Creating Effective Resumes

A resume is a brief, written summary of your skills and experience. It is an overview of who you are and a tool to present yourself to employers. The goal of a well-written resume is to gain a job interview. Job interviews may lead to employment! Employers and Hiring Managers are very busy and tend to rapidly review resumes. Therefore, your resume must quickly catch the employer’s attention. Writing a brief, to the point description of your experience and skills can do this. Tell the truth on your resume. Write your resume to describe how your skills will meet the employer’s needs.

One page? Two pages?

The more concise you are-the better. So if you can keep your resume to just one page, great, but there’s no hard rule that says it has to be just one page. If you need two pages to sell yourself effectively, go for it!

Cover Letter?

  • If you want to have a cover letter, keep it short! Have it state your areas of interest.
  • Never include anything in your cover letter that is not contained in your resume.

Cover letters should be used when you are soliciting your resume to a company to show your interest in the organization and the opportunity and to add additional information relating to your transferable skills and the direction of your career goals

Customize your resume for the position:

Be as specific as possible. Today’s employers want people with specific skills, so that they can hit the ground running. Be specific about the skills you possess that are in line with the requirements for the role

If you want to grab hiring managers’ attention, you need to give them what they want. You must take the time to tailor your resume to each employer and its goals to strengthen your chance of getting noticed

If you’re submitting your resume to an employer that doesn’t have an advertised opening, research the company and find out how they would benefit from bringing you on board. Once you determine your top-selling qualifications, you will be ready to customize your resume to meet the employer’s needs. The most efficient way to create customized resumes is to develop one general resume and then tweak it for each particular job opportunity. Follow these steps:


  • The purpose of this section is to tell the employer what position you are looking for
  • Opt for a concise, targeted statement instead of a general objective that could be for any employer or job
  • An Objective like, “To become a software engineer for 123 Company’s Web services group,” makes the hiring manager’s job much easier and brings you closer to getting called for the interview.
  • Your objective should be a maximum of two lines.

Career Highlights / Qualifications / Accomplishments

A customized section of your resume that lists key achievements, skills, traits, and experience relevant to the position for which you are applying

Highlight your relevant experience and let the prospective employer know that you have taken the time to create a resume that shows how you are qualified for the job

Modify the Qualifications Summary in your resume as follows: omit statements that aren’t important for the position’s specific goals, adjust the summary, so that statements relevant to the position are listed first and add information about your credentials that are uniquely applicable to the position and employer

Qualify and Quantify your achievements in either percentages or revenue increased/or saved

Employment History

Many employers go directly to the Employment History section to assess yur qualifications

Review your job descriptions and modify your duties and accomplishments pertaining to the opening

Present an honest account of your employment history, but describe your experience to highlight your work tasks and achievements that relate to the job you’re applying for

Place these pertinent qualifications at the top of the description, or use bullets surrounded by white space to make them stand out


Review the job posting and determine what skills the employer wants in an ideal candidate

Emphasize your related/relevant skills in your resume’s skills section

Begin your list with the skills that would be of most interest to the employer How not to end up in the “No” Pile

Companies can receive over 100’s of resumes for a single job. They are looking to quickly weed out those candidates who they think right off the bat wouldn’t be a good fit

Make sure you have the specific attributes they are looking for front and centre presented in the most compelling way possible, or you’ll quickly find yourself in the no pile

Adhere to the following Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s and Don’ts…

Proofread your resume, use spell-check or have someone edit your resume to ensure there are no spelling/grammatical errors

Be truthful about your experience, roles and responsibilities and employment dates-do not exaggerate your abilities

Ensure that your contact information is current and is on every page

Include community service /volunteer work if it is relevant to the opportunity that you are applying for DO NOT USE THE PRONOUN “I”. For your current role, use adjectives that are in the conditional tense: example: Resolving various customer service issues For your previous roles, use adjectives that are in the past tense: example: Spearheaded a review process to ensure all issues were resolved and captured into the database Do not list salary expectations/ references/ religious groups/ political views or irrelevant hobbies Do you not include personal information such as age/sexual orientation/race/religion/ marital status.