Elmhurst College professor, Lombard resident provides free resume review service

Lombard, IL

For recent college graduates looking for their first job, longtime workers looking for a career change and people currently employed and wanting to keep their professional portfolios updated, there's an Elmhurst College professor who's devoted some of his evening hours this month to helping people review and refine their resumes.

Craig Engstrom, a communications professor at Elmhurst College and Lombard resident, will be at the Corner House in downtown Lombard from 6 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday this month for one-on-one resume sessions.

“I've always done volunteer work, and I thought ‘How can I offer some volunteer service to the community in a way that uses my skill set?’” he said.

Engstrom has lived in Lombard for one year and teaches business professional communications and organizational communications classes at Elmhurst College.

The courses he teaches overlap into his resume-review work, and often he sees people bring their resumes to him with solid experience, they're just not displaying it in the most effective way.

He said he loves working with the resume because it's a personal document, one that shows the personality of its creator.

In addition to volunteering his time to help job-seekers, he chose to hold the meetings at the Corner House as a way to support a local business.

“I know I could probably do it at the library, but anything, to do business with a small business is a good thing,” he said.

During the sessions, he will spend 30-minute blocks of time working with people. There are some who will want specific help crafting, editing and strengthening existing resumes and there are other people who want advice applying for specific jobs.

“People don't realize how the little things affect them in the job search,” Engstrom said.

It's not just recent college graduates who he works with, often it's people who have worked for many years and are looking to begin jobs in new fields, and his services aren't limited to people looking for jobs, either.

“People forget that even if you're fully employed, it's always important to keep yourself current,” he said.

When Engstrom begins a session, he starts by learning more about the person he's working with, It's important to know what kind of skills and experience they have, especially things that might set them apart from other applicants, he said.

Engstrom's first session at the Corner House was Oct. 10, and he will be there every Wednesday for the rest of the month. He said he also has plans to hold larger, group workshops at the Helen Plum Memorial Library in the future. 

Doing this volunteer work, he said, is his way to be active and to serve in the community.

“I'm hoping that they'll walk away feeling a little more empowered about their options,” he said.