Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, Part 2

In January, the Career Center led a seminar on how to power your job search with Google Tools. This post is part two of our introduction on how to do that. Part one can be found here.

The Career Center website has a page that lists several job search websites, and we encourage you to check out some of them. Google is not yet on that list. However, you can use a not-so-old-fashioned Google search to look for and keep track of different job opportunities.

  • In order to use Google Tools to power your job search you first need a Google/Gmail account. If you have a Google/Gmail account then go to Google.com and Sign in. If you do *not* have a Google/Gmail account then go to Google.com and Create account.
  • Once you are logged in to Google/Gmail go to Google.com. Type a search phrase such as jobs near me. You can try other search phrases such as warehouse jobs in baton rouge.
  • Be careful where you click next. There are scams and fake job postings on the internet. Do not click on anything marked “Ad.” Instead, click on the blue bar that should say something like Jobs near Baton Rouge, LA.
  • This opens up a new feature by Google which is snapshots of jobs. You will see:
    • Options to apply
    • Salary information
    • Company reviews
  • This is where you have some tools available to you.
    • You can use filters to narrow the search. You can click on one of the bubbles under Title such as Warehouse associate, Warehouse worker, and so on.
    • You can save a job and apply for it later. Click on the little bookmark symbol next to a job you want to save. It should turn blue.
    • You can turn on email alerts for this job search. Click on the little slide switch symbol so it moves to the right and turns dark blue.
  • The way you go back to saved job opportunities is simple. After you have logged in to Google do another quick search for jobs near me or the like. That brings up the jobs snapshot. Now click on SAVED under the search box. There they are. You can also use something like Google Sheets to keep track or job opportunities as described in Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, part one.
  • You can make changes to alerts. Click on ALERTS in the blue bar under the search box. Do you want to receive an email alert about jobs Instantly, Daily, or Weekly?
  • There is a way to filter for jobs working from home. Go back to the job search snapshots. Click on Location then Work from Home.
  • If you are a veteran you can search for jobs according to MOS code. Go back to Google.com and type veteran jobs near me or the like. Click on the search box and you can search for jobs in your area according to MOS, AFSC, NEC, or rating.

Again, we encourage you to check out other job search websites. However, not many people are aware that Google has added some tools that make a Google search for job opportunities more useful and better organized.

Written by Richard Wright

Get Help Filing for Unemployment with These How-To Videos

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has started, we’ve been receiving a lot of questions about filing for unemployment benefits with the state of Louisiana. While the Career Center is focused more on helping patrons look for work and apply to jobs, we were recently made aware of a resource by the Workforce Commission that might help you file for unemployment.

The LAWorks.net Video Page is full of videos, including public service announcements, as well as tutorials on how to file the different parts of your unemployment with the state. We’re going to focus on the how-to videos in this post.

  1. How to File a Claim walks you through the process of initially filing for unemployment, using the Louisiana Workforce’s web portal called HiRE. It’s a pretty quick video, so you might want to watch it more than once — but it’s also a good beginning resource if you don’t know where to begin. One warning: the video says that, due to the pandemic, you do not need to look for work in order to be eligible for unemployment. That was true when the video was filmed, but it is no longer true. The fourth video in this series will tell you more about this requirement.
  2. How to File Weekly Certification will help you out after you’ve filed a claim, when you need to fill out a weekly certification form to continue receiving benefits. This video isn’t narrated, but has screenshots and helpful green arrows to help you figure out where to click to proceed through the form. It might be a good idea to pause the video on each frame to read the explanatory text at the top, because that tells you what to do.
  3. How to Upload Documents in HiRE Account is similar to the Weekly Certification video in that it doesn’t have any narration. However, it’s also useful in that it walks you through how to upload supporting documents to your HiRE account, such as your Social Security Card and other documentation you’ll need to complete your claim.
  4. Completing the Work Search Portion of Weekly Certifications is a narrated video about the return of the Work Search requirement of unemployment insurance, after the end of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation in July. Basically, to continue receiving unemployment benefits, you need to prove you’ve been looking for work when you renew your claim each week. This video explains the importance of doing so and will show you how to fill out the form. Toward the end of the video, the exemptions from the Work Search requirement are also enumerated.

