An Effort to Increase the Hiring of Youth in Memphis

HireMemphis.org is “…an initiative sponsored by Mayor Strickland to increase youth employment in Memphis.”

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This initiative offers free posting for Memphis businesses, asking that they specifically target 16-24 year olds with their jobs and internships. It works much like any other job board: job seekers may create an account, sign up for alerts and apply for jobs and/or internships.

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There is also a jobs map:

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A Tools section, with advice on resume building, creating an elevator pitch and links to City resources:

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And even a list of the employers that have posted jobs and internships:

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Let’s do what we can to promote this potentially valuable resource to young people in our department.

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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.

bahler

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.

More Resume Help

We have many patrons who visit our department to write resumes on a computer. Many times they get caught up using a site that offers free resume writing, only to require payment after they’ve completed the resume. It’s a typical bait and switch tactic. We do have Career Transitions through the Library site as a great option for resume writers, but it never hurts to add a viable free option. So, as I read the article from Money magazine “What Your Resume Should Look Like in 2018” I had a brainstorm. Not only is the above cited article relevant for those who want to keep their resume current, it also links to a great one page resume template that adheres to the principles set forth in that article. The template looks like this:

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and here is a link to a pdf of the template:

resume-2018-template

The article cited also has links to a few sites that offer career services for hire but also have helpful job search and resume blogs that are free to all, such as www.topresume.com  (click the “Career Advice” tab)

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and www.careersdonewrite.com/blog/ .

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What’s a MOOC?!

A MOOC is a Massive Online Open Course. The basic idea is that various institutes of learning will allow people to essentially audit courses for free, or even to pay a fee to gain various types of credit, from certificates, which have limited use, to actual college credit. Details vary according to who is offering the course, but the learner is the one who decides if they wish to learn simply for curiosity and the love of learning (most common) or if they want to earn some sort of certificate or some other validation of the time spent learning (less common).

There are several websites that specialize in hooking people up with such courses, with just a few being coursera.org, udemy.com and edx.org. You can find out so much about these courses and how they work at various sites around the web, but Forbes posted a good summary recently about the future of MOOCs. Additionally, you may find the following illustration helpful in understanding how an MOOC works:

MOOC_poster_mathplourde

Basically this illustration asks several questions pointing out that the concept remains in the evolutionary stages despite being a web presence for quite some time. So, when you go to various outlets to experience an MOOC you won’t necessarily find the same experience as any other site. Some learners find this exciting, some frustrating. The MOOC doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, so, let’s look at how one in particular works.

I signed up for a course on coursera.org:

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As I became a registered, free user I was given limited access to class materials: I can follow along, complete readings and assignments but cannot take tests or quizzes or receive any sort of grade. To gain these features I would need to pay a fee to participate officially in Berklee College of Music courses. The fact that I have that option demonstrates one of the advantages of an MOOC–choice.

So, here’s just one example of what I can get for free: a video lecture from the teacher:

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As I progress through the course I will share the progress and, when the course is complete, I will give my opinion on how helpful (or not) I felt the course was.

Taking a High School Equivalency Test in Tennesse

Taking a High School Equivalency test in Tennessee

Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the GED—it’s the test that for years we have known one could take to earn a high school diploma instead of graduating in the conventional sense. Did you know that the GED is no longer offered in the state of Tennessee? The new official test is the HiSET (High School Equivalency Test).

It can be a bit confusing to figure out how to take the official HiSET and earn a diploma, so here is the process, according to Customer Service for the HiSET test.  Essentially one is required to first take the official practice test for the HiSET. For Memphis here are the official sites where one may do so:

Building Address City Zip Phone
Idlewild Presbyterian Church 1750 Union Avenue Memphis 38104 844-721-8800
Midtown Church of Christ 1930 Union Avenue Memphis 38104 844-721-8800
Randolph Library – Memphis Public Library 3752 Given Avenue Memphis 38122 844-721-8800
Memphis & Shelby County Office of Re-Entry 1362 Mississippi Blvd. Memphis 38106 844-721-8800
Workforce Investment Network 480 Beale Street Memphis 38103 844-721-8800
Sexton Community Center 1235 Brown Avenue Memphis 38126 844-721-8800

Once the practice test is officially passed, the tester will receive the paperwork necessary to schedule and take the official test. Once the official test is satisfactorily passed then the individual is now a holder of an official diploma, valid in all states!