Thursday, January 29, 2009

Step-by-Step Resumes , Book review

The author, Evelyn Salvador, is a professional resume writer with over 15 years experience in the field. Her background is in advertising and preparing business copy.

When it comes to resume writing, I'm a fan of worksheets. If you have a patron who is struggling with writing a resume, a book of samples is not going to cut it: always recommend a book that has samples and work sheets. Samples are for people who have completed their resume, but are struggling with some formatting issues, or who have never seen a resume before.

This book, as well as the accompanying CD-ROM, is chock-full of them. For a person who is struggling with what to say in a resume and how to put their accomplishments into writing, a worksheet is one of the best methods. By using the templates on the disk, the reader could work through the exercises and then cut and paste their work into their resume. The templates can be reused when revising your resume to look for a new position. Librarians would easily be able to use the worksheets for administration, customer service, marketing, creative work, service (especially for reference librarians) and sales, with minimal rejigging for library jargon. If you are struggling with writing a Highlights of Qualification section, or a Career Objective or a Summary, this book has some of the best basic advice on writing these sections, starting with some basic cloze exercises, that I have ever found.

Drawbacks: there is a strong emphasis on business and administrative positions and not so much on educational positions, so the wording sometimes sounds too much like a sales pitch. The sample resumes are also over-produced with serious design flaws (like putting a person's name in white font in a black box, a big no-no for a resume that will be scanned and searched) making them look more like menus than resumes.

However, the advice is pretty good on the whole, and work sheets (yes, I love them) are essential in helping you create an easily retrievable record for what you have done in school, while as an intern, in a practicum and in the work place, which means some of the work you do for creating your resume can also be used when articulating your accomplishments in an interview. Recommended for personal use, not for workshops because it states clearly on each page that the material is not for duplication.

1 comment:

Evelyn Salvador, NCRW, JCTC said...

Thank you, Bookish37, for your comments on my Step-by-Step Resumes book which I discovered while conducting a Google search under my name. As the author, I wanted to provide easy how-to information for career-minded individuals who want to create their own resumes. To fit all careers in one book was the impossible, so the publisher (JIST Publishing) and I decided to include worksheets for primary positions in the business sector.

I did want to let you know, however (and I hope it is appropriate to post this here), that Career Worksheets covering 2200 positions can be found at if you are in need of worksheets and other resume tools not found in the book or its accompanying CD.

Also, I agree with you regarding criteria for scannable resumes. The design templates included in the book/on CD are best used if sent via snail mail or attached to an email that includes the text (ASCII) version within the email itself. In this way, the prospective employer is able to view a nicely formatted/designed resume and have the "scannable" copy as well.

If I can be of help to Librarians in this arena, I would be honored to do so. For example, if you would like to receive a free worksheet for a Librarian, for example (yes, there is one), feel free to email me at and I'll send it off to you! [Be sure to note this blog post and the library (with town and state) that you represent.]

Evelyn Salvador, NCRW, JCTC
Certified Resume Writer and Career Coach