Our career resource section contains information that will assist candidates during their employment search. The information covers various aspects of the process, from developing a CV (curriculum vitae) to negotiating a job offer. Please take a few moments to review the information below to assist you in your employment search.
Resume Tips for Candidates
A resume is a document which will entice the reader (your future employer) to invite you to meet with them for a job interview. Therefore: A resume has to be concise, accurate, business-like, with enough details to interest the reader without giving away the whole story. It is more important to tell the reader what they want to hear, than what you feel is important.
What a Resume does…
- Focuses attention on your special abilities
- Creates a favorable impression of you
- Creates a desire to meet you personally to find out more about you
What a Resume does not do…
- Get you a job… you do that
- Present all the facts about you; a resume is not your life story
- Misrepresent you… a good resume presents you favorably but does not embellish.
Organize your information yourself so that you have your data organized. Remember your resume is a reflection of you and it needs your personal input. An effective resume is a clearly written, concise document which presents your skills, knowledge, experience, education and other relevant data. For any resume use high quality white paper. By definition, employers are usually conservative, “old school” managers, and coloured paper could be annoying rather than impressive. Back to top
Name, Address & Contact Information
Place your name, address and means of contact at the top of the page. As basic as this sounds, we have seen resumes with this information at the bottom of the last page or missing altogether. Keep in mind this is a business document, being given to a business-type person. If your name is “James”, but you answer to “Bud”, it is better to use “James” on your resume. It is more professional and your coworkers can call you “Bud” AFTER you get the job. If you don’t get the position, the company may elect to advise you of their decision mail, therefore a mailing address is an essential part of your resume. Ensure you include your correct and complete address. If you are being considered for an interview, employers usually call. A telephone number where a responsible adult answers is ideal. If you have children at home teach them telephone etiquette and how to take an accurate message. Avoid “cute” messages on your answering machine until after you have secured a position. These phone tips are not always possible if you have young children, if there are several people living in the home, if you are living in a university dorm where you don’t have access to a private line, or if you don’t have a telephone. The next best option is to look into an answering service where a live person answers the telephone during business hours. The call from your next employer is one you don’t want to miss. Back to top
Building your Resume
What is included in your resume, and in which order, depends entirely upon the position you are applying for. Major headings could include: Skills – description of skills relevant to the position. Sub-headings could be: Administrative Skills, Human Relation Skills, Management Skills, Computer Skills, Organizational Skills, Communication Skills, etc. Choose only 2 or 3 sub-categories and detail up to three of your strengths in one or two lines each under each sub-category. Education – Include the name of the school(s), year graduated and degree received. Career Experience – company name and city of your employer, your position, starting year, and year you ended working there, and your KEY responsibilities are/were. Professional Development – Workshops, seminars, and short courses (under four months) which are directly related to your field of employment Publications – If you have been published in relation to your profession, specifically for university or college professors, provide a bibliography. References – Names, phone numbers, and professional position of at least three people who can testify as to you professionalism or work habits. Avoid relatives with the same last name. Get your reference’s permission to use their names before you put it on paper. You will notice that we have left off; birth date, Social Insurance Number, gender, marital status, political affiliation, height, weight, health, and religious affiliation. When you are applying for a skill based position, these items have no bearing on how well you do your job. Back to top
Putting it all Together
With the exception of the references, your resume should be no more than two pages, three pages for a professional position requiring university graduation. If you can’t say it in two or three pages, you have said too much. These days, the average Human Resource or Personnel Manager has less than one minute to see each resume when short-listing. Your job is to get their attention so they will keep your resume at the top of the pile. Read the job posting if there is one. This will give you a clue as to what the employer deems to be important. If they ask for specific skills before they ask for experience, lay out your resume accordingly. If education is mentioned first, then it should also be at the top of the resume. If you don’t have a lot of experience, and/or have not yet completed your education, make sure your skills area is first and foremost. Contrary to hiring practices a decade ago, companies today are more likely to be making hiring decisions based on skills as opposed to experience. Back to top