Jobs & Career

We are here to help you succeed in your career search. Need a computer? Use ours to search and apply for jobs or create a resume. Need to brush up on your business communication skills? Log in to our online resources to help improve your writing and interviewing skills. Visit us on 3rd floor of the Central Library or schedule a one-on-one appointment with our Career Resource Specialist.

Rhiannon Johnson is the Library’s Career Development and Personal Finance Specialist. She has a Master of Science in Education from the University of Kansas and Bachelor of Art in Organizational Communication Studies from Ball State University. For the past five years, she has served as a career coach at the University of Kansas. Rhiannon can provide coaching on career development topics including resumes cover letters, career transitions, job searching and interviewing techniques. In addition, she also can help connect you to resources for making informed financial decisions.

If you are interested in joining Kansas City Public Library’s job club, please fill out the Interest Form.

Employers wishing to share job postings for the Career Newsletter, please submit this form.


General Advice & Information

  • Tailor your resume for every application by including relevant keywords from the job description
  • Many companies now use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage job applications; the systems scan resumes for keywords and typically work best with Microsoft Word documents
  • Recruiters typically scan your resume for up to 20-30 seconds
  • Proofread and have at least a second person review your resume

Content

  • Always include contact information, work experience, and education; use action verbs to start each statement
  • Replace basic job duties with impactful skills and accomplishments and eliminate words like “responsible for” and “duties included”
  • For each experience, include the organization, position title, month and years, and location (city/state)
  • Experience can be paid or unpaid. Other experience could include but is not limited to: volunteer, leadership, community involvement, etc.

Formatting

  • Typically 1 page in length; 2 pages with graduate level degree or higher; highly specialized or academic positions may require a CV of 2+ pages with no limit
  • Use 10-12 point, easy to read font. Most utilized fonts include Calibri, Cambria, Times New Roman and Arial. Use consistent size and font
  • Use bolding, italics, all caps to make the important things stand out (Name, section headers, position titles, etc)

Avoid

  • Borders, shading, photos, graphics; Personal information such as age, birthdate, parental or marital status, gender identity, race, hobbies etc.
  • Avoid listing vague skills, such as “Good communication skills” or “strong team player.” Show excellent communication skills by talking about them the statements in experience section.
  • “References available upon request” and Objective Statements are no longer necessary; references belong on a second separate page.
  • Avoid personal pronouns “I” “me” “my” etc.
  • Templates are helpful to get an idea of formatting, but sometimes cannot be read by ATS systems.

Ways to Save Your Document

  • Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx) is best for uploading or attaching a resume to an online application.
  • Plain Text (.txt) is best for copying and pasting a resume into the text boxes on an online application.
  • Portable Document Format (.pdf) is best for emailing a resume directly to a hiring manager or human resources department. Note, some ATS systems cannot read PDFs.
  • It is highly recommended to apply directly on the company’s website instead of posting a resume on job boards such as Indeed or Zip Recruiter.

Resources

  • In-Person: Schedule an appointment with the Career Resources Specialist, or call 816.701.3663
  • Online: Use your Library Card number and PIN to access from home. Don’t have a KCPL card? Apply for a card right now and get immediate access to all our online resources.
  • JobNow: Get live, online help and feedback to improve your document.
  • LinkedIn Learning, LearningExpress Library, and UniversalClass: All three have resume building video tutorials for resume writing
  • Job Scan: Optimize your resume for ATS systems. Scan your resume for up to 5xs per month for free to see keyword matches and areas for improvement; also check out information and guides for resume writing and building


Successful job seekers use a variety of search strategies including online applications in addition to referrals and networking. Check out the resources below to get started! Need a little help refining your search strategy? Ask us!

Kansas City Metro Area Jobs

  • Jobs.MO.gov: The state of Missouri’s main site for finding localized government jobs. Also recommended for reentrants, veterans, and job seekers with disabilities.
  • Kansas Works: Live on the other side of the state line? Find jobs in Kansas from a variety of employers.
  • KCJobs.com: Find jobs in the Kansas City area in customer service, warehouse, maintenance, manufacturing, and retail… plus many more.
  • Nonprofit Connect: If you’re looking for a career in nonprofit organizations in Kansas City, this is a good place to start.

