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NaperLaunch Academy Offers New Options for Accessing Business Startup Curriculum

More than 100 entrepreneurs have attended NaperLaunch Academy to develop fundamental business knowledge and learn the “lean startup process.” To meet the needs of busy entrepreneurs, the Academy curriculum is now available in two formats: live workshops or self-guided virtual courses.

Live Workshops

Beginning August 11, SCORE mentors and NaperLaunch staff will present the Academy curriculum in a series of six 2-hour workshops, which will be offered in an ongoing, sequential rotation. Participants may choose to attend some or all of the following workshops in the sequence that best meets their needs.

  • Business Conceptualization
  • Startup Financial Issues
  • Business Operations
  • Business Planning
  • Strategic Marketing Planning
  • Sales

This fall, workshops will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from August 11 to September 15, and on Wednesdays from September 23 to October 28. Workshops will take place via Zoom videoconference until further notice.

More information, including course descriptions and registration information, can be found on the NaperLaunch Academy webpage.

Self-Guided Virtual Courses

In addition, the original 17 NaperLaunch Academy class sessions are available virtually on the NaperLaunch BizVids webpage. Participants can work through the courses on their own schedule. Sessions were videorecorded during a previous NaperLaunch Academy cohort and are provided with links to handouts and PowerPoint presentations.

Posted: 
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 4:15pm

Summer Job Search Help

2020 has been a roller coaster of a year and we are only halfway through! The good news is that Naperville Public Library’s job search resources are holding steady, prepared to help anyone find the career they are seeking. Included below is a comprehensive list of job search resources that NPL cardholders can access from home.

Brainfuse JobNow! - Live job search assistance from job coaches, including resume and cover letter help and live interview practice and feedback, plus several online resources and links. Check out this video tutorial!

Lynda.com -  Refresh skills or learn a new computer program. Lynda.com is an online library of instructional videos that can help anyone learn software, technology, creative, and business skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Check out this video tutorial!

Mergent Intellect - Prepare for an interview by learning more about a company’s industry. Mergent Intellect contains public, private and international business data and profiles, plus consumer demographic data to generate insightful business intelligence.

ReferenceUSA –  Create a geographically targeted list of companies for your job search. This database is a premier source of business and residential information with more than 40 million businesses, 150 million households across the U.S. and Canada, and 270 million consumers available for you to search. Check out this video tutorial!

 

If you would like a one-on-one appointment to learn more about how these resources can be tailored to your specific needs, please contact a member of the business team. We are happy to meet virtually to assist you in using our job search tools as well as other Naperville Public Library business resources.

Shoshana Frank – Naper Blvd Library (Job Search)

Lindsay Harmon - Nichols Library (Entrepreneurship/Small Business)

Kent Palmer - Nichols Library (Entrepreneurship/Small Business)

Donna Pistolis – 95th Street Library (Financial Literacy)

Amy Weidner – Naper Blvd Library (Job Search)

Posted: 
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 3:00pm

Create a Target Company List with ReferenceUSA

Screenshot of ReferenceUSA

Get help with your job search with ReferenceUSA, a free digital database you can access from home with your Naperville Public Library card. The steps below will help you can create a targeted company list to find the perfect potential employer. (For a video tutorial, visit the Library’s YouTube channel.)

Begin by visiting the Library’s website to access the database, then use the Resources & Services dropdown menu to navigate to the Jobs & Careers page.

Scroll down and click on ReferenceUSA at the bottom right side of the page. From here, you will be automatically directed to log into the Library’s online resources with your Library card number and PIN. After logging in, the home page for ReferenceUSA appears.

There are two different areas of potential interest for job seekers: the U.S. Businesses search and the U.S. Jobs/Internships. The jobs are focused on information supplied by Indeed.com and updated regularly with new job listings; rather than applying through ReferenceUSA, be sure to visit the company’s website to apply directly.

To search the U.S. Businesses database, click on Search, then select the Advanced Search tab. The Advanced Search includes numerous features that can be used to narrow the focus; these are the left side of the page. After a limiter is selected, it is displayed in the middle of the page. The right side of the page shows the current number of companies that meet into your search criteria; clicking on Update Count will update that information.

Start with a Geography limiter such as Metro Area, then in the middle of the page, choose your state and local regions to narrow the results. For example, selecting Chicago-Npvl, IL will narrow the list to about 400,000 companies.

Adding a Business Size limiter such as Number of Employees will narrow the results and provide a better idea of the work environment. In the example above, clicking Update Count narrows the results to about 4,000 companies.

To truly create a targeted list, specify a Business Type using either the Keyword/SIC/NAICS or Major Industry Group limiters. This will help you narrow your list to companies in a specific industry.

Experiment with these limiters until you have created a list of about 100 to 200 results. When you are satisfied, click View Results on the right side of the page.

The results page shows information about each company, executive’s names, locations, phone numbers, and limited email addresses. Downloading this data as an Excel spreadsheet will enable you to edit and remove companies or highlight them during your job search.

To download your list, check the box at the top of each page of results. Then click Download, choose how you want the information downloaded (the default works well), and click Download Records. (You can also choose Email Records; ReferenceUSA will send an Excel document via email to the address you input.)

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask a member of the Naperville Public Library’s Business Team. You can also email them to schedule a virtual appointment for one-on-one assistance.

Good luck on your job search!

