What type of resume do you need?
  • Chronological. Lists your work history in order of date with the most recent job listed first. This allows a prospective employer to see the progression of your work history. Use this if you have no or few gaps in your work history or if you want to show progression in skills and/or responsibilities.
  • Functional. Emphasizes your skill set over work history. While gaps in your work history won’t be highlighted, your skills and abilities will. This will help you to target your resume for the job you want and not the job you had. Use this if you have large gaps in your work history or desire a career change.
  • Combination. Combines Chronological and Functional styles that will focus on your skills while still showing a detailed work history. Use this if you want to emphasize that you have transferable skills.
  • Infographic. Incorporates many graphics, including charts and graphs. While these can be striking, they can also be distracting. It is suggested these be used only if you are applying for a job in an artistic field such as graphic design where your resume can showcase your talent.


Online Resources for Resume Building

Featured Library Resources

  • JobNow offers live virtual assistance with resume building. You can write your resume and easily make changes as needed. You can then submit your resume for review or access a live, on-demand virtual Job Coach. Or you can use whiteboard technology to access on-demand resume-writing assistance.  When you're done, save your work on JobNow so you don't have to worry about losing your valuable resume.
  • Job and Career Accelerator takes you through each step of resume building including templates of chronological, functional, and combination resumes. This database is accessed via Learning Express and is provided by the State Library of Louisiana and Livingston Parish Library. 
  • Tutor.com can be used to submit a resume for review or to have a virtual one-on-one session for resume building and related job-search topics. This database is accessed via Homework Louisiana and is provided by the State Library of Louisiana and Livingston Parish Library.
  • Udemy offers several video classes on resume writing along with interviewing and many other current topics.
  • Universal Class offers a resume class as well as other job-search & career-advancement classes; certifications are usually offered along with instructor feedback through class participation.

Additional Library Resources

  • Google Docs offers templates for resume building. A Google account is required.
  • The Muse offers templates from Google Docs plus what you need to know about using each type.
Writing a Resume

Document Quicklinks:

When and why do you need a resume?  

Answer: You always need a resume. 

  • You need a resume to help you get that first job interview for a full-time job, part-time job, or temporary summer job. You need a resume to apply to a new job, advance in your current job, or if you are changing careers. 

  • Always saving and updating your resume once created will enable you to quickly transfer important information such as dates and skills that have developed or improved over time. By doing so, you’ll be ready to take that next step in your career, whatever it may be.

The LPL Career Center is housed at the Denham Springs-Walker Branch library. Please feel free to contact the Career Center in person, or by phone, or email. To book an appointment with the Career Center, click here.

Before you write your resume 

  • Think and take notes!

  • Review your social media; prospective employers likely will. 

  • Consider a LinkedIn account; if you already have one, you might want to include that link with the contact information on your resume. 

  • Gather necessary dates. Contact previous employers if you need to. They may actually turn out to be a reference or know someone who’s hiring. 

  • Use the online resume resources listed in this guide to determine your skills and abilities and to match those with an industry you want to be in. 

  • Target your resume and use the links to find out more about the type of business you are applying for. 

  • Research the company, learn its corporate language, and use it in the resume. 

Dos and Don’ts 

  • Don’t use long paragraphs, use bullet points. 

  • If there are gaps in your work history, what activities were you involved in? What skills did you use during those times?  

  • Do not use less than a 10-point font. 

  • Do not send references with the resume, but do indicate that they can be provided upon request. 

  • Make sure that the person you want to have as a reference agrees to it, and that they have good things to say. 

Saving your resume 

Once you’ve worked to create your resume, protect it! 

  • Upload your resume to iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, LinkedIn, or other online storage.

  • Backup your resume on a flash drive or other external storage.

  • Email a copy to yourself. 

