Northern Onondaga Public Library’s Technology and Digital Services Coordinator, Michelle Metcalf, presents an easy and free resume builder tool from the Onondaga County Public Library’s online resource Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test Prep. Here you’ll find resume templates and resume examples to build your resume from scratch and with no experience. There you can build your resume and craft a cover letter into a format that works for each job application. The free resume builder is available with your library card.


By Michelle Metcalf

What’s your least favorite part of looking for a job? If you’re like me, it’s knowing you’ll have to update your resume and write a great cover letter. Some of the dread comes from thinking about writing the actual content, but the rest of it comes from trying to come up with a suitable layout – one that looks updated and is reflective of the field and position. After all, a resume for a creative position might look very different from a legal position.

That having been said, there are lots of great resume layouts and templates you can find online. However, you have to be careful where you’re downloading from unknown sites because things like viruses and malware. Then there’s the challenge of file type; some of the templates are for programs like InDesign or Photoshop, which not everyone has access to. When you can find a Microsoft Word template, my experience is that editing such a template is extremely challenging. Change one thing – the font size or style, the length of sentences, etc. – and the whole document gets skewed. Argh! It can be really frustrating.

If this sounds all too familiar, then I have something really exciting to share with you – and it’s kind of a secret. It’s a tool called VisualCV. Why is that a secret? Because the tool is buried inside a library database called Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test Prep. I don’t know about you, but a database that sounds like it focuses on test preparation for students might be the last place I look for resume help. It’s there though because students preparing for college and/or to enter the workforce haven’t had a lot of experience in putting together resumes and cover letters.
I’m going to give you a little preview of VisualCV in the video below. After you watch, keep reading to find out how you can access the tool.

Accessing VisualCV

To access VisualCV, you’ll need an Onondaga County Public Library card and your PIN. On the website, navigate to Research > Databases > Careers & Education. Click on Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test Prep, and then you’ll be prompted for your library card number. Click on the green Explore Careers box, which will expand below, and then on Career Tools. Finally, click on Create a Resume. You’ll need to create an account because as you use the tool it saves all of your resumes and cover letters automatically to your profile, and you’ll be able to log back in and make changes any time. If you don’t have an account, you can create one.

And you’re in! What now? If you skipped over the video above, be sure to watch now to get a preview of some of the things the tool can do. If you still have questions or need help, contact one of our three locations in Brewerton, Cicero or North Syracuse and a librarian will be happy to assist you. Happy job hunting!