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Chat with Angel Roman


Transcript of Live Chat
October 5th, 2004

NYPL: Welcome to our chat with Angel Roman, certified Career Coach with the Five O'Clock Club. Today we'll be talking about the NYC job search. What resources are available in NYC? What is a One Stop Career Center, and what happens there? How do you get started with your job search? You can expect to learn more about the city's hidden resources!

NYPL: Angel Roman has more than 15 years of experience providing career development, career management and workforce development services to a broad range of professionals, college students and groups. Mr. Roman has a Master's degree in Counseling from Hunter College and is a Master Career Development Professional (MCDP) through the National Career Development Association. Additionally, he is a Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP) through the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals and is a Trainer and Portfolio Advisor for Cornell University's Empowering Families Project.

NYPL: Welcome, Angel!

aroman: Good morning to all. Welcome to our online chat on Job Readiness. I am confident that you will find today's discussion helpful to your employment and career goals. I am a Certified Career Coach with The Five O'Clock, a career coaching firm based in New York City. Visit us at for more information on how you can get your career going in the direction you want. Good luck to all and enjoy the discussion.

NYPL: Finding work can be an overwhelming task... where should a person start?

aroman: A person should begin by doing some type of self-assessment. What are your skills, interests, values, abilities? What do you like to do or what are you naturally good at? You may want to speak also with a career counselor or coach to assist you with some career planning. The NY Public Library at 40th Street and 5th Avenue have staff members that can assist you with some career planning activities. In addition, they have a series of free workshops on topics useful for your career exploration. Check out the schedules at and you will see the schedules. Also, the Department of Labor and some of the colleges provide assistance as well. Good luck.

NYPL: Can you describe for our audience what the One Stop Centers are?

aroman: One Stop Centers provide a host of services for job seekers. They have employment assistance and career planning services, offer job readiness workshops, provide access to phones and fax services for job seekers, and offer referrals for training programs that are certified by the NY State Education Department. No appointments are needed to go to a One-Stop. You need to attend an orientation and intake process. Go to to check out a listing of the One Stop Centers. There are four across the New York City. Services are free of charge.

Roz: Hello, I missed the chat last week. Can you tell me if it is archived someplace? Thank you.

NYPL: Hi Roz, it will be up by the end of this week, along with today's chat. Come back to this URL and you will see it!

Roz: Thank you.

Dart: I have been using sites among others trying to get a Job. I have never gotten an interview or a call. Can someone actually find a Job using those sites?

aroman: Using an online job search engine like is ok but don't expect a return. It's just like applying for a print ad--too much competition! Use other forms of looking for ads like networking, direct contact, as well as search firms. The Five O'CLock Club's book on Getting Interviews offers some great tips to land meetings. So, diversify your job search approaches.

bethany: what is the best way to get my resume noticed when i have been completing a degree for the last 2 years and not working? i have plenty of previous work experience, but wanted to just put my head down and finish a 4 year degree in 2 and a half years

aroman: I would suggest that you use a Positioning Statement at the top of your resume and list about 4-6 bulleted accomplishments that you would want a prospective employer to know about you. Even if you are still finishing your degree, list other activities that you are involved in. Are you a member of a college club, doing an internship or volunteer work, hold office in a community group, or are involved in some sort of activity? Even if you are not employed at the time, look at other ways to create value for an employer. Look at the Five O'Clock Club book on Resumes...excellent resource and great tips on resumes for college students.

kenithap: I am a prospective International student, what are my chances of finding a temporary job while studying in the U.S?

aroman: Opportuniteies abound for international students. However, you want to make sure that your student/visa status is cleared in order to be authorized to work in the United States. You may want to check with your country's embassy office in New York City or speak with some at the Immigration Hotline for more specifics regarding your situation. Just call 311 and an operator can assist you with getting those numbers.

NYPL: Is anyone allowed to go the One Stop Centers? Do you need certain ID? Do you have to have a green card?

aroman: For One Stop Centers, you do need to have some documents like a birth certificate, social security card, and other documents. Stop by one of the Centers and pick up an information tip sheet that tells you what to bring. Even if you don't have a green card, they can provide you with some assistance. Speak with a counselor there and attend an orientation session. There is a One Stop Center in downtown Brooklyn, Harlem on 125th street, Bronx on 149th street and 3rd Avenue, and in Jamaica, Queens.

Roz: I was signed up with PROS before it closed down. After 911 it went south, so to speak and the counselors were transferred elsewhere. Is there a special place for someone of my age. (60)

aroman: Roz, you can go to any of the One Stop Centers in New York City for assistance in your search. Go to for assistance. Also, there is a great resource at the Mid-Manhattan Job Information Center at NYPL's branch at 40th Street and 5th Avenue. There is a counselor that can assist you with specific questions as well as free workshops that you can attend. Don't let your age be a barrier...see it as a plus because you have terrific experience to share. Also, look at the Five O'Clock Club's website at for more information on coaching. Good luck.

NYPL: Other than the daily newspapers, where do you find jobs advertised?

aroman: There are jobs at online search engines like and careerbuilder. Also, go to search firms, employment agencies, NYS Department of Labor, One Stop Centers, a college career counseling office or print journals and magazines from specific industries. I'm sure you will find more than enough jobs.

NYPL: What if you are shy? How aggressive do you need to be when trying to find work?

aroman: You definitely want to be on top of your game while looking for a job. I would suggest to practice working with a friend or a trusted professional on presentation skills...just practice, practice, practice. Find out about the culture or the organization you are targeting and devise your approach to tailor the company. A good resource to help you is Toastmasters International...they can help you overcome your shyness and help you feel more confident. Good luck.

