Resume Tips

Your Resume Check List

Before you submit that resume, have a 2nd and a 3rd look. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help you with your resume submission.

  • Your name (first and last) is bolded on the first page, followed by contact information (town/city, country, phone, email, linkedin) in a smaller font.  On subsequent pages include your name, email and phone number in a smaller font at the top of the resume.
  • Do not include personal information like:  marital status, children, father’s name (yes I have seen it on resumes), passport number or SIN number.
  • How long is your Professional Profile.  Keep it to 1 paragraph, 5 to 6 sentences and possibly a couple of bullets.  Make sure they highlight the skills you have that match the job you are applying for.  A 1-page profile will lose the interest of the recruiter after about the 5th line.  Keep it short and concise.
  • Is your Education listed with the highest degree on the top, followed by certifications and training in reverse chronological order
  • If you are applying for a technical position.  This is a good spot to list your most current technologies.  Needless to say if there are specific technical skills in the job ad and you have them, then put them in here so they will stand out.
  • The next section should be your Professional Experience.  Again the jobs should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the most current position first.
  • Do your achievements start with action words:  Develop, Create, Built, Performed, Managed, Coordinated, etc.  Here is a webpage with 100’s of action words or just type “List of Action Words” in Google.
  • NEVER NEVER NEVER start a sentence with “I” or “your name”.
    • “John created a test plan and test cases” or “I created a test plan and test cases” should become
    • Created a test plan and test cases.
  • Put your keywords from the job ad in your achievements as often as you can.  If the job is looking for someone who has worked on an “on-line banking system”  then say so.
    • Created detailed test plans for the CIBC On-line Banking System using Mercury Tools
  • If you notice that it is taking you a long time to read your resume, then it is probably too long, cut it down to 2 or 3 pages.  You can always put in a line that says
    • Detailed job information from 1999 and back is available upon request.
  • Hobbies – not needed on the resume.  This is a question that may come up at the interview to get the conversation going.  Be careful what you tell them.  Reading, Golf, Skiing, etc are probably good topics of conversation.  Telling your interviewer that you like to go to the casino every Saturday night might set off some warning bells for him.
  • References – don’t go on the resume, in fact don’t even put in the line “references available upon request”, that’s a known.
  • Take out the graphics, logos, graphs, pictures.
  • Don’t include a letter from your mother, yes it has happened.
  • Don’t lie on your resume, this is a legal document.
  • Have someone proofread it, have them read the job ad as well.

Do you have a Professional Profile on your Resume?

You must admit resumes are pretty boring reading, especially when that is what you do all day.  Recruiters and HR employees read through 100’s of resumes a day.  OK, read!!!  maybe more like scan.  That is if you are lucky enough to get past their ATS (Applicant Tracking System).  Now you have to grab their attention while they are doing their 10 second scan of your resume.  Sometimes I think Recruiters and HR employees can scan faster than their computer systems. The Professional Profile is the easiest way to entice them to actually read your resume.

The Professional Profile appears right under your name and contact information.  What makes a good professional profile:

  • Keep it short:  one or two sentences giving a brief synopsis of your experience; followed by 3 or 4 small bullets of specific detail related to the actual job description if necessary
  • Use key words from the job description.  If they are looking for a Java Developer, don’t put in the profile that you started out as a Cobol Programmer
  • Years of experience in your field
  • If they are looking for a specific degree or certificate and you have it, put it in a bullet in your profile
Action words in your profile will give it a little more zing:
  • boosted sales by 23%
  • implemented an employee incentive program
  • set up a new data centre
  • maintained 200 desktops
  • converted a 1000 desk data centre from windows to
  • increased production
  • decreased customer service calls
Detail not to put in your profile include:
  • personal information, ie hobbies, number of children, marital status – you get the point.  Truthfully this information doesn’t even need to be on your resume
  • opinions about anything,
  • that you can work independently, multi task, hard worker, always on time, etc.  These are taken for granted.
  • the word “I”
Finally here is a sample professional profile for an IT position at a financial institution.

Java Developer offering a broad technical background working in the financial industry. This includes 7 years of WebSphere development, 3 years WebSphere portal development and 3 years of WebSphere/WebSphere portal administration experience.  

    • Bachelors of Computer Science from the University of Western Ontario (if degree needed from job description)
    • Certifications include:  (if specified from job description)
    • 4 years experience in building mobile web applications.  (keyword from job description)
    • In-depth experience in software full life cycle and design pattern

A professional profile is just that, a profile, keep it short, to the point and targeting the specific job description you are applying for.  For some more examples check out this webpage


happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting


Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!