What you’ll need to get started:
- Information about your past work experience. Include job titles and duties; employer business names, city and state; start and end dates of employment.
- A list of your education and skills. Include volunteer work, military service and special training.
- A list of references.
If using a library computer, keep in mind that all files are deleted from the library’s computers after each session. Use a removable USB flash drive to save your document. If you don’t have a flash drive, attach it to an email to yourself or ask library staff for help.
Create a resume
Google Docs templates
Google Docs has resume templates. Update and save to your own Google cloud. You need a Gmail account to use the templates.
To create your resume using a template:
- Sign into your Gmail account.
- Click “Google Apps menu” on the right side of the screen.
- Click “Docs” and then “Template Gallery.”
- Scroll down to “Resumes” and choose one of the templates by clicking on it.
- Add your information into the template. Delete any sections you don’t need.
The resume will save automatically as you go. You can log back into your account from any computer with internet access to view, edit or print your resume.
Microsoft Word templates
Word is available on all library computers. You can create a Word document using resume templates. Save your document often!
- Open Microsoft Word. Click “Resume and Cover Letters” from the Template search options.
- Select a resume style. Simple designs are often better for most job types.
- Click “Create.” Edit the template by filling in your information.
Tips for editing templates
- Highlight the text you want to change and start typing in the correct information. Don’t delete the text. This allows you to keep the style of the template.
- Use the “Home” menu ribbon to change font size, type or bullet points.
- If you make a mistake, you can undo it. The keyboard shortcut for undo is Ctrl + z.
Use keywords in your resume
Many employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), meaning a computer will scan your resume first looking for keywords. It may be passed over if it is not readable or doesn’t have the proper information. Follow these tips to make your resume ATS friendly:
- Avoid graphics, embedded tables and columns, headers and footers.
- Save your document in an acceptable file format. PDF is often best, but .doc and .docx can also be acceptable. Check the application instructions for the job you are applying to.
- Look for words and terms used in the job description and add them to your resume in your job duties, skills and education, as appropriate.
Create a cover letter
- Cover letter basics (video, link is external)
- Resume and cover letter writing book recommendations from our librarians.
Resume and cover letter review
Volunteers with job help experience can review your resume and cover letter to help you improve and update it. Email your resume or cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.