ResumeTalks are 20 minute, on-one-one appointments with a member of our employment staff. Attend a ResumeTalk to receive advice and feedback on your resume, CV, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile. ResumeTalks are an opportunity to:
- Have your job search documents reviewed for content and formatting
- Get answers to your questions related to your resume, CV, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile
- Hear suggestions to help you stand out during your job search
Before attending a ResumeTalk, you should read through our Resume info below, find a job posting to which you wish to apply if possible and create a draft of your document(s) to the best of your ability. When registered in CareerLink, please upload a PDF file containing the documents you wish to review during your appointment.
Note: If you have two session no-shows, without canceling, you may be prevented from registering for future SECC programs or services; please remember to cancel if you find that you are no longer able to attend.
In order to accommodate all students and alumni, please limit your registration to 2 ResumeTalks per academic term.
Every resume you send should be accompanied by a cover letter - a 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.
In Canada, a curriculum vitae (CV) is simply a specific type of resume commonly used to apply to graduate school, a medical position, an academic position (post-secondary teaching and/or research focused) and some performing and studio art positions. Read the job posting carefully and be sure to use the document that they say they need - which is most often a resume.
Consider creating a LinkedIn profile which allows you to upload your resume content and connect with professionals locally and around the world. LinkedIn is a great tool for giving potential employers more information on your experience, education and skills sets, and for building your professional network. For many companies, LinkedIn is is an essential recruitment tool.
Creating your Resume
Before you begin
Make a list of your skills, abilities and accomplishments
- Include your post-secondary education and relevant certifications
- What skills did you develop in previous work, volunteer and extracurricular activities?
- What evidence can you provide for having demonstrated Career Readiness Competencies?
- What were your major accomplishments?
Choose the Resume Format that best highlights your skills and accomplishments
- Chronological format (showcases work history and experience) or Functional format (highlights skills over work history) or Combination format (highlights skills and work history)
View Resume format samples at bottom of page
Creating your content
Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for
- It is not necessary to list all your work 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.
- Put the most relevant information on the first page – employers often spend as little as 6 seconds reviewing a resume!
- Perform an adequate amount of research on the prospective employer and job position so you can tailor your resume to the job you are applying for – showcase your skills and experience that are transferable to those listed in the job posting
- 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 transferable 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.
- Use Action Words (verbs) to begin your achievement statements – they’ll help you create a more powerful case for how you’ve developed the key skills the employer is looking for in a more concise way. Be consistent with verb tense.
- Highlights of Qualifications or a Summary of Skills - 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.
- Have at least three references (if possible) who can attest to your work style, academic profile, and/or personal qualifications?
- Choose references who reflect a cross-section of individuals who can attest to your strengths
- 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.
- Every resume you should be accompanied by a cover letter
Organization and design
- Keep job title on the left and date on the right
- Present all relevant information in reverse chronological order (most recent to oldest)
- Present the most targeted information on the left side first (ie. job title on the left, date on the right)?
- Limit your resume to 2 pages. Listing references on a third page is acceptable; if applying to other countries, check their resume standards. If you are having trouble keeping your resume to 2 pages, consider using narrower margins or choosing smaller line spacing
- Use a consistent common font style (Calibri, Times New Roman, 11 or 12 point size, throughout your document)
- Begin your achievement statements with bullets
- Infographic resumes are best suited for creative industries such as communications, graphic design or social media, and includes visuals that catch the eye
When you are done
Review your resume
- Review your document for spelling and grammatical errors
- Consider registering for a ResumeTalks session with someone from the Student Employment and Career Centre to review your resume
- Review all of your social media accounts and privacy settings. Remember that most employers will do a google search and check the social media accounts of potential candidates
- Update your LinkedIn profile
Formats and Samples
Chronological format sample
Showcases work history and experience.
Choose the Chronological format if:
- you have a logical, progressive work history that you want to showcase to the employer
- your past employment experiences are your selling feature and are relevant to the job you are applying for.
Emphasize job titles and organizations and describe accomplishments and responsibilities in detail.