Posted: 
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 8:45am

Crash Course on Automated Tracking Systems

Anyone who has ever been a job seeker knows that it can be one of the most difficult times in your life. Reading one job posting after another, trying to tailor your resume to fit what companies are looking for… It is exhausting! Often job seeking is a lonely process with little interaction or feedback from the companies you are applying for positions with. One of the biggest hurdles is understanding if your resume is even reaching the HR decision makers!

Enter Automated Tracking Systems, better known as ATS. This software system is used to screen resumes that have been submitted online. An ATS is often at the heart of HR recruitment, especially at large companies where one posting can generate hundreds of applicants. ATS simplifies recruitment by automating the first step of the hiring process. It does this by both receiving and reviewing resumes, searching for the keywords that have been supplied by HR managers.

Why does this matter to you? Many qualified applicants are rejected by the ATS not because of a lack of qualifications, but because they unknowingly formatted their content so that the ATS cannot recognize it. Some sources state that as many as 75% of applicants are eliminated by the ATS as soon as they submit their resume, despite being qualified for the job.

How can you make an ATS-friendly resume? First, be prepared with two resumes: one to provide in person at an interview that is formatted in an easy to understand and attractive manner, and one resume that is just for submission via the ATS application.

A few helpful hints for your ATS resume:

  • Save as .doc
  • Use hyphens in phone numbers
  • Use San Serif Fonts (example: Arial)
  • Put zip code on the same line as address
  • 11- or 12-point type
  • Contact info in a single column
  • One-inch margins
  • Label Work Experience, Education, nothing unique or creative
  • Black text
  • List your best degree first
  • Left justify EVERYTHING
  • List skills under each job/experience, not separately
  • Straight type all content into the document
  • Put dates/ranges AFTER company names and use only the year

To learn more join us for Building a Better Resume on Wednesday, February 26th at 7:00 PM in the Naper Boulevard Library Program Room.

How an Applicant Tracking System Reads Your Resume
Posted: 
Friday, February 7, 2020 - 11:00am

NaperLaunch Offers New Programs, Same Great Peer Learning and One-on-One Mentoring

With the new year comes some exciting new developments at NaperLaunch. In March, we’ll debut some updates to the format, schedule, and content of our programs. These changes reflect the latest evolution of our continued efforts to serve the needs of Naperville-area entrepreneurs and small business owners. While some of our programs may look different, our commitment to meeting business owners where they are remains the same. Here’s a look at what’s new, and what won’t change, at NaperLaunch in 2020.


What’s new?

To accommodate the increasing number of entrepreneurs interested in participating in the NaperLaunch Academy, as well as requests from established small business owners seeking opportunities to interact with their peers, we’re revamping our morning and evening programming:

Expanded NaperLaunch Academy offerings

Beginning in March with cohort 10, we will be running concurrent NaperLaunch Academy cohorts on two different nights, with staggered start dates. This will allow us to offer more cohorts per year, reducing wait time for prospective Academy participants. We’ve also consolidated our marketing series workshop content into a new NaperLaunch Academy course, Write a Strategic Marketing Plan, that offers attendees a comprehensive view of marketing rather than focusing on a single platform or tool. The current Academy cohort is the first to include the new course.

New master mind groups

Intended for businesses that are past the startup stage and actively producing revenue, master mind groups allow participants to gain insights from one another’s accumulated knowledge and experience. Group members will become intimately acquainted with the business models and plans of each participant. Expert advisors will also be on hand to add insights to the conversation in each meeting. Each master mind meeting will follow an agenda and each member of the group is expected to actively participate. Registration is ongoing; each group will be limited to 15 participants.


What hasn’t changed?

Serving the unique needs of individual entrepreneurs and small businesses is at the heart of everything we offer at NaperLaunch. In 2020, we will continue to meet our members where they are, offering opportunities for business owners at every stage to learn from the experience of their peers and from expert advisors. These include:

Peer learning opportunities

NaperLaunch will continue to offer a variety of ways for entrepreneurs at all stages of business development to learn from each other. These opportunities include monthly SCORE Business Roundtable discussions, moderated by volunteer mentors from SCORE Fox Valley and open to everyone, with no advance registration required, as well as bimonthly SCORE Women’s Business Roundtables, where women business owners, startups and entrepreneurs come together to discuss business challenges and opportunities through a mix of moderated open discussions as well as presentations on topics of interest to group members. In addition, our quarterly Pitch Sessions will continue to allow entrepreneurs to practice their pitch and get immediate feedback and coaching from peers. Registration is required to pitch; no registration is needed to observe and give feedback.

One-on-one mentoring

All of the programs and services offered at NaperLaunch are developed in partnership with Fox Valley SCORE. SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring services to entrepreneurs in the United States. SCORE mentors provide customized assistance to help start or grow a business. SCORE mentors hold office hours at NaperLaunch, participate in events, and accept appointments for individual mentoring sessions. Each NaperLaunch Academy student is assigned a SCORE mentor who works closely with them throughout the program.

In addition to business coaching from SCORE mentors, NaperLaunch members have access to Business Services librarians, who can provide an orientation to the library’s business resources, help with registering a corporation or limited liability company, and assist with researching industries and target markets.


We look forward to hearing what you think of the changes we’re making. Call or email us, interact with us on social media, or stop by the library and visit us in person.

Posted: 
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 1:00pm