Free Help With Your Résumé And Job Search
by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
There's a great deal of advice on line about how to write a résumé. But when most people get started with the actual writing, putting it all together and creating a winning résumé, it suddenly seems far more difficult than the articles would lead you to believe. Especially when you consider that you must create a base document that you can modify to target each specific employer, so you are constantly re-creating your résumé. And not only can it be expensive to hire a professional résumé writing service, but also the services generally include only one version of the résumé, leaving you to learn to rewrite it for each employer anyway.
I suggest you learn to do it yourself, but with help. Here are three powerful resources to take you through the writing process, get your resulting document reviewed, get the résumé distributed on line and get live, real world help to make the résumé well-honed and get it into the hands of the people who are hiring.
Howtowritearesume.net offers free online software for building a résumé. It has a variety of templates that you can apply to your résumé with a single click, so you can build the résumé once and try out numerous formats to choose the one that fits best. It also helps out with a technology it calls "phrase builder," which can suggest various phrases to describe your experience, skills and accomplishments. It's step-by-step instructions and tips for résumé building make it simple and easy to get the résumé finished, and there's an integrated job search engine that helps you look for places to send the résumé when you're done. If you want more extensive formating and print download possibilities, expert advice by e-mail and more phrase builder templates, you can upgrade to a premium version. The premium version, at the time of this writing, has a one-time charge of $10.99 -- not monthly or yearly, merely a one time charge.
Careerbuilder.com has a no-cost résumé review service. You simply submit your résumé and they email you the results of the evaluation. They also provide tips on résumé writing with that evaluation. Of course, as the top job board in the U.S. they offer many other free resources and should be one of your first stops in your job hunt. (Yes, they also offer a reasonably-priced résumé-writing service. No, I am not an affiliate. I just recommend their site.) You could write your résumé for free on howtowritearesume.net and then get free feedback from Careerbuilder.com.
Employment agencies. I generally recommend you try to find employment through an agency. By employment agency, I mean a local agency where you meet face to face with a counselor who gets to know you as a candidate. The pros are already networked and knowledgeable about where to find the "hidden" jobs. They know the H.R. folks at most companies in your area. They know or can find out what the hiring manager is "looking for" in a candidate, including his or her biases. They can help you make your résumé "fit" the profile the company is seeking and they can counsel you in how to present yourself to the people who have the power to hire you. Employment agencies are paid by the employer, so what they do for you is free -- and very valuable.
These three free resources, used in conjunction with each other can greatly reduce the time and struggle it takes to get a very effective résumé done and out. Used well, they can get you employed.