unemploymentrate3The Unemployment Office has been busier than usual. Now that this process is online, many library visitors are taking advantage of the library’s free public access computers to apply for and certify benefits. A few items to keep in mind about Tennessee’s online unemployment form:

Before Filing

  • Do not file the same week you were laid off. Wait until the Sunday following the week you last worked to file.
  • The form may time-out, so have all information (including employer names, addresses, and dates) handy before you start.
  • Read the latest dateline.pdf from the Labor website. It will answer current questions about Unemployment benefits.
  • Collect details on the past 18 months of work history. Dates of employment need not be exact, use the closest month and approximate date.
  • You can file if you live out of state. You will file in the state where work was performed – benefits are not determined by where you live.

Tips for Filing Online

  • Online form is linked from Public Computer start pages under ‘Find A Job’.
  • DO NOT use your browser’s back or refresh buttons.
  • Use the TAB key to move to next blank, use the space bar to toggle YES/NO buttons.
  • Avoid using any punctuation in the form blanks.
  • Do not fill in blanks without an asterisk. Do not add “n/a” or answer any question that does not apply to you.
  • Withhold the 10% tax with each check; this can always be altered later.

Job availability notices

Are you going to be “called back”?

Only answer YES if you have been given a specific date by your former employer. Otherwise, answer NO, even if you believe you will be called back soon.

Minimum starting wage?

Enter the absolute minimum hourly wage you can live on – this will make you visible to more employers, does not assign you that wage. Current minimum wage: $6.55 (May, 2009)

After You file…

Print the confirmation screen for your records. Keep any mail notices you receive. Register at a Tennessee Career Center within one month of applying.

We have experienced some connection difficulties using this form on public access computers, please report any interruptions.


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.