HACC and The Library collaborate to help Job Seekers
The Library’s three-part “Job Seeker Resources” program, offered online this winter, will introduce job seekers to the fundamentals of standout resumes and cover letters, interviews, and personal branding — even in a virtual world.
For job seekers in the pandemic age, networking is more important than ever before, says Lorie Sonnen, HACC’s assistant director of career education. Equally important in these days of social distancing is understanding the technology platforms employers use, such as Zoom, to conduct interviews.
“Many businesses in our service region and beyond engage HACC as their portable training department because of the many relevant, quality training programs offered onsite or online,” says John J. “Ski” Sygielski, HACC’s president and CEO. “HACC supports our students and alumni with career advancement information and workshops to help individuals discover their career pathway, identify needed skills, connect with employers and learn how to facilitate growth throughout their career.”
The Library offers extensive resources for job seekers, including access to computers and links to job postings. Past Job Seeker Resources sessions were in person. The Library felt it was essential to maintain a virtual presence in these challenging economic times when many find themselves out of work.
“Workforce development is part of The Library’s mission to be there for community members,” says Adult Programming and Outreach Coordinator Ashley Famularo. “When we offer practical resources for job seekers, we help candidates stand out from the crowd, and we help employers find the right people to fill their jobs.”
January’s session will focus on resume and cover letters, demonstrating how to craft documents that will get an employer’s attention. In February, the focus will be on how job searches and interviewing have changed in the past year.
Preparation is critical for succeeding in virtual interviews, says Sonnen. Applicants should practice before their interview and get used to seeing themselves onscreen. It is also crucial to be aware of the surroundings (no background clutter), dress professionally, and remove distractions, such as barking dogs.
“It’s important that we remember we still need to present ourselves professionally even though we are not in person,” says Sonnen.
In March, Lorie Sonnen will lead the final session with a focus on personal branding, and communicating and presenting professionally.
“Perception is everything,” says Sonnen. “We all build a reputation, including what our online presence says about us. An interviewee steeped in a strong personal brand has a ready answer when the employer asks, ‘Why should I hire you?’”
“There is a strong connection between public libraries and local economic development,” says The Library’s Executive Director Karen Cullings. “As a one-stop-shop, we connect job seekers with resources that help them build their skills and emerge as workforce assets.’’
Cullings added that helping create a robust workforce is critical to keeping and attracting employers.
“Even as the workplace changes dramatically,’’ she says, “The Library will continue to serve as the place where job seekers can learn how to make themselves more marketable.”
Registration is open now: