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A NOVA Success Story

ProMatch, a collaborative of NOVA and the California Employment Development Department, is a member-driven program where job seekers from the professional fields obtain the right connections, resources, education and encouragement necessary to engage in a successful job search. ProMatch customer Tony Gallo describes his success story:

“August wasn’t a good month for the Gallo family - my wife and I were laid off on the same day! While she found a job immediately, I was getting nowhere. I’d spent my entire career as an engineer and manager in semiconductor processing but most of that has moved overseas. I wanted to find a way to use my knowledge of semiconductors in a different technology but had no connections. Then I heard about ProMatch from my brother-in-law, and we joined together.

At NOVA I took classes in LinkedIn and learned about presenting my accomplishments, and I began to think about how to spin my experience in a different area. One thing I learned immediately was that I needed to target my resume for different positions, especially since I was changing fields. But I was getting discouraged – I probably sent out resumes to 60 companies with responses from maybe two percent of them. I was afraid that employers were looking for a specific skill set that I didn’t have. I started to realize that I needed to expand my network.

ProMatch is all about networking and getting in front of people to tell your story. I greatly enjoyed my ProMatch experience. I got to talk to incredibly smart people in various fields, all going through the same experience. I had been motivated by my work all my life, and it’s hard for others, even a spouse, to understand what you’re going through when you lose all that. At ProMatch I found people to identify with. My success team was super important – we pumped each other up, and they kept me honest and gave me the motivation to keep moving forward. 

When I met with a ProMatch volunteer consultant, I learned that I might have been derailing myself in interviews because I still harbored some bitterness from being let go. I also felt I didn’t need to prove myself to interviewers 30 years my junior! I took a hard look in the mirror and knew the consultant was right, and I was determined to change my attitude. 

My next interview was with Pacific Biosciences, and it was totally different from the others – it was actually fun! The hiring manager and I really listened to each other and I was able to be myself. I was not just answering their questions, but I was asking them questions as well. It was engaging and it was truly the perfect interview!

The result – I just started my new job as a Senior Process Engineer. Working with the fantastic people at ProMatch and hearing those success stories every week really motivated me when I needed it the most!”