How Our (Online) Universal Class Can Help You with Your Job Search

September 27, 2012

The Newton Free Library has recently subscribed to Universal Class. This is an online database with an offering of over 500 courses.  These are not the equivalent of college coursework.   However, have you ever heard of CEUs?  This stands for Continuing Education Units.  Some professions require a certain number of CEUs each year to show that a person is keeping up with developments in their field. Universal Classes are accepted for CEUs.  Whether you are showing your interest in something new or catching up with jobs or careers you’ve had in the past, listing a course you have completed with its CEUs on a resume could add just the leverage you need to get noticed.

Each course consists  of a number of online classes an hour or less in length.  You cannot skip around.  You must go class by class, answering questions or writing essays until you get to the end.  Don’t let this sound intimidating. It isn’t.  The questions I have seen are not difficult.  As in the best of our schooling, each class builds on the next, until you find that you’ve completed a course.  You  have nothing to lose by trying them out and everything to gain, especially if you feel your resume needs a little more substance or currency.  The classes are listed under broader subject headings, making it easier for you to find what you specifically need. Just a few of the subjects listed are Career Training, Business, Computers and Technology, Writing Help, Office Skills, Accounting and Bookkeeping.  There are even a number of  fun classes when you need a break:  Crafts and Hobbies, Cooking, Art and Photography. Curious?  For a complete list of courses click here.

Most classes have a video component and a printout (pdf format so everyone can print it out.)  Personally, I’m at a loss when just confronted with a video.  My brain just doesn’t absorb material that fast.  But give me a handout and a video and I’m good to go. It’s the best of both worlds.  Since I set up my own classes with handouts for everything I cover, I like the way these people think.

If you live in Newton, you can sign in from home.  All you need is a Newton Free  Library card that begins with 21323 connected to a Newton, MA address.  You also need to go in through our website into Universal Class.   If you don’t live in Newton, you can come into the library and sign up.  If you live farther afield, check to see if any of you local libraries offer the service.  Take a look and give it a trial run.

vea/27 September 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide


Newton Free Library Now Subscribes to Optimal Resume

September 7, 2012

The Newton Free Library has recently invested in a new database to help our patrons who are looking for work.  Optimal Resume can help you build both your resume and and your career.  Curious?  Join us next Thursday, September 13th at 7:00 PM in Drucker Auditorium.  You will be introduced to our new database and be able to ask questions.

What can Optimal Resume do for you?

Optimal Resume provides a number of ways to create  a resume.  Once you sign in, you can build it by using subject blocks provided by Optimal Resume.  You can rearrange them at will.  Or you can start with actual resume samples that cover a number of careers,  jobs, and levels of experience. You can take a resume you like and edit it for your own use.  If you prefer starting from scratch, they also provide you with a blank piece of [online] paper.  They do the same for cover letters.  Once you have created your resume or cover letter, you will also be able to further edit it to match specific job openings.  You can then store your various resumes and cover letters under your account at Optimal Resume .

As you do more reading and look for additional help with your job search, you will find that Optimal Resume is one step ahead of you.  They offer help with assessing your skills and with practicing for interviews.  If a job application actually  requires a video resume, Optimal Resume will help you create one.

Did you know you could embed links to your work into your online resume?  Of course you can only do this if you have a web page or blog you can link to. Although Optimal Resume does not help you create a blog, it  does provide help in creating a simple online website as well as a location to keep it.  The link you add to your resume provides an interested employer with a place to quickly check samples of your work without adding length to your resume.

According to an article that appeared in the New York Post on July 4th, 2010 “Today’s workers will run through at least 10 jobs, three careers, and two layoffs between college and retirement.”  To have maximum impact in your job searches, your need to  keep track of prime examples of your work product and experience, as well as your job descriptions and a list of your various responsibilities.  It is a good idea to keep at least one portfolio (or more) of your work where you can find it and easily add to it. Optimal Resume gives you a place to create and keep one (or more) portfolios for yourself.

