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Your Résumé

Your résumé (sometimes referred to as a "CV" or "curriculum vitae") is an essential tool for employers. It describes your work experience, education, training and skills. Your résumé should be written with a specific type of job or field of activity in mind.

Downloadable résumés

The following are samples of 2 downloadable résumés:

These samples contain all the sections normally found in résumés. They are designed to help you prepare a clear and professional looking résumé. To use one of the samples, save a copy of the one you would like on your computer. You can then replace the information contained in the various sections with your information.

Writing your résumé

Here are a few general tips on writing an effective résumé.

  • List all items in chronological order, starting with the most recent.
  • Make sure all information is true.
  • Keep it short (1 to 2 pages). Employers receive many résumés and may ignore those that are too long.
  • Choose your words carefully. Use simple vocabulary and avoid negative turns of phrase.
  • Have your résumé checked by someone who writes well.
  • Cover each section separately (professional goals, education, work experience, recreational interests, etc.).
  • Make sure you don't contradict yourself.
  • Resist the temptation to be funny.

The sections of your résumé

Personal information

Your résumé should provide:

  • your name
  • your full address
  • your telephone numbers (home and cell)
  • your email address
  • your website address, if you have a personal site

Important! Be sure to protect your personal information when applying for a job.

Your career objectives

Write a short summary of your career objective(s), or simply describe what type of work you are seeking. Generally, one or two sentences will be sufficient to tell the employer what you're looking for. Try to establish a link between your objective(s) and the job you're applying for.

Education and training

Summarize the general or specialized education and training you have had, specifying:

  • the names of the schools or educational institutions you have attended, along with the cities where they are located
  • the level of education you have completed and the dates when you obtained your diplomas (degrees, attestations, certificates, etc.)
  • any professional development courses or other training programs that you have taken and that are related to the work you want to do—for instance, computer, language or small-engine maintenance courses
  • any scholarships, bursaries, awards or distinctions you may have received
Job-related skills

List the skills that make you the right person for the job.

The more relevant your skills are to the job you want, the more attention you'll attract. Describe the skills that you have acquired in the course of paid work, volunteer experiences, internships and even hobbies.

To find out what skills are associated with a specific job, see the Labour Market Information (LMI Online)Opens external link in new window. website.

Your work experience
  • List the jobs you have held, indicating the following information for each one:
    • the name of the company and your place of work
    • your job title
    • your start and end dates
    • the duties and responsibilities you had

Don't hesitate to mention any relevant internships or volunteer experiences.

  • Your experience must be directly related to the job for which you're applying. Mention only the most important duties or the ones you like best.
  • Use actions verbs like administer, analyze, compile, oversee and inform.
  • Ideally, do not list more than five duties for each job. You will always be able to provide further details at the interview.
Additional information

Look closely at the job offer and see if there are any relevant details you could add to your résumé to give your application a boost.

  • Foreign languages: List the languages that you know (spoken and written).
  • Computer skills: List the software and technologies that you know how to use and, if possible, describe your proficiency level (beginner, intermediate or advanced).
  • Qualification cards, professional associations: If it is relevant to your trade or occupation, indicate any professional qualifications you have (e.g., for a specific type of machinery) and whether you are a member of any professional orders or associations, etc.
  • Awards and achievements: Highlight any awards that you have received for your work (employee of the year, awards of excellence, customer service awards, etc.). If relevant, put together a portfolio to provide samples of your work.
Your interests and activities

Your interests and recreational activities say something about who you are and can play in your favour. For example, you might include the fact that you like cooking, reading, going to the movies or fishing.

References

Your references are the people that a potential employer can contact for information about you. Examples include:

  • a former employer
  • someone from your school (a teacher or guidance counsellor)
  • somebody you have worked for (babysitting, volunteer work, etc.)

Don't include references in your résumé, but have the list with you when you attend the interview.

Before giving out somebody's name as a reference, make sure you have their approval.

Types of résumés

There are three main types of résumés. Choose whichever one is a best fit for the job you're seeking and the strengths you want to focus on.

  • The chronological résumé highlights the progress you have made in your career over time.
  • The functional or skills-based résumé emphasizes your skills and know-how. This type of résumé is recommended if you have held a number of unrelated jobs.
  • The combination résumé is a mix of the two preceding types.
The chronological résumé

As its name indicates, the chronological résumé tracks your work experiences over time, from the most recent to the oldest.

It highlights the experience you acquired in a single field or sector of activity.

The chronological résumé is recommended if you are seeking a job in the same field or if you have made steady progress in your career.

Here are a few cases where you should avoid using a chronological résumé:

  • You have changed jobs frequently or had long periods of unemployment that you might have difficulty explaining.
  • You do not want to place too much importance on the last job you held.
  • Your new career goal is not directly related to your former job experience.
The functional or skills-based résumé

The functional or skills-based résumé highlights what you have to offer. It emphasizes your achievements or the skills you acquired from past experiences.

Here are a few examples of skills:

  • proficiency in using a hydraulic press
  • ability to write reports
  • mechanical abilities or aptitudes

Describe your skills, starting with those most relevant to the job you're applying for.

This type of résumé is recommended in the following cases:

  • You have little or no work experience.
  • You have held a number of unrelated jobs.
  • You wish to emphasize talents that you have never had the opportunity to demonstrate in a work environment.
  • You wish to highlight skills that can be transferred to a professional field unrelated to your past experiences.

Don't opt for this type of résumé if you want to showcase how far you've come in your career.

The combination résumé

The combination résumé is the most common. It lays out your skills and work experiences in chronological order (from most recent to oldest).

Use a combination résumé if you have changed jobs frequently or if you have a lot of experience in a specific field but have worked for many employers.

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