Local Community Job Searching Resources

  • Full Employment Council: The FEC serves residents of Cass, Class, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri, offering employment help and career counseling for adult and young adults.
  • Women’s Employment Network: WEN works with women of all socioeconomic backgrounds who want to boost their employability. They offer one-on-one coaching, classes, and programs on everything from career preparation to resume development and interviewing skills. Financial coaching also available.
  • Workforce Partnership: Serving residents in Johnson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, WF helps people with career exploration and job searching.
  • United Way 2-1-1: Acting as a referral service, 2-1-1 helps you connect with local Kansas City organizations that can help you with various needs, including employment, career training, financial assistance, etc. If you’re more comfortable using the phone, you can dial 2-1-1 to be connected with a representative who can search that information for you.

Local Job Fairs

Attending a job fair has many benefits. You can learn about employment opportunities, connect with recruiters at various companies, and some fairs even offer on-site hiring and applications. Not quite ready to apply? Career and job fairs can be great opportunities to learn about skills that employers are looking for as well as overall industry trends.

Tips for attending a job fair:

What to wear: Whenever possible, wear business professional attire in neutral colors.

What to say: Prior to attending, research the organizations you want to speak with; information you might consider searching for includes the types of positions posted, background information on the organization and industry. Most of this can be found on organizations’ websites. You will also want to prepare an short introduction that includes your name, best skills, any relevant previous work experience, and why you are interested in working for the organization. After your introduction, you will be able to ask questions of the recruiter. Thoughtful questions that are based in the research on the organization will help you stand out!

What to bring: Bring updated copies of your resume, mints, a pen, paper, and questions for the recruiters. If you need help creating or updating your resume, check out our resume resources. For more advice on attending a career fair, visit with the Career Resources specialist.

Local & National Jobs

  • USAJobs: If you’re looking for a career in federal government, this is the official employment site of the U.S. government. Besides applying for jobs, attend virtual events geared toward the prospective government job applicant (their hiring process is a bit differently than private employers), such as how to write an effective resume for a federal job position.
  • Indeed.com: An easy-to-use Google-like search engine that helps you filter through the junk to find exactly what you’re looking for.
  • Glassdoor: Search for jobs, post your resume, and research potential employers. Get in the know and read reviews others have posted about employers, salaries, benefits, and interview questions they were asked.
  • Careerbuilder: Post your resume, see what keywords employers are using when searching for candidates, and find opportunities that are a good fit for your qualifications.
  • Idealist Careers: Want to make an impact on the world? Try searching for nonprofit careers here.
  • ZipRecruiter: Another job search engine that aggregates jobs listings from across the U.S. One interesting feature: it allows you to search trending job titles, companies, and job types.

Who Do You Know?

Networking is the name of the game when it comes to securing a job. Did you know 70-80% of jobs are not officially posted and come through personal referrals and contacts? Get in the know by expanding your circle. Whether through a virtual network such as LinkedIn or taking an active role in a professional organization, these resources can get you started on the right path to scoring connections and perhaps ultimately, a job. Library networking resources: Library card number and PIN required for online databases. Don’t have a card? Sign up now and get instant access to our digital resources!

  • Peruse this list of items in our catalog that you can check out. They may help you get over the networking hump (or slump)!
  • LinkedIn Learning: Watch high-quality instructional videos on career networking, setting up a LinkedIn profile, or any other aspect of job searching.
  • Learning Express Library: If you need more help designing a professional online profile, check out the e-book “Social Networking for Career Success.”

Employment Agencies

Employment agencies contract with local companies to fill temporary roles for projects or other tasks. Sometimes these jobs can lead to permanent positions. It might worth checking out a temp agency to gain practical experience or just to put a little extra cash in your pocket while you look for a long-term job. Search our AtoZ business directory to find local staffing agencies.

Internships & Volunteering

Interested in pursuing a new job but lack the required hands-on experience in your field? An internship or volunteering can be a stepping stone to a new career or job. Build up your work portfolio, gain new skills, and expand your network of professional contacts. If you are a college student, check out your university’s career center for more postings and guidance on applications.

