Newton’s Job Search Class Now Open to Anyone, Anywhere (Plus a Few Extras)

June 9, 2011

The Process:  Over the winter I have been updating, refining, and adding to everything related to the library’s “Applying for a Jobs Online” class. Just as this was completed, Newton purchased a new software package called LibGuides.  Since it takes time to learn to use it, our Assistant Head of Reference, John Walsh, took the material that had been created for the class and created a design for it. Once everything had been put together, I went through the Guide again, updating and tweeking it, learning how to use the program at the same time.

The Result:  If you have Microsoft PowerPoint and Word on your computer, you now have direct access to the library’s class materials no matter where you are located.  If you don’t have these programs, you can still access a wealth of information  in the LibGuide by clicking on the tabs at the top of the Guide.  Under the first tab on the left (Home) you will find contact information for the library, for me, and for John.  There is a brief explanation of the guide in the center.  The material in the right frame gives you you  complete access to all the PowerPoints, handouts, and supplementary materials I present  in my class.  If you are interested in using any of this,  I have two requests.  First, read the syllabus at the top of the list. You may not need everything that you find here.  Second, give credit where credit is due. Tell people where you got the material so they can use it too, if they like.  That’s it.

Tips on Content:  Make sure you check out the tabs.  Besides presenting information on the Library’s Online Career Center and this blog, you will also find RSS feeds, book and website recommendations, as well as  information on several databases that can be used for job and company research.  Especially important is Handout 8 on Plain Text, located  in the right frame of the Home page, and the tab above on “Applying Online”.  The handout gives you step-by-step instructions (screen shot by screen shot) for changing formatted text into ASCII/plain text as well as explaining why you need to do this.  Clicking on the tab will give you information on using online job applications as well as plain text.

Interested?  Just click on LibGuide: Applying for a Job Online.

Let me know what you think. Whether you are looking for a job or helping others become reemployed, good luck. I hope you are able to put this material to good use.

Ginny

vea/ 9 June 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
http://jobsearchchatter.wordpress.com
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/jobs


Proceed Carefully When Using Craigslist.org

November 17, 2010

I often find craigslist.org among suggested resources for jobseekers. Many people assume that if a site is listed, it is credible and safe. Where craigslist is concerned, I have reservations about recommending it without adding a few caveats first. It can be a dangerous site to use.  You may come up with some helpful results.  You may also end up being the victim of a job scam or identity theft with you wallet being decidedly lighter than when you started.  You have to know what you are doing on the Internet in general, but especially with sites like Craigslist where anyone can post an ad. 

I was looking through various blog sites and postings for information on the scams that you might fall prey to in your search for work.  I have listed four of them below.  Click on the titles to read up on some of the things that can go seriously wrong when you are on craigslist. 

How to Avoid Job Scams on CraigsList

Craigslist Scams – 20 Ways to Identify Fake Job Scams

Craigslist Job SCAMS!!!

Craigslist Job Scams: Be Careful Responding to Craigslist Employment Ads

There is also a section on craigslist.org itself that you might want to look at after you read some or all of the above. Click here to see what the list itself has to say.

It is up to you to decide if Craigslist is worth the risk.  If you do decide to check it out, make sure of one more thing — that you type the address correctly.  It’s craigs, not craig. It’s list, not lists.  It’s .org, not .com.  You get the idea.  Whenever you are on the Internet, make absolutely sure you have the right address to begin with and that you are typing it correctly.  Scam artists thrive on misspelled and incorrectly typed web addresses. 

17 November 2010/vea
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
http://jobsearchchatter.wordpress.com


Help for Job Seekers from the Massachusetts State Website

November 17, 2010

The state of Massachusetts offers help for job seekers in various sections of its online website.  I would suggest starting with the Job Seekers section of Labor and Workforce Development. Click here to find this.  Take a look at the headings and explanations to see which of these categories will be most useful to you.

Two key sections that you should definitely read through here are “Career Centers” and “Job Hunting: Information to Help You.”  Under “Career Centers,” you will find free classes that give you the opportunity to learn or to hone computer and  job searching skills. “Job Hunting: Information to Help You” is a treasure trove of useful material.  It includes advice on everything from resumes, networking, and interviewing, to tips for completing an online application. (If you are already trying to cut and paste your resume information into an online application or email and are having trouble, you may need to change your resume from formatted text to plain text. This is not covered on the state site. To learn how to do this, click on the Newton Free Library list of class handouts and open number 7.)  

