March 18, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 88  

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Resumés 101: tips and tricks

By Philippa Scowcroft
Gazette Writer

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 and concise.

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 help.

—with files from
Damn Good Resumé Guide,
Resumés For The First-Time Job Hunter,
Resumés That Mean Business


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 volunteer opportunities.

Job Shark
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 region.
—Maggie Wrobel



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