Wednesday, March 6

Finding a Job

Finding a Job

One of the many things a library can specialize in is assisting patrons with completing job applications. Today a patron who is seeking employment must often access a computer and fill out a job application online. The problem is that many of our older patrons are not comfortable with this process or don't have the computer skills necessary to complete the task. Another problem is that some of those job websites are not user friendly at all. This can be a challenge even for the librarian who has the computer skills to help the patron complete the application.

Things were simpler years ago when one in need of a job could walk into a business establishment and ask for a blank job application that could be filled out by hand, or on something called a typewriter, and turned in for consideration.

Keep in mind a librarian is not supposed to complete the job application for the patron. He/she is supposed to point a patron in the right direction and let the patron do the work. A librarian is not supposed to have access to any personal information.

When Outlets of Mississippi in Pearl opened, several patrons came to the library looking for formats for resumes, so they could apply for jobs. This is available in the Resumes and Cover Letters section of Microsoft Word. I would find the templates for the patrons, the patrons would type the resumes, and I would print them off.

I noticed that very little effort was put into these resumes. There were mistakes everywhere. I handed the patrons the copies they requested, and they went on their way.

A resume should represent the best effort a potential employee can make to present their work experience in a positive light. It should ideally be one page although I have seen resumes with more than one page. A resume can always be improved upon and is never quite finished.

On occasion I have had the opportunity to review job applications and resumes from potential employees. Not everyone can be a librarian and I try to sort through each application very carefully. A librarian must have a certain degree of education and a pleasant disposition in dealing with patrons.

One can often tell what kind of employee one will get by the amount of effort they will put into a job application or a resume. I prefer to see an application that has been completed with as few mistakes as possible. This used to be the standard for job applications and resumes.

The CMRLS website has a Job Resources page under our Virtual Reference Collection. Many businesses and other organizations have websites with employment listings. I’ve always been fond of the job search website We also have several books on the subject.

Every morning during rush hour I see people in a hurry to get to the one place they don’t want to go…the workplace. I wish you the best of luck in your job search. Many people who find the job they love, find they never have to work again.

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