Blogs: Jobs and careers

Interviewing for a job is stressful, especially if you haven’t done it before and you’re not sure what to expect. But just like anything else, the more you prepare, the more likely it is that you’ll feel confident.

The career site Indeed.com has useful information about preparing for an interview, including a video explaining how to answer the question “Tell me about yourself.” Here are some other questions you might be asked in an interview, and some questions you might want to ask the person or people interviewing you.

General Questions

  • Why are you looking for a job?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What makes you the best candidate for this job?
  • What are some of your biggest accomplishments?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are you learning in school that will help you with this position?
  • Tell me about a problem you had recently and how you solved it.
  • Do you have any questions about the job?

Questions you might want to ask the people interviewing you:

  • Are schedules for people in this job likely to change often from week to week, or mostly stay the same?
  • What’s the best advice you have for someone starting out at this job?

The library can help you prepare for job interviews. We have community professionals who will do practice interviews with you and give you feedback. To schedule an appointment, contact us at workplace@multcolib.org.

You may have heard that “networking” is important when you’re looking for a job, and you might be wondering what it means to “network” when you’re a teenager. The basic idea is to make connections with people who can help you with your job search. Think about everyone you already know: friends, family, teachers, counselors, coaches, people at a place of worship or other activity you do in the community. One of the simplest ways to network is to tell people in your life that you’re looking for work. A counselor might know about an upcoming job fair. A friend might work at a grocery that has other job openings. A teacher might be able to provide a reference for you. Here’s a networking worksheet to help you brainstorm. Download the PDF document and open it in Google Docs or another word processor to edit it.

Think of the library as being part of your network, too! The library has resources to help you find what jobs are available to teens, to make a resume and prepare for an interview. To schedule an appointment, contact us at workplace@multcolib.org.

Teens need resumes too! It can be challenging to create your first resume but the library can help. First, start thinking about all of your experiences. Even if you’ve never had a job you probably have a lot of great skills and work experience. Check out this blog post to help you think about your experience.

The library can help you create your resume. We have librarians who can sit down with you and help you create your resume from scratch. We also have community professionals who will review your resume when it’s ready and help you make it even better. 

To schedule an appointment, contact us at workplace@multcolib.org

Here is a handy template to help you get started. Download the PDF document and open it in Google Docs or another word processor to edit it. 

Are you a teen thinking about getting a job but you don’t have any work experience? You probably have more experience than you think. 

Think about your hobbies, interests, and volunteer work. These can be things you do at home, school, community center, or place of worship. 

Think about all the things you know how to do. Can you type? Use a computer and different kinds of software? Do you help do certain things around the house? Speak or understand a language besides English? These are all great things to add to a resume. 

LinkedIn Learning for Libraries is a free online resource you can use with your library card. It has tons of video courses to help you learn new skills. You can even earn badges to add to your resume or online profiles. 

To help you brainstorm more about all the things you could add to a resume, we’ve created this handy worksheet to help get you started! Download the PDF document and open it in Google Docs or another word processor to edit it.

For more information on job searching for teens, check out this video from indeed.com.

Image of adult male showing adult female how to cut wood on a table saw
Apprenticeship can be a great path to a career. Apprenticeships are usually programs that train you in a trade or craft while doing the job. There are many ways to get started and learn more about apprenticeships.

Oregon Apprenticeship is a group of organizations working to connect you to Registered Apprenticeship. They can help you explore careers, learn about application guidelines and search job openings.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) can help you find a program and answer your questions about apprenticeship programs.

Oregon Career Information Systems has lots of information about different careers and the education and skills required, including apprenticeships. A library card is needed to sign in.

Portland Workforce Alliance can help connect students to apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships to improve students’ career readiness.

Portland Community College and Mount Hood Community College both offer several different apprenticeship programs and can help you learn more about them.

The Workplace Team can help you do research about apprenticeships and other career paths. Contact us to ask questions or book a One-on-One appointment.

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System and many employers utilize it these days. Basically, it means a computer will scan your resume first. If it is not readable or doesn’t have the proper information it may be passed over. Here a just a few tips for making your resume “ATS Friendly”:

  • Keep your format simple. Avoid graphics, embedded tables and columns.
  • Avoid using headers and footers.
  • Make sure your resume is in an acceptable file format. PDF is often best but .doc and .docx can also be acceptable. Check the application instructions for the job you are applying to.
  • Most importantly, the ATS is looking for keywords that match the job description. Look for words and terms used often in the job description and apply them to your resume in your job duties, skills and education as appropriate.

For more details, check out these articles from LinkedIn and Indeed about writing ATS friendly resumes.

Get Help from the Library

We can help you review and improve your resume. Email a copy to workplace@multco.us and one of our volunteers will review it to provide feedback in a virtual consultation.

We have books to help you create and improve your resume too!

 

Need a Resume? Here are some ways to create your resume online.

Google Docs Resume Templates

Google Docs has resume templates that can be filled in, updated, and saved in your Google Drive so you can access it from any computer connected to the Internet. You will need a Gmail account to use the templates.


Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is available on all library desktop computers. You can create a Word document using resume templates. You can save your document on a flash drive. You can also attach it to an email to yourself.

Learning Express Library Resume Builder

Another option for creating a resume is LearningExpress Library. The resume builder will lead you one section at a time through the process to fill in your information.