Written by Case Duckworth

Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, Part 1

Staying organized is an important part of searching for a job. There are so many individual pieces of information you need to keep track of. What was that job opening you saw yesterday? And where was it? Which jobs have you applied for? What was the username and password you created for that job website? In January, one of our Career Center staff led a seminar on how to power your job search with Google Tools. This post is a quick introduction on how to do that.

  • In order to use Google Tools to power your job search you first need a Google/Gmail account. If you have a Google/Gmail account then go to Google.com and Sign in. If you do *not* have a Google/Gmail account then go to Google.com and Create account. Once you’re signed in, go into your Google Drive (drive.google.com).
  • On your Google Drive page click on New in the upper left. Then on Google Sheets. This will create a new Google Sheets.
  • Let’s take a moment and get oriented to what a Google Sheet looks like. Each sheet contains little rectangles called Cells. Cells are organized into Rows (which have numbers) and Columns (which have letters). Each cell also has an address based on its Column and Row, such as A1. You can click on a cell to add text, formatting, functions, and formulas.
  • Let’s add some headings to your sheet. You can use these or make up your own: Job Position, Company Name, Job Location, Salary or Hourly Rate, Website URL (so you can go back to that job listing), Notes, Progress. You can click on each cell to add text. You can also hit Tab to move to the next cell on the same row.
  • The next step is pretty cool. You can use your sheet to track the status of each application in your job search. One good way to do this is by using data validation. Data validation helps you control what kind of data you enter in your sheet. Data validation can create a drop-down list of items for each cell so you do not have to type in the same data every time.
    Click on the G above Progress. This selects that column. Then click on Data > Data Validation.


  • In the Data validation window next to Criteria click the box and choose List of items. In the box that says Enter items separated by a comma type a list of options separated by commas. For example Have not started, Resume in Progress, Submitted, Interview Scheduled, Offer received. Then click on Save. Congratulations! Now every cell on that column will have a little drop down menu.
  • As you enter on each row a new job opening, you can choose the status of your progress. Everything from Haven’t started to Offer received. Click on a cell in that column and try it.
  • Finally give your sheet a name. Click where it says Untitled spreadsheet and enter a helpful name for this sheet. Something like My Job Search 2020.
  • Your job search sheet is now ready for you to put some information in each row. So click on the + on your web browser  to open a new tab and look for some jobs.

    Continued in Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, Part Two

Written by Richard Wright

How to Build Self-Confidence for Job Search and Career Success

Job search can be a tough time for anybody’s self-confidence. Getting rejected for jobs or having the search taking longer than expected can eat away at our self-esteem. Here are some tips on keeping up your positive self-image even during tough times.

Self Confidence is a learned behavior

According to famed motivational speaker Tony Robbins, self-confidence is “the feeling of certainty that you can accomplish what you set out to do.” And it is a learned behavior! In his words, “The truth is that you are completely in charge of how you feel, including whether or not you feel confident. Confidence is not something that people are born with or simply have – it’s something you can create.” Gerald Schiraldi, author of the Self Esteem Workbook, points out that “the love and approval of others do not equal self-esteem. Otherwise it would be called other-esteem”. So, how can we increase or strengthen our self-esteem?

A healthy mind in a healthy body

It’s harder to feel self-confident when we feel physically unwell. Self-esteem builds on the basics of enough sleep, a good diet and exercise. Good posture and standing up tall also improve our feeling of power and agency. Try powerposing!

Retraining the brain for self confidence

Self-confident people know that they are the narrators of their own story. They take full accountability and have the belief that it is in their power to achieve what they set out to do. Since this belief in oneself is trainable, let’s look at a few exercises that can help everybody to build up their self-confidence.

