Networking Face-to-Face

June 22, 2010

The problem of networking has been on my mind for awhile.  Networking is supposed to be the most successful tool in an individual’s search for a job. It leads to a job offer more often then any other method. If you want to network online, there is no problem finding information on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.  But what about the “old fashioned” way, face-to-face?  I’ve been looking for a good article to share with you for awhile without much success.  As so often happens, I found it when I was looking for something else. 

About.com is a search engine that has developed subject specialists, people who write exclusively on specific topics.  I’ve been aware of Kimberly Powell for awhile now.  She does a great job with her articles on genealogy.  I’ve just discovered Alison Doyle and her Job Searching articles while looking for statistical information. Her article on “Successful Job Search Networking” is just what I have been looking for.  It is a short, but packed piece and it is all about meeting and talking to people.  She only touches on email at the end and does not mention online social networking here.  She deals with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in a number of other articles. If you want to learn more about networking in person, click here, on the article title, or on the About.com logo above.

Once you have looked at this, it would be a good use of your time to explore Ms. Doyle’s Job Searching site for other ideas. 

Good luck.

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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.


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 Job-Hunt.org.  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.


Why is it so hard to apply for a job through a company’s website?

April 16, 2010

This is a question I have been getting quite a bit lately and I decided to do some research.  It comes down to the fact that companies are adopting software known by the generic name “Applicant Tracking Systems” or ATS.  Companies simply do not have the manpower to go through all the job applications they are receiving.   This, naturally, complicates the life of the job applicant.

Whether you are copying and pasting requested information or your entire resume into a site, the formatting used in your original documents may be incompatible with the company’s software.  Then you don’t even make it to first base when you send off your information.  If you are having this problem and need to strip your documents/resume of formatting, click on the tab above labeled Plain Text ASCII.  This explains what plain text is, why we use it, and how to create a plain text copy of your work.

I have found two articles that give additional  tips in dealing with ATS.  Just click on the titles if you would like to look at them.  The first is “The Automated Applicant Tracking System – AKA: The Resume Black Hole” by Samantha Greenfield from the Northern Virginia Daily.  “Pass the Applicant Tracking Systems by Tweaking Your Resume” from the blog Browse Local Jobs is the second.

If this helps or you have suggestions based on your own job search, could you leave a comment below?  You could save other people a certain amount of  frustration in dealing with this entire process.  Thank you and good luck.


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.