Local News

Free programs prepare job-seekers for the hunt

Posted March 23, 2009 5:45 p.m. EDT
Updated March 23, 2009 8:16 p.m. EDT

— If you're looking for a job, you are not alone. A lot of out-of-work people haven't updated their resumes in years or gone on a job interview. However, there are free programs to help people get up to speed on job-searching skills.

The Cameron Village Regional Library computer lab, 1930 Clark Ave. in Raleigh, is overflowing these days with people trying to find jobs. Realizing that many people aren't skilled at using a computer – and need to make the most of limited computer lab time – the library started offering free one-on-one classes four times a week.

North Carolina State University students volunteer their time to help job-seekers fill out applications and update resumes.

"A lot of people just want to know where to start. With a resume, maybe they've never had to do one before or maybe they already have a resume and they just don' t know how to format it. I like to tell them, "Go online, find a template." That's a great place to start,” instructor Jennifer Gowen said.

Another great place to get help online is GCFLearnFree.org. The Web site, created by Goodwill Industries, offers career-development advice and computer training.

"Over 200,000 people last year accessed the (Web) site and took classes ... so it's a very popular and useful site. And it's free,” said Becky Lytle, with Goodwill Industries.

You can walk yourself through the lessons or sign up for a class with an instructor. You can even take classes in office software programs, earn a continuing education credit, or earn a certificate of completion that can be printed out for a potential employer.

"Where else can you find Microsoft application instruction ... learn the application and get (a) continuing education unit?" Lytle said.

The Cameron Village computer lab is open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.