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
https://jobsearchchatter.wordpress.com
http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/jobs

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A Word About the Usefulness of Books

January 21, 2011

Career and Job Hunting Books at the Newton Free LibraryThe postings you find here usually point to online resources, classes, or programs held at the library.  Let us not forget another very important source of information —  books.  Whether you are flipping through pages looking for a more effective resume format or are reading closely to learn  how to do something that is complicated or unfamiliar, there is nothing quite like a book to help you with your job search.   If you take a look at this blog, you will see several tabbed subjects at the top, between the blog title and the latest posting. “Books” is one of these tabs.  Click on it and take a look.

I have just finished [20 January 2011] revamping this list, attempting to set in up in the order of a job hunt.  Starting with broader topics, like overall guides and reference books, I then list books that help you find job information on the Internet, including broad topics like search strategies down to specifics like job banks. Towards the beginning a job search, a person  will begin composing a basic resume, then cover letter . These are the next two categories. When a person finds a job listing, the process of refining a resume and cover letter begins. This hopefully leads to an interview, the next category of books.  At some point in this process, people start seeing references to the potential of social networking, especially LinkedIn, the next set of books. Looking for work in government offers a whole different set of demands and challenges. You will find books on that topic.  Questions or problems with career skills? There are books that help here as well.  The last section is on staying safe online.  Though not specifically related to your job hunt, you need to keep yourself out of the clutches of identity thieves.  And believe me, they prey on vulnerable people, and people looking for work are vulnerable.  Think about it.  How often have you been tempted to take chances that you might not do otherwise while you are hunting for a job.  A tip or chapter from one of these books might help keep you out of trouble.

An additional software format that is relatively new to the library is called LibGuides. Clicking lists of useful books will bring you directly to the Jobs’ LibGuide tab that includes books.  Updates to the various job booklists will now appear here first. [20 September 2011]

Take a look and give me some feedback if you have the chance.  Feel free to offer suggestions if a book has helped you that you don’t see on my list. Also books that you used but did not find especially useful.  Your comments are deeply appreciated.

vea/revised 20 January 2011/updated 20 September 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Newton’s Job Search Blog:  https://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
https://jobsearchchatter.wordpress.com


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.


Five Questions to Get You Through Any Interview

June 1, 2010

You have successfully traversed the black hole of computer job applications and resume submission and actually have a job interview.  Now what?  How do you prepare for it?  I strongly suggest that you click here (or on the icon) and take a look at an article published on the New York Public Library’s blog.  It turns out that just about everything a company wants to know from you can be boiled down to five basic questions.    The article explains what these questions are and ties them into the questions that an interviewer actually asks.    It will definitely help you organize your information for the interview.  Good luck.

While you are doing your homework on your company for the interview, you may want to check the Newton Free Library’s link to the Glassdoor website.  If you are lucky, you may actually find interview questions asked of other job candidates in the past at your specific company.  It’s worth a look.  Check my posting below for more information.

A note on networking and the above article.  Another librarian alerted me to it.  I had not thought to check the New York Public Library site.  Networking definitely pays off — for all of us.


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.