Writing Resumes

Remember that few people are totally successful at writing a resume on their own, even if they are highly skilled at writing resumes for others.  The biggest challenge is “painting your own portrait in words”.  It is often difficult to say positive things about yourself on paper, and then carefully adjust the language of these statements to the culture of the workplace you are applying to. 

There are a multitude of websites that can help to walk you through the development of a resume.  We recommend that you involve an employment counsellor to help you to write your resume.

Here are some activities and strategies for working with a counsellor.

Recognize that a “same day resume”, where you are applying for a job on the same day you come in for assistance, will significantly decrease your chances of having your document carefully worked on.  Minor edits will be suggested, or a simple update of the work chronology will take place.  Substantive work cannot be accomplished on short notice.  Such a resume may just do the trick, but that is not the focus of this roadmap.

  • A simple resume can be done in one to two hours, but the more time you invest in your resume preparation, the better your resume will be, and the more you will be able to talk about your skills in an interview situation.
  • A highly customized, well crafted resume may take up to three separate appointments to collaboratively create, depending on the complexity of the job description you are targeting, the degree of change you are considering, and the amount of preparatory work you have done.  Bring along any work you have completed and share your steps with the counsellor at the start of your meeting together. 
  • A longer resume process can be anticipated if:
    • You are heading for a job with significantly more skill or responsibility added.
    • You are switching careers, or changing your target significantly from past jobs.
    • You are moving from one sector to another, or have moved from one country to another.
    • You have gaps in your work history.
    • You have trouble describing your skills.
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