Resumés 101: tips and tricks
By Philippa Scowcroft
It’s that time of year again, when students everywhere are dusting off
their resumés to begin the search for a summer job. Before you make
a few changes and print off that trustworthy resumé, it may be time
to realize the resumé you used to score your first McJob may not cut
it after high school. Here are some tips to revamping the good ol’ resumé:
1. Avoid the “generic” resumé. Not all employers are looking
for the same thing, even within similar fields. Make the extra effort to customize
your resumé for the particular job in consideration.
2. List past work experience in reverse chronological order (starting with
the most recent). This format is the most frequently used and most preferred
by human resource directors. Also, only include past job experience that is
of relevance to the particular job in consideration. Don’t feel you have
to list every job you’ve ever had. The key terms here: relevant, specific
3. Limit your resumé to one or two pages — the reviewer will
appreciate you not wasting their time. Include everything you feel is important
or noteworthy in proving your qualifications, but don’t get carried away.
Keep the vocabulary ‘normal,’ and don’t go adjective-crazy,
or use big words or philosophical statements. Again, brevity is key.
4. If you don’t have actual job experience in a particular area, list
courses you’ve taken or organizations you’ve been involved with
that show your interest in the area, or suitability for the position
5. If you are currently unemployed, finding an immediate volunteer position,
particularly one which is relevant to the area of your prospective job search,
will help to add some recent experience to your resumé.
The Student Development Centre (Rm. 210 in the University Community Centre)
has countless books on general resumé writing, as well as material dealing
specifically with resumés for beginners, business or specific fields.
The SDC also offers workshops and drop-in clinics to provide resumé writing
—with files from
Damn Good Resumé Guide,
Resumés For The First-Time Job Hunter,
Resumés That Mean Business
ONLINE EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES
The magical world of the Internet offers access to countless jobs;
you just have to know where to look.
The Student Development Centre at Western
The SDC website offers job listing for positions both on and off
campus, as well as a vast database of local, national and international
After filling out a brief profile, the job-finding engine of this
website seeks out employment opportunities according to your interests
and work experience.
This Canadian site offers a unique resumé posting service
that allows your resumé to be seen by thousands of employers
in whichever field you specify.
This site offers hundreds of Canada-wide job listings searchable
by region or interests.
The Human Resources Development Canada Job Bank
This federal government site gives direct access to job postings
all over Canada, which you can search by town, city, province or