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Prepare Your Resume

A resume informs employers of your work and educational experience. It also shows your current work goals and other experiences, like volunteering. It is important that a resume show employers what you are capable of and encourage them to set up an interview.
Learn how and why to create a resume as you prepare for your job search:

Gather Information to Create Your Resume

Use a Personal Information Worksheet Link opens in a new window to record:

Education:
  • Copies of diplomas
  • Certificates
  • Transcripts
  • Licenses
Experience:
  • Previous job information
  • Copies of awards
  • Certificates
  • Recognitions for your work experience
Match your resume information to the desired job:

Select the Type of Resume and Start Writing

Pick the type of resume you will create:
  • Functional - Highlights skills and accomplishments. This is best for individuals with little work experience, or those with gaps in employment.
  • Chronological - Outlines educational and work experience in a time line.
  • Combination - Combines some of the functional and chronological resume. It highlights skills and experiences as well as a brief job history.

Review the Resume Checklist Link opens in a new window to help you prepare a good resume.

Write your resume to match each position you apply for:

  • Identify your skills and experience that show you are a good match for the job.
  • Use the same key words and skills that are in the job description.
  • Never lie about your experience or skills.

Proofread Your Resume Before You Apply

Have at least two other people review your completed resume. Always use a spell check. (If you do not have Microsoft Word on your computer, you can copy and paste your resume text into an online spell checker.) Correct all mistakes before sending a resume.

Increase the odds that your resume gets noticed! Read more about writing a good cover letter Link opens in a new window.

More tips:
  • Use a dictionary to ensure words have proper context meaning
  • Vary your word usage by using a thesaurus.
  • If you are going to post your resume online, read these essential tips to avoid disaster.

Share and Distribute Your Resume

It is important to share your skills with more than one person and in more than one way. While bringing your resume directly to an employer can get you an interview, it's not the only (or most effective) method.
You might want to:
  • Build an online resume (for printing and/or storing)
  • Get on networking sites like LinkedIn.com
  • Use online resume profiles available through job search engines like Indeed or Monster
  • Scan newspaper ads, email your resume, mail a hard copy, and attach a resume URL

All of these are good ways to share your resume and your skills. Just remember: the more variety you use, the more employers you will reach - and the more likely you will be to get an interview!

Learn How to Effectively Update a Resume

Once you have written your resume, keep it updated. Be sure that:
  • Information is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Action words and a positive tone are used.
  • Your technical and soft skills are listed.
  • Your resume is free from errors.

Are You Submitting Resumes but Not Getting Interviews?

If you have sent out a lot of resumes but are not receiving call backs, there may be a problem with your resume. 
If this is the case, follow these tips:
  • Review your resume using the resume checklist.
  • Have a business professional review your resume.
  • Correct all mistakes and typos.
  • Learn more about the job to make sure you are qualified.
  • Call the employer to find out if they have selected people to interview.

If you were not selected by the employer, ask if they have any comments on how you can improve your resume.

External Address (Url)
Flash Animation1
To control the size of the flash movie, you can use the property window and replace the description with the width and height in parenthesis. For ex (300, 400)
ToolDescriptionRating
Illinois workNet Resume Builder (link opens in a new window)
The Illinois workNet Resume Builder is FREE to all Illinois workNet account holders. Log-in or Sign-Up External link opens in a new window to:
  • Create or Manage Your Resumes.
  • Create or Manage Your Cover Letters.
  • Create or Manage Your Portfolios.
  • Create or Manage Your Assessments.
  • Create or Manage Your Interviews.
  • Create or Manage Your Video Resumes.
  • Create or Manage Your Resume Websites.
Illinois workNet Resume Builder Quick Start Guide (PDF External link opens in a new window) and Tools Overview (PDF External link opens in a new window).


42 rates / 4.7 average.
Indeed.com (link opens in a new window)
Indeed.com - Get ratings for the Indeed Resume uploader on one of the top Job Serch Sites! Create an account, try it out and then rate it yourself!
  • Upload a Resume
  • Import your LinkedIn Profile
  • Create a blank resume and then fill in your information
  • Free to post, import, and create
  • You can keep your resume private or make it public for Employers to find


82 rates / 4.4 average.
JobSpice (link opens in a new window)

Jobspice.com – Get ratings for the customizable Jobspice resume creation tool. Give it a try, and then give it your own rating!

  • Completely customizable – can rename, remove, or replace sections
  • Good selection of free layouts (and a few that cost)
  • Easy to use, simple navigation
  • Registration is quick
  • Has live help feature


18 rates / 3.9 average.
LinkedIn (link opens in a new window)

LinkedIn.com – If you’ve thought about using this huge social network to share your skills, see what other people think. Like it? Rate it!

  • Large online community of professionals, job seekers
  • Free to create resume profile - not for printing, downloading etc.
  • Can connect with employers or businesses in your field
  • Employers can search for you by keywords
  • Has job search option


40 rates / 4.4 average.
ReadWriteThink (link opens in a new window)
ReadWriteThink.com - Try a simple resume generator that produces clean PDFs in a matter of minutes. Try it out yourself here.
  • Easy to create new resumes
  • 3 templates to choose from (clean style)
  • Generates only PDF file type
  • No registration required
  • Can save and print


13 rates / 3.8 average.
ResumeBucket (link opens in a new window)

ResumeBucket.com – Look at ratings and details for the online portfolio community ResumeBucket, and see if your resume belongs there.

  • Free to build, post, print, save and share resume
  • Connected to social media (and free resume URL)
  • Can track who is looking at your resume and when
  • Can invite employers and friends to your network
  • Can edit sample resumes from different professions.


26 rates / 3.2 average.
  • Statewide Interest

    Optimal Resume

    Optimal Resume is a FREE resume and portfolio builder available to all Illinois workNet account holders. Log-in or sign up to:
    • Create or Manage Your Resumes.
    • Create or Manage Your Cover Letters.
    • Create or Manage Your Portfolios.
    • Create or Manage Your Assessments.
    • Create or Manage Your Interviews.
    • Create or Manage Your Video Resumes.
    • Create or Manage Your Resume Websites.


  • Spell Check Your Work Online

    SpellChecker.net SpellChecker.net External link opens in a new windowallows you to paste in your work and then run a spell check or type your work directly into the spell checker for potential corrections as you write. This tool is useful for creating resumes, proofing emails or blogs, and any other work which may be presented to a potential employer.


  • IDES Events and Workshops

    Go to IDES stie Check out the state-wide listing of Job Seeker Workshops provided through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

    To find a workshop in your area, visit the Events and Workshops External link opens in a new windowweb page and get the information you need to become more competitive in your employment goals!


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