Voter Registration

I’m not entirely sure this belongs in our department, but we’ve had questions about it, so I thought it would be a helpful topic for us to know. I was informed last week by Verjeana in History that any PSD is tasked with accepting voter registration forms from patrons at their request. If and when this happens we are to put them in a routing envelope marked VOTER REGISTRATION and send them to the mail room.

I looked at the Shelby County Election Commission site (shelbyvote.com) and found an information page with a link to online registration, a downloadable paper form to mail, along with the mailing address, and directions for hand delivering the form for those who so desire. Simply follow this link: Register to Vote.

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Health Awareness Months

The site WhatHealth.com has compiled a list of health awareness topics tied to particular months. I can’t vouch for the site overall, as I did not take time to review it, but this list in particular is helpful. I used it to help narrow down a topic for our monthly health newsletter. I would advise going directly to this link for the list: Health Awareness Events.

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Free, Detailed, Voluminous Career Advice

As you know, dear reader, we have many patrons in our department who find themselves in the midst of a job search. Today’s subject is perfect for such an individual; a blog called The Muse. This blog is full of career advice of many different types, from getting the job, to getting the job you want, to actual job listings. They also link to career and leadership coaching and information about various industries and companies. It really is a full-service career site. Users may simply browse the site at their leisure, or they may register for an account that offers fuller benefits.1

One article on the site that was recently pointed out to me is “The Ultimate Interview Guide: 30 Prep Tips for Job Interview Success” The article accomplishes exactly what it says in the title, in practical, step by step instructions. I could envision sending a link to an interested patron, or even printing a copy to post somewhere by a Job & Career computer, for example.

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One of the most helpful items in the article is a link to a “cheat sheet” for job interviews that includes the basics an interviewee will need to remember, such as the date and time of the interview, who it was with, etc., all the way to answer starters for questions such as “Why does this job excite you?” It would be a great tool to help someone look as confident and competent as possible in an interview.

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LinkedIn for Job Hunters and Others

We constantly have job seekers at our desk looking for help locating various resources to begin, improve or enrich their searches. I rarely, if ever, hear mention of LinkedIn as a resource. This is not particularly odd, as we don’t have any official connection to the site, and it is not a traditional library resource. However, we may be doing our patrons a disservice if we continue to leave it out of our discussions of resources and offers of help.

LinkedIn is also an effective way to keep your own CV up to date, whether or not you are currently searching for a job, and to keep up with industry trends, what’s going on with coworkers and other professional acquaintances.

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A Good Start

Some may feel that LinkedIn is just a more formal version of Facebook. It is not entirely different from that site, and users of both sites will see several similarities. However, if used properly, LinkedIn may be a powerful tool for connecting an individual with the perfect job. Here are a few tools to which we may point others that shouldn’t require too much investment from our already busy schedules.

Refer patrons to a Money Magazine article published recently called “What Your LinkedIn Profile Should Look Like in 2018”. Author Kristen Bahler emphasizes that “…over 90% of recruiters rely on…” LinkedIn to search for job candidates. So those who are seriously seeking work need to pay attention to this resource. Whether one has a current profile or needs to make one, Bahler includes in this article a five point plan for optimizing LinkedIn for the job seeker.  We could share this article as a good start, and below you will find a photo from that article of a made over LinkedIn profile.

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LinkedIn’s Hired Expert

Additionally, LinkedIn has a Career Expert named Blair Decembrele who includes many in depth tips and articles about how to best use the site to one’s advantage in the job market. Her official title is Director, Editorial Marketing and Consumer Communications and Career Expert at LinkedIn, and hers is the profile pictured at the top of this article.

Hire Your Own Expert

For those who don’t mind paying an expert to help them out, there is a site called linkedin-makeover.com/ that generates good buzz, but many of our patrons are unwilling and/or unable to spend money. It may be a good investment for those willing to pay.

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Possibly the Best Resource is One We Already Have

Finally, and possibly the best resource of all, our own resource Lynda.com has many trainings on LinkedIn.

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As you may or may not know, Lynda.com was purchased by LinkedIn in 2015 for $1.5 Billion. This Forbes article gives a few details of that transaction and is also a great advertisement for not only how Lynda.com works, but is an inside look at the high standards set for the trainers utilized by the site.

As you can see in the graphic above, Lynda.com has 423 hits when I searched for LinkedIn. This may be the most valuable resource of all for optimizing one’s profile, and it is, as we all know, FREE!

To my knowledge LinkedIn is an underutilized resource that we would do well to recommend to our patrons, and hopefully this article can help us all toward that aim.