Your resume is an important marketing tool that advertises the experience, education, skills and accomplishments you offer to potential employers.

Cover Letters

Every resume you send should be accompanied by a cover letter - a powerful tool in communicating your uniqueness and personal qualifications

Curriculum Vitaes

Despite its venerable name, a curriculum vitae (CV) is simply a specific type of resume commonly used for medical and academic (teaching and research) positions.


ResumeTalks allow you to meet with one of our friendly staff in an informal, small group setting to discuss your job search documents. Attend a ResumeTalk to:

  • Have your job search documents reviewed for content and formatting
  • Get answers to your questions related to your resume, CV and cover letter
  • Hear suggestions to help you stand out during your job search

In order to accommodate all students and alumni, please limit your registration to 2 ResumeTalks per academic term.

"My ResumeTalk session was extremely valuable and helped me
highlight my skills and qualifications on my resume in a concise way!" 

Resume Builder

Use Optimal Resume's Resume Builder to:

  • Design high-impact resumes based on your major and career goals
  • Easily create resumes in several formats, including Word-compatible, Plain Text, PDF, and HTML
  • Manage an unlimited number of resumes
  • Include your resume in your own professional website, which you can update, deactivate, and reactivate as your career progresses
NOTE: The SECC will be discontinuing their contract with Optimal Resume effective Nov 30, 2015. Prior to Nov 30, you are encouraged to download and save documents stored within your Optimal Resume account. After Nov 30, you will no longer have access to your free SECC Optimal Resume account but will have the option to transfer your documents to a fee-for-service account within

Commonly asked questions

What is the difference between a Resume and a CV?

In Canada, a CV is mostly used for academic-related positions - applying to grad school, post-secondary teaching positions, and research positions. Often employers will specify. A resume in Canada is a maximum of 2-3 pages and examples can be found in our Resume Guide. A CV is usually longer, depending on your experience. It tends to focus on research, teaching experience, publications, conferences, etc. More details can be found in our CV Guide.  Read the job posting carefully and be sure to use the document that they say they need- which is often a resume. 

Should I use the same resume to apply for different positions?

No. The most effective resumes are tailored to specific employers or positions and highlight knowledge, skills and experiences that directly relate to the qualifications and duties of the position you seek. Do your research and include keywords that employers will recognize as they quickly scan your resume.

Do I need to include a cover letter?

Every resume you send should be accompanied by a cover letter as it is a very powerful tool in communicating your uniqueness and personal qualifications. Our Cover Letter Guide walks you through the process step-by-step and offers some great samples to get you started.

What should be included in my contact information at the top of my resume?

  • The top of your resume should list your first and last name, address (or at the very least the city you currently live in), phone number, and email address.
  • Be sure to use a professional email such as your university alias (e.g., NOT or
  • There is no need to write “email:” and “phone:” before your email address and phone number; rather, you may put a “(b)” or “(c)” to represent “business” and “cellphone” behind your number if you wish to, and an “(e)” to represent email.
  • Finally, you should also include a link to your LinkedIn profile (or a LinkedIn logo hyperlinked to your profile) in this section if you have one. 

Should I include high school information?

It is assumed that you graduated high school in order to be in university. After first year, it is not necessary to include high school information. It is much better to get volunteer and work experience in university so you do not have to include your high school activities. 

Should I list all work experience, even if it is not related to the job I am applying for?

Your resume should be tailored to a specific job and employer therefore, it is not necessary to list all your experience, especially if it is not related. If anything, having a lengthy resume that is not tailored to the specific job might actually decrease your chances of getting selected for an interview.  

Should I include references?

Not necessarily, but if the job posting asks that you include references, then be sure to do so. Our Resume Guide states “If you choose not to include your references in your resume, be sure to bring your list of references and their contact information to the interview.” Be sure to connect with your references to make sure they are still available and that you have the correct contact information for them. Provide your references with your updated resume and let them know what types of jobs you are applying for.

How can I highlight my skills on my resume?

Be sure your skills are highlighted near the top on the front page of your resume. This can be done best with a Summary of Skills section or a Highlights of Qualifications section. Check out our Resume Guide for tips on how to build these.

Remember, skills should be incorporated throughout your resume - underneath the jobs you list, do not merely give a description of the duties you performed, but rather highlight the transferrable skills you learnt and how you acquired them. Use the formula Verb+Skill+How (e.g. Developed + exceptional communication skills + by writing monthly reports). Skills come from a wide variety of places- work, school, volunteer activities, etc., and all of these experiences are valid activities to include on your resume.

Should I use a Highlights of Qualifications or a Summary of Skills section?

People with more experience in the field will usually use a Highlights of Qualifications section as their experience speaks more to their capability to do the specific work required in that field. Recent grads and students are often better off using a Summary of Skills section as they can better articulate how their university education and other experiences have equipped them to qualify for the job in addition to previous work experience.

What is the format of the ResumeTalk workshops and what should I bring with me to my ResumeTalk?

ResumeTalks are held in a group format, but each participant receives individualized advice on each of their resume and cover letter. Before attending a ResumeTalk, you should read through our Resume Guide and Cover Letter Guide, find a job posting to which you wish to apply if possible, create a draft of your resume and cover letter to the best of your ability, and print it off in hard copy. Bring the job posting and the hard copy of your documents with you to the workshop. 

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