Format:

-Use bullet point form: paragraphs are hard to read and will often be overlooked by employers

-Make use of the blank space: avoid leaving too much empty spaces around the content of the resume.

-Functional Resume is often a good format to cover up inexperience and emphasize on skills. Sometimes your experience may be related to extra circular activities or volunteer experience so a functional resume allows you to amalgamate the experience into “work experience”

-A resume should contain an objective, summary of qualifications, work experience, education, awards, and other skills

-Job title can use some sugar coating: that’s why jobs nowadays use words like assistant, specialist instead of clerk or representative because they have a better ring to it.

-Resume should be between 1-3 pages. High school resumes can be 1 page but anything past university should be at least 2 pages. But you need to stand out in page 1 otherwise no one will read the subsequent pages.

Objective:

-Objective should state clearly what skills or experience you have, what type of role you are looking for and what you want to gain out of it

-Example: An experienced (insert what job function) seeking an opportunity in a (insert what kind of environment) in order to grow (insert what kind of skills)

Summary of Qualifications:

-List at least 6 short skills that are relevant to the job being applied for. This is very important because employers implicitly do “keywords match”, meaning they have a set of keywords they want to see in the job and they will look for those words on the resume in this section

-Choose these short skills wisely: if you have professional skills, certificates, designations, licenses, these should go first. If you don’t have any then go with soft skills such as leadership, communication, well organized etc

-This should be relevant to the job you are applying for and the objective.

Work Experience:

-If it’s a functional resume, the “body” of your resume should be categorized by skills. If it’s a chronological resume, it should be categorized by each job experience.

-Under each category, have bullet points to expand on either the skill or the role described. Each bullet point should answer the question “so what?” not just “what did I do?”

-The “so what” should tell one of three things:  1) results:  what have you contributed, what happened as a result of something you’ve done; 2) skills: what skills have you developed as a result of something you’ve done; 3) relevance: how is what you performed relevant to the job being applied for?

-An example of results: “Answered customer inquiries and complaints, and as a result improved overall customer satisfaction by X%”

-An example of skills: “Developed different approaches to handle various types of customers while answering customer inquiries and complaints”

-An example of relevance: “Answered customer inquiries and complaints from all kinds of customers, which allows me to effectively adapt into any call center environment with ease

-Only write a bullet point down if it answers one of the three “so what?” otherwise it’s a waste of space on the resume. Remember, employers want to know you are smart and know what’s important and what’s not.

-When possible, use professional languages. For example, if you have experience working with cashier, use words like audit, reconciliation, shrinkage. Any professional languages used in a resume demonstrate you know the job and its requirements. If necessary, bold these words.

-Throw in dollar amounts. Numbers stand out on a resume. If you saved the company $X, sold $X per hour, increased customer satisfaction by X% include those. You don’t have to be exact. Just estimate, but any number helps. No potential employer will call and ask your references if the numbers are right.

-Your body should support your summary of qualifications. It has to be relevant to the job you are applying for. Remember, you are telling a story.

Awards

-If you have any achievements or awards, list them here as long as they are relevant to what you applied for. It’s good to show the potential employer that you are outstanding.

Education:

-Once you finished a post secondary education, your high school is a waste of space. Employers in the business world rarely care about education. It’s just a minimum requirement so make this brief.

Interests and References:

-These are not necessary on a resume if you don’t have space. If you have way too much space and you want to fill it up then sure. But otherwise, it does not really add any value.

Other Proficiencies:

-Briefly mention other skills such as language skills, technical skills towards the end of the resume. Keep in mind, if you are applying for a job that requires you to speak multiple languages, or requires certain technical skills these may need to be in the summary of qualifications at the top. Again, tailor your resume to what you are applying for.

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