News & Events

Tips for Writing a Successful Resume


Employment & Learning

Your resume is a marketing tool and it identifies what you have to offer that a potential employer is looking for to meet their needs!  Preparing your resume immediately puts you in a competition with other people who also want the job so it’s important to present your qualifications, skills, experience and assets in a way that grabs the employer’s interest and attention.  The intention of a resume is to enable the employer to see what’s great about you and like other good advertisements, to create a need to see that movie or buy that product and in this case, to meet you.  Your resume’s job is to secure you an interview!

According to a recent article on the Government of Canada website your resume needs to “describe what you can accomplish professionally” and “illustrate what you can do for an employer”.  There are several points identified in the article to help strengthen the possibilities of having a potential employer positively receive your resume.  Many of the tips refer to broad concepts captured below:

  • Address your most impressive qualities in the highlights or summary section
  • Include skills/abilities you have acquired in a volunteer role as it applies to a job
  • Present your skills and experience so it’s easy for an employer to see
  • Only give your name, address, phone number(s) and email address
  • Make sure the details confirm what you say you know and are able to do
  • Highlight your accomplishments and the type of employee you are
  • Use descriptive words to convey how you did the work you’re applying for
  • Be brief and focus on your most recent experience and what you can do
  • If you’re using bullets, less is more; limit each section to 5-7 bullet points
  • Keep it simple and emphasize the most important information
  • Make sure the resume is no more than two pages
  • Ensure all the information is accurate, honest and error-free
  • Convey information and details that identify your strengths and qualities
  • Be strategic so the resume presents the very best picture of what you can do
  • White space helps key information stand out and makes it easy to read
  • Use “References Available On Request” on your resume
  • Keep your references on a separate page and provide them when asked
  • Proofread it all – try reading it backward so you are forced to read what’s there

The article notes “an employer takes an average of 30 seconds to skim a resume” so be sure to provide the most critical information within the first few lines.  You will know your resume is working when you get calls to meet an employer in an interview.  Presenting a well-written resume offers the best chance of getting your next job!

Need assistance to help make your resume a masterpiece?  Contact the YWCA Job Search Program at 306.986.2873 or come by the Employment & Learning Centre (Room 301) and our staff will be happy to schedule an appointment.

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