As you know, a professional resume is key to your job search. It must highlight your skills, experience, work history, and important accomplishments so that hiring managers can determine whether or not you’re qualified for a job. Here’s some useful information that you should be sure to include on your resume:
1. Keep your resume clear and concise
An employer takes an average of 30 seconds to skim a resume. Show them right away that you are qualified for the position.
2. Proofread your resume numerous times
Be sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. A simple spelling mistake on a resume can give a negative impression to the employer and prevent you from getting the job.
3. Limit your resume to two pages
Place the emphasis of your resume on your most recent experience. Cut out (or minimize) jobs and experience that are 15 years or older.
4. Tailor your resume to suit the position you are applying for
Specify work experience or achievements that are related to the position you are applying to.
5. Highlight what you have accomplished
In the “Work experience” section of the resume provide the best examples of where you demonstrated your skills. These examples should speak to what you achieved in your role and should demonstrate what kind of employee you are.
6. Be honest
Stretching the truth, or plain lying, is never a good idea. Don’t overstate your skills or results as it will mislead the employer. Have confidence in what you have to offer.
7. Quantify your achievements
How many people did you supervise? How many products did you sell? By what percentage you increased sales? Use firm numbers that the employer will understand and be impressed by.
8. Use simple words and action verbs
The person reading your resume might not always be the employer. Resumes can be reviewed by recruiters or Human Resources specialists who may not be familiar with your specific field. Use simple and plain language.
Pro Tip: Use persuasive verbs such as handled, managed, led, developed, increased, accomplished, and leveraged.
9. Include unpaid work that shows off your skills
If you have volunteered with a well-known organization or worked for an important cause, put it in your resume. IF they are related to the position you are applying include these experiences under the “Work experience” or the “Volunteer work” section.
10. Use an appropriate email
Whenever possible use an email address based on your name, and make sure it is:
- Easy to read
- Easy to type
11. Include a Header with your contact information
Your resume should list your full name, email, and phone number. This information should be placed at the top of the first page.
12. Double-check your contact information
Make sure this information is accurate, otherwise the employer won’t be able to contact you.
13. Include a Resume Profile
Your resume profile acts as the introduction to the content that follows. The general rule is to use a resume objective if you’re just starting your career and a resume summary if you’re more experienced. A summary of qualifications is another good option if you’ve got plenty of experience and achievements to highlight.
14. List Your Work Experience
This is the most important part of your Canadian resume. 91% of employers prefer their candidates to have work experience.
- Use reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent position.
- Start with the basics, your job title, the employer’s name and location, and dates of employment.
- Add up to six bullet points describing the role and start them off with action words for added impact.
- Use accomplishment statements to showcase your professional attainments. And don’t just say what you did, prove how well you did it with quantified achievements.
15. Include a List of Skills
Be sure to include a mix of hard skills and soft skills. Keep your skills section relevant and focused by targeting your resume to the job.
19. Make Use of Additional Sections
Add extra skills and achievements and stand out from other applicants. Here are some of the best options:
- Foreign languages
- Certifications and licenses
- Achievements and awards