share with friends, family, colleagues, or business associates who may be looking to re enter the workforce, find a new opportunity or may just want to volunteer or intern. Thanks again!
John DeCristoforo July 17, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Thanks Sue!! Our goal is to help Long Islander's get back to work and connect local job seekers with employers from the nonprofit sector who are looking to hire. Please feel free to share with friends, family, or colleagues who may be looking to re enter the workforce, find a new opportunity or may just want to volunteer or intern.
Loraine Magaraci July 17, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Great job Sue and John!! What a great tool to help people look for a job. And to work for such great causes, not only will someone have a job but they will be doing great things for others in need. A deff. win win!! Everyone should spread the word and tweet away, let everyone know about this wonderful website!! And the great people behind it!! Its nice to see people trying to help others in this tough economy.
John DeCristoforo July 18, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Thanks Loraine!!! With job growth slowing and Long Island's unemployment rate rising to 7.4 percent, up from 6.7 percent one year ago, there are still many Long Islander’s struggling and we want to help them get back to work. Currently there is no centralized resource on Long Island to link nonprofit missions with talent and we want to make it easy for employers and jobseekers to connect.
Manny Martinez July 18, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Nice work Susan and John! As you point out, unemployment is trending upward and any help would be greatly appreciated. I will definitely spread the word about your website. Best of luck!
Luisa July 19, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Good job John and Sue! Glad to see people still care for others. I will spread the word. Thank you, it will definitely help and will be appreciated. Good luck!
John DeCristoforo July 19, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Thank Manny!! I hope that the June figures that are being released tomorrow for Long Island are more encouraging. Thanks for helping to get the word out.
John DeCristoforo July 19, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Thanks Luisa!! We appreciate you helping to get the word out about this resource.

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