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Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Succeeding in the Canadian
job market: building your
resume and beyond!
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Essential elements
A chronological resume must contain (in this order):
 Contact information
 Professional/Career Summary
 Work Experience
 Education/Professional Development
 Where appropriate, you can also add:
 Technical skills
 Volunteer Experience/Community Involvement
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
General guidelines
 Use the past tense - (unless still working)
 Eliminate pronouns - (I, me, my, our, their…)
 Numbers - use # instead of text (“10” instead of “ten”)
 Avoid new fonts or other symbols; your resume should be
uploadable as a non-formatted text document
 Use short punctuated statements, not full sentences
 Suggested length is two pages; one page is ok if you are a
student; three pages is too long
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Professional/Career Summary
Key piece
Your professional identity; may be modified
depending on what role you are applying
for
Use distinctive terms that describe yourself
Start with professional identity; then hard
skills; then soft skills; then overall impact
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Professional/Career Summary
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
Resourceful
Administrative
professional with
extensive
experience providing support to executives and business units.
Able to balance needs of management, provide top-notch
customer service, and maintain confidentiality and schedules with
ease. Proficient in MS Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Utilizes strong organizational, planning, and communication skills
towards improving operational efficiency.
A key player in
continuous improvement and organizational success.
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Professional Experience/Work history
 10-12 years in the past
 Dates only need to be in years
 Set up:
Company, job title, date
Scope sentence
 Accomplishment/achievement statement
 Accomplishment/achievement statement
 Accomplishment/achievement statement
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Accomplishment/achievement statements
Always start with action verb
Should always be in the past unless you are
currently in the position
Always start with the result you achieved
Use numbers/percentages wherever possible
to back up your statements
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Education/Professional Development
No longer need to put dates (but put them if it’s
recent)
Most “senior” educational accomplishment is
listed first, regardless of when you got it
Further education or training is then listed in
chronological order from the most recent
backwards
Keep it RELEVANT
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Volunteer Experience
Can give you an added edge in today’s job
market
Employers looking for ‘socially responsible’
employees
Shows additional experience or skills
Shows interests beyond work
Same rules as work experience (past 10-12
years)
Setup: Organization, role, dates
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Personal interests/hobbies
Nobody cares…unless it has some
connection to the job you’re applying
to. If they have no relevance, take them
off your resume.
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
References
Should not be on your resume
3-6 standard
Think outside of the obvious
Let your reference’s know what job you are
interviewing for…before the interview
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Chronological vs Functional
Which one to use?
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Functional resume
Not always popular but can get your foot in the door
Set up:
Contact info
Professional summary
Areas of expertise (maximum 3; make
them relevant)
Work experience (one-liners)
Education/Training, etc.
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Resume questions?
Jennifer Gerves-Keen, Professional
Facilitator & Coach
Cover letters
Never more than one page
Should open with hook sentence
Refer to sample
Follow-up
Jennifer Gerves-Keen,
Professional Facilitator & Coach
Informational Interviews
 Dual track (decision makers and others who do the
job)
 Do not ask for a job!
 Use each “interview” to get contacts for the next
one
 Do your research…go with good questions that
show your knowledge
 Start ‘wide’, then narrow down
 Be sure to ask to stay in touch; helps increase your
network
 Keep a log to remember everyone
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