Resumes, Purdue, An Owl, and Me

Purdue Owl HeaderBack in grad school I was clued in to the marvel that is Purdue University’s OWL Citation resource. It’s a fantastic resource for all kinds of style guides. And because it has not the delay of a printed style guide it can quickly update the guides as new mediums require citation. With it you can learn how to cite such newfangled things as a Tweet or a Youtube video ( https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/ ). And just in case you’re afraid that they’re making it up, they cite their own sources for the rules. In this case the MLA. I realize that they don’t have to re-invent the wheel to be helpful, they just have to aggregate all the different rules.

What I didn’t realize until a patron came in asking for help with his resume is that they have a resume guide too. As a rule, it’s best if librarians don’t get into the habit of helping patrons write their resume. So I initially showed him how to load the Word Resume templates and tweak it to suit his needs. However, his needs didn’t jive with the Word templates. And since there’s no “right” way to write a resume, I didn’t want to force him to use one of the templates. Enter Purdue’s OWL.

I did a quick Google search for resume examples that he could use as a point of reference. One of those results was my old friend the Owl. They have a section on their web page called Job Search Writing ( https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/6/ ) and on it you can get help with such things as:

  • Job Applications
  • Resumes, included Video Resumes, which I didn’t realize was a thing.
  • Cover Letters

But in this case, I just needed to give the fellow a quick reference guide. So I had him navigate to one of the sample resumes they provide. From there he could get the style he needed without being constrained to all the funky formatting Word’s Resume template saddles you with. And that is perhaps the biggest benefit to Owl, you can use it for as much or as little as you need.

If you have a list of resources you use for patrons, I strongly urge you to add this one to the list.

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