Written by Isabel, Technology Intern, Bedford Library (Summer 2018)
Whether you’re applying for your first job (or your fifth), taking the time and effort to write a complete, professional resume will show you’re serious about the position. Follow my guidelines and tips, and you can hopefully land yourself the job you want.
Getting started with your resume
Your resume is a professional document that outlines your education, employment experience (work and volunteer), and your skills, relevant to the position.
Let’s look at some of the information you’ll want to include in your resume:
1. Personal Information: Include your name and up-to-date address, phone number(s), and e-mail address.
2. Education: List your current and past education experience. You may also choose to provide details about your major(s), GPA, distinctions, awards and extracurricular activities.
3. Employment Experience: List your current and past employment experience. You may also want to include a short description of your roles and responsibilities related to the position.
4. Volunteer Experience: List your current and past volunteer experience. Highlighting your volunteer experience will show that you’re motivated, and it can demonstrate other skills, relevant in the workplace.
5. Skills: Whether it’s a technical skill, based on your experience using Microsoft Office, or the fact that you work well in a fast-paced environment, identifying your versatile skill set will help you stand out.
6. References: Employers will often contact your references to better understand who you are and to verify their impressions of you from the interview. You can contact a previous employer, your favourite teacher, or someone you’ve volunteered with for a reference. You should aim to list 2-3 references.
Tips on fighting writer's block
Feeling writer’s block? Here’s some general tips:
● Focus on the information that is most recent and relevant to the position
● Present information chronologically and begin with the most recent experience
● Limit your resume to 2 pages (plus 1 page for your references)
● Include a cover letter
● Use free templates available for Microsoft Word, opens a new window
● Use the YMCA Employment Centre’s Resume Kit, opens a new window (and Cover Letter Kit, opens a new window) to help you build content
● Proofread, opens a new window your resume
Don’t have a computer at home? Don’t worry, you can use one of ours.
Want to make a difference in your community, meet new friends and learn new skills? Become a teen volunteer at the Library—it's a great way to gain experience, gain volunteer hours, and build your resume!