Résumé

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¡Use keywords that may be in the job advertisement or words that relate to the specific job.
¡Focus on your most recent work experiences.
¡PROOF read for errors and typos.
¡It should be a MAX. Of 2 pages
Format of resume should be easy to read – fonts and sizes

Résumé Formats The three most common formats of resumes are:

Chronological Resume

A chronological resume is typically used when someone has progressive work experience in the same field. Jobs should be listed in reverse chronological order (most recent first). This format puts your experience front and centre and shows an employer who you have worked for and what you did in each work setting.

This is not the best format to use if your most recent work experience does not relate to the job for which you are applying; you are applying for work in a different profession; you have gaps in your employment history; have little experience; or have had many jobs that lasted for less than one year. If you do choose to use this format be prepared to address any gaps in your resume during the interview.

Functional Resumes

Functional resumes are useful when someone has little work experience, has worked many short contract jobs, or is changing careers. This format focuses attention on the skills and accomplishments from a variety of settings, not on your work history.

The disadvantage of this format is that many employers view them with suspicion because they do not detail a work history.

Combination Resume

The combination resume blends the functional and chronological formats. It combines your marketable skills with your work experience and education so you can highlight your past experiences. A combination resume is ideal when you are applying for a job that interests you, but the connection between your work history and the job qualifications is not particularly strong. Typically this format includes a functional section called the career profile where you outline your skills. The career profile includes your best accomplishments and most relevant skills. It should not be more than six lines long. The career profile is followed by the chronological section which lists your work experience

Résumé Sections

While the order and structure will change depending on the format you choose to use, all resumes should contain the following sections:

Header

This is the section of your resume where you include all of your contact information. You should state your full name, complete mailing address, home or mobile phone number, and email address. Remember, make sure you have a professional sounding voicemail for whatever number you choose to include on your resume.

Skills & Experience

The skills and experience section is where you detail all relevant skills and employment/volunteer history. The look of this section will vary depending on the resume style you choose.

Education & Training

Generally follows the skills and experience section, unless your education is your greatest asset. This section outlines the level of education you have attained. Include basic details such as the name and location of the school, degree/diploma attained, your major, and your graduation year. If you did not graduate indicate the years attended and how many courses you have completed. You should also include any additional professional certifications, licenses, or special training you have received.

Other potential sections to include are:

Career Objective

The purpose of the career objective is to tell the employer what it is you want to do. It is best used when you have a specific position in mind. This section appears right after the header and should be short and specific.

Career Summary

Also appears right after the header. This is best used if you are not sure what positions an organization might have to offer. While you can use both a career objective and a career summary, it is best to choose one or the other. The career summary is generally one or two sentences that highlight specific skills that would be relevant to the potential job.

Computer/Technical Skills

Is an important section if you are applying for a job that requires specialized technical or computer skills.

Awards/Achievements

This section is an opportunity to showcase any awards that are relevant to the job opening.

Affiliations

Many individuals who have worked in a field for a number of years become active in their local trade/industry association. Including this information can show your desire to enhance your knowledge and that you are active in your profession. Avoid listing affiliations where you have had little involvement.

Interests/Hobbies

This section should be brief, but could be important if your interests relate to the job. For example, if you are applying for a position in tourism it is a good idea to list that you enjoy local history.

References

If an employer is considering you for a position they are going to want to contact some references to verify what you have told them in the interview. Most employers require at least three references. If possible you should include four or five. Potential references include previous supervisors, peers, team subordinates, and clients. If you are a new graduate and do not have a lot of work experience you can include teachers or professors.

It is important that you ask individuals if they would be willing to provide a positive reference for you before you include them on a list of references. Provide them with a copy of your resume and let them know of any upcoming interviews.

Questions references are typically asked include:

  • When did you work with this candidate?
  • Would you hire them again?
  • How did the candidate handle conflict, if any?
  • What would you say are the strengths of the candidate?
  • Tell me about his/her performance on the job?
  • Was he/she usually on time? Would he/she ever work late?
  • Is there anything else I should know before I hire this person?

Your references should be provided at the time of an interview. If an employer requests references at the time of application they should be provided on a separate sheet of paper and attached behind your resume. They should never be a part of your resume. The reference sheet should be formatted with a header that matches your resume and cover letter. Label the page as “References for ______”. Include all information that a potential employer may wish to know including: full name, title, organization, name, address, phone number, email, and their relationship to you. Unless the reference indicates otherwise, include their work address and phone number for the contact information.

Résumé Tips

Regardless of what type of job you are applying for, as you prepare your resume remember the following tips:
  • Address what the employer is looking for right away. If the job posting says that they want someone with a high school diploma that is reliable and has hands-on experience in the field, make sure you draw attention to those qualifications in your personal profile. If this information is not easy to find you may be screened out. Using key words will also help your resume get noticed. At the same time, if you are missing some of the items in the job posting it is not the end of the world. Often the job posting represents a wish list and employers are prepared to find the best fit based on the candidates that apply.
  • Demonstrate any and all practical experience you have in the field. This could be through previous jobs, work placements, or volunteering. The employer wants to see the action that backs up the words. Focus on accomplishments, use active verbs (e.g. achieved, sold, increased, improved) and try to demonstrate the results that were achieved.
  • Show them your human side. These are called “soft skills” or “employability” skills and involve who you are as a person. Employers are interested in your ability to communicate, work well with others, act responsibly, and deal with problems. Your Personal Profile is an ideal place to put the spotlight on these characteristics.
  • Use action verbs when describing your work experience. They give strength to your resume and make potential employers take notice of your accomplishments and skills. For example, rather than making a passive statement such as “responsible for invoices”, it should be phrased as “validated and processed invoices for payment”.
  • Use keywords to pass an electronic review. These days many employers scan resumes electronically, so use words that appeared in the job posting and on the company website. Also, use words that are specific to the occupation or industry.
  • When applying electronically it is best to develop an electronic resume. To create an electronic resume remove any text formatting (bold, underline, italics, etc.). Do not use columns or shading. CAPITALIZE words rather than using
     

    bold

    in order to draw attention to them. Use dashes (-) instead of bullets for lists. Do not tab any lines. Put your name and address on separate lines and use lots of white space to separate elements visually.

  • Structure your resume so that it highlights your strengths (education or experience).
  • Consider replacing “Employment Objective” with a “Personal Profile” or “Career Summary” that overviews your career successes.
  • Focus on your most relevant and recent work experience, not necessarily every job you have ever held.
  • In general, a resume should be no more than two pages in length. Be concise. Your resume should be easy to read and uncluttered.
  • Make sure your resume looks professional. Use good quality white or off-white paper and print on a laser printer.
  • Do not include irrelevant information such as SIN number, marital status, or birth date.
  • Never lie!
  • Do not include references. They can be provided if you receive an interview.
  • A resume should be typed, unless an employer indicates otherwise.
  • Double-check for errors and typos – your computer’s spell check will not flag an incorrect word that is spelled correctly. Ask someone else to review and evaluate your resume.