Is the job market frozen?
The job market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is pretty quiet compared to earlier in the fall, when retailers were frantically hiring for the holiday shopping season. Even the local city employment websites seem to have shorter lists of openings. That’s not to say jobs aren’t out there, but it’s almost as if some employers don’t want to be bothered hiring anybody new at this time of year unless it’s absolutely necessary. I call it the holiday hiring doldrums. Have no fear, things always pick up soon after the New Year rolls in.
If you’re looking for a job, this annual slowdown offers you the chance to reassess your job-hunting strategies, freshen up your resume, and make yourself as employable as possible. This is especially true if you’ve been looking for a while and haven’t found suitable employment yet. Take the time to do a self-assessment and work to improve your chances of getting that interview and landing a good job. That way, when the job market starts picking up after the holidays, you’ll be ready.
Chesapeake Public Library has some great resources for job seekers wanting to polish up their resume, improve their interview skills, or brush up on job skills that may be a little rusty. We’ll have a look at all the services CPL offers to job seekers in a future post, but for now I want to focus on Universal Class, which has recently been added to the CPL database and is available to all library cardholders.
Universal Class, found here, offers free classes in many areas, but of particular interest for job seekers are their courses Resume 101 and Interview Skills 101. Because I didn’t want to recommend a class without trying it myself, I signed up for the Interview Skills 101 class, and found that it does make you think about what you would say when asked the usual interview questions.
What I especially like about Universal Class is that a subject is broken down into many small lessons, so you can tackle it a little bit at a time. A typical lesson involves reading a section, doing a short written activity, then finishing up with a brief multiple choice test. If you don’t like reading, the entire reading assignment is also presented as a video so you can listen as the text is read to you.
Universal Class offers hundreds of classes in topics ranging from accounting to yoga, so even if you aren’t in need of resume or interview help, you’re still likely to find something of interest. Check it out, and let us know what you think of it!