Create a Resume & Cover Letter

Apply for Jobs with Confidence

Are you looking to reenter the workforce or embark on a new professional journey? The first steps towards securing a job are creating a compelling resume and cover letter.

These essential tips and tools will help you effectively communicate your skills and experiences and make a lasting impression on prospective employers.

Four tips to make your resume stand out

Get Your Resume Noticed

What to Include

  • Contact information: Include your full name, phone number, and email address so potential employers can easily reach you.
  • Objective: Be clear on what you’re looking for in a job.
  • Skills related to the job: Emphasize your abilities that align with the position for which you’re applying.
  • Employment history: Provide a concise overview of your work experience.
  • Education history: Include your educational achievements and qualifications.
  • Certifications/Licenses: List relevant certifications you have acquired.

General Guidelines

  • Make your name bold and larger than other text. Add city, state, phone, email, and LinkedIn profile if you have one.
  • Title your objective as Professional Summary, and keep it to 1-2 sentences.
  • In the skills section, explain what you did with those skills to improve services or processes.
  • Use action words to demonstrate skills. Use present tense for current jobs and past tense for previously held jobs.
  • Have multiple people proofread.

Write a Great Cover Letter

What to Include

  • Contact information: Use the same information as listed on your resume.
  • Reason for writing: Name the specific position for which you are applying.
  • Why you’re interested in the position: Convey your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
  • Qualifications for the position: Align your skills with the job requirements.
  • Interest in meeting the employer: Show eagerness to discuss your potential contribution.
  • Availability to meet: Include your availability for an interview.

General Guidelines

  • Express interest and excitement for the position, and let your passion for the job shine through.
  • Share an aspect of yourself that relates to the job.
  • Convey gratitude, and thank the employer for considering your application.
  • Ask family and friends for feedback.

Make Your Resume Shine

To stand out as a candidate, incorporate your most applicable skills, qualifications, and responsibilities from the job post.

This easy-to-use CareerOneStop tool offers comprehensive overviews for thousands of jobs. Begin your search by entering a keyword and selecting your state from the drop-down menu below.

Transparency & Honesty: How to Address Your Background

  • How to address employment gaps: It’s generally recommended that reentrants address employment gaps in their cover letter. This demonstrates transparency and allows you to proactively explain your situation. Waiting for the interview might not provide sufficient context, and addressing it upfront shows willingness to address any concerns.
  • How to list positions during incarceration: Any work or volunteer experiences you have should be included on your resume, particularly if they are skills that can be transferred, like record-keeping or collaborative teamwork. You can also include any training programs or educational degrees you’ve completed while serving your sentence.
  • Do not list prison name as company: It’s advised not to list the prison name as the company. Instead, create a section titled “Relevant Experience” or “Additional Experience” on your resume, explaining the roles briefly without specifying the prison. Focus on transferable skills and accomplishments.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

– Charles R. Swindoll
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