Sewickley Library helps job-seekers with new website

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The Sewickley Public Library is offering a new job and career resources website, coinciding with the addition of Cypress Resume, an online resume-building tool.

The introduction of these resources was a collaboration of the library’s Adult Reference Department, which is led by assistant director Lynne Schneider.

“We see a consistent need for these types of resources from our residents who are new to the job force and those in career transitions,” said systems and reference librarian Dustin Shilling.

The website, which was built by librarian and web designer Meghan Snatchko, features information about recent job postings, resume and cover letter writing, career research, test preparation, education, interview skills and networking. Patrons will also find links to print and audio-visual resources in the library, as well as those to library-funded resources such as Cypress Resume, Testing and Education Reference Center and Tutor.com.

Cypress Resume makes it simple for users to create professional resumes. “I think it can be confusing and overwhelming for patrons looking to build resumes because there is so much out there,” Mr. Shilling said. “Users often become frustrated with what they thought was a free online resume builder and spend significant time entering their information, only to run into a pay wall that won’t allow them to use what they built,” he added.

Cypress Resume is free and all that users have to do to create their own professional resumes is to enter basic information. This online resource does the formatting.

“Much of the reason we liked Cypress is because of its simple approach,” Mr. Shilling said. He hopes the website makes these tasks more user-friendly “just by eliminating some of the information overload that users have when they Google job searching or resume building.”

In addition, Cypress Resume offers assistance with cover letters and reference lists, helping to build a starting point for a basic cover letter based on the type of job for which the user is applying. The website also enables users to create an account and save their documents to the site for later use.

Since launching Cypress Resume just a few weeks ago, Mr. Shilling said it has had about 40 users. “I think that Cypress Resume will be popular just because it is so easy to use,” he said. “For people who aren’t adept at Microsoft Word formatting, it really makes it simple.”

Cypress Resume not only features a resume builder, but also includes test prep resources for high school, college, graduate school and a variety of careers. With TERC, users can access practice tests for college and graduate school admissions.

Users can find even more resume help at Tutor.com, another source offered by the library. This site gives users the opportunity to upload a resume and receive detailed feedback from a reviewer within 24 hours.

“This is more than just basic formatting,” Mr. Shilling said. It involves “actual human analysis and tips for improving a resume.”

Tutor.com also offers one-on-one homework help. Although the majority of the teaching is done by tutors working remotely from across the country, the library also offers in-library help by appointment with a local resident and volunteer.

TERC and Tutor.com have both been funded by the library for several years, but the Adult Reference Department at the library hopes the new resource site will drive patrons to use them more frequently.

All of these resources are offered free of charge to anyone who visits the library and uses a computer there. They are also available from any home computer or mobile device by using a Sewickley Public Library card. In addition, Allegheny County residents can receive a Sewickley library card free of charge, as can out-of-county residents who have a valid card from a library participating in ACCESS Pennsylvania.

“Although we are promoting a lot of our digital resources,” Mr. Shilling added, “we, of course, do have many printed resources for patrons who prefer a book over a computer screen. The reference librarians are always here to help patrons find the resources they need.”

Sewickley’s new job and career website can be found at http://sewickleylibrary.org/jobs/.

Shellie Petri Budzeak, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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