Speaking Volumes | Library offers career resources for college grads

The saying, "Proper planning prevents poor performance," rings true especially when you're a new college graduate transitioning into a working professional. The importance of preparing for the job force holds even more value when you consider that the number of people graduating with a bachelor's degree is 59 percent. The job market is slowly regaining its feet, but that doesn't mean that the competition for those jobs isn't fierce. Thankfully, the Manatee County Public Library System has the books and resources that a recent grad can utilize in order to stand out from the rest.

One way to get the attention of employers is to have an outstanding cover letter and resume. The library has books on how to create resumes and cover letters that employers will notice. If you find yourself with an amazing job opportunity right after graduation but had little time to prepare your cover letter and resume, then you may want to check out, "The Quick Resume and Cover Letter Book," by J. Michael Farr. This book is designed to help you create an effective resume in only one day. This fifth edition comes with 90 sample resumes by professional writers, ways to create the current Internet resume, and seven steps to finding a job fast.

Another book you may want to read is "Best Resumes for College Students and New Grads," by Louise M. Kursmark. Jump-start your career with this collection of 123 professionally written resumes that will help you land the job or internship of your choice. The sample resumes, written by professional resume writers for actual college students, will assist you in the organization, language, and formatting of your own resume.

After you've perfected your resume, the next step in preparation is the interview. Yes, the dreaded face-to-face, palm-sweating interview. Although you will not know exactly what an employer will ask, you can have a better idea with books like "Job Interviewing for College Students," by John Shingleton, "Best Answers to the 201 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions," by Matthew J. and Nanette DeLuca and "Mastering the Job Interview and Winning the Money Game," by Kate Wendleton. For phone interviews, be sure to pick up "The Essential Phone Interview Handbook," by Paul Bailo.

The library also provides online databases that you can access from home. "Job and Career Accelerator" is a job search tool with more than 5 million up-to-date job listings that you can immediately apply for. The database also allows a person to explore more than 1,000 occupations and learn in-demand computer programs such as Photoshop and Microsoft Office.

Many careers require you to take a licensing test and the "LearningExpress Library" database provides practice tests, eBooks and tutorials for Civil Service workers as well as other occupational fields including law enforcement, firefighting, nursing, allied health, emergency medical services, real estate, teaching, cosmetology, and much more .

Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. You can also access the library via mymanatee.org/library. Undine Shorey is a Library Aide at the Manatee County Central Library.