Resume Writing – Tips and Tricks

Sitting down to write or edit a resume can be a daunting process. You may be struggling with one (or a few) of the following questions:

  • How do I effectively showcase my experiences in a way that is appealing to an employer?
  • What if I don’t have any ‘relevant’ experience for this field of work?
  • How should I format the resume?
  • How do I make myself stand out?
  • etc.

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So what can you do? How can you ease some of the anxiety and write a killer resume? Well here are some tips and tricks!

Brainstorming:

Brainstorm your experiences, including educational, work, volunteer, or extra-curricular. It is helpful to have a rough draft, or a visual representation of the information before diving into creating the resume.  This way you can make sure that you are not forgetting to highlight a key experience!

Extra Tip: Make sure to also consider any workshops, or skills you have gained outside of the traditional ‘work’ environment as well, for the most part, all experiences have taught you something… use this to your advantage!

Formatting: 

Once you have a clear list of experiences, its time to start! First things first, you have to consider the formatting – The goal is to make your resume clear and easy to read (the easier your resume is to read, the more likely employers will read it!). How, you ask?

Well, consistency is key! Make sure to keep all sections of the resume looking the same, for example, if you have one heading on the left hand side and bold, make sure all following headings are also on the left hand side and bold. This will keep your resume organized.

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Important Sections:

Now let’s get into the good stuff! What sections should you actually put on your resume? What is important for employers to know? Lets go through them!

Who are you?

The first thing to appear on your resume should be your name, contact information (including phone number and email address), and linkedin URL (if you are keeping an active linkedin page). This information should be centered, with your name in bold, and larger font, the key is to have your name stand out!

Highlights

The goal of this section is to highlight your educational and professional skills or qualifications that are relevant to the job you are looking to apply for. It is helpful to include information about education, work experience, relevant skills, and personal strengths.

Each highlight will be in point form, that use action words to describe accomplishments (examples of action words include: “maintained”, “Engaged”, “Designed” etc.).

Extra Tip: The highlights section should be specific to the job you apply for, so make sure you are editing this section each time you apply for a new position!

Education

This is where you highlight you academic experience! Yayy, that degree/certificate/diploma you have worked so hard at has a home on your resume!!

The key points to highlight are: What is/was the program called? Where did you study? What are some relevant courses? What dates did you start/finish?

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Employment Experience

In this section you want to highlight where you have worked, in what position, and during what time frame. It is important for each job to also list some tasks and accomplishments of your position. This gives the employers a snap shot look at what skills you have learned during your time at that job, and what skills you can apply to the position at hand!

Extra Tip: When writing tasks and accomplishments, be sure to answer three main questions: What was the task/accomplishment? Why was this task/accomplishment important? How did you complete the task/earn the accomplishment? 

Volunteer Experience

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Volunteer experience is very valuable to add to a resume, not only does it show that you have learned key skills, but the fact that you have spent time volunteering speaks to personal character – employers often assume that volunteering goes hand in hand with character skills of determination, ambition, organization, responsibility, and many more!

Achievements/Accomplishments/Certificates

If you have any additional qualifications, workshops, certificates etc. that are relevant to the job position, this is where you would add it!

This can include anything from first aid training to an award earned in a previous position! The key of a resume is to highlight why you are the best candidate for the job. Don’t be afraid to list everything you can think of – it doesn’t hurt to brag!

Finishing Touches

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Yayy!! We have made it to the editing phase! Here are a few things to consider while editing your resume:

  • Is your email address professional?
  • Are you using an email domain that is current? Some tech-savvy employers will be looking for a relevant and up to date email domain (example, GMail)
  • Is the information presented on your resume consistent with your linkedin profile?
  • Have you looked over your social media accounts to make sure that you are presenting yourself in a way that is professional? Fun Fact: approximately 90% of employers review social media before making a hiring decision

And there you have it folks!! Be sure to stop in and meet with a Resume Tutor if you have any questions!

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