NYPL: Would you suggest signing up with an employment agency or a temp agency? How do you know if an agency is reputable?

aroman: It depends on what kind of job you are seeking. There are many good agencies and some not so good ones so do your homework. Visit some of them in person to check out what they offer, how you are received at the front desk, and how people are dressed. Ask about their placement rates as well. Kennedy's List of Recruiters, available at the Job Info Center at the NY Public Library, is a great place to start. Speak with colleagues as well or friends who have used these types of agencies in the past. Also, ask about fees and have clear expectations about what you want and what they can offer.

Roz: There is an online site called where you can post your credentials or place an ad for work.

NYPL: Thanks, Roz. Great suggestion!

Roz: You are welcome.

MLH: Where are the Career Centers in NYC?

aroman: There are four One Stop Career Centers in NYC. They are in downtown Brooklyn at 9 Bond Street, Bronx at 149th Street, Manhattan at 125th Street, and one in Jamaica Queens. Go to for center locations and hours of operation.

bethany: when you say "employment agency" do you mean a temp place? I have been to a few and they were not very helpful--all the employees there were overworked and seemed annoyed with everything

aroman: There are employment agencies that you can look up in the Yellow Pages that cater to more entry level and mid-level jobs in various industries. Then there are search firms which deal primarily with professionals and executives. Go to Kennedy's Directory of Search Firms for information. But yes, I agree that you need to do your homework in terms of which are helpful and which are not professional at all. Start your search at the Job Information Center at the New York Public Library or go look at the Career Journal Link of the online version of the Wall Street Journal for some terrific articles on these types of agencies.

Roz: Sorry, if I made my age seem like a barrier, it's not. I was just not sure where to start as I vividly remember the agencies being like meat markets and not helpful.

aroman: Hi Roz....I hope the information was helpful. You can e-mail me at if you have further questions after today's chat. I am a Career Coach in private practice and could assist you with additional pointers to guide you in the right direction.

NYPL: If you get an application can you fill it out by hand, or should you type it?

aroman: It is preferable that you fill it out by hand but you can type it as well. It depends on what you feel comfortable doing. Just be neat, no errors, and proofread it before you submit your application.

NYPL: How do you find out about training opportunities in the city?

aroman: Training opportunities can be found at the NYS Department of Labor or at the One-Stop Centers. Also, you can contact the NY State Education Department about certified training centers around New York City. Again, do your homework and find out about the center's admission criteria, costs, fees, and be clear about how long you want training for.

beth: How should you word your resume if you have not worked in a long time? Can you mention a job from a long time ago? Also can you say you were a home care provider and give those dates.

aroman: Beth, I'm not sure what you mean about not working in a long this 2 years, 5 years, 15 years ago? That is also the same for a job a long time long ago are we talking about? If you were a home care provider, indicate specifically what you did...balanced a budget, raised family, etc. Did you do any volunteer work during that time or work on any projects or activities that you can add to your resume? Take some time to write all of this down and assess it with a career counselor. Take out a copy of Yana Parker's Damn Good Resume is an excellent resource for persons who are career changers or are returning to work.

bethany: what should you do if you have no current references due to not having worked in a few years? also, two companies i worked for previously have gone under and i have lost contact with those people as well...

aroman: Try your best to get those may want to search online. Also, you can proably ask a neighbor, a community member, or someone that you have done some work for either on a volunteer or project basis to give you a reference. Definitely, no references from family are allowed. See if you have any old documents from past work evaluations that you have received. I hope this helps.

NYPL: What happens at a Career Fair? Should it cost to attend?

aroman: At a Career Fair, employers from various industries sit at booths and distribute information about their organization as well as career opportunities. Some companies may have immediate openings, others may not. Also, some career fairs are free but some require a fee, usually very affordable. Check out the NY Times Job Market section for infomation or visit a One Stop Center to find out about career fairs across the city.

jordanrosana: hi, what probability has a health professional to get a job in NYC? Is it possible? How long should h/she wait for an interview?

aroman: The health profession will continue to grow over the next several years so it's a great choice. Find out about hiring opportunities at private and public hospitals. Look at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's website for health care opportunities. It is very possible for you how long for an interview depends on how quickly you get your job search started.

bethany: i do have a written recommendation from a volunteer job that i did , but that was 4 years ago

aroman: Bethany, that's fine if it is from 4 years ago. Use your current resources and find out what others you can obtain.

Roz: Is there a place for us older folks<smile>?

aroman: There is a place for everyone in this job market. Just identify your job targets and look at all that you have to offer to an organization. You may want to also think about consulting or freelance work as a concurrent career as well.

Roz: Is there a place to get *free* coaching for someone financially challenged?

aroman: The NY Public Library has periodic free career coaching sessions on an individual basis and plenty of free career workshops on a number of helpful topics and access to information.

NYPL: What about 1-900 numbers that advertise jobs? That's not free, right?

aroman: Don't even bother with those toll-free numbers. They are rip-offs from scam artists. Absolutely not.

jordanrosana: there is a career fair tomorrow from 8:00am to 4:00pm location: the nassau veterans memorial coliseum 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale, NY 11553

NYPL: Thanks, jordanrosana! Good luck!

NYPL: Angel, we're almost out of time. Was there anything else you wanted to mention that we haven't talked about?

bethany: i know plenty of working professionals, but have not worked with them--can they give character references?

aroman: If you need character references from these individuals, absolutely...just as long as this person is not a relative.

aroman: If anyone has a particular question that could not be answered today, e-mail me at There is so much free information out there, just take the time to look for information, meet people, and you will come out ahead. The libraries are a great resource so use them wisely as well as the One Stop Centers. Good luck everyone and do enjoy your day.

NYPL: Thank you, Angel, for sharing your time and information with us! Everyone, please check back at the end of the week for the transcript, and links to the websites and books that Angel mentioned. Thanks again!