I wanted to share my library success story because it makes me happy and because we all need to hear success stories. In January, I started having one-on-one appointments with job seekers. One of my first appointments was with a woman who had requested help with her resume. She completed her teaching degree a number of years ago, but because of family commitments, never actually worked as a professional teacher. Her goal was to get back into the education field, in efforts to eventually work her way into a full-time teaching position.
The resume she brought to our initial meeting was pretty sparse. Over the years, our job seeker had a number of temporary or part-time jobs, some of which were education or child related. We talked pre-resume brainstorming and preparation, such as taking an inventory of what teaching related skills and experiences she could identify. We then moved on to different resume formats that might work best to tell her unique story. Thirty minutes is not a lot of time to completely overhaul the representation of twelve years of your work life, so she left with a lot of homework.
Because she had so much work to do, I was pleasantly surprised when only two days later I received a copy of her revised resume for additional review. The resume was very well done and I didn’t have a thing to add. To wrap up the story, we continued to email over the next couple of weeks. She got an interview with a local school district and was hired as a substitute teacher. Hopefully, this is her first step.
My personal take away was that I loved that I was able to use by skills and experiences in a positive way, by helping one of our patrons to reach her goals. In my past world, my help would have come into play in more negative situations, such as after I’d told an employee (and oftentimes, a friendly colleague) that they had lost their job, or in trying to covertly nudge an employee along because I knew that it was only a matter of time until they would need an updated resume.
My library-focused takeaway from this exchange, and others that I have had over the last few weeks, is how important this service is to our patrons. Resumes are completely intimidating for a lot of people, regardless of industry or education and income levels, and most people don’t have trusted, quality options (for free) to assist them. If the library can help patrons overcome this one hurdle, these individuals will be positioned to move forward towards employment and career success.