  • LinkedIn Learning: Watch tutorials on how to land an internship and turn it into a potential permanent job.
  • Internships.com: Find paid and unpaid internships in your field of interest.
  • Indeed.com: Filter your search results to “Internship” (if available) under the Job Type field.
  • Volunteermatch.org: Pursue your career passion while gaining real-life experience.
  • Idealist.org: Find jobs, internships, volunteer work, and more.

Flexible Jobs: Part-Time, Contract, Temporary, Freelance, & Telecommunting Jobs

Need a flexible job or a side job that can accommodate your schedule?

  • FlexJobs.com: Even though this requires a small monthly subscription fee to access, it may be worthwhile if you’re trying to find flexible, professional-level jobs. Search for a telecommuting, temporary, part- or full-time, or contract job, anywhere in the United States, with reputable companies. Each job listing is carefully vetted by staff to make sure it is legit and FlexJobs is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
  • TaskRabbit: Register as a “tasker” and let the TaskRabbit community know what you’re willing to help with—yardwork, small home projects, moving, cleaning, etc.—and at what price.
  • Care.com: Are you the caregiver type? Whether it’s taking care of children, pets, seniors, or other people’s homes or responsibilities, you can find short-term jobs of those varieties here.
  • USAToday: “Side gig opportunities: 27 businesses you can start for less than $1,000”
  • Forbes.com: “81 Sites To Find Side Gigs To Earn More Money Now”


Finding a job is challenging enough, but when you have extenuating circumstances it can be even more difficult. Get some peace of mind and advice for navigating the complexities of employment for re-entrants, veterans, individuals with disabilities, career changers, and those affected by a recent job layoff. While you’re on the job hunt, take some time and learn a new skill to add to your resume. Library self-directed learning resources such as LinkedIn Learning and Pronunciator are all available to you free-of-charge with a KCPL library card and PIN. No card? No worries! Sign up for a card.

Reentrants

  • Missouri Reentry: This website, sponsored in part by the Missouri Dept. of Corrections, is aimed at finding services such as housing, education, job training, medical/healthcare, and more for ex-offenders.
  • Career OneStop: Information, tips, and resources to help people with criminal convictions overcome barriers they might face in their job search. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • HireRight.com: Get a free copy of your background report at this site and make sure it’s accurate before you start applying for jobs. It’s your right to know!

Veterans

  • Learning Express Library:: Search “Best Careers for Veterans” to find a downloadable e-book that will help “discover the best jobs for you given your military experience, rework your resume, network with other vets, and much more.” Log-in with library card and PIN to access.
  • Career OneStop:: Information, tips, and resources to help veterans find gainful employment with skills acquired through their military careers. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Hire Veterans
  • Check out these library books: and other website resources for more information on this topic.

People With Disabilities

  • The AAPD Career Center is a premier source for people with disabilities to search for and land professional careers with leading employers. The AAPD Career Center attracts leading companies and universities to find qualified and diverse candidates. The new AAPD Career Center makes it easier than ever to find the right opportunities for you - get started today by uploading your resume and browsing recent listings.
  • AbilityLinks: Post your resume and search for jobs with reputable employers who will look beyond disabilities to abilities.
  • Getting Hired: “Dedicated to helping inclusive employers hire professional individuals and veterans with disabilities.”
  • Career OneStop: Information, tips, and resources to help people with disabilities overcome barriers they experience in job searching. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: For Missouri residents. “If you want to work but have a disability that keeps you from finding, keeping or advancing in a job, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) may be able to help you. VR specializes in employment and training services that can assist you in becoming employed.”
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: For Kansas residents. “Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services are the cornerstone of our efforts to empower Kansans with disabilities to become gainfully employed and self-sufficient.”
  • SHiFT: Connects you with businesses who can accommodate your workplace capabilities and preferences. Administered by the Greater Kansas City Business Leadership Network (GKCBLN).

