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December 13 2017    Wednesday
Looking for a Job in Canada: Resume Writing

Resume Writing and Preparation

Proper Resume Writing is as important as the content of your Resume- A concise, well written and presented resume will only serve to your advantage. On the other hand, a bad resume can portray an inadequate picture of your educational background, work experience, and qualifications.The most important advice that can be given is to stand out from the crowd.

Resume Content

What You Should Include:
  1. Your basic information - First and last name. Do not use initials. Full address including postal code. Telephone number. Do not forget the area code. Email
  2. Career objective - In a few words summarize your skills, professional goals and a job you are looking for.
  3. Skills that are work related. Include any foreign languages in which you are fluent. Especially include any computer skills, particularly involving popular business programs (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Windows, etc.), computer languages and software, research, laboratory, teaching or tutoring, communication and leadership skills.
  4. Write down all the positions you have held so far in your career. For each job, note the exact title, the precise period during which you held the position and the full name of the organization you worked for, as well as its location. It should concisely explain what you did, why you did it, how you did it and what the results were.
  5. Education history should follow work experience or employment history. However, place it before if you have just recently completed your school education.
  6. What credits, degrees or honors can you claim? What non-degree or non-credit training have you had? Be sure to clearly indicate the institutions and dates you attended or received your degrees. What other important things have you trained yourself to do?

What You Should Not Include:
  1. Do not use a cover page (please note, "cover page", not cover letter!)
  2. Do not put your picture on your resume
  3. Do not use odd-sized or odd-colored paper or colored inks.
  4. Do not put a border around the text or heavy lines between sections.
  5. Do not make corrections by hand. Spelling, grammatical and typographical errors reveal carelessness. Make changes on disk and print a clean copy.
  6. Do not include salary. Too low and you may not even be considered. Even worse, you may be hired for less than your worth- a trend that is difficult to reverse once started. If your range is too high, you might also be eliminated from the running. Salary is best discussed at the appropriate moment during an interview.
  7. Do not include Race, Religion, Sex, Date of Birth, Marital Status, Children, etc. This information is not relevant on your resume.
  8. References. Make available upon request.

Resume Tips
  • Accentuate your Achievements - Remember to accentuate your job related achievements and describe your experience in terms of the job for which you are being considered.
  • Simplicity will work in your Favour - Do not overdo each point. Be concise and simple in the description of each item. Do not use too many flowery adjectives and words. Be aware your potential employer, although is interested in your resume, will only peruse or skim it for the important items. Make sure those items are perfectly clear and shine above the rest so that they will be the first thing that catches an employer's attention when reading it.
  • Your Objective - An objective tells an employer what position you are seeking. Instead of having a statement about your life goals, an objective refers just to the very next immediate step you hope will be on your career path. Second it lets the employer know that you are conscious of the obtainable positions within that business or organization. If you do not clearly know what position it is you are looking for it is probably a better idea not to have an objective since it will be vague. Have the objective convey useful information about you, and have it demonstrate that you know what they are looking for.
  • Mention your Teamwork Skills - Most recruiters look for evidence of being able to work with others- Teamwork is crucial. Many examples on your resume can attest to that. Examples could be 2 years on intramural volleyball team; played electric guitar for 4 years in a 5-member Rock band. Or more preferably have examples that pertain to your past work experience- working on a group project, putting together a joint proposal, worked on a committee etc...
  • Show Leadership Qualities - Show evidence of leadership abilities. Although it is important to show cooperation and group skills, it is as important to show you taking control in situations. This will convey to the prospective employer that you have the skills to lead and take charge. Example of this could be spearheading a project at work or in school. It could also be being on the executive of an organization whether it is a school one or a sports league (captain); all these show that you have leadership skills
  • List your Activities - Activities/Interest section of the resume is optional. Here's why you might want to incorporate it when writing your resume: in this section you will be able to showcase skills and attributes that were not possible to convey in the other sections of your resume. These skills may show that you are a well-rounded multidimensional person.

Appearance of your Resume

Although you might tend to think that it is content that is of utmost importance to the recruiter, Appearance and Presentation of your resume is crucial. You would not walk into an interview with torn up jeans and unkempt hair. You know that that would create a negative first impression even if you are perfect for the job. Same goes for your resume. They do not want to see something rickety and nasty.

The appearance of your resume will definitely reflect upon you in a positive or negative way. Since the recruiters only glance at your resume, spending a few minutes (oftentimes less), it is really important that you display your skills and assets on the page in a way that is both concise and visually pleasing. Don't forget, the employer receives a multitude of resumes and they will turn candidates down based on its appearance - those resumes that have typos, cheap printing and an unprofessional look. Check out some of these tips that will be of help in properly presenting your resume.

  • Keep it Short - Although one might think the longer the resume is the more it shows one's accomplishments and prowess- the more concise it is the better. A two page resume really is the maximum number of pages you should have. If you can have all the information (accomplishments, jobs, awards) on 1 page, this is ideal.
  • Key Achievements - What works today is a conservative style and a focus on key achievements - especially those that are of particular interest to the potential employer. Make your key achievemtns stand out. Pay attention to how you lay your points out in order of importance
  • Printing - Laser print it on plain, white paper- Handwriting, typing, dot matrix, and even ink jet printing does not come across well. Stick with laser prints. You are probably thinking that that is extremely expensive. You will probably have to shell out a few extra bucks. It is worth it. Copy centres have printers you can use and so do University and College computer labs. Keep the resume on plain white paper. Although having it printed on glossy or bonded paper seems like a professional thing to do, it is an exercise in futility because more often that not, your resume will be faxed and photocopied.
  • Spacing - Play around with the spacing. Look at several different versions and try and see which rendition has the most pleasing space usage. When your resume is typed, leave lots of white space in margins and between blocks of typed text. Having it look too dense and too full on the page is often a hindrance. Again the employer wants to look at something where he/she can get the global picture of you quickly without having to read superfluous information. Simplicity is Best- something too complex detracts from the important stuff. Keep it clean and sharp.
  • Print Enough to Go Around - Make clean, legible copies. Make enough so that you always have some handy when you go to interview.

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