Resumes, Interviews, & Applications
A resume is a summary of your skills, experience, and achievements. Your resume
it is often your first contact with a potential employer, and its goal is to get
you a job interview. For it to do this effectively, it needs to be properly formatted,
well-written, and targeted towards the specific job you are applying for.
Resumes - Frequently Asked Questions
Go BACK to the Resume guide in My Career.
- How long should a resume be?
Most resumes are between one to two pages. Some industries such as investment banking,
computers, engineering or consulting have indicated that they prefer one page, but
most will accept two. Confirm their preference through your research.
- Do I really have to tailor my resume for each job?
Yes, you really do. Employers receive many resumes so that they can afford to be
very selective about who they interview.Taking the time to make your resume fit
their needs not only demonstrates initiative and commitment it will also allow them
to quickly assess your suitability for the position.
- Do I need an objective on my resume?
Objectives are optional, and often this issue can be addressed in your cover letter.That
said, if you choose to include an objective, make sure that it specifically addresses
the job for which you are applying.Objectives like "to find summer work" are too
general, and may imply that you lack focus in your job search.
- Should education go at the top of the page or after work
You have spent many years and dollars to obtain your degree, so don’t bury it at
the end of your resume.If you list your education first, in most cases the most
relevant of your work experiences will also fit on the first page of your resume.
- What do I do if I don’t have any work experience?
Paid work is not the only type that counts.Employers also value volunteer experience
and extracurricular activities.Be sure to link the skills you developed in these
positions to the job for which you are applying.
- Should I have activities from high school on my resume?
Sometimes you have to make tough choices when writing your resume.As you gain more
experience, you will have to decide what is most relevant.By the time you graduate,
your high school experience may be quite dated.
- Font size: How small is too small?
Typically font size 11 is the smallest people can still read comfortably.Employers
should not have to use a magnifying glass to read your resume.
- What type of paper should I use?Does expensive paper really
What is most important is that your resume is clearly printed and professional in
appearance.You could certainly use more expensive or heavier stock paper, but make
sure that the colours are subdued.Bright orange paper may make your resume stand
out, but maybe not in the way you want it to.It also doesn’t photocopy well. Make
sure that you use the same paper stock for both your resume and cover letter.
- What do I do if I don’t have any work experience in Canada?
The experience that you have gained in other countries is often seen as valuable
to an employer; it demonstrates excellent transferable skills such as adaptability
and can also bring a different perspective to a working environment.
- Should I list my citizenship on my resume?
No. You are rarely required to do this - the exception would be if you were applying
for certain academic positions within Canada. In this case it would be more appropriate
to let them know that you are legally eligible to accept employment in Canada.