Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Jog your thinking on job search support

man running on suspended track
Jogging man with briefcase - courtesy Unsplash
The end of the year is a good time to refresh your job-seeker support toolkit. Read on for ideas that go beyond job postings on your local paper's website, Learning Express in BadgerLink or a resume writing website found in JobSeeker.

WebJunction free Workforce Services includes materials collected as part of Project Compass, a national initiative, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services to support public library workforce development services. Check out the webinars, videos and other resources. The "Materials" section can help you build new workforce service programs for your library. A few interesting examples: Crafting a Sucessful Adult Education Program for Small, Rural and/or Part Time Libraries and Bright Shiny Things, Social Media and Job Hunting

If you're working with a patron who isn't sure where to start, you may want to show them the County Workforce Profiles of Wisconsin.The detailed profile for your county will show which industries are growing and projected to grow in the near-term future, what the average wages are for your county and Wisconsin. This "big-picture" information can be especially helpful for students and adult job-seekers who are open to thinking about a different line of work altogether.

Job seeking, especially when it becomes a long-term process, can be emotionally draining and a job search support group may help keep up your patron's morale.  Depending on where you're located, one of these may be within driving distance for your community.

Job seekers having coffee in library
Job support group - Courtesy Huntington NY public library
UW-Madison Job Search Support Group

Milwaukee Area:
Waukesha Area:

Your local technical college campus may also offer job search support services or a job search support group. What if they don't?  Think about starting one at your library.  It can be really simple to start.  Set aside a conference room for an hour every week or every two weeks.  Post the time on your library website and put up a few notices at spots around town.  If you can, offer coffee and maybe something to nibble on (free food is always attractive), have a short agenda, plan to help attendees use the library to look for job postings online and how to start an application or write a resume.

If you're willing, please share how you keep job-seeker support fresh in your library and your home town.

Written by Martha Berninger, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning