When preparing an electronic resume it will be slightly different than the previously mentioned types.
More and more companies are using computers to manage resumes for job openings. It is often called "electronic applicant
tracking". This new method is a database of resumes with a built in artificial intelligence that reads and extracts information.
If the text of the resume is hard for the computer to read, much of the information in the resume does not get into the database.
When you are preparing an electronic resume apply the following:
Use nouns instead of verbs when you are describing your qualifications. Employers searching through the database can only search by key words,
and those key words are most often nouns.
- Avoid fancy text styles like italics, shadows, and reversed colors.
- Stick to commonly used fonts.
- Keep the size of your font between 10 and 14 point.
- Do not condense the spacing between letters.
- Do not use vertical lines.
- Do not use a two column format (like a newspaper).
- Bold or capitalize section headings.
- List phone and fax numbers and email addresses on their own lines.
WHEN TO USE YOUR RESUME?
The main reason for using a resume is for the purpose of getting an interview.
Your resume can be used in the following ways during your job search:
You may also use your resume in other situations such as when:
- enclose it along with a letter when applying for a job in writing.
- attach it to the application form you've filled out.
- take it along with you on your interview so you are able to refer to it when responding to questions.
- applying for a scholarship
- seeking admission to an educational program
- applying for a work visa for a foreign country; and
- providing background information for someone who has to introduce you.
BEFORE STARTING YOUR RESUME
Taking time to know yourself is important as this process is one of the key job searching factors.
Being aware of yourself allows you to make informed choices about exploring and choosing careers.
You will probably be more effective and content in the job you choose if it reflects your interests,
strengths and values. Most importantly it will allow you to market yourself in your resume.
There are various ways to get to know yourself:
No one self-assessment tool provides the ultimate answer to your career choice. Several self-assessment tools may be used.
The following are a few ways you can use to understand yourself:
- Informal tools may require little or no assistance.
- Formal tools may require assistance from a career counsellor.
- A combination of both tools can be used to help you understand yourself better and to make more informed career choices.
- Printed career resources containing self-assessment exercises can be obtained from your local Canada-Saskatchewan Career and
Employment Services office, colleges, universities, schools and libraries or the Career Information Hotline.
- Meet with a career counsellor to discuss where you are in the job search process and what self-assessment tools might be of benefit
- Take time on your own to reflect on your values, interests, skills, abilities, accomplishments, personal style, work preferences and qualities.
- Talk to your family and friends. Ask them for information to help you understand who you are and find out things about yourself that you may not be aware of.
- The Internet is another way to find self-assessment tools. Try SaskNetWork's (www.sasknetwork.ca) Career Planning section.
*Remember that when you are assessing yourself it is important to think about yourself specifically in a job related setting and to reflect on how your
experiences have prepared you for work in that field.
When thinking of yourself, consider the following:
- Career and educational goals.
- Talents and abilities you have acquired that would be beneficial in a work setting.
- Kinds of people and the environment you prefer.
- Salary expectations.
- Interests and hobbies both long-term and new.
- Experiences you want to emphasize, what you have learned from them. These experiences can include anything
from work, volunteer, academic, athletic, artistic, and travel.
Creating a good resume requires some preparation. Now that you have examined yourself your interests, as well
as your skills and abilities you need to outline the things you have done.
Employers are looking for different kinds of information. Each kind of information makes up part of your resume.
There are essentially six parts to a resume: personal information, skills educational history, experience and work, interests
and activities, and references.
All resume formats must contain your personal information. Place this at the top of the first page and include the following:
Your date of birth, sex, social insurance number, health, citizenship or marital status is
NOT required as part of your resume.
- your full name, address (including postal code); and
- a telephone number where you can be reached during the day.
A section on skills and abilities are included in all types of resumes particularly in the functional
resume. These should be included under a separate heading.
This section is where you want to highlight your greatest strengths and qualifications. For example:
- Do you work well with others?
- Can you use a keyboard?
- Are you computer literate?
- Do you have the ability to plan and organize projects?
- Do you have good communication skills?
- Are you bilingual?
When listing your formal education include university, techinical or business school training, and highest grade completed.
Put this section under a separate heading and include the following:
- Name and location of the school(s) attended.
- Type of program or major area of concentration.
- Grade completed or certificate received.
- Year in which studies were completed.
When you are recording your educational information start with your most recent educational experience
first and work back from there. If your education is limited, provide more detail. Include your
major field of study or names of significant courses completed.
Your informal education is important too. A list of general interest courses, workshops, conferences, or
special training courses you have attended can provide more information for employers. You may want to list
these in order of importance.
*Remember, if you are writing a functional resume this section may be omitted if applying
for a position in which the skills required for the position are outside of your training.
Work and Experience
Employers are interested in knowing about your previous work and experience. The most common way is to
list your employment history in chronological order starting from your most recent position and working
backwards from there. This method should be used regardless of the format you use to write your resume.
