Use Your Library, Land the Job!
Applying for a job is a job itself. It’s so important to get the best job offer possible, so don’t take a chance: add a librarian to your team — they’re information experts!
How can your librarian help you to search for your next job and gain new skills to bring with you to the workplace? Let’s take a look at some of the resources and services libraries offer job-seekers!
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Technology and Tools
Libraries provide free internet access as well as computers, printers, and fax machines for public use. This means that your library can make it easy for you to access job sites on the web, submit applications online, and email potential employers. Furthermore, your library will have word processing tools which will allow you to write cover letters and update your resume and references.
If you already have internet and computer access at home, the library has something for you too. Check out your library’s website to find online tools to help you create a resume, assess your skills, and search for local jobs. Many library sites even have online testing centers to help you prepare for professional exams in fields such as cosmetology, law enforcement, real estate and more!
If you’re an entrepreneur, check your library site for links to online business centers which will help you to plan for success and to find solutions to any problems you encounter along the way. These tools can help your budding small business get off the ground or even go global.
Classes for Job-Seeking Adults
Whoa, are all these tools sounding a little overwhelming? Don’t be intimidated by all of the resources your library has to offer. Many libraries regularly offer free classes for job-seekers. These classes are designed to familiarize you with your library’s employment resources.
As well as helping you to understand tools owned by the library, these classes can also help you to successfully use popular employment sites, to write professional letters of interest, and to put together a resume that makes you shine!
Most libraries also offer classes for adults who wish to generally improve their digital skills, whether or not they are seeking jobs. These classes are a safe place for even the least tech-savvy individuals to gain experience and advice when it comes to sending emails, attaching files, performing internet research, and using tools such as spreadsheets to enter and organize data.
Employees in almost every industry today are required to interact with computers on some level, so I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to brush up on their technology skills to take advantage of a local library!
While I worked as a reference librarian, I noticed that many adults were held back from improving their digital skills because they felt uncomfortable asking for help. You can call your library or see the librarian working at the front desk in order to book an appointment for one-on-one assistance.
That way, even if you feel shy about attending a class, you can have a personalized session with your librarian. Trust me, they are not going to judge your digital skills — teaching others to work with technology is one of the most important and rewarding aspects of their job!
Before you meet with your librarian, explore some of the employment tools on the library site if you are able to. You should also bring your current resume if you have one. However, I’ve met plenty of adults who don’t have a current resume or are unsure of how to write one.
If you don’t have a current resume, just bring a list of your previous jobs and the dates you were employed at them, as well as any information about your education. It is also very helpful to bring phone numbers of former bosses or coworkers who are willing to give you a good reference.
By coming to the library with this basic information, you can save a lot of time, which allows you and your librarian to get right to work! They will help you search and apply for jobs, update your resume, and email potential employers. They can even order books and manuals to help you train for your field and prepare to ace interviews.
Patience Pays Off
Whether you are an information wiz that needs a bit of writing advice or you are online so rarely that you can’t remember the password to your email, your librarian can help you to find and prepare for the job you want. Keep in mind that many employers require applicants to fill out forms instead of just sending in a resume. Be prepared to spend some time on this process, and don’t hesitate to make a follow-up appointment with your librarian for more help. Your library is here to help!