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Writing Winning Resumes – Marketing Your Professional Self. Student Resource Centre Student Employment Services. Workshop Outline. Student Employment Services Purpose of a Resume Considerations Types of Resumes Presentation and Formatting Tips Employability Skills Organizing Your Resume.

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Writing winning resumes marketing your professional self

Writing Winning Resumes – Marketing Your Professional Self

Student Resource Centre

Student Employment Services

Workshop outline
Workshop Outline

  • Student Employment Services

  • Purpose of a Resume

  • Considerations

  • Types of Resumes

  • Presentation and Formatting Tips

  • Employability Skills

  • Organizing Your Resume

Student employment services
Student Employment Services

Supports students with their search for


  • Resource materials

  • Workshops (Student Success)

  • Resume critiques

  • Job postings on the myMacEwan Student portal (Student Services & Student Employment Services)

  • www.macewan.ca/jobs

    • Employment Services for Students

Why write a resume
Why Write A Resume?

  • To persuade your readers that you are the best person for the job – a self-marketing tool

  • To construct a professional image of yourself and establish your credibility

  • To provide a sample of your written communication skills

  • To peak a recruiter’s interest so that they want to find out more about you

  • To sell your skills, experience and accomplishments that are relevant to the position you are applying for

A winning resume
A Winning Resume

  • Employers use resumes as a screening device. You have about 20 seconds to make a positive impact.

  • Recruiters will use a variety of criteria to make their stack of resumes a little smaller. Spelling errors and length are two common mistakes.

Owed to a spell chequer
Owed to a Spell Chequer

Eye halve a spelling chequer

It came with my pea sea.

It plainly marques, four my revue

Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

It’s letter perfect awl the weigh,

My chequer told me sew.

How not to present your professional self
How Not to Present your Professional Self

  • “Worked party-time as an office assistant”

  • “Typing speed of 40-50 rpm”

  • “Assisted with murders and acquisitions”

  • “I have lurnt WP 6.0 computor and spreadsheet programs”

  • “Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year”

  • “Manged an office of ten persons”

  • “I was working with my Mom until she decided to move”

  • “Marital Status: Single. Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved”


  • The longer your resume is, the greater the risk that it will not be understood or even read entirely

  • Competition for good jobs results in a high volume of resumes and applications

  • It takes a trained, well-disciplined recruiter to give the same consideration to the last application as the first

    Source: You’re Hired!” Job Search Strategies for the 90’s.

Types of resumes
Types of Resumes

There are three common types of resumes:

  • A chronological resume emphasizes dates in reverse order, duties of jobs and highlights a steady work history

  • A functional resume emphasizes related skills and abilities

  • A combination resume emphasizes jobs and skills. It clearly lists relevant skill areas and presents a fuller picture of your strengths

Delivery methods
Delivery Methods

Think about your job-search strategy and make some decisions about current resume technologies.

  • Traditional print resumes

  • Scannable resumes

  • On-line web resumes

  • Research what is current in the industry you are targetting

Presenting your information
Presenting Your Information

  • Think not of yourself, but your professional self

  • Targetyour resume to the job you are applying for

  • Present information in easy-to-read categories

  • Use headings to help skimmers find what they are looking for

  • Use details to convince skeptics you really have the qualifications you say you do

  • Validatethe employability skills identified by the Conference Board of Canada

Conference board of canada employability skills
Conference Board of CanadaEmployability Skills

  • Communication Skills

  • Thinking and Decision-Making Skills

  • Positive Attitude and Behaviors

  • Flexibility and Adaptability

  • Time-Management Skills

  • Organizational Skills

  • Teamwork Skills

A targeted resume
A Targeted Resume

  • A targeted resume addresses the employer’s need for a specific skills set

  • The resume content includes experience and accomplishments that are relevant to the targeted skill(s)

  • It quickly demonstrates to the employer that you are a good match for the position


  • Review the top employability skills

  • Identify areas that you feel you can demonstrate through life, work and your recent educational experience

  • Refer to a specific job ad that you are interested in. Highlight the skills required. Assess the fit.

