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Resume Tips

What Does It Take to Get Screened In?

  • Read the entire job advertisement closely (including the notes) before applying. Review all of the Merit Criteria: the Essential Qualifications, Asset Qualifications, Operational Requirements and Organizational Needs.
  • Tailor your resume for each and every job you are applying for. Advertisements can vary, even for similar jobs.
  • Keep your resume to 2-3 pages if at all possible, without leaving out essential details.
  • Your resume should be concise and relevant. Your resume is not your life story, rather a tool to get you to the interview stage.
  • Create a good first impression:clearly demonstrate how you meet all of the criteria and provide all the requested information.
  • Prove and illustrate by using concrete examples that you have the required qualifications (i.e. experience, education and any other criteria that the poster advises may be used to screen/eliminate candidates).
  • Don't just parrot the advertisement back at the employer; don't just say you have the experience, prove it with relevant details and examples. Here is one:
  • "I use Word and WordPerfect to write letters, fax cover sheets, reports with tables and graphs, conduct mail merges and print labels." This kind of approach is much more effective than saying something vague like: "I have extensive experience with word processing software".
  • Begin sentences with action words to describe your experiences and accomplishments (i.e. "developed file tracking spreadsheets" or "trained new employees").
  • List your work examples and accomplishments in the same order they appear in the advertisement.
  • You need not write about all the duties you've performed at every job, rather include those that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Acronyms can be confusing. Spell names and titles then follow with the acronym. e.g. Environment Canada (EC).
  • Specify your language proficiency.
  • Quantify your experience wherever possible. Cite numerical figures, time periods, efficiency improvements, etc.Demonstrate accomplishments due directly to your work (i.e. reduced office expenditures by 10%).
  • List education and work experience starting with the most recent first.
  • Don't forget: you can include relevant volunteer experience.
  • Creating an effective resume may require writing several drafts and getting feedback from friends, co-workers or resume experts.
  • Proofread your resume to ensure there are no spelling, grammar or typing errors.
  • Don't include additional documentation unless requested to do so.

More information on resumes visit Service Canada’s Resume Builder.