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


Stats, Coaches, and Help for a Tight Budget

July 16, 2010

Taken by the Curious Genealogist at the Newton Free Library

Recently (July 4th) the New York Post had an interesting article regarding career coaches–where they come from and what they do. It’s worth a look here. ( This is a print version rather than the web version.  It’s easier to read, but you may have to cancel out the print button when it comes up.)

The piece included three sobering facts that appear in article after article.

1. “Today’s workers will run through at least 10 jobs, three careers, and two layoffs between college and retirement.”

2. “90 percent of all jobs come through networking.” (Face-to-face and online)

3. The big five [social media networking sites] are Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and blogs.

What do you do with all of this information?  First you can hire a good career coach.  Finding one is going to be the subject of another blog.  To start off, though, you could sign up for an account in LinkedIn. It is free. (There is that social media networking again.  See number 3 above and the posting on this blog about LinkedIn.)  You will not only find career coaches here, but the people who have used them and how successful they have been.

The problem today is that individuals have limited monetary resources.  It is good to remember that a number of helpful free lectures and classes are available in the Newton area.

You may have already met two local career coaches here at the library. Tammy Gooler Loeb and Danila Székely have donated their time and skill giving lectures in the Job Seeker Series that was held here.  They will be participating in a new series that will start in October.  You can learn more about these coaches and the programs they have already given by typing “Tammy Gooler Loeb” and “Danila Szekely” into the Google Search box near the upper right of the library’s home page. Do not cut and paste Danila Székely.  For some reason the accent mark throws off the search engine and nothing comes up.

 Clicking on the following entries will bring you to more information on other free offerings in the Newton area. If you live outside our geographical area, check the offerings at your own local libraries.

 Newton Free Library

Minuteman Libraries Helping Job Seekers

Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers

If you do not live in Massachusetts and need to find a One-Stop Career Center in your area, click here.

Charles River Public Internet Center

Most of their classes cost between $50 to $120 per class.  But the center does offer a free one-on-one tutoring program that provides basic instruction on e-mail, Internet navigation, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel.  The sessions run from 1/2 hour to a full hour.

vea/16 July 2010
Newton Free Library 
Newton, Mass.  

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.

Minuteman Libraries Helping Job Seekers

February 16, 2010

A number of libraries in the Minuteman system offer help that is specifically designed for people who are job hunting.  The libraries are listed below with links to their job related web pages.  Some pages take longer to download than others.

Acton Memorial Library

Click here to see Acton’s “Resources for Job Hunters”.

Bedford Free Public Library

Click on Bedford’s “Jobs and Career Resources” site here.  Don’t forget to look at the right side frame for additional information.

Framingham Public Library

Framingham includes a number of resources.  You can drop in for help with both your resume and with computers.  Click here for more information.  Three handouts that may prove very useful are Job Resources at the Framingham Public LibraryWriting an Effective Resume, and Helpful Job Searching Websites.  Click on each title to see the handout.   These pamphlets are in pdf,  so make sure you click the down arrow to see the second page.  If you print them out, make sure you use the pdf printer icon and not the one you usually use with your browser.

Waltham Public Library

Check Waltham’s Job Hunting Resources here.  Do not forget to also check Waltham’s calendar for other programs or groups relating to job hunting.

Winchester Public Library

To check classes being offered by Winchester, click here.  Also check their calendar for rescheduled classes.

Help for Job Hunters at the Newton Free Library

February 16, 2010

The Newton Free Library offers a one hour class, often twice a month, entitled “Applying for a Job Online.” You can access information on the class by clicking here. The web page includes a schedule of all Newton’s classes.  Below it you can access the main handout, the training syllabus, and the PowerPoint presentation.  It also includes a link to Newton’s Quick Job Search Blog, which you are now on.

While you are on our blog, take a look at the blocks at the top of the screen.  One of the boxes is labeled “Books.” Here you will find a current list of useful books for job hunters.  If there is a book that is not listed that you have found helpful, leave a comment (at the bottom of the “Books” page) and let us know.  Also look at the list of categories in the right frame.  You may find some with sites that will help you.

If you are looking for recommended web sites, click here on our Career Center.  The web page  is simple to use, with several suggested sites listed under each topic.

An additional note on the class we offer.  Our “Applying for a Job Online” class has changed recently. The section on the scannable resume has been dropped. According to a number of patrons that have taken the class, it is no longer being used.  More employers are asking that resumes and cover letters be copy and pasted directly into email and not sent as attachments.  This means that anything that was originally done in a word processing program needs to be stripped of most of its formatting, a complicated process.  Part of the class goes through the steps for doing this using a resume done in Microsoft Word 2003.

Employment and Training Resources Schedule of Workshops

February 6, 2010

ETR offers both career and computer classes at their three full-service career centers in Newton, Norwood, and Marlborough.  These classes are free and they full up quickly.  Click either here for a link to the class schedule,  locations, and what you need to do to sign up.