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.


Lost Dogs and LinkedIn — When Online Networking Works

March 2, 2011

SophiaI was recently reading two items that on the surface seem unrelated.  On Sunday, January 20th, the New York Post had an article of interest to every pet owner: “Lost dog found in Web: Wayward pet owners turn to new media.” The article relates stories of escaped dogs and their frantic New York City owners’ attempts to track them down.  One lost dog was deaf, so there was no point in even calling his name.  This is where  web sites and telephone apps come to the rescue. There are sites and apps whose only purpose is to send out lost pet alerts to people, shelters and vets in your neighborhood.

One woman joined a lost pet website as a last resort. Within an hour she started getting responses from people who had spotted her dog Twiggy on a specific street.  Then a woman phoned who had taken in the lost border collie overnight. Twiggy was back home  three hours after her owner joined the website.

The man with the deaf dog had already subscribed to a pet finder app, complete with picture and medical information. With one click of his phone app he was able to alert all the local shelters and vets in his area. Instead of spending precious time on the phone, he was able to go and find his dog — still only a block and a half from his home.  Networking resulted in happy reunions. If you want to know more about the specifics, you can read the article by clicking its title above.

After reading that article, I was looking through some books that had just come into the library. I ran across Dan Schawbel’s updated version of his book Me 2.0 and glanced through it. It has a new section specifically for job seekers.  He explains how building a strong profile and being active on sites like LinkedIn create a reputation over time.  People get to know you and your work.  With this type of online presence, it is a distinct possibility that jobs will find you.  It still takes a lot of work, but think of all those rejection e-mails you don’t get.  You can spend more of your time making connections on LinkedIn and less time worrying if your e-mailed resume or job application even got through to anyone in the first place.

So, what’s the connection? I like comparing networking for finding lost pets to finding a job.  Not only does it give me a nice excuse to get this information out to pet owners, but it is something most people can relate to. Whether you are looking for a lost pet or a new job, the Internet allows you better options for using one of your most limited resources — your time.

vea/2 March 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.

How to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search

February 9, 2010

The social networking site LinkedIn can be a very effective job hunting tool.  Unfortunately, many people who need it have no idea exactly what is it or how to use it.  Over 55,000,000 professionals have signed onto LinkedIn.  Some use it to find jobs, others to find employees, still others to get information on a particular company or industry or to find business opportunities.  The list appears endless.

Where does a novice begin when confronted with a social networking site like LinkedIn?  You’ll have a good start with the article linked above and to the right. Here you’ll find step by step and screenshot by screenshot instructions on how to begin a job hunt with LinkedIn.  Glen Cathey of the Boolean Black Belt blog is responsible for putting this together.  If you want additional suggestions regarding LinkedIn, you will want to check out “Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn” by Guy Kawasaki. Look under the category Social Networking Tools in the frame to your right on this blog.  If you use these sites and have a couple of extra minutes, it would help us to know how it worked out.

Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn

June 4, 2007

A blog entry that discusses how to get the most from LinkedIN (Social Networking resource)