By Patricia Helmuth
The move to integrate career awareness and work readiness skills into our already existing adult education programs is gathering momentum. One career centered activity that has made its way into the program where I teach is helping students to create a resume. We now offer a resume writing workshop at our main campus, and in the satellite location where I teach a high school equivalency class, the facility requires all clients to build a resume.
Creating a resume for the first time can be a daunting task for many students, but doing so has just become a whole lot easier with the availability of online infographic tools. Students can create an eye catching resume that contains a colorful snapshot of their personality or they can create something more traditional. Either way, these free infographic tools make it easy to create a simple resume that has all the traditional resume elements and more.
One website that is super easy to use and has both traditional and infographic resumes is PaanGo. From the home page, click on Build My Resume. Students will be asked to select a template, but it doesn’t really matter which one they choose because they will have the option to switch templates later on. Next, they’ll be asked to enter their name, email address, and job title. When they enter their email address, PaanGo automatically creates an account for them and sends a password to the email address they entered.
Next, they build their resume step-by-step. The interface is very easy to use and gives hints that students can click on if they’re not sure what to add to that particular section. After they’ve filled in the information in each section, they can see what their resume looks like by clicking on Preview Resume on the top left of the page. Then, they’ll have the option to change the template or download it as a PDF so they can save it and print it out.
You’ll notice that the resumes pictured contain a graph that depicts strengths. When students are building their resume they can take a Strengths Test which asks 52 questions. Based on their responses, it creates a graph that highlights their key strengths. This is a good exercise for students as it enables them to get a sense of what potential employers are looking for. They also have the option to insert a picture if they want to. However, there are several templates they can choose that are more traditional and may be more appropriate to use for an actual job interview.
Overall, PaanGo is a great entry level website for students to get them thinking about what skills they need for the job that they want and how to create a resume for that specific job.
Another website that is easy to navigate and makes a really fun visualization of a resume is PosterMyWall. This tool will help students create an infographic resume from scratch in an easy way. They simply click on one of the many resume templates pictured below and start customizing. Once done, they can download the resume or share it with their social networks. High-resolution files are also available and can be downloaded with a small fee.
Patricia Helmuth is an Adult Numeracy Consultant and Educator, who teaches for the Adult Program and SC BOCES in New York. She also works with the Hudson Valley RAEN Regional Staff Developers Network, as a Teacher Leader-Trainer, to provide support for Adult Education Instructors in CCSS mathematics instructional strategies. She recently became Co-Editor of the Math Practitioner, a newsletter published by ANN, The Adult Numeracy Network.