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Focus on Jobs: Writing a Resume

Applying for a job can begin as a rather impersonal experience, where all a potential employer knows about you is what you include in your resume and cover letter. This can make resume writing stressful, especially with so many websites and online videos giving you advice on how to write a standout resume.  Here are some quick resume-writing tips, followed by a list of available resources to help you create a resume that truly represents you.

Basic Resume Writing Tips

Avoid the one-size-fits-all resume. Tailor the content of your resume to the job you are applying for.

Use Keywords. Recognize position-related keywords in a job description and incorporate them into your resume.

Keep it uncluttered and organized.  Your content should be organized efficiently so it is easy to follow.  On average, recruiters only spend 6 seconds scanning a resume.

Be honest. Most employers check information such as work history and education, so lying is a waste of your time and theirs.

Use active verbs
. Try to utilize active verbs when describing previous work history and professional accomplishments.

Proofread.  Proofread your resume for errors multiple times before sending it.

Include a cover letter. Cover letters afford a brief space for you to promote yourself, explain issues like gaps in work history, and offers the employer a small taste of who you are.

Resume Writing Resources

Brainfuse HelpNow!
Brainfuse is an on-demand eLearning site available through Livebrary that offers free professional assistance in resume/cover letter writing.  Access from the Hauppauge Public Library website or directly at

Career Cruising
Offers information on all aspects of finding employment, including resume and cover letter writing. Access through Livebrary from the Hauppauge Public Library website

CareerOneStop is sponsored by the US Department of Labor and offers great information on writing resumes and cover letters.

New York State Department of Labor Career Services
This website has information on all the employment-related resources NYS offers, including sections on writing a resume and cover letter.

The Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center
This NYS Career Center provides employment services to the local community, including assistance with resume and cover letter writing.  *Note: The Center is currently closed due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
Phone: 631-853-6600

Career Centers
If you are a college or trade school graduate, chances are your school has a career center which offers services to alumni, like resume writing.  This is a fantastic resource that is often underutilized by graduates. Contact your school to find out what is available.

Free Resume & Cover Letter Templates

Microsoft Word Resume and Cover Letter Templates

Downloading Resume and Cover Letter Templates in Google Docs

Note on “Free” Templates: There are hundreds of “free” resume builders and templates online, but beware: many are not really free and some are suspicious. Before you use an online resume builder or download templates, make sure the website is reputable and that there are no hidden costs.