A library classroom with no computers, what to do?
October 8, 2007 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Librarians! If you had to teach a class on job-seeking, but had to teach this class in a room with no computers at all (none for the students, no projector for you, the instructor), what would you do?

It seems to me that all of the great job-seeking resources are online, and I am not sure how to approach this. Trying to get laptops or a projector or anything like that is completely out of the question. Any creative suggestions?
posted by waywardgirl to Education (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could you print out a bunch of pages from the sites you want to show them?
posted by DMan at 7:39 PM on October 8, 2007

Grab some newspapers with want ads (multiple copies so everybody can have some). Explain how to read the job requirements and tailor cover letters/resumes towards specific jobs. This can all be done with pen and paper.

Do group interviews - i.e. you ask the questions and the group comes up with strategies for answering them.
posted by davey_darling at 7:53 PM on October 8, 2007

Last time I did something like this, I made up my own handouts with big bold URLs, and I also gave people a gigantic packet of job-searching, resume-writing, interview-attending, etc. materials from all over the place. Oh, and I emphasized that, whenever they came back to the library, I'd be happy to help them with the computer end of it.
posted by box at 8:07 PM on October 8, 2007

Screenshots? I would put together a powerpoint with a bunch of arrows everywhere.
posted by unknowncommand at 8:21 PM on October 8, 2007

Oh, and print out the presentation, 6 slides to a page, with room for notes.
posted by unknowncommand at 8:24 PM on October 8, 2007

I would agree with all of the above. And I would bring in a few copies of What Color Is Your Parachute? if possible.
posted by blucevalo at 10:04 PM on October 8, 2007

not to be totally useless, but yeah, these all sound like good ideas to me.
posted by Rykey at 10:27 PM on October 8, 2007

While all the web stuff is good, I'd make sure to emphasize the substance of applying for jobs as well as the style - make sure people understand things like how to write great resumes/CVs and cover letters, how to follow up after an interview, and why it's important to follow directions on applications to the letter for most jobs. Breakout groups of "job seekers" and "interviewers" can help people deal with the answers to tricky questions, too, like "why don't you have any work experience between the years X and Y?"

Perhaps the reason people are taking a job-hunting class isn't necessarily because they don't have access to the resources it takes to find jobs, but because they're reluctant to apply if they're afraid of being rejected. Demystifying the application process, then, can help people find ways to succeed in an area of life that often rewards the members of society who have lived more standard, privileged lives. I'd also include a little section on what's legal and illegal for an interviewer to ask, and how to deal with questions that violate the law.

Good luck!
posted by mdonley at 1:08 AM on October 9, 2007

Teach people the basics -- how to dress, how to talk, how to write a CV, etc. Hand out printed examples of great CVs.

AND: set up you own web page (on the library site?) with lots of links and printables that they can access after the class. Then make sure your web address is clearly printed in the paper handouts.
posted by pracowity at 4:09 AM on October 9, 2007

There have been a ton of good suggestions here. I'll just add a few more.

Do you have the Occupational Outlook Handbook in print? When I've done these sorts of sessions in the past, it's been part of a larger "plan for a career" program at a community college, and we've used the OOH to look at the different levels of employment within a field. This does two things: gives people a sense of all the different job titles out there, and makes lofty goals seem more attainable. (I want to work with animals. There's no way I'll go to vet school for XX years. Maybe I could start as a vet tech, which only takes two years, and work my way up from there.)

That, of course, supposes you've got a print copy of the OOH. Coupled with davey_darling's suggestions on bringing in the print want ads, the OOH or similar manual could help drive home the need to be familiar with the vocabulary of the job title (and duties and certification) in the field of interest. This will help students when they do online job searching on their own.

I also used to really stress the print Reference collection, simply because it can be easier sometimes to browse through a big book of example resumes/cover letters than find them all online. There are all sorts of reference titles out there, even some focused on resumes for two-year colleges (again, I did this at a community college, YMMV).
posted by lillygog at 7:38 AM on October 9, 2007

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