I have recently done a thorough revamping of the “Applying for a Job Online” class at the Newton Free Library. Class materials are available online to anyone who needs them from any Internet connected computer, both for teachers and for job hunters. If you are looking for a job, I would encourage you to look at the Handouts, especially handouts 8 – 10 relating to plain text. This is the single most commented upon part of my class by the patrons who attend. In all my classes, I have had only two people who even knew what plain text is and it is critical if you have to cut and paste parts of your resume into the body of an email or into an online job application. Check out handout 8 to find out why. Take a look at the other handouts. They are all in Microsoft Word 2003. You can also take the class using the PowerPoints if you have the PowerPoint program on your computer.
If you are a teacher, you can use the handouts in conjunction with the PowerPoint presentation or independent from it if you do not have this program. Before I taught myself how to use PowerPoint, I was using the Word documents for my screen shots. I just had them in a file on the computer and pulled them up from there.
Whether you are a teacher or a job seeker, I would encourage you to read below. This is a detailed explanation how to use the class materials all together, or as separate entities, or as a springboard for ideas for your own classes. The bottom line is helping people get jobs. The only thing we ask is that you give the Newton Free Library credit when you use our work in any presentation. It would also be deeply appreciated if, where possible, you would provide a link to us either at http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net and/or at http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/jobs.
How the Class Works: This class has become predominantly a demonstration class rather than interactive. For various reasons, including limited time and much to cover, this has been the most efficient way to proceed. The handouts listed below are critical to this process. Many are composed with screen shots to the left and text boxes with instructions to the right. It is the handouts that the students take home and use. There is a handout for everything that is covered in class (Handouts 4-10 below). This allows the student to begin their introduction to a range of job search sites and operations in class, then to go home and begin using what they need. It should go without saying that questions are always encouraged during class as well as any point thereafter.
Class structure: The PowerPoint presentations for this class are in eight parts. The first is a general introduction to looking for work. This includes basics you need to know plus tips to help you with your search online. What follows that are seven presentations. These include using key databases and a website, accessing job information on the Newton Free Library’s Job LibGuide, explaining and then creating plain text in Microsoft Word and/or Google Docs, and, lastly, a bit more about networking, online networking (Web 2.0), and blogs.
Having the PowerPoint presentation in sections gives a teacher more options. It makes it easier to change the order of the presentation. A class can be done with some sections running “live” off the Internet and some from the PowerPoint. If a class was needed just on plain text resume creation, those sections could be used as a stand alone. Having the entire class available on PowerPoint also allows the class to be held even when the Internet connection is down. (How many of us have had to cancel classes because there was suddenly no Internet connection?)
The seventh PowerPoint, on the different types of networking is an expansion on two screens included in the general introduction. In this PowerPoint I have included three additional screens/slides outlining very basic steps for networking. This allows teachers to cover networking in a little more depth when the need arises. As with all the other PowerPoints, networking also has a handout.
There have been a number of questions in class about Social Networking (Web 2.0) and blogs. I have created a separate PowerPoint for those who would like to go into this subject with a little more depth than allowed in the main presentation. All the PowerPoints together would take more than an hour to show. This, again, allows for more options within a particular class. You get to pick and choose.
Changing the Presentation: I have designed this class so that other teachers will have maximum flexibility using the material. This is the reason I have divided the PowerPoint presentations into sections rather than linking them into one unit. If you are considering using them to teach, you can easily change the order to one that works best with your particular classes. If you want to spend more time on each section, this also allows the class to be split into multiple sessions. Changing the order or extending the number of sessions can work very well, depending on how you want to reinforce the material. If you have developed your own online job search aids, you may want to use only a section or two of what I present here. Time and class makeup are factors in deciding how much or how little material you wish to cover.
Most Popular Segment: The PowerPoints that explain and show how to create plain text get the largest positive feedback from my classes. In all the classes that I have taught, I have had only two people who knew what plain text was, let alone how to use it. I usually show this section last. It is a complicated process that, once completed, makes the job seeker’s life much easier.
There are now two versions. I have always had a step-by-step PowerPoint and handout for creating plain text in Microsoft Word. However, not everyone has access to this program. I have now added a second version (both in PowerPoint and in the handouts) for changing formatted text to plain text in Google Docs. This word processor has the advantage of being free and, therefore, available to everyone. Although I personally think Google already has too much of our information, I have to admit that they do most things well, usually keeping the end user in mind when developing programs.
Whether the instructor uses only one or both depends on the needs of the class and the time allotted. I have also separated out the section that explains what plain text is and why people need it. This allows the teacher to use this one PowerPoint and just give out the two versions of the handouts if time is extremely limited.
PowerPoint Setup, Handouts, and Permissions: Each PowerPoint presentation is set up with the screen shot on the left and the instructions on the right, as opposed to a full screen shot with instructor’s notes. I tried both versions in my classes and participants preferred a combination of both that they could see on the screen. Moving arrows/pointers are embedded in each screen leading from the instruction to the section of the screenshot I am referring to. Each arrow is triggered by a left mouse click. You can use this information to teach a class or as a jumping off point to plan your own class. We just ask that you give credit to the Newton Free Library for what you use. If you do not have access to PowerPoint, you can print out and use the handouts. They have the same information as the PowerPoint presentations. The class, the handouts, and the supplementary material were created using Microsoft Word 2003 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 on Windows XP.
Supplements: The supplementary material includes lists, websites, and other items that the class members should find useful, but does not necessarily have to be printed out. Students can just be referred to the online web addresses. The one supplement I have included just for the teacher is a sample for a certificate of attendance. Some attendees will need the teacher to fill this out if they are on unemployment and need proof that they were attending a class or lecture.
Note: All links below are to the same page, the LibGuide homepage. You will find the PowerPoints, Handouts, and Supplementary Materials listed with links in the right frame. I have linked each item for the convenience of those people who click on only one or several of the items listed below.
Goals of the Class
To show how to use computer resources in a job search by:
Pointing out some of the problems inherent in applying for a job online and explaining how to solve them.
Discussing some of the various types of job search information available both in print and online.
Showing some of the many resources where you can find job listings.
Demonstrating where to find and how to use information made available through the Newton Free Library in your job search.
Explaining what plain text is, why it is necessary in a job search, and how to create a plain text resume step-by-step.
Three Rules for a Successful Job Search
Rule # 1 Do your homework!
Rule # 2 Network online and in person
Rule # 3 Have one formatted and one plain text resume prepared to use online.
What you need to know:
The job search vocabulary
Where to find job information
How to research a company or industry
The three ways to apply for a job online
On site Job Kiosk
Online Job Application
How to Stay Safe Online
General Business File ASAP (InfoTrac)
The Occupational Outlook Handbook
Handout 3 – Evaluation Form [This is the only item returned to the Instructor.]
X. Supplementary Materials
a. Employment and Training Resources — Schedule of Workshops
b. Charles River Public Internet Center
c. Mass Trial Court Law Libraries’ Web Page on Massachusetts Employment Law
d. Staying Safe Online: The Dirty Dangerous Online Job Search Assumptions
e. How to Copy and Paste Your Resume to Monster.com Safely
vea/created 24 February 2011/updated 16 December 2011
Newton Free Library
Applying for a Job LibGuide: http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/jobs