Tag Archives: job hunting

Career Resource Workshops

Do you have a hard time traveling to Oakland, or do you just prefer to avoid it whenever possible?  If so, you’ll be glad to know that the services of the Job & Career Education Center are coming to a branch near you!  We’ll be visiting the following locations to present our Career Resource Workshops

Your local branch probably offers its own workshops, too. For example…

East Liberty just hosted a “Resume and Cover Letter Boot Camp” class, put together by a partnership between CLP, the Bloomfield Garfield Corp. and Wireless Neighborhoods.  If you missed this class, you can contact East Liberty or the JCEC to find out about similar opportunities.

Karen Litzinger, a frequent guest of the library, just presented a workshop at the Squirrel Hill branch called “Retire, Rewire, Renew: Explore and Plan For Your Future.”   If you missed this event, Joseph P. D’Anna, a counselor at the Career Development Center, will be presenting “Learn Interviewing Techniques, How to Negotiate Offers and How to Transition Into a New Position” at Squirrel Hill on June 20.  Call Squirrel Hill if you have any questions or would like to register.

There are also several sessions left in the eight-week Job Seeking Basics series at Woods Run.  Contact them for more information.

And of course we’re planning more events and workshops all the time.  Check with your local branch or the JCEC to see what’s currently being offered.


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What’s New in the Job Center

There’s a lot going on in the Job & Career Education Center these days.  First of all, the Job Club is meeting from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM today.

What does it take to be successful in your job search? Many experts believe that being part of a group can help. Exchange ideas and offer support to other job seekers during this informal time of networking. As a Job Club member you can share employment experiences, advice and encouragement while participating in discussions and activities geared towards helping you achieve your career goals. Registration not required.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

We’re also still scheduling Resume and Cover Letter Assistance Appointments on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday evenings (call 412-622-3133 to register) and offering Mock Interviews on Mondays from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (no registration required).

On Friday we’ll be hosting An Introduction to CareerLink in the PC Center.

Elizabeth Neidle of Allegheny West CareerLink will introduce participants to CareerLink services, including their workshops, the Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS), and more.  Registration is required.
Friday, April 27, 2012
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Next week we’re offering a Neighborworks Financial Literacy Workshop.

This Financial Literacy Workshop is part of the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board’s Imagine! Career Week program, and it will cover the steps in how to develop a budget; tracking expenses and creating a savings plan for your goal; and identity theft and what steps to take if you find yourself a victim. This workshop will also include education on laws that were passed to help to protect consumers from predatory practices; what makes up FICO scores; and ways to improve and/or protect it.  Registration is required.
Monday, April 30, 2012 
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

And the Spring 2012 lineup of Skills for Success Speaker Series events is well underway.  You can still register for the following dates:

Of course, you’re welcome to call or visit the Job & Career Education Center any time you have a career-related question.


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Springtime is for Job-Hunting

As an intern and soon-to-be graduating grad student, I’ve had my share of worries when it comes to the job market. After earning my undergraduate degree a few years ago, I had two part-time jobs: retail sales associate and substitute teacher’s aide. As much as part-time employment is the dream of every college graduate, I aspired to find passion in my work. So I asked myself: what did I like about my jobs?

I liked answering questions and conversing with customers. I liked stocking shelves and “facing the store,” which is the fun retail way of saying you want to keep everything neat, organized and presentable to the public. Working as an aide in elementary and high school classrooms, I enjoyed watching and encouraging the learning process. As I recalled once working as a desk assistant in a university library and made connections to my current skills and interests, I suppose it isn’t a big mystery how I came to study library science.

Considering my options as I’m about to enter the professional workforce once again, I was drawn to reading Sean Aiken’s The One-Week Job Project. As a young man not sure what he wants to do with the rest of his life, he embarks on a one-year journey to take one new job for every week in the year. After 52 weeks and 52 jobs, he hopes he can learn enough from his constantly changing employers and co-workers to discover what he enjoys, what he would like to avoid, and what makes him passionate about going to work every day.

Like Aiken, I learned that if you take time to consider where you are in life, whether you’re pleased or wanting more, you can always benefit from a little self-assessment. And sometimes you might find yourself packing a bag and hitting the road, whether for fun or for grad school (like me!). I met a lot of new people on my own self-assessing adventure and learned a lot about life and work as well. Most importantly I learned that no matter a person’s role–friend, colleague or manager–the ability to positively influence another, whether personally or professionally, is one of the best qualities that anyone could have and share…and one quality I look forward to bringing to my next employer.

Happy springtime everyone!



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What’s New in JCEC

A lot has been happening in the Job, Career and Education Center lately.

