Library has resources to help you create a resume

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 21, 2016

By Melissa J. Oleen

Rowan Public Library

Preparing resumes, completing job applications, drafting cover letters. These are laborious and oppressive activities for many job seekers.

Based on the large number of poorly written resumes, half completed applications and invisible cover letters I have reviewed over the years, which includes a temporary stint copying and alphabetizing hundreds of applications daily in the HR department of a large chain store, they are often treated like the black sheep of the application process – given little attention, rudely treated and hoped that others will just not mention them in public.

The problem is, they receive attention because they are all prospective employers have to go by when narrowing down applicants. They reflect your ability to follow instructions, read with understanding, write coherently and pay attention to details. If you don’t know your reference Bob’s last name, it really doesn’t give prospective employers much hope that you will remember the pass code on your register.

Let Rowan Public Library and our free Gale Courses help take some of the dread out of the application process.

It is not uncommon to see job seekers give up before they have even started because they do not know how to type. The idea of typing a resume or filling in an online application is daunting to the hunt and peck crowd. Gale has a course on keyboarding that will teach you how to touch-type (typing without looking at the keyboard) alphabetic, numeric and symbol keys. Learning this basic skill will empower you and give you an advantage over applicants who handwrite applications.

Gale Courses for job seekers also include “Resume Writing Workshop.” This workshop will walk you through creating an effective resume, teach you different resume formats, the pros and cons of each, and show you how to make the most of your work experience.

To quote a student review of this course “…this was a relatively painless way to end up with a completed resume.” If that doesn’t encourage you, try the Gale Course “Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Search.” The very first lesson in this course is “Developing and Maintaining A Positive Attitude Throughout Your Job Search,” followed by lessons on defining your ideal job, writing eye-catching resumes and cover letters and how to prepare and practice for interviews.

A vital part of the online application process is having an email address. Most chain stores have converted to online applications. Gone are the days when you drove around town filling out applications in stores and personally handing them to managers. is considered the largest hourly employment network. NCWorks Online is an incredible one-stop online resource for job seekers in North Carolina. Both allow you to search by industry, company or fields but to get started in either, you must have an email address. To take the Gale courses, you also must have an email address.

In library computer labs, you can set up free email accounts and regularly check them. You can take Gale Courses, create and print resumes and cover letters using Microsoft Word or Publisher and search for and apply to jobs online. Our excellent collection of print materials on job hunting and resume writing is only a few steps away. And last but not least, reference librarians and lab assistants are on site to answer questions about accessing and using all of these resources.

Cartoon festival: Aug. 27, Saturday Morning Cartoon Festival, 10:30 a.m.-noon, East branch, Rockwell, featuring Donald Duck. Light refreshments.

Friend of RPL Concert Series: Headquarters, Aug. 30, 7 p.m.; doors open 6:30. Bob Carlin, one of the best-known clawhammer banjo players. He has traveled through the country and the world with his Southern banjo style. He is also a music producer and traditional music researcher. Free.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, Aug. 30, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. “Peter Pan.” Need a copy? Call 704-216-7731.

Displays: Headquarters, Communities in Schools and Anime; East, pottery collection by Lennie Cooper; South, dolls, by Rowan County Doll Society.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.