Sample of Chronological Format
Hope, SK S7N 2C4
HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS
EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION
Sept 2017 – presentMaster of Science Candidate – Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK
• Expected date of defense: May 2019
May 2017Masters Certificate in Project Management
Edwards School of Business – KW Nasser Centre, Saskatoon, SK
• Eligible to take the Project Management Institute (PMI), Project Management Professional (PMP) exam
May 2016Bachelor of Science – Kinesiology
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
• Exercise and Sport Studies – Fitness and Lifestyle Professional Stream
Sept. 2016 - Aug. 2017
Saskatchewan Health Quality Board (SHQB), Saskatoon, SKHealth Improvement Consultant, May–August 2017
WORK EXPERIENCE CONT.
YMCA of Greater Toronto, Toronto, ON
Make it Right
New Orleans, LA
Jonathon Doe Board Member Saskatchewan Health Quality Board 306.555.0123 (B) Jonathon.firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Steve Smith Professor of Kinesiology University of Saskatchewan 306.555.2345 (H) Steve.email@example.com
Debbie Reynolds Business Manager Campus Recreation University of Saskatchewan 306.555.8798 (C) Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlights skills over work history
Choose the Functional format if:
- your formal experience is lacking or in a different field than the position you’re applying for, but you have the skills necessary to succeed in the role
Highlight skills you have acquired and how well you accomplish tasks.
Sample of Functional Format
2014 – presentCollege of Arts and Science — Psychology (Honours Program)
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK
Certifications and Training
Summary of Skills
May 2014 - present
Supervisor and Team Leader
September 2016 – July 2017
Women’s Cross Country Team
2015 - current (Sept. - April)
Golden Key International Honour Society
2015 - current (Sept. - April)
Saskatoon Psychology Students’ Association
Huskie Women’s Cross Country Award
Huskie Women’s Cross Country Award
Bus: (306) 555-8666
Dr. Andrew O’Neill
Res: (306) 555-0876
Bus: (306) 555-7892
Combination format sample
Highlights skills and work history
Choose the Combination format if:
- you possess both the experience and skills necessary to fill the position and want to highlight both areas to the employer
Stress your skills and accomplishments, yet briefly lists responsibilities and achievements from the chronological work history.
Sample of Combination Format
Prosperity, SK • 306-555-1211 • email@example.com • linkedin.com/in/anitacareer
Bachelor of Commerce — Management
SUMMARY OF SKILLS
RELATED WORK EXPERIENCE
May 2017 – present
Head Sales Representative
May – Aug. 2016
Assistant Sales and Contract Manager
SUPPLEMENTARY WORK EXPERIENCE
May – August 2015
2014University of Saskatchewan Entrance Scholarship
Oct. 2017 – present
Sarah’s House - Services for Sexual Abuse Survivors Inc. Saskatoon, SK
Sept. 2015-April 2016
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Saskatoon, Saskatoon, SK
ACTIVITIES AND INTERESTS
Bus: (306) 555-1234
Res: (306) 555-1235
Buddy Match Coordinator
Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Bus: (306) 555-1236
Res: (306) 555-1237
Sales and Contract Manager
Grande Prairie, AB
Bus: (306) 555-1238
Cell: (306) 555-1239
The samples used within this page are fictitious. No association with any real person, company, organization, product, e-mail address, place, or event is intended or should be inferred.
The Student Employment and Career Centre (SECC) is here to assist you with all aspects of your career and job search.
The SECC offers:
- Job postings
- ResumeTalks - Develop and discuss your job search documents.
- Career Coaching - Talk about your career choices and goals and identify the direction you need to take.
- InterviewTalks and Mock Interviews - Develop, practice and polish your interview skills.
- Career Assessments - Understand yourself so you can establish clear career goals and make informed career decisions.
- Career Fairs - an expo in September and college focused fairs through the year
- CareerMeetUps - opportunities to find out more about specific industries directly from employers
- Employer Sessions - detailed information about key employers before major application deadlines