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Local libraries to offer free workshops for job seekers

  • Written by Deborah Stone
During these challenging economic times, securing gainful employment can be a struggle.

Whether you’re new to the workforce, returning to it after a hiatus or in the midst of a midlife career change, knowledge of effective job search strategies is essential.

The King County Library System, in partnership with WorkSource and South Seattle Community College WorkSource, wants to help.

Once again, these organizations are offering a series of free programs at local libraries aimed at providing assistance to job seekers of all ages.

“We started doing this in 2010,” explains Jeff Kempe, adult services coordinator for the King County Library System. “The series has run every spring and fall and the sessions have been very well received and attended.”

He notes that on average the sessions attract about a dozen participants, but some have had as high as 50, depending on the site and subject.

In “The New Job Search in the New Economy,” for example, participants learn how to shift their approach to match the current employment environment with topics to include adjusting to the reality of the contemporary labor market, developing a work plan for a successful job search, networking, fundamentals of preparing a resume, where to find free quality career counseling, information on the top paying professions, acing the job interview and where to find other job search resources.

To craft a resume that will get past the “10 second screen,” there’s Effective Resumes for the New Job Search,” a hands-on workshop that uncovers the keys to a successful resume.

Those interested in learning more about networking will find “Effective Networking for Employment” chockfull of useful information regarding ways to develop a network “system,” the four core elements of networking information exchange, commonalties and relationships.

To make the most of your interview session, there’s “Conducting Effective Interview Conversations in the New Economy,” a program designed to enhance interview preparation and performance.

The session will focus on answering behavior-based questions, connecting your values with the company culture and employing marketing skills to make a great first impression.

In “Mid-life Career Changing in the New Economy,” experts analyze and discuss the problem of “Ageism,” delving into how age discrimination affects the job search and what you can do to empower yourself and find meaningful work in this difficult employment market.

Special attention is paid to mid-life career changes and the use of technology as a job search tool.

Workshops are led by a panel of presenters to include Duncan G. Burgess, director of WorkSource Affiliate at South Seattle Community College; Tanner Phillips, employment and training specialist for WorkSource Affiliate of South Seattle Community College and Paco Mesch, Workforce coordinator for South Seattle Community College.

In addition to the WorkSource programs, Kempe also notes that the King County Library System’s “Look to Your Library” is a great resource site for job seekers, as well as for those in need of financial tools.

“Our guide has been visited over 4,500 times this year,” he says. “In addition, we offer a service called Adult Career Center, through which library card holders can submit their resumes online for review from 2 p.m. – midnight, seven days a week. And last October, we began hosting job clubs within our system. The Renton Library Job Club, which is run by Willie Gregory from Renton WorkSource, has grown to 15 members and serves as a model for what we want to accomplish with the other groups. We recently started one in Bothell.” He adds, “It’s all about meeting a community need.”

Upcoming WorkSource Programs at Woodinville Library will be held on June 6 (“The New Job Search in the New Economy”), June 13 (“Effective Resumes for the New Job Search”), June 20 (“Conducting Effective Interview Conversations in the New Economy”), June 26 (“Effective Networking for Employment”) and June 27 (“Mid-life Career Changing in the New Economy”).

For more information, contact the Woodinville Library at (425) 788-0733.

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