New Year, New Job

A good job is crucial to living your best life. Refuse to settle for anything less than a satisfying job that with a good wage and benefits. Reach for a new position in 2018 and let your library help you land it. Here are a few tips that can help you get hired.

Set Goals

A job hunt can consume our time and our thoughts. It’s important to take a moment to step back and think about your goals. If you’re currently employed and looking to improve your job situation, take a moment to think about what you want from a job, and how your current job could be better. Do you want a flexible schedule? Good medical insurance? A higher wage? More opportunity for promotion and advancement? Write down the top 5-10 qualities of a good job and rank them in order of importance to you. As you look at job openings, consider how the new job fits your future goals.

Prepare and Organize

  • Review your resume and be sure it represents you as a strong candidate. This is not the place to be humble! While you should never exaggerate or lie, you don’t want to downplay your value. Think about your current job functions. Are there transferrable skills such as customer service or technical experience that could be useful in other jobs?
  • If you identify gaps in your training and skills, look into classes that can make you more competitive. Your library offers computer training, online skills training, print resources and expert help.
  • If you apply with multiple companies at the same time, keep a log that shows what you’ve applied for and notes the closing date. It can be hand written, electronic or even an email you send to yourself as long as you can find it when you need to double check your details. Read the job description to get an idea of when candidates will be notified, and then follow up if you don’t hear back by that time. Note the date you followed up on your log. This will help you stay organized, so you don’t end up calling too soon or more than once.
  • Every time you apply for a job, craft a cover letter that targets the job posting specifically. Employers can tell when you’ve recycled a generic cover letter.

Do Your Research

Before you apply for a job with a company, learn all you can about them, so you’ll be sure that their mission and values are a good fit with yours. It’s also a good way to prepare for an interview. When you’re asked why you were drawn to the job or what you can bring to the table, you’ll be better prepared to answer if you know what the company is really about.

Be Professional and Be Ready

  • Make sure you have an email account, preferably using your real name rather than a nickname. Gmail is an excellent free email that can handle large files.
  • If you receive a call and it could be a potential employer, don’t answer in a crowded or noisy place, or when you’re half asleep. Let the call go to a professional voice mail message, then call back at a better time.
  • Have a few interview outfits in mind in case you are offered an opportunity to interview on short notice. Don’t wait until the last minute to realize that you don’t have nice shoes or any slacks that fit.

Use Your Library!

Your library offers classes in computer skills, writing and more. We have 180 computers you can use to type up a resume and cover letter, many equipped with WinWay resume software. You can even set up an appointment with a librarian to get personal tips and a review of your resume and cover letter.

See our Jobs and Careers page for more information on library resources that can help you get the job of your dreams.

You can also sharpen your skills with these online learning resources:

  • Lynda
    Lynda.com is an online library of high-quality instructional videos on the latest software tools and skills. With more than 6,300 courses taught by industry experts—and more added every week—lynda.com is designed for all levels of learners and is available whenever you’re ready to learn. You can even view it on your mobile device.
  • Treehouse Coding & Design
    Treehouse is a series of more than 1,000 video tutorials with hundreds of practical exercises, quizzes and code challenges. Treehouse courses are designed for beginners and advanced users, allowing anyone to start learning or expand their skills with the latest technology.
  • LearningExpress Library
    Interactive online resources, including tutorials, practice tests, articles, ebooks and high-stakes test preparation — modeled after official tests. LearningExpress Library is designed to help students and professionals at all levels of learning achieve their educational and career-related goals.

Of course we have books on all aspects of job seeking! Check out great titles to help you with your resume and interview skills. See below or ask a librarian to help you get started.

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Miranda Ericsson

Miranda loves to talk lit! Her favorite reads are poetry, literary fiction, and speculative science fiction, and she's passionate about promoting great literature written by Kansas authors. She works with library programs that support and engage writers in our community, so ask her for more information about the Local Writers Workshop, Great Writers Right Here author fair, and Community Novel Project. Miranda is also a member of the library's Genealogy Team and Fiction Team, facilitates TALK book discussions, and co-leads the Bean There, Read That book discussion group.