Designing your resume
Designing Your Resume

  • Top 10 Visual Appeal Tips

  • Place your strategic selling features within the visual centre

  • Place supporting information below it

  • Less important material goes at the bottom of the page

Take note
Take Note….

  • Beware of appearing single-dimensional

  • Many companies appreciate generalist skills, especially small- to medium-sized companies where you are often expected to wear many hats

  • By eliminating broad-based, value-added skills, you may appear less qualified in comparison with other candidates



  • Your name should be one of the focal points

  • Include anywhere from 3 to a maximum of 8 data bits to your header

  • Examples: name, address, residence phone, business phone, cellular phone, fax, personal e-mail, business web-page

  • A word about email addresses & voice mail messages

Objective or focus statement
Objective or Focus Statement

  • Should focus on the employer’s needs

  • Make it work-centered, not self-centered

  • Direct your writing toward what the employer wants and how you can give it to them

Three key pieces of information to include in your objective
Three Key Pieces of Information to Include in Your Objective

1) The position you want

2) The key skills that qualify you

3) The benefits or value to an employer


  • Marketing research position that will use my strengths in demographic research and analysis to target, develop and maintain a dominant market share for your company.

  • Retail buyer with impressive record contributing to gross margin improvement, comparable store sales and product development.

  • Human Resources graduate with internship experience in training and compensation and benefits. Strong analytical skills and knowledge of budgeting and planning. Seeking an entry-level HR generalist position.

Not this
Not This….

Challenging position with a dynamic, growth- orientated company that will lead to advancement opportunities.

Title statement
Title Statement

  • You can quickly convey your job focus with a short noun phrase, known as a title statement

  • Centre it below the header of your resume

  • This technique is clean, gets across your point and saves you one or two lines of space


2321 180 Street Residence: 780 469-6283

Edmonton, AB T6A 2B1 Cellular: 780 235-6327

[email protected]


Qualifications summary
Qualifications Summary

  • Provides a concise, easy-to-read summary of your skills and qualifications at the visual centre of the resume

  • Three to five points that include a balance of

    • Hard skills

      • Technical training & knowledge base & experience

    • Soft skills

      • Teamwork, communication, initiative

Alternate names for qualification skills summary
Alternate Names for Qualification Skills Summary

  • Accomplishments

  • Background

  • Career Summary

  • Chronology

  • Highlights

  • Professional Profile

  • Skills Summary

  • Strengths

  • Features and Benefits

Skills section s
Skills Section(s)

  • A Skills section works well for people in career transition, those with unrelated industry experience or limited paid experience, or no recent work history

  • It avoids redundant job descriptions from employer to employer

  • Use sub-headings to outline up to a half dozen skill areas that reflect your talents and strengths

Skills section s1
Skills Section(s)

  • Focus on skills relevant to the position you are

    applying for i.e. transferable skills

  • For each key skill area, think of several accomplishments

  • Use action words to begin each statement i.e. prepared, developed, created, researched…


  • Place this section within the visual centre of your resume if received within the past three years and is related to your profession

  • Once you have gained relevant experience, place below your experience

  • When decades have passed… place at the bottom and eliminate dates of graduation

If education is your biggest selling point and even if it s not
If Education is Your Biggest Selling Point (and even if it’s not) …

  • Elaborate

  • Can also include current and related credentials, certificates and licenses

  • Treat your education like work experience

For example
For Example: it’s not) …


Management Studies Diploma, Insurance and Risk Management

Major, 2003 – 2005

Grant MacEwan College, Edmonton, AB

Course work highlights: accounting, business law, personal property

insurance, liability insurance, claims and risk management

Field Placement (170 hours): Allstate Insurance

Provided excellent customer service while taking the lead on three client files

Honours: The Co-operators Scholarship

Based on academic achievement and the demonstration of leadership

Co-curricular activities: Planning Committee for the Student Business

Conference. Member of the International Business Association. Student

mentor for first-year business students.

