Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Local Jobs - Grocery Stores

Online Applications for Local Employers - Grocery Stores

  • Giant Store Positions - Fill out an online job application (in English or Spanish) using JobsExpress. The online application is rather lengthy. Whereas many employers advertising unskilled jobs are focused on getting applicants personal history (contact info, education and work history), Giant is particularly interested in applicants' approach to moral situations. There are also a number of questions at the end of the application process, strictly voluntary, that pertain to the applicants use of food stamps, being in the Welfare-to-Work program and participation on social programs. These must either be answered or skipped before the application will be submitted.

  • Safeway Store Positions - Also offers the application in English or Spanish and not nearly as time-consuming as Giant's. Applicants should note thatwhile the last section is voluntary, it appears you have to answer to ensure your application is submitted. Applications are only kept for 60 days and then you must reapply.

  • Bloom - When you fill out their online application, it will also cover Food Lion, another local supermarket chain that falls under the same parent company. The 2nd step asks that you narrow down your choices/search for specific positions. Note that if you just want to first create your application and then apply for specific jobs later, use their Create an Application tool, which you don't see until you scroll down the Search for Jobs page.

  • Harris Teeter - You can submit your resume online, but there was not a listing for the Warrenton store specifically. You'll need to choose Northern VA area. If you want to see what is open/apply for open positions, you'll first need to choose a career type (management versus hourly, for example), and then eventually you'll be sent off to CareerBuilder.com where you can read the job description and apply online. The application process involves uploading or copy and pasting your resume. You can also submit a cover letter.

  • Wegmans - Located next door in Prince William county, there are currently no listings for VA stores except Fredericksburg.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Applying for Jobs Online - Be Prepared

With the economy in free fall, we are seeing more patrons using the library computers to create or update a resume, brush up on job skills and fill out online job applications. Some of our patrons are having a hard time with filling out the online applications in a timely manner, mainly because their previous job(s) did not require extensive computer/keyboarding skills, familiarity with using the Internet or they've been out of the workforce for some time.

In order to assist patrons who need to apply for online for local jobs (i.e., the Warrenton area), I am putting together a list of links to local businesses who have an ongoing need for "non-professional" or non-salaried employees and that don't require advanced education or specialized skills. Examples would be grocery stores and "big box" retailers like Home Depot. I will be posting links to these online job applications in the coming weeks, along with any information an applicant might need to know before beginning the online application process.

In order to maximize one's time filling out these forms, applicants should prepare the following BEFORE logging on to/filling out the online application:

  1. Create an e-mail address. Most if not all online job sites require an e-mail address in order to communicate with the applicant. You can get a free e-mail address from any number of providers, including AOL, Google and Yahoo. If you are unsure how to do this, ask a reference librarian for assistance or sign up for week 2 of the computer classes for adults that the library offers. After you create the e-mail address, be sure to put your username and password, which you will use to access your e-mail account, in a safe place. If you don't have that information memorized, be sure to bring it with you to the library when you go to fill out your job application. Also be sure to check your e-mail regularly in case a potential employer tries to contact you.

  2. Clearly document your education and job experience. This includes, but is not limited to the contact information (address, telephone) of the educational institutions you attended as well as the employers you worked for. If possible, get the correct name/contact person who you worked for. You should have information for your past 3 jobs/employers, if applicable.

  3. Have contact information (name, address, telephone, etc.) of at least 3 people you can use as a personal and/or professional reference. These should be individuals who can speak to your work ethic and provide examples/reasons why you would be a good employee. Make sure you contact your references prior to providing their names to a potential employer so that they are prepared to speak to your skills and abilities.

  4. Ideally, you should also have an electronic version of your resume and references available either on a USB flash drive or stored (and easily accessible) on a site such as Google Documents. Some employers ask that you submit/send an electronic copy of your resume, along with the online application. It also speeds things up if you can copy information from your electronic resume and paste it into the online application. If you are in the process of creating your resume, be sure to check out resources available at the library and take advantage of the resume templates built in to Microsoft Word, also available on the library public computers.

Related posts:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Black History Month

Although Black History Month is in February, many schools begin covering the topic in January (or at least students start doing their reports in January!). Also, with our first African American president being inaugurated next week, we thought it would make sense to start promoting e-resources on Black History Month sooner rather than later. Here are some online resources to help get you started:

Friday, January 9, 2009

NetLibrary and NoveList News

NetLibrary has launched a “Media Center” application to use in conjunction with their eaudiobooks. Basically what it means is that you can download/install some special software and then going forward, you can download eaudibooks directly to your mp3 player (versus downloading to the PC and then transferring to your device). The media center also allows you quick access to the eaudiobooks you’ve downloaded and to search eaudiobooks via an icon that sits on your PC’s desktop.

