The Toronto Public Library wants to find you a job, or at least that’s one of the goals of the TPL’s new Job Help Blog. Early this February, the TPL launched the site in conjunction with Toronto Helps to assist out-of-work Torontonians in their job hunts. “We were invited by the City to participate in a citywide initiative,” explained Dara Renton, manager of the Virtual Reference Library. “It was a great opportunity.” The blog is also part of a plan to increase the TPL’s job and career focused programs by 35%. According to Renton, “the economic downturn has had a huge impact on library services.” In comparison to last year, library visits and the use of resources have increased by 20%.
The Job Help Blog is clear about how technology and the recession have changed the job market. “Find employers, not jobs,” suggested Frances West, one of the site’s three contributors. According to West, four-fifths of all job opportunities are unadvertised, “making the hidden job market one of your biggest obstacles.” Searching for a job on the internet can also be jarring, especially for people in their forties and fifties who haven’t had to look for a job in years. “If you’ve had a job for ten years you might not have job hunted in this environment,” explained West. So far, the site has received most of its feedback from former middle managers searching for tips and information on job fairs.
While the site won’t provide instant employment, it’s still a great tool if you’re looking for Toronto-specific employment resources and information on how to write resumes, make cold calls, manage job searches, and search for hidden jobs. There might be other Toronto-related job blogs out there, but none of them have the career and employment resources of the TPL.