Pathfinders John Savercool and Marian Nguyen: SJPL Works Job Experts!

Pathfinder is a series of blogs about intrepid library staff who are leading interesting programs that you may not yet know about.

When you have heard the worst from your bosses and you are facing the realization that you may need to find a new job, it would be nice to talk to someone who will fill you with the confidence that you will need for that uncertain road ahead.  You can find that confidence from the librarians who specialize in job coaching in SJPL Works!

Because the economic outlook in April and May was turned upside down due to the pandemic, many people lost their jobs.  Losing one's job creates many questions:

  • What will I do now?
  • What do I put on a resumé?
  • Do I still need to produce a cover letter?
  • What kind of job is out there that I can do?

Attending a SJPL Works' Zoom class will give you the tools you will need!

Librarians John Savercool and Marian Nguyen are the people to see when you are looking for anything related to that all-encompassing word: work!  Whether you are looking for a new job, career, or new way to build your job skills, all roads lead to and from San Jose Public Library Works.  They can turn your depression and anxiety into cautious optimism within an hour of listening to their job coaching!

“I Didn’t Know I Needed Job Coaching!”

One of the most important lessons you will learn is that you will need to make an adjustment in your way of thinking as a job searcher.  If you approach the job search from the point of view of the prospective employer, you will have made a crucial step towards employment.

According to John, an average job posting received 225 applications before the pandemic.  An employer will take only 5 to 7 seconds to look at a resumé.  The employer’s task in looking at the 225 applications is to EXCLUDE people.  This is why you MUST keep your resumé to a page.

The best way to create an outstanding resumé is to think like the employer who has posted the job.  Here is how John recommends that you step into the shoes of the employer:

  • I, the employer, have a problem.
  • I need someone to fill my job.
  • I will place the solution to my problem in the job description.
  • I will only choose people to interview if their resumé matches the solution in my job description.

Topics Covered

Here are some of the steps to take to reach that all important job offer:

Most importantly, these librarians will advise you that when you are networking with other people, be sure to “be a giver, not a taker.”  Share your information.  Other people will remember you for your generosity of spirit.

The job coaching does not end there, though!  John and Marian say that “customers are then able to apply what they learned from the workshops in a one-on-one setting through the Resumé Reviews and Mock Interview, offering customers feedback on their work and further improving on their skills.”

Zoom Classes for You, the Job Searcher!

Has your interest in this very valuable library program been piqued?  Here is a listing of four core classes that are being provided in Works each week:

  • Tuesdays at 12:00 pm: how to create a strong resumé and cover letter.
  • Wednesday at 12:00 pm: review of your new resumé
  • Thursdays at 10:00 am: how to interview with a focus on the employers' needs,
  • Fridays at 12:00 pm: practice your interview skills and provide feedback.

John and Marian are passionate about their work in SJPL Works.  Both extol the Works’ programs: “they are there to assist job seekers at every level of the job searching progress, from applying for the job to the interview. Our SJPL Works Librarians have years of experience across many industries to provide insight and real world advice to help you land your next position.  We help people of all ages from all walks of like, all education levels from not completed high school to Ph.D. We are here to help.”

Please also look the following list of resources prepared by Marian.