Thinking BIG for Small Business: Class and Resources

Neon sign with a bright blue oval encircling the word OPEN in red.

by Cherise T.

The #1 Riskiest Scam According to Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland

Wednesday, Sep 22

11 am – 12 pm; online

Employment scams were already the riskiest scam in both 2018 and 2019, according to Better Business Bureau’s Risk Index report. During 2020, the growth of this dangerous breeding ground skyrocketed, largely due to the influx in work-from-home scams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An estimated 14 million people are exposed to employment scams with more than $2 billion lost per year, not counting time or emotional losses. Join BBB to learn why you’re more vulnerable than you think, how to spot the red flags, and tips for saying no to employment scams while you’re on your job search.

Registration required at hclibrary.org > classes & events. Check regularly for more business-related classes and presentations.

Presented in partnership with Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Maryland, bbb.org.

Small Business Resources at HCLS

The how, when, and where of work evolves over a lifetime. Priorities involved with earning a living change depending on whether the employee is a student, parent, family caretaker, or senior. Some careers accommodate a work-from-home model; others require laborers on the front lines. An employee may want to operate within a traditional organization or a small startup. Some have the entrepreneurial spirit to make the rules and create their own dream vocations.

Without a doubt, the pandemic has affected how people work and refocused their goals. HCLS supports the education and provides the resources sought by job seekers at all stages of their careers. Recent events have inspired bad actors, so HCLS is offering an employment scam class in conjunction with the Better Business Bureau, as well as on-demand classes on its YouTube channel. Select the Resume and Career Skills playlist for information on resume building, cover letter writing, social media presence, apprenticeships, certifications, interviewing, and salary negotiation.

Every September, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates National Small Business Week. Explore the tools to prepare, launch, manage, build, and protect a small business on HCLS’ Small Business Resource portal.

Online resources are available 24/7

Looking for advice for creating contracts? Visit Gale LegalForms.

Confused about licensing and permits? Maryland OneStop Portal link has answers.

Need funding to start a business? Explore a multitude of organizations and agencies.

Visit or call our branches for one-on-one assistance with job applications and small business research.

eResources for Small Business Owners

Get FREE tools to write a business plan, launch your business, grow it, manage it, and protect it. From researching the market to selecting a name to obtaining permits, funding, hiring, networking, and more, all that you need is available with an HCLS card and an Internet connection!

AtoZ Database: Research companies nationwide and find employer contact information.

LearningExpress Career Preparation Center for job-related exam training and employment search skills.

Peterson’s Test and Career Prep includes both test prep and job skill assessments in addition to a resume builder.

Gale Courses & LinkedIn Learning offer training for employers, employees, and business owners. Refresh and expand your computer skills with lessons and video tutorials.

As always, our instructors and research specialists are just a library visit or phone call away! Please contact us or visit your local branch if you have questions about classes and events, online learning, or research databases that can help you with your small business needs.

Cherise Tasker is an Adult Instructor and Research Specialist at the Central Branch. When not immersed in literary fiction, Cherise can be found singing along to musical theater soundtracks. 

Empower Your College and Career Planning with the Testing & Education Reference Center

A Black man and a woman wearing a headscarf sit in front of a computer, discussing what they see on the screen. Text reads: You're up to the test.

By Kim M.

Taking standardized tests, choosing the right college, and planning for a career can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when so much is uncertain. You can control your preparation and research, though, ensuring the best possible outcome. Preparing thoroughly helps to eliminate anxiety and build confidence in your test performance and decision making. Testing & Education Reference Center from Gale is an incredible online tool that’s rich in content, offering standardized test and entrance exam preparation, in-depth undergraduate and graduate program research, tuition and scholarship assistance, and valuable career information. It helps everyone from students to seasoned professionals embark on new paths. 

Testing & Education Reference Center provides the information, tools, and materials needed to achieve all your career and education goals, including: 

  • Intuitive School Searching 
    Easily search for private secondary schoolsvocational/technical schools, boarding schools, military schools, special needs schools, or accredited colleges and universities to find the perfect fit. Quick results deliver information on school location, tuition, academics, admission requirements, campus life, among other aspects.  
  • College Funding Tools 
    Financial aid tools, such as the Undergraduate Scholarship Search, Financial Aid Award Analyzer, College Savings Calculator, and Tuition Cost Finder provide data to help you plan, budget, and identify resources. 
  • Career Development  
    Access rich career development tools including a Career Assessment, the Resume Builder, and the Virtual Careers Library to help in every part of the career planning process. Map your career interests and aptitudes to job categories and industries that fit your personality. Delve into a list of occupations suited to your interests and learn about the skills involved, salaries, and more. 

    Get job search guidance, as well as resume, interviewing and networking advice for your career stage, whether you’re just starting out, looking to change careers, or transitioning from the military. 

    Prepare and study for professional certification exams, such as accounting, cosmetology, firefighter, postal worker, real estate, and more.

Testing & Education Reference Center is available for free courtesy of Howard County Library System. Watch this quick video to get an overview of how it works, and then click here to log in with your library card number and PIN. Please note that you must create an account with your email address and a password, which is necessary to save resumes, career assessment scores, and practice test progress. 

No matter your academic or professional goals, Testing & Education Reference Center can help you reach them, and HCLS is cheering you on every step of the way!

Kim M. works in the Materials Management Department at the Administrative Branch. She’s currently reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix.

Charge Up Your Career

The photograph depicts a recruiter and a job seeker at a career fair looking at a presentation board.

By Rohini G.

Whether you are stepping into a career for the first time, looking to accelerate your growth, or seeking a change in direction, check out our upcoming Employment and Workforce Development series.

Through a series of workshops being offered from November through January, HCLS has partnered with the UMBC Career Center to discuss three topics in career building.

Your new job may be just around the corner. Recruiters scan a resume for seven seconds or less. Write a powerful resume using bullet points to highlight accomplishments with Rachel Bachman, M.Ed., as she presents Resumes Recruiters Recognize on November 18 at 7 pm. Rachel has over six years of career counseling and coaching experience in higher education. She currently serves as a Career Specialist in the Career Center at UMBC. Her goal is to help all people reach their full potential through career development. Register for her workshop here.

The second workshop in this series focuses on honing networking skills to achieve visibility through a well-thought-out online image. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 80 percent of jobs are never posted anywhere, but instead come from connections between people. The importance of LinkedIn and other social media sites has moved beyond social connection into the realm of creating a professional brand. Build your LinkedIn and Social Media Profile on December 9 at 3 pm. Register here.

And finally, learn communication strategies to effectively market yourself in an interview or while networking. Rachel discusses how to present achievements during an interview, what to expect, and how to answer behavioral questions. Mastering the Elevator Pitch and Interview, on January 20 at 7 pm, helps you in crafting the perfect impression. Register here.

These diverse skills are applicable in an arena wider than career development and can enhance interactions during all experiences in life. For a list of additional employment resources available through HCLS, please visit the link on our website.

Rohini is the Adult Curriculum Specialist with HCLS. She loves literature and rainy days.