Networking — Dislike (or Dread) the Idea?

November 20, 2012

Networking is more than asking people if they know of job openings. There are people out there who have all sorts of information, about specific companies or industries, about free classes you might need, ways to tweak your resume, or technical tips for the job hunting you do on your computer. The problem for many of us is not only finding these people, but then asking for help. Even gregarious people can have problems.  For those of us who weigh in on the more introverted side of the scale, this whole process can be downright daunting.

Would you like to meet with other people who have the same problem and get some help from a professional career counselor — for free?  Come to the library next Tuesday, November 27th, at 7:00 pm.  Tammy Gooler Loeb will be presenting “Do What You Love, Love What You Do,” a program on networking, in the Druker Auditorium. You do not have to preregister.  Just come.

Whether you would like additional resources before or after the talk, I have put together a list of books that I hope you will find useful.  Clicking on the title will link you to the book in the library’s catalog.

A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market by Katharine Hansen.  I actually found out about this book from Tammy.

Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed and the Underconnected by Devora Zack.  This has to be my all time favorite title for a networking book. (You can see which side of the scale I weigh in on.)

Find a Job through Social Networking: Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and More to Advance Your Career by Diane Crompton. Remember, you don’t have to read the entire book. The goal is not to overwhelm you, but to help you understand your options — at your own pace.  Sometimes an introductory chapter is enough to start with.

How to Find a Job On LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ by Brad Schepp.  This work includes the newest addition to the social networking family, Google+.

I’m On LinkedIn, Now What???: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn by Eric Butow.  LinkedIn is the most powerful online social networking tool for the job seeker.  It is devoted to careers, short range and long range.  You will be hearing a lot about it and may want to try it.

140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form by Dom Sagolia. Sometimes bigger is better, but often when you are on a social networking site, shorter is mandatory.  Even when it isn’t, shorter entries can get you more attention if done well. (As you can tell, I’m not exactly a 140 character type of person myself.) Mastering the form can take a little extra help and practice.  This book will give you a good start.

Never Apply for a Job Again! by Darrell W. Gurney.  This is the what online networking can accomplish over time.  The longer you use a social network, the more time you have to interact with others and build your reputation. As you do this, you may find people start coming to you. Some of those people may have been following you and decide they would like you to work for them.

Highly Effective Networking: Meet the Right People and Get a Great Job by Orville Pierson.

The Networking Survival Guide: Practical Advice to Help You Gain Confidence, Approach People, and Get the Success You Want by Diane Darling. This book emphasizes personal social networking skills rather than online networking.  It’s something people lose track of in our computer age.

If any of these books piques your curiosity, just click on the title.  That will not only bring you to our online catalog, but also to summaries and often to short reviews of the books.

Good luck with your job search.



vea/20 November 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide


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.

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 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

If you want to check the main site for Massachusetts state government, go to  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.

November Job Search Programs at the Newton Free Library

November 3, 2010
Photo taken by vea The Curious Genealogist

Newton Free Library October 2010

On Tuesday, November 16th at 7:00 pm the library will be sponsoring an interactive forum on Networking for Career Connections with Tammy Gooler Loeb.  It will be in the Druker Auditorium (immediately to your left as you come over the bridge into the building from the parking lot.)

Making  connections through networking is key, whether you want to enhance your career or find a job. Have you been thinking you need to sharpen your existing networking skills? Do you need to find out how to develop them from scratch? Or are you uncomfortable with the very idea of networking? Many people find this particular aspect of the job hunt overwhelming.  Whatever your concerns, you couldn’t have a better guide to mapping out your networking strategies than Tammy.    This two hour session will give you the opportunity to gain practical knowledge that will be of real use in your career or on your job search. For more information, click on the title of the program in the first paragraph above.

This month’s class on “Applying for a Job Online” will be held at the Newton Free Library on Thursday, November 18th,  from 2:30 t0 3:30. The class is located in the library’s computer training room on the second floor near the top of the front staircase. 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.

The class covers the use of several online databases, gives tips on dealing with applying for a job online, and shows in detail how to change your formated resume into plain text.  Having a plain text copy of your resume is critical when you want to send it in the body of your email or when you need to cut and paste it into an online job application. 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 most of what we do in class.

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.”   Click on it. 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 screen shots. You may have to wait for several seconds for the screen shots 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.

There is a third program I would like to mention. Although this talk is not specifically geared to job searching, if you are curious about social networking in general and Facebook specifically, you might want to come to the library’s Drucker Auditorium (immediately to your left as you come over the bridge into the building from the parking lot) on Monday, November 8th at 7:00.  John Walsh, the Assistant Head of Reference, will present ” Demystifying Facebook and Social Networking.” This is the perfect place to come if you’ve got questions about Facebook.  It’s an even better place if you don’t have a clue about what questions to ask.  At some point you may run across a book or an article about using Facebook in your Job Search.  This program will give you a head start in understanding what Facebook and social networking are and how they work.

3 November 2010/vea
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.

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. 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 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.