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Tips & Tricks to craft your resume

Scott Graham from UnsplashA guide to creating a key step in your job-hunting journey.


A well-written resume is an important tool for landing your next job. It is critical to show an employer that you have the skills and experience needed for the role. This is a quick-start guide to getting your resume ready; a more in-depth discussion on tailoring your resume will come in a later post.

What you need to get started:

● A list of your experience, education and skills (written list, mental list, or have you tried our Career Blueprint?!).
● A (deconstructed) job post.
● A resume template - there are lots of free options out there, pick one that speaks to you!

Fill in the template using your list of experience, education and skills - highlighting key areas that align with the requirements of the job posting.

Top tips for drafting your resume:

  1. Tailor your resume. Create a resume specific to the job you're applying for - this is where you’ll use your deconstructed job post. Use keywords directly from the job posting. Highlight your skills and experience that are most relevant to the position.

  2. Keep it concise. Your resume should be no more than one or two pages, depending on your level of experience. Use bullet points to make it easier to read. Break it into sections such as education, experience, Professional Certifications etc. Note: always fill the page. If you have 1.5 pages, cut it down to one full page of key experience. Early career applicants may need to add a section on volunteer work or extracurriculars to round out a full page - be sure to relate this experience to the required skills of the job when possible.

  3. Use a professional format and font (easy to do with a template). Your resume should be easy to read and visually appealing. Stick to a format that includes your name, contact information, summary statement, work experience, education, and skills. Don’t include personal information like a photograph or marital status and use caution with logos, as some resume filtering tools used by HR may not be able to process them.

  4. Write a strong summary statement. Your summary statement is your chance to make a good first impression. It should briefly recap your skills and experience, and it should highlight what makes you a good fit for the specific job you’re applying to.

  5. Highlight your accomplishments. Use bold font to make key skills stand our in the text (hint: be sure to match the job description). The person reading your resume may only spend 10 seconds skimming it, so you want your skills and experience to jump off the page.

  6. Demonstrate your skills. Give specific, quantifiable examples where possible instead of simply listing skills or experience. For instance: “Reduced machine down time by 10% through routine maintenance” instead of “Performed routine maintenance.”

  7. Get feedback. Share your resume with a friend or trusted colleague, ask them for advice on how to improve it to best reflect your skills. Consider booking an appointment with a mentor to get feedback from someone with experience in the field.

Your resume is personal!
Pick a format that feels like an expression of yourself - within the bounds of keeping it professional. Every resume is different, and if you ask 10 people for advice, you’ll get 10 different responses. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches as you go!

Post by freelance writer Anna Kobb


This blog is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program.

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