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How to write a resume that's out of this world

Because your resume shouldn't be a total snooze-fest.


You spend hours pouring over your resume making it look as beautiful as Honey Boo Boo on pageant night and never get a call back. Why?! Studies have shown that a recruiter will spend a whopping 6 seconds looking at your resume before deleting or continuing to read. 6. Whole. Seconds.

So what can you do to sex up your resume? What is a resume supposed to look like anyway? Heck, I’m tired just thinking about it!

The Basics

In a nut shell there are two different types of resume. THE CHRONOLOGICAL (where you put your most recent position at the top of the page and then go backwards in time) and the SKILLS BASED (where you put your relevant skills for the job you’re applying for near the top). The chronological is best if you have the experience relevant for the job you’re applying for. Don’t use the skills based one if you’re already knee deep in your career. The magic of the skills based resume is that you can trick the person who is reading your it into thinking you could potentially do the job you’re applying for. For example – in 2003 you worked as the costume designer for Danny DeVito but since then you’ve been a professional game show contestant and now you want to apply for a job as Cher’s wig maker. Your best bet is to put the DeVito experience at the top of the resume and the rest of your experience tucked away on the second page. Remember you’ve got 6 seconds!

Here’s a link to an example CHRONOLOGICAL RESUME

Here’s a link to an example SKILLS BASED RESUME

The Content 

You must have your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education. Statistically this is the information that recruiters look for. Make that information as easy to read as possible with bolding and underlining. Also date format should be Month, Year – Month, Year. Don’t leave out the months of your tenure as this looks fishy as hell. Also make sure that if they do decide to call you that your number is easy to read – not in some tiny font and have your name and email as a footer on each page. Give them as many ways to contact you as possible, email, LinkedIn URL, address. If there is no address it makes me question if the person is applying from overseas and will waste my time, unless you’ve worked for companies clearly based in Vancouver.

How Long

Two pages are nice, three is fine, four is pushing it, five is too long and one is too short (unless you’ve not worked before). No one wants to be reading your life story when they look over your resume so if you have had tons of jobs then it’s fine to cut the older ones out. There is no value in seeing that you used to wear a hotdog outfit when you were 17; apart from the fact it’s funny. Also don’t try and fluff up experience if you haven’t had much, it’s super obvious.

What to Write

Each job should have a description of your accomplishments in bullet points. Long paragraphs are overwhelming to read, and honestly, no one is even going to bother. Short structured sentenced with POWER WORDS are the best. Describe why you were a rock star in your last role and if you can put this in numbers even better! For example – I improved productivity by 50% whilst cutting costs by 14%. The really important bits you can make bold so they jump out at you. Just keep remembering - 6 seconds. This is a crucial time to look at the job you’re applying to and mirror what they’re asking for in your job descriptions. If the job says you’ll be supervising a team of 5 people make sure you highlight that you supervised people in your last role.

Please Don’t Do This!

Holy mackerel, if I see another resume with Comic Sans font I’m going to cry. And photos – just, no, I don’t care if you look like Cindi Lauper. Jazzy coloured font makes me hit the delete button quicker than lightening. The classic line I see so often is “Greet atttention to detail”. Really, because you’re not showing me that. Spell check the heck outta your resume, then again and get someone to read it, some people even spell their own name or company name wrong. It’s cray, cray! Your email address should be professional, my favourite one that I saw was harryhatestheworld@.... Surprise, surprise didn’t get a job through me. Talking in the third person is obnoxious and some wishy washy objective statement is boring. Don’t make a statement at the top unless it’s all kinds of awesome. It’s ok to add hobbies at the bottom of your resume as long as it’s not something like “Spending lazy afternoons tanning my bits at Wreck Beach”. The nicest looking resumes have a lot of white space, look clean and uncluttered. Arial is a good font as is Helvetica and Calibri.



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