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The Job Search Process  

This guide provides resources for the job search process, including: creating an email address, finding jobs, writing a cover letter and resume, saving and uploading files, submitting electronic applications, and interview and negotiation advice.
Last Updated: Apr 15, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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How to Create an Email Address

If you want to apply to any job online--the way many job applications are submitted and processed--you will first need an e-mail address. There are many services to use to sign up for an email address. Below, I will list a few popular e-mail services. Links direct the user to the instruction page for each service to guide them through setup.

PC Mag's Best Email Providers:

  • AOL Mail: "Offers on-page access to your chat buddies. You don't get as many inbox helpers and organizers as you do with, but you do get message preview . . . [but] has the most distracting ads among the major webmail services."
  • Gmail: "Large storage allowance, fast operation, and low level of spam. It's fast, clean, and the recent redesign improves on its appearance . . . built-in IM and video calling feature . . . privacy is an issue."
  • "If you're looking for a vanity domain . . . you'd be hard pressed to find a better webmail service than And the site's interface is no slouch, either, with a preview panel and the ability to pull in inboxes from other services . . . there's no built-in instant messaging."
  • Outlook (formerly Hotmail): "Clean interface, fast operation, and social network integration . . . best inbox cleaning and organizing tools around, including a Sweep feature that deals with newsletters. You can also view photos and videos right in the inbox, and IM is built in and it even works with Facebook chat. POP and IMAP access are free, and you can create alias addresses for free."
  • Yahoo! Mail: "Added a Photos app that lets you browse through all the images that you've sent or received during the entire life of your account . . . makes excellent use of tabs, and you get a preview pane. Built-in instant messaging lets you communicate with MSN/Windows Live Messenger as well as Yahoo's own Yahoo Instant Messenger, but not with AIM . . . still suffers from more spam than competitors."

How to Attach Documents to Your Job Application

Before you can think about applying to a job, you need to create files for your resume and cover letter. Resume and cover letter documents are most often saved in .doc (Word) and .pdf formats. The Balance has an article with more information: "How to Select the File Format for Your Resume" which also applies to cover letters and other documents like reference lists.

After you have successfully named and saved your cover letter and resume, you need to upload the files and attach them to your electronic job application. The Balance website has an article addressing this key step to make sure your potential employer gets all of your information: "Supporting Documents for a Job Application."


Books on Computer Basics

Cover Art
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Computer Basics - Michael Miller
ISBN: 9780789742537
Publication Date: 2009-09-01
Everything casual users need to know to get the most out of their new Windows 7 PCs, software, and the Internet nbsp; The best-selling beginner's guide, now completely updated for Windows 7 and today's most popular Internet tools - including Facebook, craigslist, Twitter, and Wikipedia Easy step-by-step instructions cover setting up a new PC, getting online, working with digital media, using productivity tools, and much more. By the world's #1 author of beginning technology books, Michael Miller.

Cover Art
Is This Thing On? - Abby Stokes
ISBN: 9780761168829
Publication Date: 2012-01-03
Now updated and revised, the user-friendliest, most reassuring, jargon-free, smartest, and most comprehensive nuts-and-bolts guide for seniors, who are the fastest-growing demographic among social networks. Abby Stokes is the perfect guide to the digital domain: She's taught more than 140,000 seniors how to use a computer.  In an easy, authoritative, hand-holding way, she covers it all: how to choose, buy, and start using a computer. How to connect to the Internet, sign up for e-mail, and use search engines. Plus, how and why to get digital in the first place: the ins and outs of online shopping, banking, travel planning, dating, research; how to take and share digital photographs and videos; how to discover online communities, and use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; the world of apps, online music, and streaming movies; and, importantly, online security and "netiquette." There's information on iPads, smartphones--including the Blackberry, iPhone, and Android--and e-readers like Nook and Kindle. A companion a Facebook page and Twitter feed provide easy and safe access to this brave new world.

Cover Art
Computers for Seniors for Dummies - Nancy C. Muir
ISBN: 9781119049555
Publication Date: 2015-10-12
The bestselling guide that helps the mature choose a computer and get online for shopping, paying bills, staying in touch with family and friends, and much more! A first computer can be confusing and intimidating at any age. Luckily, Computers For Seniors For Dummies is here to help the over-55 crowd conquer the uncertainty and fear with clear-cut, easy-to-understand steps on how to get the most out of your new computer. Inside, you'll find step-by-step guidance on getting started, from turning the computer on and using the keyboard and mouse to finding your way around the new Windows 9 operating system. In no time, you'll confidently navigate your way around your new computer to email with family and friends, stay connected on social media, shop securely online, research topics of interest, find recipes and diet tips, and so much more.

Local Computer Classes

Computer literacy is essential to the modern-day job search because many job boards are available online and require skills like creating and saving Word documents, uploading files, and searching on the Internet. Your local library should have computer classes available for free. Durham County Library has computer classes for different levels. Look at the calendar by clicking here. Some of the classes are:

  • Word BasicsLearn basic word processing skills using Microsoft Word. Formatting, fonts, spellcheck and many more useful features will be explored.
  • Introduction to ComputersAlready a computer user, but want to learn more, or has it been a while since you've used a computer and need a quick refresher? This 3-week class covers computer basics, Internet basics, and more. Call for more information.
  • Job Searching and ResumesBegin or update your resume and start your job search.
  • Connecting OnlineFor those with some Internet experience, who are interested in using the Internet to communicate with others online. Receive a brief overview of several social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, Tumbler, and more. Learn about email basics and online safety. 
  • Computer BasicsThis class is for the absolute beginner. Learn the basics of computers-how to use a mouse, keyboarding, and managing windows.

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