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News from the Reference Desk

Looking for volunteer opportunities?

Check out Serve Illinois.  It’s fully searchable by type of volunteer opportunity or keyword and zip code.  The site is maintained by the Illinois Serve Commission, which is appointed by the Governor.

By Patricia Smolin on March 30, 2012 Categories: Employment, Jobs

E-payments to Americans receiving federal benefit and non-tax payments

The U.S. Department of the Treasury moved in late 2010 to make all federal benefit payments electronic by March 2013, a change that will impact everyone nearing retirement and the more than 10 million Americans are already receiving benefits by paper check.  Please click here for more information to ensure benefits continue without interruption.

By Patricia Smolin on Categories: Employment, Health, Seniors, Taxes

Career Gateway: Job Seekers Guide offered by JVS Chicago

Job hunters will no doubt benefit from taking a good look at The Career Gateway: Job Seekers Guide, produced by JVS Chicago.  Jewish Vocational Service crafted an easily searchable online tool which directs job seekers to accomplish steps they need in their search.  Excercises are simple to follow, but essential in identifying contacts, giving realistic advice and encouragement to network with confidence.  There are helpful guides to develop writing and computer skills, prepare for phone and in-person interviews, personal budgeting, and sample scripts to start conversations with potential hiring managers.

While The Career Gateway is an excellent job site, it by no means takes the place for the personal service and consultation offered by JVS.  They have convenient locations and professional career guidance staff to help job hunters from all levels.  Their main office is at 216 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60606. Please call or email for an appointment: or (312) 673-3400.

By julie collins on February 25, 2012 Categories: Business, Employment, Jobs

Making the Most of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social media tool most thought of when it comes to professional networking.  But beyond creating an account, there are many users who underutilize its features.  To help direct you to the online training that will boost your profile and help you actively reach business contacts, please take a look at their Learning Center.  There you can easily find user guides and suggested steps for using LinkedIn as a job seeker. You may also register for one of their weekly and free webinar training sessions by clicking on Training Resources.

Another helpful site to create a resume using LinkedIn is from Inbound Marketing.

The Library continues to order current titles on different applications of social media and choosing which best serves you in your job search.

By julie collins on Categories: Employment, Jobs, Technology

Why do employers do background checks?

This guide explains the why and how of background checks. It also tells you what can be covered in a background report, your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

By MPPL on September 15, 2011 Categories: Credit Cards, Employment, Jobs

Social Security Benefit Statements Going Online

The SSA recently discontinued mailing annual estimates of benefits to future Social Security recipients.  In attempts to cut costs, this information will now be available on the SSA website, – then click on “Estimate Your Retirement Benefits”.

To receive information on earnings history or disability and survivor benefits, please call the agency at 1-800-772-1213.

The agency estimates svings of $60,000,000 annual by going online.  It plans to resume mailing paper statements to thos over 60 within the year.

By MPPL on June 14, 2011 Categories: Employment, Finance, Seniors

Harper College: Alternative Electrical Energy Certificate

 Harper College has started an Alternative Electrical Energy Certificate. The College’s solar energy course – a first step toward the new Alternative Electrical Energy Certificate – drew 16 students for the fall term. Launched by a $63,000 Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation grant, which helped with the purchase of new lab equipment, Harper added a wind energy course to the curriculum this spring. The entire Alternative Energy Certificate program, geared to those already in the industrial electronics industry and those just starting out, requires credits in solar and wind energy and a variety of other electronics courses.

By MPPL on June 9, 2011 Categories: Education, Employment, Environment

Employment based on credit history or credit no longer permitted

Earlier this year, Illinois enacted the Employee Credit Privacy Act, which prohibits the use of credit histories or credit reports in making employment decisions. As with most employment laws, the Act doesn't apply to all employers or all employees, so please take a look at what the law requires.


By MPPL on May 13, 2011 Categories: Credit Cards, Employment, Jobs

Local Senior Job Fair on March 25, 2011

The annual spring job fair for seniors 50 and older in Schaumburg, Palatine, and Wheeling townships will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 25 at Schaumburg High School, 1100 W. Schaumburg Rd. in Schaumburg. Companies interested in attending should call Val Profit at 847-884-0030 x2016 or 847-902-7508. The job fair typically hosts about a thousand job seekers wanting to speak with companies' human resources departments.

By MPPL on March 22, 2011 Categories: Employment, Jobs

Upwardly Global

Upwardly Global helps with resume writing and job placement support for the immigrant professional population with specialized skills. 
UpGlo works with both job seekers and potential employers. Qualifications to become a registered jobseeker within this program are available on their site.  
By MPPL on March 10, 2011 Categories: Employment, Immigration, Jobs