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Kirby McCurtis
Kirby McCurtis, Administrator, North Portland Library
Published: 12 October 2017

Unemployed? Considering a career change? Need help with your resume? Multnomah County Library offers free one-on-one help by appointment, resume classes, personalized resume writing tips and computer labs for job seekers. Staff and volunteers can help with resume style, length, and format, and offer personalized advice for specific industries and career levels.

Resume help is offered weekly at North Portland, Hollywood, and Albina libraries.

Five common resume mistakes to avoid:

  1. Typos and grammatical errors: review your resume for spelling and punctuation errors, and then have another person read it.
  2. No specifics: be specific with your responsibilities and accomplishments in each job.
  3. Too long: your resume should not be so long potential employers don’t want to read it. The general rule is no more than two pages.
  4. No action verbs: using action verbs demonstrates you actually did the work! Avoid using “responsible for;” try instead “organized.”
  5. Picking the wrong font: pick a clear font that is easy to read and stick with it throughout the document. Yes to “Arial;” No to “Comic Sans.”

Having a great resume is not the only thing that sets you apart from other applicants. Employers also look for “soft skills,” or the skills and traits that help you work well with others. These can include strengths in the areas of communication, time management, problem solving or collaboration.

Beginning Oct. 5, Central Library is partnering with Portland Community College to offer the Brown Bag Lunch and Learn series. These hour-long sessions will teach you how to develop and increase soft skills and how to expand your professional network. Topics include building emotional intelligence, using social media to find employment and cultivating trust.

Visit multcolib.org or schedule an appointment with a librarian by texting “multcolib” and your question to 66746.

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