Demonstrating and validating your skills
Demonstrating and Validating Your Skills it’s not) …

  • Many recruiters have indicated that new grads are expected to demonstrate and validate the following:

    good communication and interpersonal skills

    ability to function as a team player and to take initiative

    adaptability, flexibility, motivation and a positive attitude

  • How do you show this?

    • By specific examples integrated into your resume and cover letter. Where/when did you demonstrate these skills?

Skills developed as part of your educational experience
Skills Developed as Part of Your Educational Experience it’s not) …

Research, writing and organizational skills

  • Writing essays and term papers

    Analytical skills and critical thinking

  • Examining case studies, conducting lab experiments, participating in class projects

    Team Work

  • Group projects

Skills developed as part of your educational experience1
Skills Developed as Part of Your Educational Experience it’s not) …

Communication skills, time-management

skills, flexibility and the ability to set goals

  • Volunteering, working at part-time and summer jobs

    Initiative and leadership skills

  • Involvement in campus activities

  • Participation on committees where you have held a position or title

Incomplete diploma
Incomplete Diploma it’s not) …

  • Present as a Diploma Program: Accounting and Strategic Measurement, Grant MacEwan College

  • Accounting and Strategic Measurement program – completed 3 terms of the diploma program before accepting an accounting training opportunity with…

Work experience
Work Experience it’s not) …

Position title Dates

Company, Location

  • accomplishment/achievement, skills used woven in with duties

    For example…

    Server Oct. 2007 - present

    Moxie's, Edmonton, AB

  • Demonstrated excellent communication and interpersonal skills while delivering exemplary customer service

Awards and honours
Awards and Honours it’s not) …

  • Consider the impact before deciding where to place this section

  • If related to your career objective, place near visual centre

  • If limited to community work, position near the bottom

  • If only one, weave it into the Qualifications Summary

Interests hobbies activities
Interests/Hobbies/Activities it’s not) …

  • Recruiters want to know who you really are and whether you will fit in with their team/workplace/corporate culture

  • It should support your candidacy – if it doesn’t, leave it out

Examples it’s not) …

  • Travel experiences

  • Language skills

  • Athletic abilities

  • Involvement in team sports

  • Musical/theatrical/performance abilities

  • Favourite reading material

  • Unusual experiences

  • Special interests

Important it’s not) …

  • If you use an Interest category, make sure it is,

    indeed, of interest and supports your professional image

  • If it reads like the one below and you’re not applying to work as a seniors’ activity co-ordinator, rework or eliminate it


  • Member of Bonnie Doon Bowling Team

  • Play clarinet

  • Enjoy gardening, canning and knitting

Prune prune prune
Prune, prune, prune… it’s not) …

  • Resumes should be no more than 2 pages

  • Ask yourself, “Does this information support or detract from my candidacy?”

  • Omit information that does not support your skills for the position

  • Weed out personal pronouns

References it’s not) …

  • List on a separate sheet of paper – bring to your interview UNLESS the recruiter requests references be included with your resume

  • Minimally three

    • Professional

      • Supervisors

      • Instructors

      • Field Placement Supervisors

  • Include name, professional title, contact information

  • Ask permission…first!

  • Keep your references updated about your job search

Resumes… it’s not) …

  • Should include only relevant information about your professional self for specific employers.

  • Should be re-written and updated often – like a career, a resume is a work-in-progress.

  • Must include research, planning, questioning and self-reflection as part of the process.

Remember it’s not) …

  • Language is powerful

  • Lead with your strengths

  • Show what you know

On the human chessboard, all moves count. it’s not) …

Miriam Scheff

Thank you
Thank You it’s not) …

Patti Albert, Student Advisor

Room 121, SRC, South Campus


[email protected]

Rita J Kolpak, Student Advisor

Room 7-112, SRC, City Centre Campus


[email protected]