All in all, Optimal Resume can prove a very useful product throughout your career — both in finding and documenting your jobs.  The Newton Free Library would like to offer you the opportunity to use these resources to both aid in your job hunt and to build your career.   Take a look and join us next Thursday to learn more.

vea/7 September 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide

For Veterans Looking for Work

May 24, 2012

The Department of Veterans Services for the City of Newton has put together a list of websites to help returning veterans find work. These sites will be useful to vets regardless of your geographical location.

Veteran Job Search Sites

Career Command Post
Career One Stop
Clearance Jobs
Corporate Gray
Department of Defense Job Search
GI Jobs
Helmets to Hardhats
Hire Veterans
Intelligence Careers Inc
Military Hire
Military Exits
Military Spot
Military Stars
Non-appropriated Funds
Orion International
Purple Heart Foundation
Real Life Lines
Recruit Air Force
Recruit Military
Sprint Military Recruiting
TA Online
Veteran Employment
Vet Jobs
Vet Success
Work Force 3 One

Veteran/Military Related Jobs

Army Civilian Personnel
Base Commissary Employment
Defense Link
United Service Organization
Veteran Affairs Employment
Veterans Affairs Health Care

Veteran Entrepreneur

Small Business Development
Veterans Corp
Vet BiZ


In addition to the Veteran Entrepreneur sites listed above, the New York Post recently published an article on this topic.  Click on “Bootstapping It:  Growing Number of  ‘Ventrepreneur’ programs help soldiers create start-ups” to link to the article.

For links to other topics of use to veterans provided by the Veterans Services Department click here.

vea/23 May 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide

How Do You Look for a Job While You Still Have One?

April 3, 2012

Looking for another job? Don't look like this at your current one.

This is a question that comes up periodically when I’m teaching my “Applying for a Job Online” class here at the library.  How you deal with your  current employer and co-workers as you look for a new position can be a tricky situation.  Brian Moore was  short, sweet, and to the point in yesterday’s New York Post (2 April 2012, page 33). In his title “Mum’s the Word“, he sums up the first of his seven rules —  Keep Quiet.  You don’t tell anyone where you work that you are looking, not your boss nor any of  your co-workers, unless you have someone you know you can completely trust.  It’s a good way to either get fired or get sabotaged. If your boss is as unhappy with you as you are with your job, it’s a nice excuse to replace you.  Also taking on an attitude like our friend in the picture telegraphs the “I am out of here as soon as possible” message just as much as telling your boss outright.  And it won’t win friends among your co-workers either.

I am very lucky and very unusual in that I love my job and the place I work and have been able to stay here for twenty six years and counting.  However, at one point in my past, I learned the hard way that I had to go around my boss.  I told him I was looking for another job and asked him for a recommendation.  He seemed fine with it.  Then I noticed a funny thing happening.  I had some great interviews.  The only thing left to clinch the deal  was checking my references. It was always at that point that I got my rejection notice.  I suspected what was going on and asked the head of another department, who knew my work well, for a recommendation and used him in place of my boss.  I got the second job I applied for after I switched up my references.  When I went to tell my boss I had another position, he did not look happy and  the first thing he said to me was “Nobody contacted me.”  Brian Moore is absolutely right.  Keep quiet. Your future boss will understand.

This leads me into another  major rule. Never at any point disparage your current employer or your fellow co-workers either as you are working on your exit strategy or after you land your new job.  Always put a positive spin on why you are looking for work elsewhere, both in your resume and interviews.  If you start bad mouthing your boss or co-workers, it will give the people checking you out second thoughts about hiring you.  It does not make you look good.  Also, unless you are a psychic, you do not know what the future holds.  Five years down the line one of your co-workers may be in a position to hire you for your dream job. If you left them on good terms or bad will make all the difference.

There is a lot of common sense advice in this article and I would strongly advise that you check out all of Mr. Moore’s rules.  They could actually help you get a job, now and in the future.  Just click on “Mum’s the Word.”  You also might want to make a practice of checking out the New York Post online on Mondays.  The material in their @Work section, whether it’s the cover story, their Q&A Career Coach (Gregory Giangrande) or other job search related material they add from time to time, has been of tremendous help to me from the point I took over this blog  two and a half years ago.  And I’m not even looking for a job.  Imagine what it could do for you.

