I found out yesterday that my concerns about my job security were well-founded. Beginning next week, I am going to have a lot more time to devote to reading. So, for the second time in less than a year, I find myself out of a job. It’s not a great feeling, being unemployed when you would much rather be working.

But at the same time, I’m kind of excited to see what’s out there. I’ve had a fairly stable employment history (four employers in six years, and two of those were overlapped- I worked two jobs for a year and a half), but I’ve basically been in a kind of comfort zone. My first job was as a teacher’s assistant at the elementary school where my mom worked. I did that for two years, and then took a little bit of time off when I transferred to the state university from community college. After that, I began working retail for a certain purveyor of jar candles, and I began volunteering at the library in the next town over at the same time. My volunteer job became an actual job after about three months of volunteering, and I worked the two jobs for awhile, until it became too much to deal with two jobs as well as school. So I left the retail job, and continued at that library for nearly two years before parting ways with them last year. I’ve been at my current job for six months.

To tell the truth, I haven’t had to work very hard for any of my jobs (getting them, I mean. I work very hard at work). They’ve all been part-time jobs with set salaries. So things are a little daunting now. I’ve been looking at job search websites such as Monster and HotJobs, and there are some very intriguing possibilities out there, even with this lousy economy. But some of them ask for things like “salary requirements.” I don’t know the first thing about what to say in response to something like that!

And my resume is kind of a mess. I’ve never really needed one before, so I just have this total bare-bones resume that would probably make most potential employers shake their head in laughter before trying to use it as three-pointer practice. I looked at having my resume professionally written on Monster, but that’s more than $200! That’s a lot of money when one doesn’t *have* much money.

So I ask you in the blogosphere, who undoubtedly have more experience at this than me: are there good books out there for resume writing? Or should I just stand on the corner and panhandle until I can raise the money to have my resume written professionally? Are there any job-search services that you have found helpful? And how does one answer the salary requirements question?