We’ve scheduled spring dates for our Skills for Success speaker series, starting with Job Hunting after 50 in April.  (We’ve tried to address topics of interest to our customers, so if there’s something you’d like to learn more about, please let us know!)

Due to their overwhelming popularity in 2011, we’re offering more Resume and Cover Letter Assistance appointments.  They’ll now be held on Tuesday afternoons, in addition to Wednesday evenings.  Registration is required and openings book up quickly, so call soon.

Job Club, our discussion group that provides job hunting support and networking opportunities, returns on February 29th.  There is often a theme or activity for each meeting, but feel free to bring any job hunting questions or concerns you may have.

We’ve also started giving Mock Interviews, on Mondays from 11-12.  There is no registration; just walk in and speak to a staff member.

And in addition to our monthly JobWire email newsletter we’re now sending Job Watch updates, in which we pass along the latest openings and job fairs that cross our desk.  To subscribe, email jcec@carnegielibrary.org with Job Watch / JobWire in the subject line.

Since JCEC and the PC Center have joined forces, our services have started to overlap.  You can now see all of both departments’ events in one handy calendar.  There is always a link to the most current calendar on this page, and we send a link in the JobWire newsletter when the new one is ready.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to register for one of our programs, please stop by, call (412) 622 – 3133, or send us an email.

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Skills for Success: Fine Tune Your Résumé

Conventional wisdom says that the holiday season is slow for job hunters.  If you find that to be true, you can use the down-time to your advantage by upgrading your résumé skills.

This Saturday at 12 PM, the JCEC will be hosting the final Skills for Success Speaker Series workshop of the year –

Résumés have undergone changes in the past few years. Toss out the outdated and bring in the new. Show the value you will bring to an employer through a short profile of skills and achievements, by using numbers to indicate how you deliver results, and by demonstrating how your job skills match employers’ needs. Learn quick tips to create or update a resume that will appeal to employers and demonstrate the benefits of hiring you. Current trends in paper and online résumés will be discussed.

Presented by: Carol Silvis
Event fee: Free

International Poetry Room – 2nd Floor
4400 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Wes Roberts

Registration is required for this event.
You can register by calling 412-622-3133 or by filling in the form on this page and clicking on the Register button.

The Skills for Success Speaker Series began this fall, and took place at CLP – Main JCEC and several of the South Hills branches. We’ll be offering another round of programming in these locations next year.  To be notified when new events are scheduled, sign up for Jobwire (the library’s job and career email newsletter) by clicking the link on this page.

A very limited number of one-on-one résumé and cover letter assistance appointments with a qualified volunteer are also available in the JCEC, starting in January.  To see if you can schedule an appointment or get on the waiting list, call the JCEC at (412) 622-3133.

Whether or not you’re able to attend any of our events, you may also be interested in the library’s online Résumé Maker tool (which I reviewed last winter), or one of our many résumé advice books:

Happy holidays, and may 2012 be everything you wish for.


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What’s New in JCEC

A lot of exciting things are happening in the Job and Career Education Center.  First of all, our new Job Club starts Wednesday, August 31 at 6:00 PM.

What does it take to be successful in your job search? Many experts believe that being part of a group can help. Exchange ideas and offer support to other job seekers during this informal time of networking. As a Job Club member you can share employment experiences, advice and encouragement while participating in discussions and activities geared towards helping you achieve your career goals. The topic for our August Job Club will be skill and interest assessments. Register online, or call 412-622-3133.

Another program we’re about to launch is the Skills for Success Speaker Series, including presentations on career planning, writing a cover letter, and fine-tuning your resume.  The first one is on September 14th, and will help you choose the best career for your personality type.

The PC Center is also adding three new career classes to its schedule – Career Cruising, Online Job Searching, and Resume Tune-Up.   Check the class information page for calendars, descriptions, and handouts.

And the JCEC and Teen have collaborated on a SAT and College Prep Resources workshop, which will be held September 24th.  We’ll show you what free online and print materials you can find at the library, and how to use them.

Registration is required for all of these events.  Please visit the JCEC or call us at (412) 622 – 3133 to register or find out more.


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More Things You Didn’t Know About JCEC

The Job and Career Education Center offers a few services and resources that many people don’t know about.  

Did you know we have a scanner with OCR (optical character recognition) software?  This means that we can help you create edit-able computer files from a paper document.  It works better than you’d think!  So if the only thing you can find is a hard copy of an outdated resume, our scanner can save you a lot of typing.   