A few notes of caution before you go ahead and download the Media Center application:
  1. Carefully read through the installation requirements and note the software requirements. Most people probably do not have .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 currently installed on their PC. It WILL be automatically installed for you when you install the Media Center, but it takes quite a bit of time and may also require you to validate your copy of the Windows operating system. In addition, after downloading/installing .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, you will have to restart your PC.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the installation procedures.
  3. Make sure you've logged in to your NetLibrary account prior to attempting to download/install. If you don't have a NetLibrary account yet, you will either need to create one on NetLibrary when you are physically in the library, or make sure you enter NetLibrary via the library's Web site (not directly via www.netlibrary.com).
  4. You will be prompted to download the Media Center when you choose an automated download option (to either your PC or device). In some cases, you start the process as your attempting to download a specific title and after installing the Media Center, you'll need to search for the item again in the Media Center and download.

If you have high-speed Internet access, click here to view a demo of the new Media Center. Also be sure to peruse the documentation on the new Media Center on NetLibrary.

After evaluating the usage of and perceived value of this online resource, the library will no longer subscribe to the NoveList database, effective January 2009. The library continues to provide access to What Do I Read Next? via Find It Virginia. Patrons should also check out our list of recommended Web sites that cover readers' advisory services. Many of these online tools allow you to obtain lists of series titles in order, find book titles by searching for a particular character or plot line and recommended titles by genre (mystery, romance, etc.). Be sure to ask library staff for recommendations as well.

Monday, January 5, 2009

January E-Resource: Ancestry Library

Resolve to learn more about your family and ancestral tree? ANCESTRY LIBRARY EDITION provides unprecedented access to family history via documents that record the lineage of over 5 billion individuals. Whether you are a professional genealogist or hobbyist, expert or novice, you'll find it easy to access the more than 4,000 databases of family information. User-friendly search tools and comprehensive indexing make it easy to start discovering the story of you.

Ancestry Library, which is available within any of the Fauquier County Public Library branches, includes census records (US and other countries); birth, marriage and death records for the US and the UK; US military records; immigration, emigration and naturalization records; court, land and probate records. You can also access local newspapers and periodicals, diaries of local communities and those that lived in them, and photos and maps, ranging from postcards and panoramas to family photos and headstones.

If you aren't familiar with Ancestry Library, be sure to ask a reference librarian to get you started. You may also find the tips below helpful as you dig in to your family history.

General Tips
  • When you search from the Ancestry Library home page or the Search page, you're actually searching all 3,800+ collections. This is not apparent, as you think you're just searching the Historical Records, since that's the tab that's highlighted. However, even though you will get results for newspaper articles, they won't be as relevant/ranked as high, so if you know you want a map, for example, it's best to click on the Photos & Maps tab and start your search there.

  • In the Historical Records contents, some collections only include indexing, not the original records. You'll be able to tell which items in your search results have the original record image, as they will include a link to "View Image." If no image is available, when you click into the indexed record, you'll sometimes get a link to request a copy of the original application, which will then take you to a page explaining what information is needed and an option to generate a letter.

  • The contents of Ancestry Library are updated frequently. If you look at the bottom of the home page, you'll see the option to list recent or all databases. Click on "recent" and you'll see many updates and additions listed.

  • Many of the images are from the Library of Congress.

  • In the Stories & Publications results, this full-text content is mainly small local papers with sporadic coverage.
Search Strategies
  • Every collection has a unique search interface, as input fields will depend on what sort of informtation was collected or indexed.

  • The search provides ranked results (see stars).

  • Unless otherwise specified, the default search looks for variant spellings of the first and last names and then ranks those results.

  • In the Historical Records section, use the Soundex to get names that sound like the name you type in. For misspellings, etc., you can use wildcards. An asterisk (*) will replace 0-5 characters in a name. You can use the asterisk between letters or at the end of a name, but be aware that it must be preceded by at least three (3) characters. You can use the question mark (?) to replace one (1) character only, and, like the asterisk, can be used in between or at the end of a name and must be preceded by at least three (3) characters. Using wild cards may end up being more helpful than the Soundex, giving you more relevant results.

  • Note: If you click in the check box "exact matches only," it stays that way indefinitely until the next user chooses to uncheck.

  • Neither the message boards nor the world tree are included in search results. The only way to search those databases is to click on the list of all databases and then choose either from the Trees & Community section listed on the right side of the screen. You will also notice that you'll get prompted to search the message boards within your results (Can't find what you're looking for? Search our message boards).

  • You'll notice that you'll default to viewing 1-10 records. You can increase to viewing 1-50. However, for reasons unknown, Ancestry does not tell you how many total records you have to go through. You just have to keep clicking through - frustrating.

Printing & Saving Records

  • Ancestry Library's "Advanced Viewer" allows you to use a drag tool, zoom in, print just certain portions of an image (current view) versus the entire image.

  • It is recommended that when you print that you change the orientation to landscape versus portrait, as census records, the original images, are 11 X 17.

  • You can only save images in JPEG format.

For more information on genealogy and local history, check out the library's Web site or speak with a reference librarian.