Resources for Job Seekers
How to Build a Resume
Think of your resume as the first impression you are making on a potential employer. It’s important you make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. It’s helpful to have someone you trust look over the resume before you submit it.
1. Create a Header
- A header should include your name, address with ZIP Code, phone number and email address.
- Boldface your name to make it stand out.
- Use a phone number that you’ll actually answer and change your voicemail to a more professional message if necessary.
- Make sure your email address is professional. If your current email address, for example, is email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, it’s time to set up a new email, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. List Your Experiences
- Starting with your most recent or current job, list your previous work experiences.
- This section shows where you have worked and when. It also states specific accomplishments for each position or job.
- When choosing experiences to list, pick those that seem most relevant to the position you seek. As sources for your experiences, think of your full-time or part-time work, summer jobs, occasional jobs, internships, fieldwork and special projects.
- Don’t worry whether your experiences are “good enough.” Employers admire people who have worked hard in a variety of positions.
- Always start each achievement with an accomplishment verb. Examples of accomplishment verbs are accelerated, achieved, expanded, influenced, suggested, rescued, solved, maintained, generated, structured, effected, advised, controlled, trained and utilized.
- Don’t worry if there are gaps in the timeline, but keep everything in chronological order, with most recent jobs at the top.
3. List your Skills
- List skills that are important or relevant to the job you are seeking. Think about what the employer is looking for in relation to what you have done and who you are as a person.
- Don’t forget to list computer programs you have experience with, even if you are not a master-level user.
4. List your Activities
- List acticities you have participated in and what your specific role was.
- This is a place to note your membership or leadership in clubs, organizations, athletic teams, community groups, etc.
5. List your Education
- List the schools you’ve attended, starting with the most recent one. Include any special awards.
- Add any other educational experiences, such as training programs, certification courses, seminars, etc.
6. List your References
- Never use someone as a reference unless you have asked his or her permission.
- A former boss, customer, co-worker or teacher make good references. Do not use family members or close friends.
- Include the references full name, how you know them, phone number and email address.
How to Write a Cover Letter
- Click here to download a Cover Letter Template
1. Contact Information
- To begin, include both the employer’s and your contact information at the top of the cover letter.
2. Explain why you’d be a good fit for the job
- If possible, address the letter to the person hiring for the position. You may be able to find this on the company’s website or LinkedIn page.
- In the first paragraph you should briefly introduce yourself by telling the employer the position you are applying for and how you learned about the opportunity. The rest of the paragraph should briefly highlight your education background, skills and work experience and why you are interested in the position.
- The second paragraph is where you sell yourself to the hiring manager. You should directly address the job description. Describe how your previous experiences, skills and interests prepare you for this job.
- To go the extra mile, do some research about the company, and try to find out what they are doing — and why — given the current state of their industry.
3. Fill in places your resume cannot describe
- In a third paragraph, explain how you can contribute to the company goals. Fill in any gaps in your resume or elaborate on experiences that you didn’t fully explain in your resume
4. Call to Action
- In the final paragraph, thank the hiring manager for taking the time to review your application and inform them that you would love to be interviewed.
- To prepare for the interview, research the employer, hiring manager and position. You should understand the employer, requirements of the job, etc. The more research you conduct, the more you will understand the employer and position which will better prepare you to answer any interview questions.
- Arrive on time, relaxed and prepared. The day before your interview, print several copies of your resume, cover letter and any other materials you plan to bring.
- Be polite and offer a warm greeting to everyone you meet from the parking attendant to the receptionist to the person conducting your interview. Greet your interviewer with a smile, make eye contact and offer a firm handshake.
- Be yourself. Be confident. Be concise. When the interview has begun, it’s important that you deliver quality response. You goal should always be to be authentic to yourself so do not lie when answering questions. Try to avoid long, rambling answers.
- Ask insightful questions to the interviewer. This shows your interest in the position and the company. An example is, “What does success look like in this position?”
- When the interview is over, thank your interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. Follow up with an email or a note in the mail thanking them shortly after the interview.
Commonly Asked Interview Questions
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why do you think you’re qualified for this positon?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- What is a weakness of yours in the workplace?
- How would your coworkers describe you?
- What is your work style?
- Do you prefer to work in groups or independently?
- Describe a challenge you have faced in the workplace and how you overcame it.
- How do you handle stressful situations?
- What do you like to do outside of work?
If you need dress clothes for an interview there are several organizations that can help.
Covenant House – Charleston, WV
600 Shrewsbury Street
Charleston, WV 25301
Goodwill Industries of the Kanawha Valley, Inc. - Charleston, WV
209 Virginia Street West
Charleston, WV 25302
Dress for Success River Cities (Women Only) – Huntington, WV
541 9th Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701
Hire Attire (Men Only) - Huntington, WV
1102 Memorial Blvd. W
Huntington, WV 26701
Community Resources, Roane County – Spencer, WV
482 Ripley Road
Spencer, WV 25276
Community Resources, Jackson County – Ravenswood, WV
106 Royal Street
Ravenswood, WV 26164
Community Resources, Calhoun County – Grantsville, WV
Corner Of Johnson & Pine Creek Road
Grantsville, WV 26147