Last year, Trina Wade, a mother of four, was working part-time at a major financial institution, studying full-time toward a business degree, and hunting for a job in a new industry.
She was busy, working hard, and getting frustrated.
“My goal was to have a new career before I graduated,” Wade said. “Being on the dean’s list, I wanted to focus on my grades and, after graduating, land a job with a company with a good track record with its employees and the people it serves.”
After months spent filling out job applications, updating her resume, and receiving rejection letters, “I decided to dig deeper in my job search,” she said.
Finding a ‘one-on-one consulting session’
One day at the Main Library, where she had been spending time to focus, away from her everyday life, Wade saw she had just missed a job seminar. She went to the service desk to ask when the next one would be.
“It was good karma you came that day,” said Librarian Rashmi Swain, whose area of expertise is adult education and job searching.
“What started as a simple question turned into a full one-on-one consulting session from Ms. Rashmi,” Wade wrote later in a letter to the library. “Little did I know she was excited to help me and it showed during our conversation. I had learned new techniques employers use to search for employees and how not to disqualify myself. I made sure I took notes and applied the newfound knowledge to my job search.”
Swain showed Wade the library’s online resources for job seekers and the Career Resources section on the third floor.
She shared knowledge like how to optimize a resume for employers that use applicant tracking systems to screen resumes, including what keywords and action verbs they look for.
And she “let me know my Hotmail email address was outdated” in the eyes of employers, Wade said. “I had some inside information on why I wasn’t getting a response from companies.”
Applying the knowledge
After updating her resume yet again and switching to a Gmail account for job searches, Wade applied for and landed a job last summer in customer service in the airline industry.
“Because of Ms. Rashmi’s dedication,” she wrote in her letter, “I have a very promising career with an organization I am excited to be a part of!”
As the Adult Education and Job Seekers Librarian, Rashmi Swain provides targeted programs and services for job seekers, like seminars and computer classes. She also provides one-on-one help in the library by appointment. Contact her at email@example.com.
Here are some of her top recommendations:
Knock ‘Em Dead
Find this series of books on networking, interviewing, and writing cover letters and resumes in the Main Library’s Career Resources section on the third floor and in the online catalog. “I recommend it to everyone,” Swain said. “It’s an essential title for job seekers.”
Get interactive, live help with your resume, interviewing, and more from expert job coaches online. Also find resources like a downloadable resume template, which Swain used recently to help a job seeker in his 60s.
Use this online directory, which provides verified info on millions of U.S. businesses, to find aggregated job postings, to research specific companies and industries, and to look up the names of company executives, such as human resources directors. “We’re fortunate to have all these resources through the library,” Swain said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do my job as well.”