When listing your work and experience include the following:
- position held
- location of employment
- the dates you were employed
- experience acquired from this position
Emphasize previous jobs that are directly related to the kind of job you are interested
in obtaining. Volunteer work experiences are also important so be sure to include them, especially if this
is your first job.
Interests and Activities
Briefly list activities you are involved in outside of work or school hours indicating something
about your interests, personality and level of energy.
Items you may include are: hobbies, sports, activities, community service, reading,
membership in organizations and any experiences involving public speaking.
Significant achievements or accomplishments in your education, your work, or your personal life are important.
Mention certificates (swimming, or music for example), Scholarships, and other awards you have received.
Employers will almost always ask for references. It is a common practice for them to question others about your skills,
abilities, attitudes and experience.
Tips on choosing references
- Choose 3 or 4 individuals who are work-related including supervisors, peers or a customer.
- A personal non-work related reference may be used if you have no work-related references to use.
- It is advisable to stay away from references that are associated with political parties or religions.
- Always ask the person you want to use if they will provide a reference for you. This will allow your references
to be prepared to provide such information if called upon to do so.
- When requesting someone to provide you with a reference it is a good idea to ask them ahead of time what they plan
to say if an employer contacts them. Will they give you a good recommendation?
*Remember - when you are choosing your references it is important to choose references who can speak about your skills and
abilities that relate to the particular position you are targeting.
Where to include your references
Most career counsellors will advise that you not include your references in your resume. The reason is that talking to your reference before you are
interviewed may bias employers. Your objective is to control any access to information about your past until after you have been interviewd.
However, if the employer wants to talk to your references before your interview, they will want to see your references along with your resume.
Some employers may not even bother to contact you if no references are included. If you know that your references will provide you with a good
reference then it does not matter if they are contacted before they interview you.
The choice is yours if you want to or do not want to include your references along with your resume. If you choose not to include
them then it is a good idea to make a statement in the reference section something like this:
If you are supplying your references at the time of the interview you should have a list of them prepared. The references list should include:
- References available upon request
- References will be supplied at an interview
- A list of recommendations can be shown at an interview
WRITING A RESUME
- Address of the company
- Phone numbers
Now that you have your background information prepared, you are ready to create your resume. A resume should be short, easy to read and well
organized. It should also be typed and look presentable.
Short usually means one or two pages. It may be appropriate to create a longer resume in some cases. Employers are more likely to read a short
and to the point resume.
Easy to Read refers to the content of your resume. The vocabulary you use is very important so that your message is clear and concise.
Well organized refers to the format and layout of your resume.
- Be precise - use specific and accurate words to describe your skills and abilities.
- Be concise - only relevant information is required .
- Avoid big words.
- To make for easy reading use short sentences or point form.
Attractive refers to the overall appearance of the resume. There are a number of ways you can make your resume attractive.
- Organize information under headings.
- Underline headings or type them in bold print so they stand out.
- Use the same format througout the whole document. For example if you list information on your present
job in point form, don't switch to sentences or paragraphs when describing previous jobs.
- Type it in black ink on 81/2" by 11" White paper.
- Leave plenty of white space, not crowding your information.
- Leave a one inch margin on all sides.
- Make clear, clean copies.
123 Lincoln Avenue
Regina SK S2S 2S2
- Strong interpersonal and written communication skills
- Ability to work as a team member, as well as independently
- Computer experience with word processing, spreadsheets and databases
- Good organizational skills
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Sciences and
Technology, Wascana Campus, Regina Saskatchewan
Office Education certificate
- Word Processing
- Interpersonal Communications
- Business Communications
- Office Procedures
Thom Collegiate, Regina Saskatchewan
High School Diploma
- Computer Science
Sept. 1997 to Present
Receptionist, Schellview Insurance Ltd.,
June 1994 to August 1996
Client correspondence, setting up appointments, prepare daily accounting reports, processing
of claims, arrange work schedules. Received outstanding evaluations form supervisor.
Cashier (part-time), McDonalds
Balanced daily cash register receipts and slaes, customer service, janitorial duties, and maintained
customer satisfaction during busy hours.
Special Olympics - Sept. 1997 to June 1998
Canvasser for Heart and Stroke Foundation - August 1996-October 1996
Volunteered at local library - June 1995 to August 1995
INTERESTS AND HOBBIES
- Sports, basketball, swimming and tennis
- Writing novels and poems
Available upon request
22 Smythe Street
Regina SK S4S 4S4
BA in Business Administration, May 1995
University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan
Courses Include: Marketing, Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations,
Management Communications, Production and Operations Management, Financial Management, Accounting
Information Systems, Auditing Theory and Application, Organization Analysis, Budgeting, Administrative
Grade 12 Diploma, June 1991
Martin Collegiate, Regina, Saskatchewan
Supervision and Training
Supervised a staff of 4 employees, maintaining the lowest turnover rate in 2 years.
Developed a training program for new employees, increasing productivity as a result
Instructed over 40 people in an orientation program.
Wrote training manual for new employees.
Promoted to assistant manager in 6 months.
Maintained high level of customer satisfaction during peak hours.
