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Whether you call it a resume or CV, we all need one! Resumes are an essential part of the hiring process. They enable potential employers to learn more about you and whether you might be a good fit. Resumes should be clear and easy to read. They need to summarize your skills and accomplishments, and most of all, help you stand out! Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to help you write a great resume!
1) Look for keywords in the job posting to customize your resume
Before beginning your resume, be sure to carefully study and analyze the job description for each position. Look for keywords and skills that the employer is seeking, and include those in your resume. Don't forget - more and more corporations and companies are using computer software to vet your resume before it ever reaches a person. The more keywords your resume has, the higher your chances of getting through to the interview.
2) Keep it easy to read
On average, a hiring manager looks at your resume for 6 seconds. Yes, you read that right. In those 6 seconds, the way you format your resume is crucial. Here are 3 things to keep in mind:
3) Use a professional font
Please do not use Comic Sans! Use a standard, professional font, like Calibri or Times New Roman. Use between 10 and 12 point font size. Do not reduce your font size to fit more onto a page.
4) Include only relevant information and put the most important information at the beginning
Make sure to only include experience or education that is specifically relevant to the exact job you are applying for. Do not include jobs from more than 10-15 years ago or minor degrees, unless they are specifically related to the job you are applying for. This extra information bulks up your resume, making it difficult for hiring managers to read it. Try to put important skills and accomplishments at the beginning of your resume, to ensure a hiring manager sees them first. One great way to do this is to add a "Professional Highlights" section at the opening of your resume.
5) Use active language
Employers are looking for accomplishments to determine if you will be a valuable employee. Be sure to use active language - words like "achieved", "earned", "accomplished", or "completed" to demonstrate career achievements.
6) Call attention to achievements
Instead of listing your job duties under your career experience, pick three or four accomplishments to highlight. Use numbers when at all possible to demonstrate measurable outcomes. Again, consider including a "Career Highlights" section at the beginning of your resume to spotlight some of your biggest achievements or accomplishments.
7) Only include sections that you need
Though controversial, new resume trends recommend you exclude the "Objective" section of your resume. Also, ditch those "Hobbies." Always remember: your resume is not about you! It's about the value that you can give an employer. The only purpose of an "Objective" statement is to tell an employer what YOU are hoping to get out of a job. Always show an employer how you can be valuable to them or their company.
8) Choose appropriate margins
Is your resume spilling onto 5 pages? Don't try to adjust the margins to make it shorter! That just makes your resume look more cluttered, crowded and difficult to read. Consider editing instead to make it cleaner and more concise. Your resume is simply your introduction and first impression for a hiring manager. The interview is your opportunity to expand on your experience.
9) Proof read, proof read, proof read!
It bears repeating: your resume is your first impression. It needs to be perfect! Please proof read your resume multiple times to make sure you do not have typos, missing periods or other formatting issues, or spacing issues. If possible, have a friend, family member or professional colleague review it for you!
10) Create a unique, customized resume for each and every job
Once you have a solid resume, don't forget to customize it for each and every job you are applying for. Each job description will have unique keywords and skill requirements. Try to edit your resume - even a little - to customize it for each job you are applying for. This will give you the best chance of getting past the computer checkers and making it to a real person!
** Above all: Never forget when writing your resume that the purpose is to demonstrate your potential value to your employer. Your resume is not about you, it's about the skills and the value that you can give to your potential future employer.
Using a word processing program like Microsoft Word, or Google Docs, is the first step in crafting a great resume. Check out these quick intro videos and tutorials available through Niche Academy to get started today:
Creating a Basic Resume using Microsoft Word Templates: use this tutorial to get tips on how to create a basic resume, what to include, and getting started with Microsoft Word and resume templates.
Getting Started with Microsoft Word: Ready to create a custom resume? Start here to learn tips on how to format your resume, indent lines, center headings and more.
Getting Started with Google Docs: Don't have Microsoft Word? Google Docs is a great, free alternative word processing program. Sign up for a Google account to get started. Craft and edit your resume, and then download and save it as a Microsoft Word or PDF document to submit with your job application.
Check out some of these websites and online resources to get sample resumes, tips and more.
Cora J. Belden Library
33 Church St. | Rocky Hill, CT 06067 | 860-258-7621