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10 Top Resume Writing Tips

Written by Jean Giroux; Edited by Cayley Rice
Resume Writing

Your resume is one of the tools that tells your story, highlights your suitability for a prospective job, and has the potential to set you apart from your competition. With this in mind, a resume should be regularly reviewed and revised to ensure that the most current and suitable information is provided to recruiters. We have devised 10 resume writing tips to cross-reference before you submit your next application.

1. Use keywords suitable to your skill set and the industry you are applying to. Both the National Occupation Classification site  and Job Bank postings provide sample job descriptions.

2. Highlight your achievements and where possible add statistics to create a more powerful message. For example, you can highlight an increase in sales, a decrease in workplace accidents, or the initiative to start a new project.

3. Demonstrate transferable skills if you are a changing careers. While you may clearly see the correlation between one career and another it may not be as obvious to a prospective employer. Remember that it is your job to make it as easy as possible for the employer to see that you are the best fit for the position.

4. Include your Volunteer Experience, highlighting the duties performed. Almost half of the employers see the skills developed or utilized during a community project as equal to those demonstrated through paid employment.

5. A resume is a marketing tool rather than an autobiography. Therefore, the emphasis should be on the skills you want to highlight with a focus on the job titles and credentials that are most relevant to the position you are applying for.

6. Tailor your Highlights of Qualifications section for each job ad. A concise overview of your most relevant skill sets and unique credentials should be highlighted to mirror the employer requirements. Your strongest skills should be reflected early in the resume to retain interest.

7. Be aware of grammatical or spelling patterns that can highlight your age. Putting two spaces after the sentence prior, using Ont rather than ON as a short form for Ontario or having a Hotmail account can show your age to prospective employers resulting in potential age discrimination.

8. Monitor the content you include in your resume to ensure that you do not present as under-qualified or over-qualified. Leaving important job duties off your resume can lead an employer to think you do not have all the necessary skills while highlighting high levels of responsibility may not be suitable if you are applying for a more entry level position.

9. Have a consistent letterhead for your resume, cover letter and reference page. This highlights your professionalism, attention to detail and is pleasing to the eye.

10. Do not use a resume template as it restricts your ability to make future revisions especially if changing from a chronological to a functional format. Find a way to make your resume look unique with a format style geared to your industry of choice.

To get feedback on your existing resume, let one of our Employment Counsellors make sure you are on track.

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