The Recruitment Team is available to provide coaching and assistance with interview preparation and resume writing.
If you would like assistance in preparing for an interview, please contact the Recruitment Team.
Please see below for some tips and templates for drafting and editing your resume. Contact the Recruitment Team if you have any additional questions.
Resume Writing Guide
Writing a resume
Your résumé is one of the most important tools you have when looking for a job. This page will help you choose the right type of resume for your situation. It will also provide you with tips to help you tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for, and to make sure its content stands out for all the right reasons.
What is a resume?
A résumé is a short, point-form document that you give to employers to tell them about your work experience, education, and skills. Before you write your resume, you may want to complete a skills inventory exercise to know what skills you have to offer an employer.
•Understanding your skills
Types of resumes
Depending on your work experience, the job you’re applying for, or your personal preference, you may want to use a particular type of resume. Here are three types of resumes to choose from:
A functional resume focuses on your skills
If you haven’t had a lot of work experience in a particular field a functional résumé that focuses on your skills is a good way to highlight what skills you possess that will transfer to the job.
Instead of focusing on your previous work experience, a skills-focused resume highlights the transferable skills you gained from previous jobs, activities, experiences, or volunteer work.
It’s most commonly used when you’ve had a large gap in your employment history, or if you have never worked in a particular field before.
•Functional Resume Template
A chronological resume focuses on your experience
Focusing on your work history is one of the more popular ways to structure a resume. It shows employers all your work experience, focusing on positions you’ve held and your past responsibilities and accomplishments.
The chronological resume is organized with your most recent information first. The goal is to give a comprehensive work history, organized by each job you’ve held. You give your position title, place of employment, how long you worked there, and a breakdown of your responsibilities or accomplishments.
This is a great multi-purpose resume that works for most job applications, including retail.
•Chronological Resume Template
A hybrid resume is a combination of the two
A hybrid resume is also known as a combination resume. It combines the elements of a functional and chronological resume to create a resume that focuses heavily on skills, but also includes dates, titles of previous jobs, along with essential information about the position.
This is a good resume to use when you want to prioritize your skills but also demonstrate how your career has evolved.
Important information to include in your resume
There are a variety of different headings you can use in your resume, depending on what type of résumé you choose to write.
However, regardless of the type of resume you choose, here are three of the most important things it should include your personal information.
The first thing your employer should see when looking at your resume is your name. Make sure it is clear, stands out, and is easy to read.
Your resume should include your full address, contact phone numbers, and an e-mail address that incorporates your first and last name.
Things you should not include on your resume:
• your height, age, weight
• a photo of yourself
• your Social Insurance Number
List your education, starting with the most recent, and work backwards from there. Include the name of the school, the city or town where each school you attended is located (secondary and beyond), and the years you completed.
Be sure to list any certificates or diplomas you received, including those for mini-courses like computer or software courses, first aid, or any other training that might be useful in the job you are applying for.
Skills and experience
Use your resume to show where you worked, what you learned, and how your skills and experience apply to the job you’re applying for. Highlight abilities, skills, and experience that relate to the job you’re applying for. These can come from paid or unpaid work, volunteer experience, and even hobbies.
If all of your experience is in an unrelated field to the job you’re applying for, focus on the transferable skills you learned that can be applied to the new job you’re applying for.
When listing your work experience, include the location (city, province) and the dates you worked (month, year) for each job or volunteer position. Use action words to describe what you did in the positions you held. Focus on the top-five duties for each job.
Other relevant information
You may also want to include your job goals, the languages you speak, or any relevant achievements or awards. You can also include interests or activities that say something positive about you. Don’t forget, however, that the point of your resume is to show why you are the right person for the job.
There are no official rules for what headings you should include on your resume. Just remember to keep it concise, with the most important information at the top.
Let’s say you are applying for a job in software development and, although you have never worked in that field, you have a diploma in software engineering. In this case, be sure to put your education section at the top.
If you are applying to work in the food services industry and you have a lot of experience working in restaurants, be sure to list that information before your education details.
Top-10 Resume Tips
1. Think ahead. If you wait until the last minute to hand in your resume, you could miss the deadline and risk not being considered for the job.
2. Tailor your resume. Include information on your resume associated with the job you are applying for.
3. Chunk it out. If there is a lot of information, break it into separate sections with specific headings.
4. Use action words. Focus on things you have accomplished, and avoid starting every sentence with “I”.
5. Proofread. Never rely on spell check.
6. Repeat Tip 5. Seriously, even one misspelled word could put you in the “do not consider” pile.
7. Make it presentable. Make sure your resume looks clean and organized.
8. Keep it concise. Try to keep your resume as short as possible—ideally one page to two pages.
9. Be honest. Lying on your resume is never a good idea. Many people who lie on their applications end up losing their jobs when their employers find out the truth.
10. Be professional. Remember, this is a business document, so don’t include unnecessary embellishments like flashy paper or a picture of yourself.