Maximizing Your Interview
  • Be flexible. While you need to stay on target and in tune with the interviewer(s), be flexible in how you reach that target. If the interviewers ask an unexpected question, be prepared to adjust your answer even if you use one of your true-life examples in an unexpected but appropriate way.
  • Be versatile. Perhaps you’re unsure of how to answer a question. Look for a common element in the question and address the intent of the question. If you don’t know the answer or don’t understand the question, seek clarification or ask the interviewer(s) to rephrase the question.
  • Be familiar with your own resume. Remember what you wrote! What were the high points you mentioned? What skills & abilities did you emphasize.
  • Know your story. Be prepared to tell your story: an anecdote about how you handled a particular situation, what you did when faced with a difficult challenge, or that time you saved the day. Within the resources linked to this guide, you’ll see sample interview questions. Do you have a story that would make your answers come alive?
Online Resources for Interviews

Featured Library Resources

  • JobNow provides interviewing guides to help you work through the interviewing process. Or select Optimal Resume to practice your interview techniques and develop the answers that work best. You may view interview questions and have a virtual "employer" ask the questions online. Choose audio, or audio/visual and save your work or delete and start over. See a variety of possible interview questions according to industry. When you're done, save your work on JobNow so you don't have to worry about losing your practice sessions.
  • Job and Career Accelerator offers interviewing tutorials as well as downloadable ebooks. This database is accessed via Learning Express and is provided by the State Library of Louisiana and Livingston Parish Library.
  • Tutor.com provides one-on-one help with interviewing as well as other related endeavors. This database is accessed via Homework Louisiana and is provided by the State Library of Louisiana and Livingston Parish Library.
  • Udemy allows you to search for “interview” and filter from the selections on the left side of the screen allowing you to discover in-depth classes on interview skills and further information on specialized interviews (coding, Python, SQL, management, sales and more).
  • Universal Class offers Interviewing 101 as well as many other instructor-led, career-building, and industry-specific courses.

Additional Online Resources

  • Department of Labor (NY) provides a brief overview of interviewing from preparation to after the interview. You can also read a list of what you should bring to the interview. Very concise and informative. This resource is available via the State Library of Louisiana Civil Service Exams and Test Prep.
  • The Muse presents end-of-interview questions & tips that can improve your interviewing performance.
  • myFUTURE offers common-sense interview questions you should ask, as well as advice on careers, colleges, and military service.
Planning for the Interview

Document Quicklinks

The benefits of a mock interview: 
  • Find out what flows and what does not. 
  • Lessen the chances of awkward pauses by practicing coping mechanisms. 
  • Work out the stress in a mock interview before facing the real one. 

*Need help with the interview process?  Try a mock interview conducted for free through the LPL Career Center. * By appointment only.

*In the event you decide to record the interview, you will own the only copy. So, keep it safe for later review! 

Making preparations 

These things will help you prepare for an interview (See more detailed information in the LPL featured online resources): 

  • Carefully review your resume. If your resume is targeted, your interview presentation needs to match what you’ve written. 
  • Dress for the job. It’s best to avoid extreme make-up or hair styles, unless they display artistic talents relevant to the job for which you are applying. 
  • Participate in a practice (mock) interview to work out any kinks or last-minute anxiety. You want, and need, objective feedback. 
  • Don’t just say it – show it. Use a true anecdote to demonstrate a strength you want your prospective employer to know about.  

What questions should you ask?

Here are several questions you may want to address: 

  • Ask about any ongoing projects and what part you might play in those endeavors. 
  • Find out what they consider high priorities in their organization. 
  • You can ask to have a confusing statement or question clarified or rephrased. 
  • Make sure you clearly understand what your duties will be and what their expectations are.


Informational Interviews

An informational interview is a form of networking; it is not a job interview, but it may lead to one. In the informational interview, you are asking the questions.  This will… 

  • fine-tune your job search. 
  • allow you to practice interviewing skills from the other side so that you may better understand what an interviewer wants. 
  • encourage you to learn about company culture or industry protocols. 

Informational interviews should be treated respectfully. Someone is donating their valuable time to you, so have your questions in order, and be mindful of any time limits that have been set.

Interview Mistakes: What NOT to do
  • Show up late
  • Speak in a disrespectful, accusatory manner about previous employers 
  • Keep talking well after you’ve answered the question 
  • Provide too much, or very personal, information 

For detailed, relevant information from beginning your job search to how to negotiate a salary, refer to the downloadable eBooks at the State Library provided Learning Express: Job & Career Accelerator. Registration with an active Library Card number is required. To book an appointment with the Career Center, click here.

The LPL Career Center is housed at the Denham Springs-Walker Branch library. Please feel free to contact the Career Center in-person, by phone at 225-686-4144, or by email. 

Build a Strong Job Search

Research the industry or company; find out about the job you want to apply to and the current market. 

  • Want a job close to home? Follow local news and current events. 
  • Willing to travel or go virtual? Stay informed through national or world news and current events. 

Update and clean up your social media. You want your prospective employer to see the best you have to offer.  

  • Do employers review social media sites before hiring?
    • Google yourself. What do you see? That’s what prospective employers will see. 
    • Check your privacy settings.  Make sure your privacy settings don’t allow your job searching activities to be shared when you don’t want to share. 

Network using all of your resources.  

  • Network through social media, professional sites, friends & family, community organizations, and company/industry websites. If you see something you like, learn the language, learn what’s going on in regard to that industry/company, post it and acknowledge the source on LinkedIn or other social media. 
  • Schedule informational interviews. Use the information you’ve gained from networking and your industry research to reach out for an appointment. Find out what interviewers need to hear by being the interviewer.

Explore all possible paths to your job. Consider the following routes to employment: 

  • Temporary work can often lead to a full-time job or a future reference. 
  • Job recruiters and employment agencies may have excellent information on job openings as well as industry trends. They offer an opportunity to distribute your resume to a wide audience. Don’t target this resume to an exact desired position. Instead, make a general resume that mentions all your skills, abilities, and work history.  
  • Volunteering can lead to a job or a career. Find what interests you, and volunteer your services. Be sure to be there when you say you’ll be there, and work diligently. At the least, you may gain references, as well as learn new skills, or improve current skills. At best you may gain employment. Either way, you will have widened your network. 
  • Freelancing allows you to set the hours you work and to select your clients. Read this article for information on what freelancing entails and whether it would be a good fit for you.
Online Resources

Featured Library Resources

  • JobNow allows you to search and evaluate a variety of careers such as military transitions to civilian employment or defense and private security opportunities. Explore the options for that first job out of college or even search non-profit organizations. Valuable career assessments can help match your skills and interests to careers that express the same values and goals as you. 
  • Job and Career Accelerator offers tutorials on every step of the job search process, along with job listings (including federal jobs, and internships), manuals on changing careers, and social networking, as well as eBook resources for a variety of specific careers. This database is accessed via Learning Express and is provided by the State Library of Louisiana and Livingston Parish Library.
  • Business Searching Interface, Gale Business DemographicsNow, and SimplyAnalytics are resources that allow one to learn more about the health and history of a business. You may choose to investigate the local industry as well.

For assistance using these resources, book an appointment with the Career Center.

Additional Online Resources

  • CareerBuilder.com allows you to search for related jobs. You can review the responsibilities that normally come with a particular position as well as review similar positions that may be a better fit. 
  • CareerOneStop provides step-by-step information for all stages of your job search. Use their online job search tool to search for hourly or annual-pay jobs. Or, play the card sort to explore your value system. This can help determine what your priorities really are and how those will fit in with a company’s culture. 
  • LinkedIn offers links and articles to help you research companies you are considering.
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides an easy-to-use format for selecting the information you are interested in as you determine what industry provides the work environment and wage that best suits you. You will also be able to see job outlook and similar occupations.O*NET OnLine: Occupation Handbook Crosswalk Search allows you to research occupations. You will have access to wage information detailing high, low, and median wages, work requirements, and industry standards. When you select O*NET Sites in the top, right-hand corner, you will be directed to an array of valuable resources including CareerOne (Related Sites) and Code Connector to make your O*NET search even faster. 
The Complete Job Search Guide

Document Quicklinks 

Tips for Job Searching

In its entirety, your job search will likely include everything from starting with the informational interview and networking to researching companies/industries, to interviewing, and finally, hopefully, to accepting the job you’ve worked hard to find. 

Keep the following in mind: 

  • While looking for jobs, include company websites in your search. Notice the language they use and what their focus, or concerns, seem to be. Being aware of these things will help create a powerful interview. It will also help inform you: does this sound like the kind of company you would want to work for? Does it seem like a good match? Who could I reach out to in this company? 

  • When writing your resume, double-check (triple-check), your work. Look for typos or phrasing that doesn’t quite make sense.

  • Be concise, but informative. 

  • Stay factual. Don’t embellish what you can’t back up - that could lead to a disastrous interview. 

  • Ask for help. Searching for a job is an education in itself. When you need to learn a new skill in order to conduct your search, know when to seek assistance. For instance: 

    • You need help using M/S Word or another computer program. 

