Tips for People Who Want to Succeed
Before compiling your resume, take the time to do a thorough self-assessment on paper.
Brainstorm with someone you respect as a professional or educational mentor. Ask them to help you identify relevant skills, accomplishments, and experiences that you have already achieved.
Draft an outline of your technical skills and strengths as well as your work experience.
Be sure to include past accomplishments/projects/leadership roles.
Your contact information should be at the top of your resume. Include your name, address, telephone / cell numbers and email address.
- Include your first and last names. Also show an initial of any other given names (e.g. Michael J. Smith, or J. Michael Smith if you go by your second name.).
- Include area code in your telephone number. Omit your work number if you do not wish to be contacted there.
- If you have an answering machine, record a neutral and professional greeting.
- Choose an email address that is professional.
Objective Summary Statement:
- Be specific / concise about the job you want. Tailor your objective to each employer you target and every job you seek.
At the top of your resume, include a short three or four line summary of "Who You Are".
- Provide a written snapshot of yourself and your character strengths.
- Reflect your technical skills and character or soft skills that make you unique and well qualified for the position that you are applying for.
- E.g. a results focused Project Manager with more than 15 years experience in desktop deployments, , etc.
- E.g., a senior Business Analyst with oil /gas experience, utilizing strong interpersonal and analytical skills for user needs assessments, etc.
- E.g. an enthusiastic Deployment Technician with 2 years experience deploying Windows desktop systems; strong team player with excellent organizational and troubleshooting skills, etc.
- Your most recent educational level achieved should be listed first.
- Specify what type of educational documentation you received: degree, diploma, certificate, etc.
- Include your degree, major, institution attended, minor/concentration add month/year of graduation add your GPA if higher than 3.0.
- Mention academic honors.
- Include all certifications and month/year that they were completed.
Summary of Qualifications:
Technical knowledge should be summarized in your resume. Show this either towards the beginning or as a separate addendum at the end if it is extensive. A summary in matrix form is clear and concise and provides a format for a Recruiter to quickly assess the potential fit of your technical skills with their requirements. Include a list of all operating systems, hardware, software and programming languages that you have experience with. Also, add your level of skill and/or years of experience with each item.
Briefly give the Interviewer an overview of your work, tailored to the position you wish to obtain. Capture and keep their attention.
- Ensure this is accurate, concise but thorough.
- Highlight and prioritize those points that are most relevant to this position.
- E.g. Helpdesk Analyst - highlight the amount of phone support provided such as 60% phone support, 40% desktop support or: Technical Support Analyst - 1 year level 1 / helpdesk support; 1½ years level II support / desktop support.
- Quantify the environment if possible. e.g. supported 400 users on team of 3 people; or: sole technical support provider to 100 head office and remote users.
Include your work experience in reverse chronological order - put your most recent job first and work back to your first, relevant job.
- Title of position.
- Name of organization.
- Location of work (city, province).
- Dates of employment - include month and date.
- Update the dates of your most recent employment: if you are no longer at the last position shown, DO NOT show " - current".
- Describe your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific skills and achievements.
- Remember to show where you used specific technology throughout your resume.
- Eliminate gaps in your work history wherever possible. If this is not feasible, then be prepared to talk explain this in an interview.
You may want to add key or special skills and competencies relevant to the position for which you are applying for, leadership experience in volunteer organizations. Keep this section brief.
- Ask people if they are willing to serve as references before you give their names out.
- Do not include reference contact information in your resume. Be prepared to bring a hard copy list to your interview.
- Ask another friend to proofread again.
- ALWAYS run a spell check on your resume before sending it out to any job opportunities or potential employers.
- ALWAYS read it slowly /completely to ensure the right words are in the right places. (Spell checks do not always catch grammatical errors.)
- Get a friend to do a grammar review.
- Ask another friend to proofread again.
- User white or off-white paper.
- Use 8-1/2 X 11-inch paper.
- Print on one side of the paper.
- Use a font size of 10 - 12 points.
- Use non-decorative fonts and do not include any graphics.
- Avoid italics, script, and underlined words in excess.
GENERAL RESUME TIPS
- Do not use first or third person. Avoid works like "I" or "my" as such terms are unprofessional. Begin sentences with assertive words. "Spearheaded" or "Supervised a team". Do not refer to yourself in third person, I.e., Anna was the team lead" Use bullet points as they are easier and faster to read than paragraph format.
- Always attach a cover letter with your resume.
- Always ensure your cover letter is properly addressed and references the correct position. Double-check before sending it out, that you are sending the correct letter to the correct company.