Write your resume

By, WorkBC Centre

A well-written resume will help to sell your skills and abilities, giving you the best chance of getting the job you want. It should be clear and well organized. Consider the following tips when putting together your resume.

Personal Information — your name, address, phone number and email address.

Include only one phone number and email address to make it simple for an employer to reach you. Don’t include overly personal information, such as your birthdate or marital status.

Work and volunteer experience— previous job titles, tasks and key accomplishments.

Be specific when describing your previous roles and responsibilities. Use the action words guide to identify verbs that best reflect your experience.

Related skills — job-specific skills, certifications, computer skills and trades credentials.

Include skills that might be useful to the position, such as first aid certification or languages you speak. Look at the job posting and use the same keywords or skills listed to describe your own. Streamline your resume by removing skills or certificates that are not relevant to the job you are applying for.

Relevant education — post-secondary credit, and non-credit programs and courses.

Lead with the information that is most relevant to the job you’re applying for—even if that means putting your work experience or a specific training certificate at the top. Not all resumes need to be in chronological order, so a strength-based resume may do a better job of highlighting your important skills.

Awards and achievements — work-related, academic and community awards

Include those relevant to the job you’re seeking.

Memberships — professional, business-related, school or community groups

This is a great way to show a potential employer that you are an involved member of your community—which shows that you will make an engaging co-worker and contribute to a positive work culture. Likewise, if you lack work experience, your involvement in local groups or professional organizations can help supplement your resume.

References — former supervisors or colleagues who will confirm your skills and speak positively about the quality of your work.

Unless the employer requests your references upfront, you do not need to include them in your resume. When you do provide them, remember to contact your references for their permission beforehand.

Additional tips and resources

  • Although the resume length for a job can vary depending on the field, resumes usually are between one and two pages. 
  • Maximize space by only including the information relevant to the job posting. Take the time to customize your resume to fit the job; you are more likely to get an interview.
  • Use a resume template to get started. Most document editing software have ready-to-use templates. If you are applying for a traditional company job, consider using a simple template; if you are applying for a creative position, consider using a non-traditional template (or even a website or online portfolio) to showcase your work.
  • The Government of Canada provides a resume building tool to help guide you through the process. 
  • Check the job posting to ensure you are including all the requested information. Some employers use an online application tool to screen potential employees instead of using a traditional resume.
  • It’s okay to reach out to a potential employer before applying! If you still have questions about the position after reading the job posting, it’s better to connect with the employer before you apply—you save yourself and the potential employer valuable time.

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