Career Changers

  • Learning Express Library: Search for the “Career Changer’s Manual” downloadable e-book that “details each step of the career-change process, with profiles of successful career moves, details about hiring industries, and more.” Accessible with library card and PIN.
  • Career OneStop: Advice on how to best present yourself to employers if you’re switching careers and/or industries.
  • Check out library books on how to go from career changing “How?” to “Wow!” Or maybe you want to find a career that fires you up? This book list of recommendations might be the spark you need to inspire change.

Recently Laid-Off

  • Career OneStop: One-stop shopping for all the information and help you’ll need to navigate the issues surrounding a layoff. Get help with unemployment benefits, find job hunting tips, and explore your options for gaining new skills and exploring new career paths.
  • Missouri Unemployment Benefits: MO Department of Labor. Register for unemployment benefits if your previous job was in Missouri.
  • Kansas Unemployment Benefits: KS Department of Labor. Register for unemployment benefits if your previous job was in Kansas.
  • Layoffs can affect you emotionally, physically and of course, financially. Browse some of these resources to help you get your head back in the employment game.


You applied for a job and now a hiring manager wants to schedule an interview. Brush up on your interview skills with an in-person mock interview, online coach, or watch tutorials for tips on how to make a lasting impression on your big day.

Recommended Web Resources

Are you more of a reader or audio listener? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out this curated list of popular interviewing books and audiobooks you can borrow with your library card.

Video Interviewing at the Library

We have a mobile computer station equipped for online video interviews and quiet study areas where you can plug in and put on your best interview face. Call 816.701.3663 to schedule a time to use the computer. We suggest you arrive sufficiently early to get set-up and make sure everything is working properly. Ask us if you have questions.



There are a vast array of career options—which one is the right one for you? Discover your strengths, talents, and skills to find your perfect match.

Find Your Fit: Carreer Assessment & Interests

  • O’Net Interest Profile: Unsure of what kind of career path you want to pursue? Take a job assessment test and learn what jobs are best suited to you! When you’re done, explore the O’NET OnLine site more thoroughly to research career specifics.
  • MyNextMove: A great place to start researching what you might want to be when you grow up.
  • Career OneStop: A wealth of information on careers, training, and jobs. Two- and four-year colleges also offer career counseling and services to prospective students:
  • Agile Work Profiler: Take this free assessment from the DeBruce Foundation to learn about your ten Agilities (i.e. competencies), which are universal to all occupations. Taking the Agile Work Profiler, can help you see how your strengths and interests connect to work activities.

Dig In & Research

  • Learning Express Library: Career Center section (Library card and PIN required). Prepare for a career exam and explore occupations here.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook: Is your career field expected to grow or phase out? What is the salary range? Find practical answers to help you make solid decisions for your future.
  • SalaryExpert: Run a customized report showing what jobs in your location typically pay for your education and experience.
  • LinkedIn Learning: Informational interviewing is a great tool to use to evaluate whether the reality of a job lives up to your expectations. Learn more by watching tutorials on this and other facets of career research on LinkedIn Learning. (Library cad and PIN required).

Local Community Career/Job Resources

  • Full Employment Council: The FEC serves residents of Cass, Class, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri, offering employment help and career counseling for adult and young adults.
  • Workforce Partnership: Serving residents in Johnson, Leavenworth, and Wyandott counties in Kansas, WP helps people with career exploration and job searching.
  • United Way 2-1-1: Acting as a referral service, 2-1-1 helps you connect with local Kansas City organizations that can help you with various needs, including employment, career training, financial assistance, etc. If you’re more comfortable using the phone, you can dial 2-1-1 to be connected with a representative who can search that information for you.
  • Need more one-on-one career help? Consider working with a career coach certified through the National Career Development Association (NCDA). Fees and services will vary by practitioner.


Get the education or training necessary to meet the requirements of your chosen career. From high school to college, or non-degree credentials, we have tools and resources to help you reach your career goals.

High School/GED/HiSet

There are several credentials that are at the level of a high school diploma or in its place. Each option offers different benefits and there may be a better choice for you depending on your career goals. Make sure you know if you are planning on pursuing additional education beyond the high school diploma, GED, or HiSet so you know which option is the right choice for you.