We are also able to send outgoing faxes for all customers at the rate of $1 / page.  We’ll even provide you with a free cover sheet and make sure you receive a confirmation page.  (Unfortunately, we are unable to receive incoming faxes for customers at this time.)

Once again, I cannot say enough nice things about Resume Maker.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out.

The Audio / Visual collection in the JCEC may seem small compared to the department down the hall from us, but it’s packed with interesting titles.  Now you can brush up on your Interview Techniques, discover Power Networking, or learn how to write the perfect college admission essay, all without having to crack a book.

On a side note, if you’re using JCEC resources in your job-hunt, please call or visit our Ask a Librarian desk and complete a brief form for statistical purposes.  And when you find your new job, we hope that you’ll check back again to let us know about it.  These two small steps can have a big impact on maintaining the JCEC’s funding.

The JCEC is ready to assist you whenever the Main Library is open – Monday through Thursday from 10 until 8, Friday and Saturday from 10 until 5:30, and Sunday from 12 until 5.  We look forward to seeing you!


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Resume Maker

The JCEC has many fine databases, but my current favorite is Resume Maker.

If your resume is already digitized, you can import it into Resume Maker and start editing.  Or, you can start a new file and enter your personal information by hand.  There are sample resumes and cover letters that you can browse for inspiration.  There’s also a helpful “Examples and Advice” button, which appears at key decision-making points.

Everything is customizable.  Want a heading for “Campus Involvement?”  Click “Add sections,” and find it in the list.  Don’t want an “objective?”  Delete that section.  List things chronologically, or try your hand at a functional resume.  Then you can style it further by choosing a layout from a drop-down menu, or tinkering with the settings yourself.   Your resume is truly a living document, always ready to be changed, printed, or emailed.

Resume Maker also has a section for general job hunting and career advice.  Their tab for interview preparation is impressive, and includes videos, sample questions, and even salary advice.

To try Resume Maker, visit the list of JCEC databases, and scroll down.  If you’re not in a library, click “remote access.”  You’ll need to enter a valid library card number.  Feel free to call or visit if you have questions about Resume Maker, or any of our services.



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Twelve Titillating Titles

I believe that a healthy sense of humor is the best way to cope with most of life’s frustrations — yes, even the serious business of a job search.  And judging by these titles, I’m not the only one.

  1. The Idler Book of Crap Jobs: 100 Tales of Workplace Hell
  2. Was Your Boss Raised By Wolves?  Surviving the Organizational Food Chain
  3. Don’t Take The Last Donut: New Rules of Business Etiquette
  4. Never Wrestle With A Pig: And Ninety Other Ideas to Build Your Business And Career
  5. Can I Lie On My Resume?  Strategies that Win the Career Game
  6. The Dictionary of Corporate Bull****
  7. Can I Wear My Nose Ring To The Interview?  The Crash Course to Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job
  8. It’s All Your Fault!  (How To Make It As A Hollywood Assistant)
  9. Landing On The Right Side of Your Ass: A Survival Guide For The Recently Unemployed
  10. 99 Surefire Ways to Stay Unemployed
  11. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English
  12. The Slam-and-Scream: And Other Powerful Strategies And Great Career Moves for Secretaries, Assistants, and Anyone Else Who Has Had Enough

May all your holidays be merry, readers.  See you in  2011.



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Holiday Job Searching

If you’re unemployed or underemployed, the holidays can be far from cheerful.  Fortunately, there are a wealth of resources that can help you cope. Here are just a few things that I’ve run across recently.

Katherine Brooks of Psychology Today wrote an excellent blog post about surviving the “Holiday Job Search Blues.”

CareerCast’s Tony Lee outlines why you should use the season to intensify your search, rather than taking a break.

If you’re interested in temporary seasonal employment, About.Com highlights some of the most common jobs.

And an article from TheWorkBuzz.Com provides tips for “overqualified” job applicants.

And of course, the library’s Job and Career Education Center (JCEC) has a variety of books that might re-inspire you –


101 Best Ways to Land a Job in Troubled Times

Make Job Loss Work For You
Make Job Loss Work For You: Get Over It and Get Your Career Back on Track

Rebound: A Proven Plan For Starting Over After Job Loss

Surviving A Layoff

Surviving a Layoff: A Week-By-Week Guide to Getting Your Life Back Together

Suddenly Unemployed: Encouraging & Practical Steps for Finding A Job

Landing on the Right Side of Your Ass
Landing On the Right Side of Your Ass: A Survival Guide for the Recently Unemployed

We Got Fired!
We Got Fired! And It’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us

As always, this is just a sample of what’s available. Please feel free to chime in with your favorite books, websites, and other job-searching advice.


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