Books and Ebooks

The Library carries many resume writing books with tips and examples. Here is a list of books selected by librarians to get you started writing your resume.

One-on-One Appointments

Library staff can provide a One-on-One appointment to help you get started with your resume and use the different tools described above. Contact us to set up an appointment or talk to staff at your local library branch.

Classes

The library regularly offers resume related classes. See the library events page for a schedule of upcoming classes. Worksource Oregon also offers monthly classes for resume writing. Check out this blog post for the most up to date information.

Resume Review

Volunteers with Human Resources (HR) experience are available to review your resume with you to help you improve and update it. See our Jobs and Careers page for more information and to sign up.

Related Resources

You can use Glassdoor to search jobs and send your resume out.

Image of a red stamp on a white background. The red stamp has the word certified on it.
Career Certificates are generally verifiable proof of skills or education that can help you move up in your current job or improve your chances of getting hired for a new job. They can be industry specific or more general. Depending on the skill involved they can sometimes be obtained in a relatively short period of time. Examples include software programs, project management, construction trades and dental assisting.

When determining which certifications are necessary or preferred for the job you want, it is important to do some research. You could start by talking to people currently working in the field and looking at job announcements and descriptions and see what they specify. The library has tools to help you find out what certain jobs require: the Occupational Outlook Handbook and Learning Express Library. Library staff are available to help you use these resources.

Many certification programs involve fees. Make sure any organization offering certificates is valid and accepted by the industry you are interested in before spending money on it. Sometimes you can find scholarships or other help in paying these fees. In some cases, your current employer may assist in this kind of professional development if it increases your knowledge and abilities in your job.

Multnomah County Library has two resources to help you study and prepare for certain certifications: Linkedin Learning for Libraries and Learning Express Library.

Library staff can help you do research about your chosen field requirements and investigate organizations that provide certificates. Contact us to ask questions or book a One-on-One appointment.

Image of woman in a hardhat reading building plans on a construction site
The construction industry is growing and is projected to create many jobs for skilled employees. Have you been considering getting a job in construction or a similar trade? Here are some ways you can get started!

Check out these facts and projections about the construction and laborers field from the Occupational Outlook Handbook including pay, training requirements and work environment.

Portland Community College offers Trades and Construction training through their On-Ramps to Trades program and a Pre-Apprenticeship Career Pathway program.

Oregon Tradeswomen helps women build careers in the trades industry through education and training. They also provide support and advocacy for women in the trades. Contact them online or by phone 503.335.8200

Constructing Hope provides education and skill building in the construction industry. They primarily service People of Color, people transitioning from incarceration and low-income adults. They also have youth programs. For more information contact them online or by phone 503-281-1234.

Worksource Portland Metro can help guide you through career planning navigation with resources and coaching. Create an account online to get started and connect to services.

Image of woman sitting on a couch working on a laptop. A man and child are next to her drawing at a table.
Work from home jobs have always been popular, even before the pandemic. But despite exciting promises, many work at home offers can leave job seekers high and dry. Scams and dishonest claims abound on the Internet and it can be hard to tell an honest job offer from a scam.

Below we list steps you can take when searching for remote work to protect yourself from scams. You'll also find ways to find legitimate work from home opportunities.

Steps to spotting a scam

Trust your instincts. Does the offer seem too good to be true? Are they offering you a six figure salary for minimal skill or effort? Can you find no information about the company or the owners? Then the job offer is likely a scam. Be wary of providing any personal information to these websites or companies as they may be selling your information.

Don’t pay to work. Legitimate employers do not require fees or investments as a condition of employment. If they ask for money up-front, with the promise that you’ll make it back many times over, it may be a scam. According to the Federal Trade Commission, “promises of a big income working from home, especially when the ‘opportunity’ involves an up-front fee or giving your credit card information, should make you very suspicious.”

Take time to learn about the company. If there’s little available information about the company and the people who work there, that’s a red flag that the job offer is not legitimate. You can look up company information on sites like Better Business Bureau or Glassdoor to make sure the company offering the job has a good reputation.

Keep your information private. Websites that require you to give personal information before applying for a job could be selling that information to third parties. Research the website/company before signing up for an account. You can do so by searching for the company name and “review” in a search engine.

Tips for finding remote work

Know where to look. Because more jobs are becoming remote due to the pandemic, large job search sites now have the option to filter jobs by both industry and work from home offers. Try Indeed.com, Google Job Search and Zip Recruiter to find jobs in a large range of fields.

Update your resume. Remote work takes additional skills that you will want to showcase in your resume. This article on LinkedIn will give you a solid foundation of actionable steps you can take to make your resume remote work ready.

Get social. Recruiters and companies are increasingly turning to social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to promote their job openings and look for candidates. Take a look at your social media accounts and consider creating a professional profile separate to your personal account. Follow companies in your industry on social media and share or comment on their posts to add to the conversation. Also make sure to follow local business/industry groups in your field, it’s a great way to network and keep an eye out for job openings.

We’re here to help. The library offers free classes on creating resumes, searching for jobs, using LinkedIn, updating your skills and more. Check out our event calendar for our current classes.

Contact MCL’s Workplace for more help or information at workplace@multcolib.org.

Pages

Subscribe to