Take a look at the Oregonian’s online employment classified section.
Search for government employment in the Portland Metro area.
It's never too early to start looking for scholarships. The best time of year to start looking is in the summer or early fall. This lets you find programs before their deadlines have passed, and gives you enough time to complete a well-planned application. Many scholarship programs require an essay and recommendations from teachers or other adults who know you, and these take time to prepare.
There are many scholarships, grants, fellowships, internships and work-study jobs available. You'll likely encounter some common eligibility criteria. These include which state you live in, if you've performed military service, whether you have minority status or a particular nationality or ethnic background, a religious affliation, or if any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. If you fit the eligibility criteria, be sure to consider applying!
The library is a great place to get started as you research scholarships. Whether you are looking for a scholarship in the humanities, the sciences, the social sciences, or sports, we can help you discover ways to find scholarship awards for higher education.
The Scholarship Handbook is organized by common eligibility criteria. It lists scholarships based on which state you live in, whether you have performed military service, if you have minority status or come from a particular nationality or ethnic background, if you have a religious affliation, and whether any of your family members belong to a national or local organization or civic association. Each scholarship program is described by eligibility, basis for selection, application requirements, amount awarded, application deadline, and contact information.
"Billions of dollars in scholarships, grants and prizes." The Ultimate Scholarship Book organizes awards into categories such as humanities, social science, science and general. You don't need a perfect GPA or financial need to win a scholarship. There are plenty of awards that have none of these requirements.
College help for teens: More resources for financial aid, admissions, guides, and Study Abroad.
Saving and paying for college: Additional help with financing college.
If you are a high school senior who is college bound, January is the month to begin applying for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the path to financial aid, Pell Grants, scholarships, and federal and state student loans, and many colleges require it for merit-based scholarships.
We carry FAFSA paper forms at our library locations, in English and Spanish, and our staff can help you find the online forms. If you don't have access to a computer, you can use the public library computers to work on the online form. And if it takes more than one session to complete, you can save your information at the bottom of any page of the application.
If you want help filling out the FAFSA, be sure to look at the free government website Federal Student Aid from the Department of Education. It has videos, fact sheets, loan information and web tools to address every question you might have.
You can get free hands-on help for filling out the FAFSA by attending a College Goal Oregon event.
Don't assume you won't qualify for any type of aid. The Department of Education webpage shows that most people are eligible. You can go to their website to estimate your eligibility for federal student aid.
According to the College Board, a not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success, you'll need, at minimum, these two items to get started:
You'll also need to create an FSA ID and password. This identifies you for your student aid account. You provide your email address and password, and parents can create their own account using a different email address and password. Learn how to create an FSA ID.
January 1 is the first day you can file, and you should plan to file as close to this date as you can. You want to be among the first to be considered. Some grants, like the Oregon Opportunity Grants, are awarded only until funds are depleted.
Local deadlines may be much earlier than federal deadlines, for example, in some states, the application deadline is March 1. You can check the state deadline for Oregon on the Department of Education's webpage.
A college degree is one of the most expensive items you will ever buy. It can leave you in debt for years, so you want to be as smart as you can about your education. When you attend college, you are "buying" a college degree, much as you purchase other big-ticket items. So, you want to make sure you get your money's worth.
The U.S. Department of Education has a useful website called College Scorecard. You supply information about the type of degree you are looking for and locations or regions that you are interested in, and you'll receive results that show the average annual cost of tuition and fees at each matching institution, the graduation rate, and the annual average salary of their graduates. It's a great website for getting an overview and comparing what different colleges cost.
Another great place to research college pricing and student aid is at The College Board website. There is a wide variety in prices charged by institutions of different types and in different parts of the country, so it can really pay to do your research.
Looking at online colleges? They can sometimes offer you more flexibility and easier access than traditional colleges. Check out Affordable Colleges Online to see, by state or by subject, which colleges offer affordable options.
Be sure to add in what your room and board costs will be, including your meal plan, books and supplies, and other personal expenses
Before you apply for student aid or scholarships, you'll need to figure out the amount of money that you and perhaps your parents can afford. Some parents choose to contribute and others believe that it is the student's responsibility to pay for college.
If you are saving for college, the State of Oregon offers the Oregon College Savings Plan which provides tax advantages.
If you plan to apply for aid, check and double-check the application deadlines. State and college aid may have earlier deadlines than federal aid. When you apply, you want to be in the first stack of applicants, not the last. You can check the federal and state application deadlines at www.fafsa.gov.
The first step to apply is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Financial aid experts recommend that all students fill out the FAFSA because it is used by colleges and grant-makers to figure out financial need.
The fastest way to fill out the FAFSA is online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, but you can also get paper forms at all our public library branches: Just ask at a reference desk. Give yourself plenty of time to fill out the form. You'll need to have information about your financial situation and you or your parents' federal tax forms from the previous year at hand.
Using the information that you supply on the FAFSA, the financial aid office at your college will determine that amount of aid you may receive.
Every year, hundreds of high school juniors and seniors in the Portland area are faced with the decision of whether to go to college, which colleges to apply to, what to study, how to get accepted, and how to pay for it. The library can help!
If you’re wondering if you’re ready or not, ask the advice of a trusted high school counselor, teacher, or librarian. They can help you find resources to decide whether you have learned to set clear, achievable goals, can manage your time well, and have the skills you’ll need for college-level courses.
The library has several different resources to help you evaluate your options. One of the best available is the six-volume College Blue Book. You can look at it online or come in to Central Library to browse.
The first volume has the most narrative information about different options. Find the number of students and faculty, entrance requirements, costs per year, and lots more. You could use this volume, for example, to compare the campus at George Fox University to Lewis & Clark College.