When you are going through the Massachusetts offerings, as with anything on the web, use your judgment.  If you are not comfortable with a recommended site or with launching your resume onto an online posting site, don’t use it or do it.  The state lists craigslist.org as one of a number of recommended sources.  Personally that would be a site I would hesitate either to use or to recommend.  (See new posting above regarding craigslist.)  To learn more information about posting resumes, click here.

One additional site is the state’s  job blog.  Called Commonwealth Conversations, you can find it at  http://jobs.blog.state.ma.us.

If you want to check the main site for Massachusetts state government, go to http://www.mass.gov.  Here you will find a whole range of state services and information. To maneuver your way around the site, you can scroll down to the very bottom right corner and click on Site Map.  You can also check the A-Z Subject Listing near the top right of the website.

Good luck on your job hunt.

17 November 2010/vea
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
http://jobsearchchatter.wordpress.com


Stats, Coaches, and Help for a Tight Budget

July 16, 2010

Taken by the Curious Genealogist at the Newton Free Library

Recently (July 4th) the New York Post had an interesting article regarding career coaches–where they come from and what they do. It’s worth a look here. ( This is a print version rather than the web version.  It’s easier to read, but you may have to cancel out the print button when it comes up.)

The piece included three sobering facts that appear in article after article.

1. “Today’s workers will run through at least 10 jobs, three careers, and two layoffs between college and retirement.”

2. “90 percent of all jobs come through networking.” (Face-to-face and online)

3. The big five [social media networking sites] are Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and blogs.

What do you do with all of this information?  First you can hire a good career coach.  Finding one is going to be the subject of another blog.  To start off, though, you could sign up for an account in LinkedIn. It is free. (There is that social media networking again.  See number 3 above and the posting on this blog about LinkedIn.)  You will not only find career coaches here, but the people who have used them and how successful they have been.

The problem today is that individuals have limited monetary resources.  It is good to remember that a number of helpful free lectures and classes are available in the Newton area.

You may have already met two local career coaches here at the library. Tammy Gooler Loeb and Danila Székely have donated their time and skill giving lectures in the Job Seeker Series that was held here.  They will be participating in a new series that will start in October.  You can learn more about these coaches and the programs they have already given by typing “Tammy Gooler Loeb” and “Danila Szekely” into the Google Search box near the upper right of the library’s home page. Do not cut and paste Danila Székely.  For some reason the accent mark throws off the search engine and nothing comes up.

 Clicking on the following entries will bring you to more information on other free offerings in the Newton area. If you live outside our geographical area, check the offerings at your own local libraries.

 Newton Free Library

Minuteman Libraries Helping Job Seekers

Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers

If you do not live in Massachusetts and need to find a One-Stop Career Center in your area, click here.

Charles River Public Internet Center

Most of their classes cost between $50 to $120 per class.  But the center does offer a free one-on-one tutoring program that provides basic instruction on e-mail, Internet navigation, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel.  The sessions run from 1/2 hour to a full hour.

vea/16 July 2010
Newton Free Library 
Newton, Mass.  
http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net


The Library of Congress Job and Career Resources Online

June 30, 2010

An often overlooked resource for job hunters is the Library of Congress’ Business Reference Services.  Their staff members have compiled a number resouces and websites under several categories.  All their hard work may pay off for you.  Take a look at the following list. The descriptions are also provided by the librarians of the Business Reference Services. Click on the titles to see the lists.

Career Assistance:  General  Resources                                                                                                               
As the name implies, this list contains resources of all types: government links, portals, and sites providing many types of career related materials.  

Career Assistance: Job Search   Sites/Portals                                                                                        Links for many of the popular job search sites as well as some of the lesser known or career specific (e.g. library jobs) sites may be found here.   

Career Assistance: Resumes and Cover Letters                                                       
Pulling together a resume and cover letter may often be challenging. The sites noted here provide direction and examples to assist with creating a resume that represents you. 

Career  Assistance: State Resources                                                                                                       
Collected here you will find job search and employment resources that are specific to each state. The list is in alphabetical order by state. Resources providing services in all states have been gathered at the top of this page. 

Jobs and Occupations are additional categories that may prove useful. 

For a complete list of subject  guides click on Business Reference Services Internet Resources.   

vea/30 June 2010


Wooing Job Recruiters with Video Resumes

June 1, 2010

Do businesses still accept video resumes from job applicants?    According to the Wall Street Journal,  that may depend on the human resources department of individual companies.  Since there are a number of businesses that do accept video resumes,  WSJ found and tested four companies that offer help to individuals who wish to create a video profile for their job hunt.  The companies discussed include BriteTab.com, InterviewStudio Inc., OptimalResume Inc., and ResumeBook.tv Inc.  If you are thinking of using a video in your own online resume, you may want to check out the results of their report by either clicking here or on the Wall Street Journal picture above left.