  1. Practice the Golden Rule in reverse. We often talk to ourselves more harshly than we would to other people. Resolve to treat yourself as you would treat a good friend or loved one.
  2. Practice self-compassion. Use mindful awareness of emotional distress. Recognize self-critical thoughts without accepting them, e.g. “there is a critical thought – it’s just a thought”.
  3. Use “even though…nevertheless” statements, rather than labeling yourself. For example: Instead of “I’m just not good at this,” say “Even though I am not very good at this right now…. I nevertheless am on course and moving along” or “…. I nevertheless still enjoy trying” or “… learning nevertheless still feels adventurous”.
  4. Rewire your self-talk. “I’ll never succeed” turns into “success is exerting effort and moving in the desired direction”. “If only I‘d….” turns into “Next time I’ll….”. “I hate this about me” turns into “What an interesting quirk; I’m going to work on that”. “I’ll probably blow this” turns into “I’m not afraid to try, because my worth comes from within”.
  5. Create an inventory of your accomplishments. Everybody has accomplishments to be proud of. Write yours down and remember how good it felt to achieve them.
  6. Make a playlist with music that builds you up.
  7. Surround yourself with people that build you up. Avoid people that make you feel small.

There are many TED talks that give great examples of the techniques outlined above. Here are some to start with:

Niko Everett: Meet Yourself

Kari Romeo: Teach Your Inner Critic a New Story

Written by Anne Nowak

New Career Center Books

COVID-19 has made this a challenging time for workers. Unemployment is high, layoffs are widespread, and some people are finding themselves out of work for the first time in years. Please remember, though, that the Career Center is here to help. In addition to our in-person and online services, we also have books on a variety of job-searching topics. Here are a few of our newest guides:

Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide
by Karen Wickre
We often tell clients that the best way to get job leads is through networking. The old adage is true: it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. Too often, our clients feel uncomfortable and shy about reaching out to their network. This book aims to help jobseekers with networking strategies via an unconventional approach which can work well for introverts. Subjects include: maintaining relationships through social media, mastering small talk, managing email communications, and blending the personal with the professional. Author Karen Wickre, journalist and former editorial director of Twitter, brings to bear a lifetime of experience in communications.

Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed. . .Get Hired
by Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark
The rules of resume design change fairly frequently, so if you haven’t reworked your resume in a few years, it may be outdated. Fear not, though: Master Resume Writers Kursmark and Enelow have drawn on their significant expertise to provide a thorough compendium for resume structure, content, and design.  From the big (How do I make a resume ATS-friendly?) to the small (What font should I use?) to the tricky (I haven’t worked in five years. . .), this guide aims to answer all your resume questions. Included are several dozen example resumes.

Job Interview Tips for Overcoming Red Flags
by Ronald Krannich, PhD
The job interview is a stressful process at the best of times. This is of course doubly true if you have a sticky situation that may come up in the interview. Perhaps you have been fired, or received a negative reference. Maybe you lack certain relevant skills, have an unstable work history, or possess a criminal record. Whatever your situation, this guide aims to help you identify your red flags, formulate strategies to overcome them, and find ways to present yourself in your best light at job interviews. Author Ronald Krannich is a job search expert with more than 100 published books to his name.

Comeback Careers: At 40, 50, and Beyond
by Mika Brzezinski and Ginny Brzezinski
Workers over the age of 40 face an extra obstacle in the job search – age discrimination. For women especially, this obstacle can compound with other issues, such as years spent raising children instead of focusing on a career. Yet restarting one’s career in middle age is possible. This book features interviews with dozens of successful professionals who have reinvented and relaunched themselves into a second career. The book discusses ways to use the knowledge and experience you already have as a foundation for building a new image and career. There are also strategies from expert career coaches tailored especially to mid-career jobseekers.