Looking for which degrees are offered by college and subject? Volume 3 is where you can find, for example, that Portland State University and University of Oregon both offer degrees in architecture. Volume 5 has an up-to-date list of scholarships, fellowships, grants and loans. And if you're interested in distance learning programs, look at Volume 6. Almost every course, certificate, and degree program that you can take on campus is also available in a distance learning format.
During high school, students typically begin forming some idea of what they want to study or do for work. The Occupational Outlook Handbook can help with up-to-date vocational guidance, employment forecasting, and information about different occupations. You can also use their electronic resources online for career information about hundreds of occupations.
For each job, the book discusses work tasks, job outlook for the next few years, training and education needed, pay, work environment, similar occupations, and additional information sources.
The library also has the Oregon Career Information System (CIS) database which provides information about occupations in Oregon that relate to your interests, aptitudes, and abilities. After you create a portfolio, you can use CIS to take college admissions practice tests, upload your career search, and build a résumé. Deciding whether to return to school? CIS has career assessment tools to help you out.
College consultants can help you develop strategies about planning for college. Look for someone who is knowledgeable about a wide range of colleges and their admissions processes. They can help identify your strengths and weaknesses, and help find schools that are a good fit. They can also advise on what you need to do to prepare for applying to college, such as choosing college prep classes, participating in school activities, and volunteering in the community.
There are many college consultants in the Portland area. The following sites have tools for finding phone numbers and addresses of local consultants.
At your Multnomah County Libraries, you can find a wide array of free computer classes - from computer labs where you can get extra assistance to e-book and e-reader classes to office productivity skills, like spreadsheets and word processing. Here are some other great options:
There have been many articles about the relation of unemployment and the so-called ‘skills gap’ recently and there have been lots of discussion about whether that’s real or just hype (check out these articles from the Harvard Business Review, the Economic Policy Institute, and Wharton Digital Press). But regardless of where the real fault lies for jobs going unfilled in a time of high unemployment, that's the reality of hiring in the computer age, with the advent of applicant tracking systems, scanners and parsing software. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to adjust to the realities of computerized hiring and cut through the avalanche of job seekers applying online (and the software employers use to weed them out), to get to the actual people who still do the hiring.
First, you need the skills to actually do the job before you can convince someone you can. We can help you brush up your computer skills with our library computer classes and labs, as well as books and other self-instruction materials. The library also offers online tutorials and practise tests on a wide range of in-demand skills, including preparing for many occupational skills and licenses and even connects you with career experts online. Let us help you navigate these options in person, by phone, email or chat.
The next step involves telling your story to potential employers...
Everybody talks about how choosing the right words to use in computerized job searches, resumes, cover letters, and interviews is the key to success, but how do you find them? QuintCareers.com shares several articles about using keywords to enhance your resumse’s effectiveness, how to find those keywords and even offers a worksheet to help you get at just the right keywords. This article from Wharton Digital Press is a practical guide for what can you do about parsing software. You can find more advice and examples on websites like Susan Ireland’s Resume Site, Monster.com and the many resume and cover letter books we have at the library. Before submitting your resume to potential employers, it’s always good to have someone else review it - you can do this for free by posting your resume to the library’s Tutor.com service or MSN’s CareerBuilder site.
Because 'It's not what you know...' - well, actually it is, but it's also who you know who knows someone who needs what you know. So you need to make those connections and here are some ways to do that:
LinkedIn: use that “six degrees of separation” thing to your advantage and put your best foot forward in a place where people who can help will see it.
pdxMindShare: techies and creatives, this is your place.
CNRG: networking and more for the local nonprofit world.
Network After Work - Portland: old-fashioned, face time networking events.
Meetups: because you have other interests, and so do the people who can help you get hired; and they have job seekers groups too.
Now that you’ve gotten the interview, it’s important to prepare before you tell your story in person. Glassdoor.com has lots of examples of real questions applicants were asked in real interviews with various companies, as well as other insider tips. They may not ask you exactly the same thing but it will probably be a similar kind of question - according to Forbes, all job interview questions boil down to three basic things: ability, motivation & fit. The library also offers many books to help you prep for your interview.
There’s a lot to keep track of in a full scale job search - industries and companies researched; networking contacts made; applications due and applications sent; jobs boards searched, results of different job titles, skills and attributes sought; followup, resume revisions; etc. How do you keep track of it all?
Fortunately, there are a number of places that can help you:
Learning Express - this library database does more than provide a way for you to learn new skills, it also has a Job & Career Accelerator section which can help you with your job search in many ways, including keeping track of it all.
jibberjobber.com - a web-based way to keep track of it all.
this spreadsheet from the makers of Excel is designed to track various aspects of the job search and can, of course, be modified to suit your needs.
Do it yourself, e.g., a very simple Word doc with expandable rows & columns for keeping track of where you’ve looked, what you’ve found, and, most importantly, what new searches that leads to. Any calendaring system can be good for keeping track of deadlines, interviews, callbacks, etc. You just have to pick one and use it consistently.
"Music is the poetry of the air."
--Jean Paul Richter
If poetry lifts up your spirits, chances are really good that you are also uber fond of music. Legendary songwriters like Tupac and Bob Dylan are poets at heart. Writing a poem is already quite a task, but coming up with words that fit a particular melody is an entirely different journey.
Do you feel that there is an inner songwriter in your that is just aching to explode out of you? Our library collection can certainly aid you in creating musican content. Who knows? Maybe this is your songwriting year!
Before working for a new company or starting on a new career path, a little research goes a long way to helping you find the right match. Here are some resources to get you started: