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.


vea/ 9 June 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.


Job Search Class for September and Access to Handouts

August 5, 2010

The September class for “Applying for a Job Online” will be held at the Newton Free Library on Thursday, September 30,  from 2:30 t0 3:30.  There is a large amount of material to go over, so classes can sometimes run overtime.  You will be given handouts of everything covered in class. You should be able to  follow the handouts and  do at home what we do in class.  There are only ten computer stations so we ask you to call us and register to save your place.  The phone number is 1-617-796-1380.

Copies of the handouts have recently been added to the library website.    If you live too far away to come to class, you should still be able to put the handouts to good use.   Click  here to get to them directly. This brings you to the “Class Materials and Other Resources.” To get here from the Newton Free Library homepage, go to and put your cursor on the “Services” option near the top right of the page. Then choose “Computer, IT & Classes.”  Near the bottom of the list that appears is “Class Materials and Other Resources.”   Handouts 3, 4, and 5 have been completely updated as of June 11th.  Handout 6, “Saving a Resume to Plain Text,” was updated on June 4th.  All contain instructions combined with screenshots. You may have to wait for a second or two for the screenshots to download.  Click on each handout to look at them online.  Feel free to print  out any of interest.  If you teach a job search class, you may use any of this material if you credit the source.  See the end of each handout.  If you have any difficulty downloading a handout in Internet Explorer, try it in the Mozilla Firefox browser.

vea/updated 16 August 2010

Keeping Your Social Security Number Secure While Applying for Jobs

April 30, 2010

One of the first rules for protecting your identity is to protect your Social Security number at all costs.  This goes double when you are applying for a job.  Many online job applications require you to put it in and will not let you proceed until you do.  How do you get around this?   I got a tip from one of the patrons attending my class recently.  What you do is put in all zeros.  If you put in 9 zeros in a row and that doesn’t work, then add the hyphens as shown in the card here.

When you are done reading this tip, please click here at  I have linked to the article “The Dirty Dozen Dangerous Online Job Search Assumptions.”  I have written about this in an earlier posting.  I also hand out copies of it in every “Applying for a Job Online” class that I teach (with the author’s permission.)  I cannot emphasize the importance of this topic enough.  You are tempted share information when you are applying for a job that in other circumstances you would not.  Don’t.  You do not need the pressure of dealing with identity theft at any time, but especially when you are already dealing with the stress of trying to find a job.

How eHow.Com Can Help You Use Job Related Websites

February 6, 2010

I have received a number of questions in class from students needing help using sites like and   Although not specifically a site for job seekers, proved very useful for answering this type of question.  I found the information offered on the site easy to follow and to the point.  If you put in the name of the site (, CareerBuilder, etc.) in the search box at the top of the homepage, you should get a number of articles explaining various ways to use these sites.   Click here or on the logo above to link to website.