Good luck.

vea/3 April 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide

Webinar to Help Disabled Veterans Looking for Work

March 9, 2012

I discovered the following link when checking for articles published during the current week.  I thought it deserved special attention. The webinar is being held live on March 27th from 2:00 to 3:00. This is one of a series of webinars, the first of which took place on February 28th. According to the article Veterans who were unable to attend the first webinar can listen to the entire event on the DVNF website. You can both register and check on archived webinars at A link to the archived webinars is in the lower left corner of the DVNF’s webinar page

To link to the article click on Disabled Veterans National Foundation to Host Webinar to Aid Veteran Job Search on March 27th from 2 to 3.

vea/9 March 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Library Website:
LibGuide:  Applying for Job Guide

Catching Up: Job Articles from the Week of March 3rd to 9th

March 9, 2012

Below are articles published during this past week that you may have missed.  Included are pieces from local newspapers that can be accessed online.  You’ll also find several pieces from the General Business ASAP database provided by the state of Massachusetts.   Clicking on the web address should get you there.  If you have trouble getting into any of these, please let me know through the comment function of this blog.


When using the Boston Globe’s online site, you may have to scroll past ads to continue reading an article and then click numbers at the bottom of the first part of each article to continue reading.

Grant to Use H-1B Fees to Train Local Workers by Gail Waterhouse (Boston Globe/9 March 2012)

Employment Report: Mass Economy Created Far Fewer Jobs in 2011 Than First Thought (Boston Globe/8 March 2012)

Hiring up as staffs strain under customer demand (Boston Globe/8 March 2012)

Cloud Hires Would Be a Boon to Massachusetts (Boston Globe/6 March 2012)

10 In-demand Jobs in Massachusetts (Boston Globe)   You have to work for this one. Each job has a separate click. With the introduction, that’s eleven clicks.  The Globe does not make it easy. Hope you have a fast connection.

Boston’s Future Jobs May Be In the Cloud (Boston Globe/5 March 2012)   You may need a Globe subscription to see this. 

Where the Massachusetts Jobs Are Right Now by Francis Storrs (Boston Globe Magazine/4 March 2012)

Putting College Degrees to Work by Jon Marcus (Boston Globe Magazine/4 March 2012)


Jobless Rates Eyed Anxiously by Jerry Kroneberg (9 March 2012)

Massachusetts Again the Best in U.S.: Survey Rates States Capacity to Create Wealth by Frank Quaratiello (6 March 2012)


February Marks Third Straight Month of Strong Jobs Growth by Lucia Mutikani of Reuters (8 March 2012)

GENERAL BUSINESS FILE ASAP  Articles are available to any computer located in the state of Massachusetts.

Disabled Veterans National Foundation to Host Webinar to Aid Veteran Job Search on March 27th from 2 to 3 (Wireless News/8 March 2012)!xrn_1_0_A282372468?sw_aep=ntn

30 Cities in the U.S. See Rise in Job Openings, Reports (0nline/6 March 2012)!xrn_2_0_A282225835?sw_aep=ntn

Is That Online Job Offer for Real (0nline/4 March 2012)!xrn_9_0_A281962279?sw_aep=ntn

Volunteer work can hurt job search if not careful. By Amy Lindgren. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution/4 March 2012)!xrn_8_0_CJ281973247?sw_aep=ntn

vea/9 March 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide

Come to the Library for Help with Your Resumes and Cover Letters

February 24, 2012

Newton Free Library, Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

How do I start putting together my resume? I have a resume, but I don’t think it’s effective? How can I make it better?  What am I doing wrong?  How can I tell if it even got through once I’ve sent it?  Do I really need a cover letter?  Should I use a cover letter for my email and then attach the resume?  I need help!  What do I do?

