This is Part 1 in our series of posts that will provide guidance on how to land your dream job. In Part 1, we give tips on resume writing; in Part 2, we will cover interview preparation; and in Part 3, we will recommend questions to ask a potential employer in your interview.
The Perfect Resume
While job searching, it’s important to have a high-quality, professional resume. This is your first chance to make a good impression with potential employers. Making sure the right information is in your resume to display your education, skills, and experience is a key factor on if you will be called in for an interview. To help you with the resume writing process, here are some tips on how to format your resume and what information is crucial to include.
This section will include a short summary of your skills and experience, which can include details such as organizations/industries you have worked for (Public, Private, NGO, etc.), what type of position you are looking for, and what you hope to gain from this position. You can also include a sentence about your language skills, including any language testing you have completed. If relevant, you can also mention what kinds of software or technologies you have used (Microsoft Office, LinkedIn, Java, etc.).
This section should include any education or professional certification or training.
- Include the name of the institution you attended, the name of the program you completed or degree/diploma you obtained, and the start and end dates (month and year)
- Include your high school education: name of school and year of graduation
- For professional certifications, include the name of the governing body issuing the certification, the name of the certification, and the date of completion
- Mention security clearances (if any)
- If you have a partially completed degree/diploma, do not reference it on your resume
This section should include details about your professional work experience.
- Include the name of the organization, your position title, and the start and end dates (month and year)
- Include a brief description of the organization and the role you performed there
- List your responsibilities/tasks in bullet form: this format is easier to read and digest
- Use action words to describe what you’ve done (managed, developed, analyzed, etc.)
- List any relevant software/technologies you used, and what you did with them (e.g. “used Excel to create a financial budget spreadsheet”)
- Remove all positions that are not relevant to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a role as a Software Developer, remove any retail positions
- If any of your roles were contract positions, be sure to include that detail in the description
- If you have any relevant unpaid experience (e.g. volunteering, co-op, internship), add that as a separate section, including bullet points about the relevant tasks you completed
- We would recommend not including your references on your resume; a simple sentence stating “References are available upon request” should suffice
- Be sure to have a list of 3-5 professional references ready to go in case a potential employer does ask
- Reference information should include name, title, phone number, and email address
- Spelling and grammar are important: use spell check, but don’t solely rely on that – spell check won’t catch things that are technically words but might be incorrect within the context of what you’ve written. Consider asking a friend to look it over for you as well.
- Use a clean, easy-to-read black font in size 10 or 11 – Times New Roman or Arial
- Extra features, such as photos and a list of interests, may be useful when applying directly to a company, but are not suitable for agencies
- Include your name, phone number, email address, and current city (we recommend not including your street address)
We hope you find all these tips useful in landing your dream job! Now that you have completed your resume, check out our Opportunities Page for a list of our current open roles.
If you have any more tips or questions, let us know in the comments! Stay tuned for Part 2: Interview Preparation.