What's the real purpose of a resume?
Your resume is a self-promotional document used when applying to jobs that presents you and highlights your skills to a potential employer. Its purpose is to impress employers enough to be invited for a job interview.
How should I represent myself on my resume?
When representing yourself be honest but not modest. This is your opportunity to make an impression and showcase your experience, skills, accomplishments and professional attributes. When hiring new staff, employers are looking to fill a position, which has its own set of defined duties and responsibilities, with an individual who possesses a specific skill set. An employer needs to know that you are qualified to do the job properly. Ensure that you are seen as most qualified by highlighting all of the necessary accomplishments and skills in your resume.
An example of accomplishments for a housekeeper could be:
How many rooms per day did you clean and what was the highest number of rooms? Did you meet set targets or benchmarks, exceed the standard? How? Did you get compliments from customers? What for?
Showcase your achievements by using key words such as, improved, streamlined, restructured, remodeled, transformed, expanded and increased. Include an explanation of how you completed each accomplishment.
What exactly should I put on my resume, and what should I leave out?
Your contact information, work history, educational background and credentials, and a career summary are must-haves on your resume.
Certain information should not be included on your resume. Your age, SIN number, religion, height, weight and marital status should not be included. Click here for resume mistakes to avoid.
Should I include an objective statement?
An objective statement is no longer recommended. A better method is to showcase what you can provide the employer. Grab their attention! Do this by providing a targeted professional summary, it's your opportunity to highlight important achievements relevant to the position you're seeking. Highlighting experience in this way gives greater visibility to your most important talents and personal strengths.
Who can I get to review my resume for errors before I start sending it to employers?
A careless spelling mistake, wrong contact information, sending it out in the wrong format - small bits of sloppiness add up quickly. They can end up getting your resume tossed into the "not to be considered" pile.
It’s easy to get so close to your own resume that you fail to see that it may not be as effective as it could be. That’s why you should reach out for a second opinion, or even a third.
You can get others to review your resume for free (trusted friends and recruiters), and a visit to your YMCA Employment Service office will give you an experienced opinion.
My resume is too long and wordy. How do I cut it down efficiently?
Two pages maximum is the generally accepted rule for resumes. Trimming your resume means cutting out excess wording and information that is not relevant to the position that you are applying to. Your local YMCA Employment Service would be happy to look over your resume and make suggestions. Click here for the location nearest you.
What are "keywords" and how do I use them in my resume?
Now that many employers sift through resumes electronically, you’ve got to know how to adapt your document. Add key words and use phrases that scanners will be looking for. With a bit of research and sound judgment, you can maximize your resume's keywords and improve your chances of getting noticed. Click here to learn how to use key words.
Choosing a Resume Format
The CHRONOLOGICAL style resume is the style that most of us are familiar with. It lists your work experience in reverse chronological order with a list of accomplishments and duties and that you performed. This style of resume works well for individuals who are continuing with a career in the same field as their past work experience.
The FUNCTIONAL style resume groups skills and experiences into categories relevant to your job objective. This type of resume is excellent for individuals who are changing careers, have little job history, or have a gap in their employment. It can focus on skills obtained in all areas of your life including volunteering, co-op placements, etc. It does not list dates of your work history however and some employers don't like that.
If you think a functional style resume is right for you, click on one of the icons below to get a head start on formatting your new resume.
The COMBINATION style resume is similar to the functional resume but includes dates on work history.
If you think a combination style resume is right for you, click on one of the icons below to get a head start on formatting your new resume.