How about trying a career counselor — for free!  On Tuesday,  February 28th, you will have your chance.  Tammy Gooler Loeb is a professional career counselor with 25 years experience.  She will be speaking at the Newton Free Library on how to build effective resumes and cover letters.  Mark you calendars for 7:00 with a reminder to allow some extra time for parking.  After you park, walk from the parking lot over the bridge and into the library.  The talk will be in the Druker Auditorium.  Just take your first left into the front part of the gallery area and the doors to Druker are on your left.

Do you have any tips for others that have worked for you? Questions?  Bring them along.

Included below is a list of books, blogs and websites you may also find useful. Click on the link to find more information.

Doing your resume?   Need more information?  Check out these books at the library.

E-resumes – Criscito, Pat, 1953-
Call Number: 331.115 CRISCITO
ISBN: 0764128965

Resumes that POP – Criscito, Pat.
Call Number: 331.115 C86R
ISBN: 0764143506

Expert Resumes for Career Changers – Enelow, Wendy S.
Call Number: 331.115 E56E
ISBN: 9781593577810

Expert Resumes for Computer and Web Jobs – Enelow, Wendy S.
Call Number: 331.115 E56E
ISBN: 9781593578114

Expert Resumes for People Returning to Work
Call Number: 331.115 E57E
ISBN: 9781563709111

The Quick Resume and Cover Letter Book – Farr, Michael
Call Number: 331.115 F24Q
ISBN: 9781593578565

101 Great Resumes – Fry, Ronald W.
Call Number: 331.115 F94O
ISBN: 9781598638554

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume – Ireland, Susan.
Call Number: 331.115 I66C
ISBN: 9781592579570

Résumé Magic: Trade Secrets of a Professional Résumé Writer
Call Number: 331.115 W58R
ISBN: 1593577338

The Everything Resume Book: Create a Winning Resume that Stands Out from the Crowd – Schuman, Nancy.
Call Number: 331.115 S39E
ISBN: 9781598696370

Fearless Résumés – Stein, Marky.
Call Number: 331.115 S81F
ISBN: 9780071482356

Federal Resume Guidebook: Strategies for Writing a Winning Federal Resume – Troutman, Kathryn Kraemer
Call Number:  331.115 T75F  2011 5ed
ISBN: 9781593578503

Need more help with cover letters?

The Encyclopedia of Business Letters, Faxes, and E-mail: Features Hundreds of Model Letters, Faxes, and E-mail to Give Your Business Writing the Attention It Deserves – Bly, Robert W.
Call Number: 808.066 B62E
ISBN: 9781601630292
See Chapter Three: Job-Hunting and Employment Related Correspondence, pp. 39 -66.

Cover Letter Magic
Call Number: 331.115 E56C
ISBN: 1593577354

15 Minute Cover Letter – Farr, J. Michael.
Call Number: 331.115 F24F
ISBN: 9781593576615

4 Cover Letter Secrets
Call Number: 331.7 J71F
ISBN: 192164401X

Cover Letters for Dummies – Kennedy, Joyce Lain.
Call Number: 331.115 K38C
ISBN: 9780470402214

Gallery of Best Cover Letters – Noble, David F. (David Franklin), 1935-
Call Number: 331.115 N66G
ISBN: 9781593574253

Having trouble embedding a resume in an e-mail or online job application?

To learn about converting your formatted resume to plain text go to
Click on Handout 8 to learn more about plain text.
If your resume is in Microsoft Word, check Handout 9.
If your resume is in GoogleDocs, check Handout 10.


Riley Guide: Resumes and Cover Letters

Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development: Creating Resumes (2/10/12)

Quintessential Careers (TMG)
I am providing a direct link to QC’s section on resumes and cover letters. It gives a list of websites.  What helps is that each is annotated.  It’s a site that is well worth exploring.


ReCareered (TMG)
To find the postings specifically relating to Resumes or Cover Letters, scroll down a bit until you find the area marked “Tags” on the right.  Just click on the topic you wish to see.

Newton’s Quick Job Search Blog: Resumes and Cover Letters

vea/24 February 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide