By Chris Bourret

Following up on Patricia Helmuth’s great article on Paango, I’d like to recommend another helpful free resume creation website recommended to me by a colleague this year – SlashCV. The website allows a user to put his or her information into designated resume sections, and once the information is entered, the site creates a PDF of the resume and saves it in an online account, making the resume easily retrievable. I’d recommend this site for students who already have a version of a resume that needs updating, or who have put their resume content down on paper but are emerging digital learners with computers. For example, I’ve had a lot of learners who have come into our tutoring center this year with paper copies of resumes others have created for them, but no accompanying digital file. This of course, doesn’t get them very far as most jobs need to be applied for online. I’ve had a lot of success getting these learners to input their information on SlashCV. Most are surprised with how easy it is to use, and as long as they can remember their username (their e-mail address) and a password, they have instant access to their resume from any computer. And, they don’t have to sign up first and wait for a confirmation email before using the site. They can just start building a resume from the get go, save it, turn it into a PDF, and then sign up through a one step process at the end.

I think students have enjoyed using the site because it’s easy to navigate for emerging digital literacy learners. Looking at the start screen below, students just have to click on the section they want to work on, and then start typing information into the blanks. The blanks themselves indicate what information should go there. There is no other distracting information, and the sections are chunked into discernible separate white boxes.

Slash CV Screenshot

The sections in bold are what will be included on the resume. What’s not clicked on won’t be included. With a click and a drag, students can rearrange the order of categories on the resume too.

The example below indicates that a Custom Section would come after Contact Info, followed by ExperienceEducation and then Activities. The order of the section list below on the left is reflected in the resume next to it on the right.

Section list

Sample Resume

For the Custom Section, you can type whatever title you want, for example a “Qualifications Summary”, a “Personal Profile”, etc.

​When typing information into each section, students have easy-to-follow formatting choices of bold print, bullets or numbers, and gray shadow text tells the student what should go into each blank. For example, the Experience section has blanks for company name, position at the company, place of employment and dates worked there. Down below, you can leave the “company website” prompt blank and it won’t show in the PDF. When all the information is entered, a student can click the green “Add more” to add another job under Experience.

Experience section screenshot

When a student is finished, he or she can view and download the resume as a PDF, and click “Save as my copy” to create their online account. Both options are shown in the top right corner of the page, as seen below. When downloading to a PDF, students can choose from many different (though all basic) templates. To sign up, the student just needs to use their e-mail address and a password and they can have easy access to that resume whenever they need it.

saving options

Helping students create an online version of a resume is an obviously necessary step in today’s technological world, as most jobs that students apply for are through online platforms, either company-based or employment websites. Many of these online sites, besides being hard to navigate for students, usually ask for an attached resume/CV. Besides the practical aspects of finding a job, helping students put down their skills, abilities, knowledge and experiences can be an empowering and validating experience for them, especially if it’s the first time they have done this. However, in using a resume creation site like Slash CV with students, it’s probably a good idea for a teacher to use a “letting go of the learning” approach, which means presenting good models with the whole class, then working with students to create language together as a group, and finally letting students work with each other and independently to complete the task. For example, when it comes to resume creation, a teacher can present model resume language that the whole class can analyze together. Next, a teacher can give lists of experience and skills that students in pairs and small groups can try to organize/classify and write down in resume style. Then, students can be asked to brainstorm to identify their own skills, experiences, etc, and talk about it with classmates, before putting all their own information into resume language that they can type or write down. Of course you can still make use of rubrics, opportunities for peer and teacher editing, student reflection on the process and opportunities for students to ask questions. Through this process, a site like Slash CV helps alleviate the challenges of typesetting and other tech issues that can arise from resume creation, helping the teacher and learners focus more on the process and resume content.

Christopher Bourret is a Lead Teacher/Program Coordinator with Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI). Chris has taught for over two decades in higher education institutions and adult education programs, including five years in Poland for US Peace Corps. He helped pilot the Words2Learn project, which developed an app that accelerates learning of academic and health career related vocabulary for adults preparing to enter post-secondary education and technical training. Chris serves as Vice President for the Coordinating Council for Rhode Island Teachers of English Language Learners (RITELL).

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