If you’d like to place a hold on one of these books, please visit the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Written by Lynnette Lee

Who’s Hiring During the Pandemic

This is a uniquely challenging time to search for a job. Concerns over COVID-19 have shuttered many businesses, and large numbers of people have been temporarily or permanently laid off. Given this uncertainty, most companies are slowing down hiring – but not all. Certain fields are growing quickly in response to consumer demand during the outbreak, including:

  • Hospitals and Medical Centers: Locally, this includes Our Lady of the Lake, Baton Rouge General, and Ochsner, all of whom are hiring both medical and non-medical staff.
  • Janitorial Companies: Janicare, Janiking, and Aramark are among those hiring locally.
  • Grocery Stores: This will include national chains like Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Albertson’s, plus local chains such as Rouse’s and Associated Grocers.
  • Pharmacies: Walgreens and CVS, as well as smaller local pharmacies, will need more employees.
  • Home Repair Stores: Both Lowe’s and Home Depot have been categorized as essential stores that will remain open throughout the crisis, and both are hiring.
  • Delivery Services: Amazon is having explosive growth due to online ordering. Food delivery services such as Waitr, UberEats, and GrubHub also need staff to keep up with demand. And grocery delivery services such as Shipt and Postmates are rapidly growing.
  • Transportation Services: For non-CDL drivers, check FedEx, UPS, and the Post Office. For CDL drivers, there are a variety of companies to choose from, so your best bet may be an aggregate job search website such as Indeed.

Additionally, you could use this time as an opportunity for some entrepreneurship. Think creatively about what services you could sell. Could you offer to provide lawn care, handyman services, housecleaning, cooking, or grocery pickup for your community? Could you babysit neighbors’ children while the parents are at work? Sign up as an online tutor? Craft items to sell on Etsy? Your skills and hobbies could help you fill in the cracks financially.

We wish you luck with your job search through this challenging time. As always, feel free to call the Career Center at 225-231-3733 for answers to your job search questions.

Written by Cynthia Payton and Lynnette Lee

Tech Talk: Learning Express Job and Career Accelerator

The East Baton Rouge Parish Library recently acquired a new resource to assist jobseekers: the Job and Career Accelerator service of the Learning Express database.

How to Access It:

The Learning Express database is free to anyone with an East Baton Rouge Parish Library card. Go to the library website, then click on The Digital Library. Choose to search the “A-Z List”, then find “Learning Express 3.0” which takes you to the Learning Express database. Now click on “Job and Career Accelerator”.

How it’s organized:

There are six sections to this resource.

Find a Career Match: These assessments can be a good career planning tool for people who don’t know where to start. The Interest Matcher asks you about how much – or how little – you are interested in doing certain types of tasks.  The Skills Assessment is similar, except it asks about what skills you already have.  Each assessment will, based on your answers, provide you with a list of professions and types of work which match your interests or skills.

Explore Occupations: This tool provides detailed information about 1000 different careers.  There are several different options for how to search and narrow down results. For each job title, the database gives information on job description, average salary, projected demand, education needed, skills preferred, and more.

Search for Jobs and Internships: This takes you directly to job postings and internship opportunities on Indeed.

Tools to Get Hired: This section provides samples of job search-related documents, including resumes, cover letters, networking letters, and post-interview thank-you notes. There is also a how-to-interview tutorial and a resume-building tool.

Career Library: This section has in-depth guides on how to start a career in several common fields, including healthcare, teaching, paralegal, police, and culinary arts. There are also specialized guides for how to change careers and how to use social networking in the job search.

School and Scholarship Finder: The Scholarship Finder helps you search among 24,000 different scholarships to find scholarships for which you might qualify. The School Finder helps you locate a school that meets your educational goals and needs. It includes a Quick Match tool that helps you find schools that might be a good match for you.

What do we like most about this resource?

One-stop shop: This database brings together a lot of resources for different aspects of job searching and career planning under one roof. You can take an assessment, choose a career, write a resume, apply for jobs, and find a school, all under one roof. That can be very convenient.

Good information: There are lots of tools here to help you become a savvy jobseeker. For instance, the sample letters in the Tools to Get Hired section are helpful examples. And the guides in the Career Library are extremely informative, if there is a guide for your chosen career.

Resume Keywords: This was our absolute favorite part of the database. The Resume Builder contains a list of Job-Specific Keywords which you can use to plug into your resume. For example, if you look for “Accountant”, a long list of keywords and skills related to accounting and finance will come up. You can then choose some of those keywords to fill out the “Skills” section of your resume. This is a great way to make sure your resume bursts with the key skills that will grab a hiring manager’s attention.

