An upbeat yet realistic aid for job hunters.



Employment guru Gillis (The Real Secret to Finding A Job?, 2009, etc.) presents an easy-to-read guide for the 21st-century job seeker.

At first glance, Gillis’ claim to help readers find a job “in one day” feels like a late-night infomercial, but this thin volume’s three-step plan for landing employment—or moving up the ladder—is surprisingly practical. An increasing number of companies use filtering software that rejects résumés before they are even read by humans, so today’s job search is not about getting selected, says Gillis. Instead, it’s about not getting eliminated. While this automated rejection may seem daunting to the unemployed, the author’s breezy, conversational style makes the job hunt less frightening. There is solid, familiar advice here, such as the importance of emphasizing what, as a potential employee, a person can do for a company in terms of making or saving money. Gillis urges job searchers to begin the process by brainstorming/free writing an “Accomplishments Worksheet” to be honed and presented at an interview. However, getting the telephone call that lands the interview is the major theme of this book. Gillis’ innovative (and perhaps uncomfortable) message is to stop randomly sending out traditional résumés, which he calls “obituaries,” because old style résumés only deal with the past. The author suggests that job seekers should use his signature, one-page “Short-Form” résumé as a template, and an example is included in the book’s appendix. An entire chapter is devoted to learning how to recognize and apply keywords, which could help an applicant’s Short-Form résumé receive points from filtering software and make its way to the top of the selection process. Each section of the résumé is explained in simple detail, and as Gillis describes it: “Your Short-Form Resume is your job search ‘tease’ and your target is the hiring manager whose attention you want.” Per Gillis, once the manager calls for more information, an updated, traditional résumé should be ready to email at a moment’s notice. A well-crafted Short-Form résumé will also be eye-catching once it lands on a human’s desk; e.g., numbers should be written out, as $3,200,000 looks more impressive than 3.2 MM. In addition, the author uses memorable examples of his experience in the hiring field to explain what he appreciated when scanning a résumé, such as a simple “Seeking Statement” that notes the exact job for which a person is applying, including any reference numbers. Though searching for work in today’s economy is tough, Gillis’ professional advice is a good beginning.

An upbeat yet realistic aid for job hunters.

Pub Date: July 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0615514536

Page Count: 136

Publisher: The Really Useful Job Search Company

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2012

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A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.



In the ninth book in the Bluford young-adult series, a young Latino man walks away from violence—but at great personal cost.

In a large Southern California city, 16-year-old Martin Luna hangs out on the fringes of gang life. He’s disaffected, fatherless and increasingly drawn into the orbit of the older, rougher Frankie. When a stray bullet kills Martin’s adored 8-year-old brother, Huero, Martin seems to be heading into a life of crime. But Martin’s mother, determined not to lose another son, moves him to another neighborhood—the fictional town of Bluford, where he attends the racially diverse Bluford High. At his new school, the still-grieving Martin quickly makes enemies and gets into trouble. But he also makes friends with a kind English teacher and catches the eye of Vicky, a smart, pretty and outgoing Bluford student. Martin’s first-person narration supplies much of the book’s power. His dialogue is plain, but realistic and believable, and the authors wisely avoid the temptation to lard his speech with dated and potentially embarrassing slang. The author draws a vivid and affecting picture of Martin’s pain and confusion, bringing a tight-lipped teenager to life. In fact, Martin’s character is so well drawn that when he realizes the truth about his friend Frankie, readers won’t feel as if they are watching an after-school special, but as though they are observing the natural progression of Martin’s personal growth. This short novel appears to be aimed at urban teens who don’t often see their neighborhoods portrayed in young-adult fiction, but its sophisticated characters and affecting story will likely have much wider appeal.

A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2004

ISBN: 978-1591940173

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Townsend Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2013

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A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Mary's Song

From the Dream Horse Adventure Series series , Vol. 1

A novel tells the story of two spirited girls who set out to save a lame foal in 1952.

Mary, age 12, lacks muscle control of her legs and must use a wheelchair. Her life is constantly interrupted by trips with her widower father to assorted doctors, all of whom have failed to help her. Mary tolerates the treatments, hoping to one day walk unassisted, but her true passion involves horses. Possessing a library filled with horse books, she loves watching and drawing the animals at a neighboring farm. She longs to own one herself. But her father, overprotective due to her disability and his own lingering grief over Mary’s dead mother, makes her keep her distance. Mary befriends Laura, the emotionally neglected daughter of the wealthy neighboring farm owners, and the two share secret buggy rides. Both girls are attracted to Illusion, a beautiful red bay filly on the farm. Mary learns that Illusion is to be put down by a veterinarian because of a lame leg. Horrified, she decides to talk to the barn manager about the horse (“Isn’t it okay for her to live even if she’s not perfect? I think she deserves a chance”). Soon, Mary and Laura attempt to raise money to save Illusion. At the same time, Mary begins to gain control of her legs thanks to water therapy and secret therapeutic riding with Laura. There is indeed a great deal of poignancy in a story of a girl with a disability fighting to defend the intrinsic value of a lame animal. But this book, the first installment of the Dream Horse Adventure Series, would be twice as touching if Mary interacted with Illusion more. In the tale’s opening, she watches the foal from afar, but she actually spends very little time with the filly she tries so hard to protect. This turns out to be a strange development given the degree to which the narrative relies on her devotion. Count (Selah’s Sweet Dream, 2015) draws Mary and Laura in broad but believable strokes, defined mainly by their unrelenting pluckiness in the face of adversity. While the work tackles disability, death, and grief, Mary’s and Laura’s environments are so idyllic and their optimism and perseverance so remarkable that the story retains an aura of uncomplicated gentleness throughout.

A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Hastings Creations Group

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2016

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