Planning & Researching
Get prepared for your job search using the following resources.
Register for an Email Address
Two popular providers of web-based email accounts are Google Gmail, and Yahoo. For help registering, read the Gmail and Yahoo registration help documents (PDF) from Enoch Pratt Free Library. Gmail and Yahoo ask new registrants for a cellphone number, so if you do not have a cellphone that can receive text messages, please select another email service.
Two email providers that do not require a phone number to register are ProtonMail and Mail.com. If you will be using this email account to contact employers, you should choose a professional-sounding email address.
Develop Your Computer Skills
Attend free Pratt Library computer classes. Available classes include beginning computer classes as well as introductions to Microsoft Office and using the Internet.
Research a Career
The first step in finding a job to apply for is researching career fields. Use these resources to research a career and to evaluate a position after you have received a job offer.
- The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics contains information about specific careers. Entries describe what the work in a particular field is like, what compensation and benefits can be expected, and what qualifications are required. The “Job Outlook” section of each job entry shows projections about the number of jobs in that field in the years to come.
- O*Net, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, describes what a job or career is “really like” by exploring the common features of different careers.
- MyNextMove.org, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, can be accessed either by a keyword search, browsing known industries, or answering survey questions. The site is also available in Spanish.
- Career One-Stop, also sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, can be used to research a career, look at detailed, state-specific occupation and industry profiles, use self-assessment tools, and learn more about salaries & benefits, education & training, and resumes & applications.
Research a Potential Employer
Start by visiting the company’s website. Review the annual report, strategic plan, or financial disclosure documents about the company prior to an interview. For some companies, you can use Gale OneFile: Business to find articles and information about the company.
Look for the company’s listing with the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland. Your Pratt Library card gives you access to the Mergent Business Online, which you can use to find company information including financial details, affiliate companies, executives, and competitors. Select D&B 20 Million Plus Private Company Search to search for private companies.
Private companies are more difficult to research. Visit the Business, Science and Technology Department at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Maryland’s State Library Resource Center, to access Hoover’s Handbook of Private Companies 2020.
Avoid Employment-Related Scams
To avoid scams, always protect your personal information. Be On The Lookout For Job Scams, from the Maryland Workforce Exchange, details some common employment related scams and the steps you can take to protect yourself from them. Learn more about how to avoid job scams from the Federal Trade Commission. The Maryland Attorney General maintains a page detailing how to protect yourself from identity theft.
If you would like to know more, try our Live Chat with a Librarian service, or contact us.