USING THE OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK ONLINE TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR JOB HUNT

May 25, 2010

In both the print and online versions of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, you will find key information you need when deciding on career choices and alternatives.  Do you want to expand your options in a current career, jump to a related job, or switch completely? The Occupational Outlook Handbook can help you make an informed decision.  Each occupation based article has sections that describe the nature of the work; training, other qualifications, and advancement; employment opportunities; job outlook; earnings; related occupations; and sources of additional information.

The online version has much more information for the job hunter if you know where to find it. The rest of this article will show you where to look and what you will discover,  On the homepage of Occupational Outlook Handbook (http://www.bls.gov/oco/) look down the left frame until you see “Special Features” (just above the search box).  Click on it.  The top two categories are of special interest to job seekers.

The first, “Sources of Career Information” categorizes useful sites into several subject areas. Take a look at them.  Pay special attention to the State Sources heading.  Here you will find the states listed in alphabetical order.  On the Massachusetts site provided, please note that you do not have to register.   You can skip the user name and password at the top of the screen.  Choose a city or fill in a zip code at the bottom of the screen.  That gives you full access to all of the site’s information.

The second option under “Special Features” is “Finding and Applying for Jobs and Evaluating Offers.” Again, take a look at the headings listed here.  Under “More Information” it suggests you visit us, your local library.  It also provides links to five articles from Occupational Outlook Quarterly.  All in all, there is a treasure trove of information here provided at no cost from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.  You can take the information at your own pace, checking out a little or a lot.

You can find the print copy of the 2010-11 Occupational Outlook Handbook in the reference stacks of the Newton Free Library.   Look for the call number R 331.7 O15O. You can find the online version on your home computer at http://www.bls.gov/oco/.


JOB-SEEKER ADVICE: Tips for finding, getting, and keeping a job

May 11, 2010

I have been searching for a local site that gives useful, but compact, information on searching for a job. I hate sites that feel their work is done when they throw down a long list of undifferentiated web addresses or tips for you to follow.  You (or at least I) don’t look at any of them.

I think “Job-Seeker Advice” on the boston.com website comes close to fitting the bill. It has good advice, but usually doesn’t give you so much of it that you get overwhelmed.  They do have some lists.  “Globe Top 100 Places to Work” or “Linkedin Help” are good examples.  In lists of 100, they often give you ten at a time to skim.  In a list of tips, they usually give you one at a time.  The site is divided into seven topics.  The topics are Choose a Career, Organize your Search, Resumes, Network, Interview, Workplace, and Layoffs. You have to scroll down on the main page to find the topics you want to see.

 If you use this site, I’d love to hear what you think of it.  Did it help you?  Did you find it easy to use or not?  What did you like and not like about it?  As with my classes, I can really use feedback.  It helps me to make decisions on what to put in the blog that you need and can use.


What Companies Are Laying Off or Hiring?

March 26, 2010

Knowing those businesses that are currently hiring and those that are currently laying off people is vital information in today’s job market.  If you are interested in this type of inforamtion, you’ll want to click on the ReCareered blog covers both headings.  First take a look at the postings on “Who’s Hiring” and “Who’s Firing”, then look around at Phil Rosenberg’s other job related categories. The site is definitely worth checking out. I am grateful to Tammy Gooler Loeb, who spoke recently at the library, for the recommendation.


How to Detect If A Job is a Scam or the Business is Legitimate

March 18, 2010

One of our reference librarian’s had an interesting question the other day from someone who was out-of-state. The caller couldn’t find any information on a business and was beginning to wonder if it was legitimate.  As you check on a business that offers a job opportunity of interest, are there markers you can look for or other websites you can check if you become suspicious?

eHow.com has a good list of seven items to look out for.  One of them is a list of additional sites for further checking.  Just be careful after item number seven.  Right under seven and before “Tips and Warnings”, there are four sites listed that are “Ads by Google.”  It would be easy to mistake them as part of the article.  Ads are placed to the best financial advantage of the groups or persons placing them, but not always for the person using the site.  Always be on the watch for this and be aware whether you are clicking on an ad or a link.  Click here to take a look at the list.

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has put up a list of work-at-home scam types, complete with warning markers and questions to ask.   Click here to view the article.


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