“I can’t stress enough the importance of this program.”
by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer
“There’s a theme I’ve seen with people,” Kasha Tindall Webster explains. “There are a lot of experienced people who need to get on their [career] path—doesn’t matter if you’re starting or starting over. There’s a difference between working and working toward something,” she says. Kasha knows this difference well, as a volunteer for MCL’s resume community outreach program at Belmont Library.
“I just show up and help people with resumes,” Kasha laughs. But it’s clear that Kasha masters the art of reading a person’s career aspirations. “I want to help maximize someone’s hourly wage,” she says. “Sometimes what a person is doing and what they want to be doing are totally different things.” Kasha refers to a woman who came to tidy her resume to submit to local grocery stores: “I noticed she had lots of biochemistry coursework experience, so I asked, ‘What about working in a lab instead?’” It’s highlighting the parts of people they can’t see themselves that makes Kasha so effective; she sometimes receives grateful emails from patrons once they get a job. She demurs at the suggestion that she has an obvious gift: “I can’t stress enough the importance of this program. I’m just figuring out how to get the program to make more significant impact.”
Kasha was born in Hawaii but grew up in Syracuse, New York. Originally a biology major (“I thought you had to struggle,” she laughs) at SUNY Oswego, she switched to an English major, shaping a career dominated by communications and learning how to read people. She currently works as an HR consultant. In even the briefest conversations, “People tell you everything about themselves,” she says with a knowing smile.
Six years ago, Kasha and her husband moved to Portland, a place she calls “ripe with opportunity to find yourself.” Her praise for the library is boundless: “Could they be nicer, these people who work around books and people? They give of themselves every day, and sometimes these are introverted people, but when they’re asked a question they open like a flower. I’m grateful that this system is in place and that I have the opportunity to work for it.”
Kasha offers two great resume tips: “First, explain or dictate to your phone your skills, what you like to do, and so on. Now play it back and write it down. Next, list out what you actually do as you do it, and keep that list active.” Whether you’re starting, starting over, or want a resume tune up, Kasha’s advice will be a step in the right path!
A few facts about Kasha
Home library: Belmont
Currently reading: SHRM BoCK System Preparatory Exam materials (it’s an HR certification).
Most influential book: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. “It’s amazing how Mars was the vehicle for these very human stories.”
Favorite section to browse: Nonfiction.
Favorite book from childhood: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Momotarō, or Peach Boy, a Japanese fairytale: “It was my first baby book.”
Book that made you laugh or cry: Erma Bombeck, If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?
Guilty pleasure: “I love to reread. I have a whole library of rereads for when I’m super stressed or having a hard time. Or the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child books.”
Favorite place to read: “In bed!”
E-reader or paper: Paper.
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