What do we dislike most about this resource?

Derivative: This database has very little in it which is original. The job postings come from Indeed. The career information comes from ONET. And the general structure of the resources comes from Career Cruising, another career database which we’ve discussed extensively.

Resume Builder: We know, we seem to be contradicting ourselves. We said that we loved the Keywords section of the Resume Builder. And that’s true. But we found the rest of the Resume Builder inflexible and hard to use. It uses a one-size-fits-all formula for the resume template, making it difficult to tailor a resume to suit your specific skills and audience. We much prefer referring our patrons to our own resume templates, which are 100% customizable.

Written by Richard Wright and Lynnette Lee

The Seven Deadly Sins of Job Searching, Part 6

This is the sixth post in a series of posts about the most common and damaging mistakes jobseekers make. Read the full series here.

6th deadly sin: going it alone

You read our blog posts about the first five deadly sins of job searching, and have all your ducks in a row. Your resume and social media presence are top notch, and you are well prepared for job interviews. You are staging a great search. . .and yet, after a few weeks, no success. You are starting to doubt yourself. Are there any jobs out there? Are you good enough? Yes, you are! But job searching takes time and patience. The higher your desired position and salary the longer your search will take. The longer the search takes the more demoralizing and discouraging it can become. Don’t commit the 6th deadly sin of job search and try to go it alone!

The best antidote to the job search blues is community

Not feeling needed anymore is one of the prime stressors after job loss. Build a support system that shows you are not alone in this and that makes you feel needed and appreciated. What constitutes a support system will look different for everybody depending on their individual needs. Support systems are often drawn from:

Family – If you have a supportive family that listens and encourages you, perfect! If they make you feel needed, even better. Unfortunately family members often, mostly unknowingly, add to stress with well intentioned but unfounded advice and pressure.

Religious/Spiritual groups – If you have a religious or spiritual home you can fall back on, this can be invaluable. Being involved and helping others can make you feel better about your own situation.

Sports teams/hobby groups – Physical activity is very important for emotional wellbeing. Again, helping others by coaching or leading groups will make you feel better as well!

Job Search Support Groups – Jobs search support groups or job clubs are groups of job seekers that meet on a regular basis and bring job seekers from different backgrounds together for mutual support, networking, accountability and job search tips. Research shows that job club participants on average find employment faster than seekers who go it alone. They also report better wellbeing due to being able to help other group members with networking leads or other advice. You can find these groups in most larger cities and they are often sponsored and run by churches and community organizations. Here at the Career Center we are big believers in this concept and have facilitated weekly job club meetings for years.

If you are a job seeker in a professional career and are interested in joining our job club, you can find more information here or give the Career Center a call at 225-231-3733.

Stay tuned for the next deadly sin of job search.

Written by Anne Nowak

Different Types of Job Fairs

April and May are job fair season in South Louisiana. There are a number of job fairs to choose from each week. But, job searcher beware, not all job fairs are created equal. If you don’t do your research ahead of time you might well waste your time and return frustrated. Different job fairs work for different job searchers. Here is an overview of the different kinds of job fairs and who will benefit most:

College Career Fairs

These job fairs are organized by colleges mainly for their students and alumni, but sometimes they are open to the general public as well. Colleges put on general job fairs, which include a wide selection of employers and professions. Before you go and attend a general job fair, find out which employers will be present and if they are interesting to you! In addition to the general job fairs, colleges often organize fairs specific to certain professions: e.g. health care careers, engineering, media, or skilled trades. These are preferable to the general fairs since you know each employer present has an interest in hiring candidates from your field.

In general the employers present at college career fairs are mainly interested in entry-level and recent graduate candidates. Though alumni are usually invited as well, there will be fewer opportunities for mid-career candidates. However, talking to a live human recruiter or hiring manager is always preferable to just applying online. So the chance to talk to hiring managers directly, learn information about the company and making connections might make it worthwhile for mid-career professionals to attend.

