Online Resumes

January 26, 2009

Building a Resume with word processing software is challenging for new computer users. After locating the templates, the task still requires familiarity with the table, format, and layout functions. Those crafting a resume at a public computer also contend with saving to disk or email storage, then exporting the files in various formats online. Streamline the process with LearningExpress and online word processors, Zoho Writer and Google Docs. 


With word processor templates, there is no practical guidance for choosing what should be included in the document. LearningExpress: Creating a Good Resume is a great place to start – and you’ll find it on the library website’s databases page under LearningExpress.

Before crafting the file, LearningExpress helps the applicant identify what to include in the resume. Using templates, word processor novices sometimes feel limited to a fixed number of entries in each field. This program makes it easy to add more schools and jobs. Plus, the details are permanently saved in LearningExpress, so they can update it for future job hunts.

Zoho Writer & Google Docs

Zoho Writer and Google Docs programs may be the pared-down cousins of desktop word processors, but they are more suited to the new online resume world. The simple interface should be familiar to email users – which is handy, since an email address is the only requirement to use these free sites. Sign up at Zoho Writer or Google Docs. Choose from a dozen templates, then fill in the blanks with personal details to create professional-looking resume ready to be emailed, uploaded or printed from the software.

“Where did I save it?” Online!

Once registered with the site, everything is automatically saved online under the login. Going forward, all documents can be accessed from the Internet. No floppy disks or flash drives required. If uploading and downloading files is causing fits, this is the way to go. 

“I need it in pdf., .html, .doc, .rtf…”

Online job applications require files uploaded in different formats. Online processors will instantly export or email in any document format. Remember the Send To: feature that never sent anything? Try Download file as (Google) and Email/Export (Zoho). This function works like a charm.

The Eternal Undo

As many of us have learned the hard way with installed word processors, it is all too easy to lose data or damage a file beyond repair. The online programs save earlier versions automatically, so this is not a risk.Use History to refer back to an earlier version or undo all changes back to that point.

“What about MS Word online?”

With such useful online counterparts, it is no wonder Microsoft is going online with their own product, Office Live Workspace. This product provides an avenue to back up Office files, but currently offers none of the collaborative editing capabilities or automatic saving features of Zoho or Google. See Consumers Have to Wait for Web-based Office (CNet, 12/05/08).

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:    1. Create a sample resume document in either Learning Express, Google Docs, or Zoho Writer. 

2. Use the program to export or email the file to yourself.


 Last week we told you about the Job Search section of Learning Express. Once you find a job you’d like to apply for you’ll need to have a resume and some interviewing skills. Check out the Resume and Interviewing Success Skills area of Learning Express.

There are three modules in Resume and Interviewing Success Skills

Module 1: Creating a Great Resume

The Creating a Good Resume module shows applicants exactly what to include in the resume. For each section (heading, experience, education), the applicant uses simple web forms to develop the resume content. The exercise offers practical guidance on business writing and best practices at each point.

Once complete, the program provides a simple, unformatted resume to be saved to a word processor or printed as a reference. The generated resume file is adequate for many entry-level positions. Or cut & paste from the file into different resume templates to choose the best fit. 

Module 2: Creating Great Cover Letters

As with the Resume, this module methodically explains cover letter protocol and helps the applicant compile good content for a professional letter. First, LE outlines the typical cover letter with examples of good and bad form. Then, a guided web form helps the user locate and add the most relevant details for their submission. Like Resume, LE will export the cover letter outline as a text file, so the user can quickly craft their cover letter on their computer.

Module 3: Interview Tips to Get the Job You Want

Interviews can be the most daunting part of a job interview. The LearningExpress site provides helpful tips to make the applicant comfortable at every point in the interview, from appearance to nerves; from interview formats to business etiquette. In a step by step format, the program walks the candidate through the stages of an interview, all the way through writing good thank you notes. Finally, the program explains the process of evaluating a position and negotiating an offer. These quick tips will stick with the applicant as they approach a new employer. 

 You might know LearningExpress as a test preparation database where you can study for the SAT, ACT, and more. But Learning Express is not just test prep – it wants to help you get a job too.

Check out the new Job Search and Success Skills area of Learning Express. A dozen guided exercises aim to organize and prepare applicants for the job market. This simple, click-through online format condenses volumes of job hunting tips into an interactive online survey.

There are three modules in Job Search and Success Skills:

Module 1: Determining What You Want from Your Career

Put your job search in proper perspective with a methodical survey of personal interests and goals. Fill out the online questionnaire to identify career goals and job preferences. After considering career options with this handy program, download or print the lists made during the session.

Module 2: Job Search and Networking Skills 

Get specific advice about organizing the job hunt. Create contact lists using guided worksheets. See how to quickly browse through the online job banks to match qualifications with openings. Learn how to create a contact list as well as the ins and outs of networking. Any information you type in will be saved for you to print or download at the end of your session. 

Module 3: Success on the Job 

The task is not finished after the hire-date. Get valuable tips on time management, professional etiquette, and dealing with co-workers. Organize plans for asking for a raise, getting a promotion, or create new career goals.

The Transition is Coming

January 5, 2009

As you may know, American television will switch to digital-only broadcasts on February 17.  Library members are very interested in the transition and have many questions. Please become familiar with the topics on these sites. Make sure everyone at your library will able to point your visitors in the right direction.  tvimage-tvset

Keep in Mind

  • For specific technical problems with digital equipment, TVs, and accessories, contact the manufacturer. 
  • If a consumer uses an antenna now, they will still need an antenna after the switch. All new televisions have digital tuners, but still require an antenna to pick up the signal. 
  • Cable sets are not affected by the DTV transition. The ongoing transition of cable networks to digital is not associated with the February 17 deadline. Analog cable subscribers do not have to switch to digital cable at this time. 

Web sites covering the transition

  • Get Ready for Digital TV (PBS)
    Watch This Old House episode – it covers several different transition scenarios at homes in Boston, including converter box and satellite setups. The program will also be re-aired several times on Nashville Public Television, WNPT.
  • The Digital TV Transition  (FCC)
    Site contains a directory of documentation for setting up digital TVs and converter boxes. Consumer Corner’s extensive FAQ covers many transition issues. Shopper’s Guide will familiarize you with the technical specs for buying new equipment.
  • TV Converter Box Coupon Program  (NTIA)
    Apply for up to two $40 coupons toward the digital converter boxes. The converter boxes will be required for older TVs using “rabbit ears” or roof-top antenna to pick up a signal. 
  • Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes 
  • Which (nearly) free DTV converter box should I buy?
    CNet guide to the best Converter boxes on the market.