  • Career Online High School: Get your high school diploma completely online through this accredited program. You must meet certain admission criteria and be accepted in the program.
  • Learning Express Library: Take online practice exams for the GED or HiSET and you’ll be ready for test day (Library card and PIN required).
  • In-person test prep: The North Kansas City School’s adult education and literacy group offers free, in-class test prep classes for those interested in obtaining their high school equivalency credential.
  • State of Missouri—HiSET requirements: Learn what you need to study for the test, eligibility requirements, testing locations, and how to register for it.
  • Test prep library resources: “Check out” these practice books for all kinds of tests and certification exams.
  • Mometrix Test Prep: Utilize prep material to excel in various tests and certification exams.
  • Education Opportunity Center (EOC): Offered through Metropolitan Community College which provides services with attaining high school diploma/equivalent, choosing the best college for you as well as the application process, financial aid application assistance, and more.

Local Training & Credentialing Resources Non-Degree Seeking

There are many local and free training and non-degree credential programs available that can help you increase your employability and paycheck! These programs are short-term commitments that will help you quickly increase your employability for free.

  • Goodwill: Offers free certifications in various industries: Grow with Google programs including social media marketing, and IBM Skills Build program including cybersecurity, data analyst, and customer service. Check out their website for all program offerings.
  • KU Technology Education Program: Is a free program specifically for women who have justice-involved backgrounds, offering training in computer skills such as information privacy, website creation, basic coding skills, online security, standard office programs and social media.
  • Missouri Apprentice Ready Program: Interested in working in construction? Free construction apprentice training program is offered through the state of Missouri.
  • The Grooming Project: Free 6 month training program for dog grooming with options to connect to a grooming salon or become an entrepreneur upon completion.
  • Green Core Training: Interested in working in the green economy? The free Green Core training program provides you with the work readiness training and environmental literacy in order to get in contact with various environmental jobs.
  • Launch Code: Offers free courses, resources and prep programs for jobs in tech such entry level software developer, web developer, java developer, data analysis instructor, and much more.
  • Full Employment Council: Offers training with credentials in in-demand fields such as healthcare, information technology, business, etc.
  • State of Missouri Website: Offers information on free skill training through Missouri Job Centers and on the job-training.
  • FEMA: Extensive course list offerings for free independent study courses in Emergency Management. Most course content is available online.
  • SkillUP: SNAP recipients have access to a free program that helps interested participants develop in demand skills through training and provides connections to employers. Check out the program brochure for additional information.

Two & Four Year Colleges & Universities, Degree Seeking

There are many options to pursue a credential beyond a high school diploma. We encourage you to do research on your options. If you would like additional assistance to determine which path is right for you, the Educational Opportunity Center is a resource that is free and available to the public.

  • Types of institutions and programs to consider include: Vocational and Trade Schools that can provide hands on training and usually prepare you for a technical or hands – on job in two years or less. Community Colleges also offer a variety of options in under two years and offer pathways to pursue additional education at a four-year institution if you choose. Four- year colleges and universities can also be good options depending on your situation and your employment goals. Check out the links below for additional information as resources as you consider enrolling in an educational institution.
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges: Use the Directory feature to find an accredited career or trade school near you. Accreditation helps ensure the quality of the education and credential you are working towards> Many times employers require a credential from an institution that has received accreditation.
  • The National Center for Education Statistics: Provides a directory of institutions based on zip code and provides information about the institution type as well as its non-profit or for-profit status.
  • Training Provider Results: Helps individuals make informed career training choices based on the program’s completion and employment results.
  • The College Score Card: Allows you to search and compare colleges: their fields of study, costs, admissions, results, and more.

Career Licensure

Depending on your field, you may be required to take certified exams for state licensure. Here are resources that can guide you in the right direction and help you prepare for licensure exams.

Technology Training Resources

Are you looking to increase your digital skills? The library has many resources that can help you regardless of what you know about computers, technology, and digital devices.

  • NorthStar: The NorthStar assessment can asses your digital skills and help you learn new ones. NorthStar is used by many employers to determine if you have the digital skills necessary for employment.
  • DigitalLearn.org: Sign up for a Digital Learn account with your library card number to learn about computer basics, Microsoft Office apps and more.
  • Tech Access: Not sure where to start? Or are you looking for advanced opportunities to learn about careers in technology or how to use Google for your small business? Check our the library’s department for all things technology.
  • LinkedIn Learning: Learn business, software, technology or creative skills to advance your professional and personal skills (Library Card and Pin Required). Examples include Adobe Suite, Microsoft Office Suite, and many more! Browse their course offerings to increase your skill set today!

Professional Associations & Organizations

  • Professional associations and organizations: Join your industry’s professional organization, volunteer, or serve on its board to help you stay one step ahead of your peers while making valuable networking connections.


General Advice & Information

  • Salary is comprised of an employer’s assessment of your capabilities, their resources, market rates, and your ability to negotiate.
  • Avoid being the first one to name a figure; use ranges instead.
  • Ask for time to consider the offer. You do not have to accept immediately.
  • Practice with your friends, family, or a career advisor/specialist.
  • Listen carefully to the employer’s needs and values.
  • Give yourself room for negotiation; aim above your target as you discuss numbers.
  • Explain how your experience fits with their goals and what you will contribute.
  • Do your best to negotiate in person or via phone. Use email as a last resort.
  • If salary or monetary compensation is not an option, consider negotiating other aspects of your employment and benefits. Ideas include: start date, vacation and or sick leave, relocation expenses, tuition reimbursement, professional memberships/conferences, retirement plans, stock options, signing bonuses, technology (laptop/phone etc.), parking, work schedule or remote work possibilities, pay for performance system.
  • Finish with grace. Whether you accept, respectfully decline, or ask for more time to consider the offer, the best practice is to always politely thank the employer for their time and consideration after negotiating.

Prepare & Research Prior to Negotiating

  • Research estimated cost of living in the area where you live and work.
  • Understand what is typical for the industry where you are working for negotiation practices as well as compensation trends.
  • Use salary calculators to estimate the typical range and median salary for the position.
  • Assess your experience and qualifications. Do you exceed them? How so?
  • Do you possess any specialized experiences or skills that increase your value?

Tools & Resources

Pay Equity



Overview

  • Unemployment benefits, also called unemployment insurance is money that is government pays you if you lose your job through no fault of your own. The benefits also called payments are temporary financial assistance while you are not working.
  • To apply, you must file an initial application to determine your eligibility. If you are deemed eligible, you will need to submit weekly claims each week.
  • File for unemployment in the state where you worked, not the state where you live.
  • You must meet the unemployment requirements in the state where you worked to be eligible.
  • There is never a charge to file unemployment.
  • Unemployment benefits are considered taxable income by the IRS.

Initial Application

  • Use your legally given name on your application.
  • You will need your Social Security number. If you worked in Kansas, you will also need either your Driver’s License or State ID in addition to your Social Security number.
  • It is helpful to know your total earnings for the week (Sunday-Saturday) before taxes and deductions.
  • You will also need your name, address, an dates of the past 18 months of employment.
  • Routing and Account numbers for your bank account if you plan to use direct deposit.
  • Once you have applied, your application will be reviewed by the state Department of Labor.

Receiving Payments

  • If you are deemed eligible, the fastest method to receive payments is to provide banking information (routing and account number) during the application process. This allows the payment to go directly into your bank account.
  • You can also receive your unemployment payment through the mail as a paper check.
  • Some states allow payments to be loaded on pre-paid debit cards.

Unemployment in Missouri

  1. Set-up an account on Uinteract.labor.mo.gov. You will create a User ID and password. Make sure to remember and save your User ID and Password in a safe place so you can log back in. Do not share it with anyone else.
  2. Login and file your unemployment claim.
  3. File weekly requests for payment.

Watch video tutorials for filing in Missouri, review FAQs, or visit Missouri Department of Labor’s website.

Unemployment in Kansas

  1. Set-up an account on getkansasbenefits.gov. You will create a username, password, and 4 digit PIN. Make sure you remember and save this information in a safe place so you can log back in. Do not share it with anyone else.
  2. Login and file your unemployment claim.
  3. File weekly requests for payment.

Watch video tutorials for filing in Kansas, review FAQs, or visit the Kansas Department of Labor’s website.