General Public Job Fairs

These are often organized by local non-profit organizations, media outlets or workforce centers. They are unfocused and represent a wide variety of employers and fields. Often the majority of employers present at these general fairs are from companies or fields with high turnover jobs who need new employees frequently. These occupations are often found at the lower paying level of the world of work. If you need a job fast and are not picky, these job fairs might work for you. If you are an experienced professional, do your research and find out beforehand which employers will be present to see if it is worth your while to attend.

A drawback that college and general job fairs have in common is that some of the companies present are not really actively hiring. Sometimes they attend more for the public relations value. They want to be seen as thriving companies that are attractive to potential employees. Yes, they will still take your resume at the job fair but it will not lead to anything.

Single Employer Job Fairs

These are the best job fairs. As the name suggests, this is a job fair for/with just one employer who is normally looking to fill a number of different positions. These are the best job fairs because the companies conducting them are in need and actively looking for people. They are usually very organized and ready to interview and process applicants on the spot. This means that there is very little time between the job fair and starting a new position. Single employer job fairs are conducted by companies in all fields, from high tech and IT, to warehouse, healthcare and hospitality.

The career center can help!

The best way to find out about any kind of job fair in your area is social media. Follow any company you are interested in on social media. They will normally announce their job fair participation on their different accounts. Also follow your school’s career center social media as well as your local workforce or unemployment center, Dept. of Labor and public library. For the Greater Baton Rouge area the Career Center at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library is your one stop shop. We post all upcoming job fairs on our social media, we frequently host them, and we help you prepare for an impeccable job fair performance with our Job Fair Success seminars, like this one.

Written by Anne Nowak

The Seven Deadly Sins of Job Searching, Part 4

This is the fourth post in a series of posts about the most common and damaging mistakes jobseekers make. Read the full series here.

4th deadly sin: an unmanaged and unmonitored social media presence

If you followed the advice of our blog posts about the first three deadly sins of job searching,  you now know what you want and what you can contribute, you have a networking strategy in place, and you have a well-written resume. Great, well done! You are ready to get the word out to your network and to recruiters that you are on the market. Yet despite good qualifications, you get no leads or interviews.

Have you monitored your social media presence lately?
Is your social media presence holding you back? You want to be on social media while job searching! Social media platforms can be of tremendous help in finding a job. But your presence can also cost you the job if not managed carefully. The vast majority of recruiters and/or hiring manager will check you out on the internet!

LinkedIn: If you are in a professional career, you need a LinkedIn profile. The profile needs to be complete, including a professional picture. All LinkedIn content needs to be professional; this is not the place for your vacation pics or party exploits. For more information on LinkedIn see our previous post.
Facebook: If you use Facebook exclusively for private non-professional content, make sure to lock it down and set your privacy settings to the most restrictive settings possible. Don’t let anybody tag you in pictures; don’t let anybody post anything to your timeline. Delete old profile pics. Don’t post incriminating pictures, and be careful about what you post or articles you share or like. Beware of public groups. Despite all these potential negatives, Facebook can be a good networking tool.
Twitter: Twitter is inherently public. So adjust your strategy while job searching. If you follow any divisive or questionable groups or organizations, drop them while you are on the search. Also refrain from commenting on, posting, or retweeting such content. Do not share or retweet incriminating pictures of any kind. Do use Twitter to follow, comment on, engage in and retweet content that is highly relevant to the job you are looking for.
Instagram: Again, beware of the pictures you post, what you like and comment on. Do use Instagram to post pictures, follow, and engage in content and organizations that support your job search and show your interest in the subject matter.

Personal Branding
Ideally you want to use all your social media accounts for a branding campaign. You know what kind of job you are looking for and you know the kinds of organizations you’d most like to work with. Now you can utilize social media to learn as much as possible about these organizations and engage with them. Follow their social media presence, engage with and comment on their posts, post relevant content on your own feeds, and use targeted hashtags. If you do this well, maybe your next job will find you.

If you need assistance in creating LinkedIn profiles or learning about social media for the job search, call the Career Center at 225-231-3733.

Stay tuned for the next deadly sin of job search.

Written by Anne Nowak