    • You’re trying to use a resume building program, but it’s difficult to understand. 

    • You want to find out more information about a company, but you don’t seem to be finding the information you’re searching for. 

You have options: 

  • Check with knowledgeable friends or family. 

  • Use contacts through your network. 

  • Contact the Career Center and schedule an appointment. 

The LPL Career Center is housed at the Denham Springs-Walker Branch library. Please feel free to contact the Career Center in person, or by phone, or email. To book an appointment with the Career Center, click here.

The Unknown Job

Don’t just search job boards. Consider unadvertised jobs.  

There are more jobs out there than you may realize. Many jobs may never be posted, but are strictly word-of-mouth, or they are posted on sites you may never see. Here are several avenues you can explore to find those jobs: 

  • Job recruiters & employment agencies (there’s a difference). Job recruiters typically have a business client who needs to fill specific positions and the recruiter will look for applicants with specific skills. An employment agency’s client is the job-seeker. The agency will look at your qualifications and try to find the job that fits best. Try both of these resources, but be aware of the difference. 

  • Temporary or part-time positions. These have the advantage of keeping you working while you search for something full-time; or the job/career you want, not the one you must have to earn a paycheck. You can make an impression with solid, consistent work which may lead to references or a job offer. You may choose to use your off-time taking courses that will lead to a career goal. Or, use your free time to micro credential in short classes (some of which are free) that can expand your skills and, when placed on your resume, show your prospective employer that you are planning ahead and interested in the area of expertise you’ve chosen. 

  • Job Fairs. These provide an excellent opportunity to meet many prospective employers at one time; some of whom you may never meet again. Have several copies of your resume in hand. If you anticipate speaking with someone who represents a specific company or industry, then you can offer a targeted resume version. Otherwise, go with the general, all-purpose resume. 

  • Networking. Get the word out in a variety of ways. Use social media, but do so responsibly, with the goal of presenting yourself in a professional way. Talk to friends and family. Let them know what you’re looking for, and whether it is full-time or part-time to qualify the level of your commitment). 

  • Volunteer. This is an excellent way to meet new people who share a common interest with you. Through your volunteer work, you may be able to gain skills, or to keep the skills you already have well-honed. Volunteering can open the door to opportunities that may have been completely unknown to you. Add the experience to your resume and find other ways to share; put it on your social media posts, including professional sites such as LinkedIn and include details relevant to your job goals. 

The Informational Interview: Before, During, and After

  • Think about what type of work you would like to do, and search for relevant companies in your area. Check out their company websites and any links on that website that seem to be useful. 

  • Once you’ve selected a few companies, send out a letter of interest to the company requesting to speak with someone; it can be their Human Resources department, a store manager, floor manager or knowledgeable staff member. Let them lead the way.  

  • Alternately, don’t be afraid to take advantage of an opportunity to introduce yourself spontaneously. However, do this only if you’re presentable and prepared to do the interview at that moment. The manager, or staff, may say that “immediately” works well for them. 

  • You should have some way of taking notes (always ask permission before taking notes); be respectful, refrain from very personal topics, and ask about any time constraints they may have before you get started. 


From this, you gain: 

  • Insights into the interviewer’s expectations, which will help you understand what job interviewers need or expect when they interview you. 

  • Knowledge about that company’s culture and day-to-day business, and possibly deeper insights. 

  • A wider network, with the opportunity to make a favorable impression, and possibly the opportunity to submit your resume in the event there is a job opening (always have a few copies of your resume on hand). 


If you are given additional contact information at this time, use it appropriately; don’t contact them needlessly. And finally, don’t forget to send a thank you note for their time and courtesy in meeting with you. 

Your Business Email

Set up a separate, job-related email. * Here’s why: 

  • You don’t want your current work email address going to prospective employers inadvertently. 

  • You should have a professional email name; not anything suggestive, hostile or personal. Consider using your name or something similar.  

  • You don’t want your personal and job search-related emails in the same place. This could lead to an embarrassing error – e.g., accidentally copying a coworker on an email related to your job search or unintentionally sharing your current employer’s information. 

* Several web-based services will allow you to do this for free: Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and more. 

Tips to remember: 

  • Keep your email password in a safe, but accessible, place. You may need this to verify your identity during a job application. 

  •  Be sure to update your contact information on your social media!