Interacted with supervisors and the public in a retail store.
Arranged work schedules for 4 other employees.
Balanced receipts and sales, on a daily and weekly basis.
Maintained high grade point average while working 20 hours a week and going to school full-time.
Assistant Manager, Carie's Clothing
Regina, Saskatchewan, 9/93 to present.
Sales Clerk, Shane's Shoes,
Regina, Saskatchewan, 9/91-8/93
Skiing, tennis and reading
Available upon request
303 Fairview Street
Regina SK S5S 5S5
Rehabilitation Worker Diploma
SIAST Kelsey Campus,
Courses Studied: Administration, Introduction to computers, Suicide intervention strategies,
Health Care Practices, Physical Recreation and Vocational Rehabilitation.
Grade 12 Diploma
Campbell Collegiate, Regina, Saskatchewan.
- Social Work
- Vocational Rehabilitation counselling
- Staff Supervision
- Researched provincial vocational rehabilitation statistics
- Developed Vocational Rehabilitation manual
- Established a filing system
- Client Information filing management
Written and Verbal Communication
- Conducted meetings with staff
- Prepared monthly newsletter
- Developed and Maintained program updates
- Staff evaluations
Counsellor, Vocational Rehabilitation Centre
Sales Clerk, Sports Shop
Photography, automobile restoration, sports and reading
Available upon request
123 Christopher Lane
Regina SK S4S 7S8
November 1995-present, Graphics Designer at Cosmo Public Relations.
Created multi-colored brochures,
magazines ads, and multimedia persentations.
Product manager for client projects.
Database system developer
for client archived files.
Network integration assistant within the art department.
October 1993-November 1995, Assistant Graphic Designer at Brooks College.
Assisted in developing advertising materials.
Designed flyers for promotional events.
Assisted in producing training manuals.
May 1991-October1993, Assistant Data Entry Clerk, Malloy's Insurance.
Entered client data into billing database.
Managed filing sytem.
Generated database reports in response to account inquiries.
Diploma in Graphic Design, SIAST Kelsey Campus, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Additional Skills and Abilities
Corel Photopoint, Microsoft Word, Excel and Access Databases, Communication skills written and verbal.
The following example can be used to provide your references to an employer upon request:
Charles Keith Taylor James Joyce Jones
Principal Manager Teacher
Clover School Keins Drug Mart Campbell Collegiate
12 Ritchie Cr. 3900 8th Street High School
Regina, SK Regina, SK Regina, SK
S4S 4S4 S2S 2S2 S5S 5S5
(306)333-3333 (306)444-4444 (306)555-5555
The following resume outline can be used as a guide. Fill in the blanks and you will have
your history recorded for use in your resume.
Interests and Hobbies
A covering letter must always be included when you are mailing out a resume. The purpose of the
covering letter is to introduce yourself and get an employer to read your resume. Generally three
paragraphs fit onto one page is a good length.
How to write a cover letter
- Keep it simple
- Use a word processor unless an employer specifically asks for a hand-written letter
- Use good quality paper
- Proofread your letter carefully to be sure you don't have spelling or grammatical errors
- Sign the letter in ink
Contents of Covering Letter
- Indicate the position you are applying for and any other relevant information - competition number or department number.
- Identify where you heard about the job opening - in the newspaper, on the Internet, on a bulletin or from an individual.
- If someone has suggested you write, you can mention their name (be sure to ask this person beforehand).
- Explain why you are suited for the job
- Emphasize your skills and abilities that may be applicable for the position in which you are applying for.
- You may want to make reference to your resume at this time.
SAMPLE COVERING LETTER
- State that you are interested in meeting with the employer for an interview.
- Arrange for follow-up contact - including when and where you can be reached.
- Thank the employer for considering your application.
330 Banks Road
July 31, 2000
Mr. Joe Brown
Brown's Photograhy Limited
140 - 20th Avenue North
Sasktoon SK S7M 0P9
Dear Mr. Brown:
I would like to be considered for the position of photographic technician at Brown's Photography Limited.
I am specifically interested in the job in the portrait studio, advertised in the July 25, 2000 issue of the Daily Journal.
I have previously worked as a photographic assistant and feel this experience would aid me in making a contribution to your company.
I enjoy working with the public and have a special interest in portraiture.
I am enclosing my resume and would like to speak to you in person. I can be contacted at 555-5555 and would
be available for an interview at your convenience.
Now that your resume and covering letter are complete and ready to distribute, review the following checklist before sending it out:
- Is your covering letter well organized and does it catch the reader's attention?
- Have you included all important information?
- Is your resume an appropriate length?
- Is all the information you have included necessary?
- Have you identified your strongest skills?
- Did you list your education and work history with your most recent experience first, then work
back from there?
- Is your resume easy to read?
- Does your resume have plenty of white space between sections?
- Do important headings stand out?
- Is correct grammar used?
- Are all words spelled correctly? Have you done a spell check?
- Do you have a list of references ready (with names, addresses and phone numbers or email addresses)?
- Did you have someone proofread your resume and covering letter?