Constructing a Resume

When you construct your resume, consider the following formatting tips:

The Header

  • Should contain full name and all necessary contact information. Provide at least one phone number. If you have a cell phone, give that number. Provide an acceptable e-mail address.

Objective or Qualifications Summary

  • Some resumes have an Objective category. This may be useful in a sales position. Otherwise, it is probably more useful to have a Qualifications Summary category. In other words, take the opportunity to summarize what qualifications you have, that make you a proper candidate for the job and beyond that, the best candidate for the job.

Work Experience

  • Always include your most recent work experience at the top.
  • Always include all relevant or related experience, no matter how old.
  • Avoid long gaps in work history. If you have large gaps, try to include a description of any kind of related job or experience during that time somewhere on your resume.
  • If you’ve had many job changes or short stints at jobs, be sure to explain why, such as it was a contract job, relocation or whatever the reason.


  • Certain jobs take education under consideration more than others. Include information on diplomas/degrees/relevant programs or training and awards received.


  • Try to ensure that your listed skills match the skills that are required, and beneficial, for the job. These include knowledge of specific business software, computer skills, even specific tasks that you know the job you are applying for will require.

If you’re looking for more ideas as to the structure or format of your resume try the following:

  • resume books at a local library
  • search on the Internet – You can find websites that offer free resume formatting ideas (but don’t expect these websites to do the actual work for you!)
  • invest in a career counsellor.
  • ask friends, who are in your desired occupation, review your resume.
  • seek help from governmental agencies in your area which offer free career resources including resume review. Also, enquire about the possibility of free or subsidized career counselling.

Finally, keep your resume short (ideally 1 – 2 pages), visually appealing, easy to read, and accompanied by an appropriate cover letter. Triple spell check!

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