Resume Tips: How to get your dream job- write a strong resumé

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Are you trying to land your dream job? I am. I want to be a magazine editor and, in the past four months, I’ve made a huge leap in progress.

I’ve loved writing all my life and, for half of that, I knew I wanted to be an editor too (you know, have a salary to depend on while keeping the creative juices flowing). This series will help you get your foot in the door.

It all starts with the resumé. Actually, it starts before the resumé. If it’s not too late, get involved in extra-curricular activities in school, or volunteer work. Employers like to see your dedication.

Using tips from a professional publisher, I recently revamped my resumé. Here are some tips to help you structure yours.

Personal information

Create a header at the top of the page and provide your name, address, phone number and email. Setting your personal information off from the rest of the text allows  potential employers to easily identify your resumé and reach you. It also adds a rather professional look!

Do not have an “objective” section

This is what your cover letter is for. Your resumé should be only one page and this wastes precious space!

Education

If you are a recent graduate, education should be the first item on your resumé. List your post-grad work and then your university degree or college diploma.

Experience

First list your related experience and then other experiences in a separate section. Your resumé should demonstrate a hierarchy.

List the name of your job position, the time spent there, the location and, if there’s room, add a couple descriptors of your achievements. You can always elaborate on the relevant experience in your cover letter.

Related experience

I want to be a writer and magazine editor, so I listed any experience I have with magazines, newspapers and writing. This is not the space to list your summer job at Taco Bell (unless you’re applying for the position of head manager, of course!).

Other experience

Now you can mention any jobs you’ve recently held. They may not be relevant to your field of interest, but they show that another employer has shown interest in you and that you committed to that job or employer for a certain period of time. Many skills are transferable, as well, so employers may want you to expand on these experiences in an interview.

Awards

This is a great place to provide a short bullet list of your proudest or most relevant achievements.

Interests

A simple line of hobbies separated by commas allows your potential employer to understand your personality and interests.

References

It’s up to you whether or not you want to write, “References available upon request,” or provide the names and numbers.

Resumé design

Once your resumé is complete, save it as a PDF. My design teacher reports that a surprising number of employers will disregard a resumé sent as a Word document.

“Please don’t put your resumé in Arial or Times New Roman font,” a student in the human resources program at Sheridan College said. “Everyone uses them—they’re so boring. I see too many resumés a day…if a resumé doesn’t catch my eye in the first 15 seconds, I’m not interested.”

Go to Page 2 for a basic resumé template and stay tuned for further instalments of the How to get your dream job series. Up next: How to write a cover letter.

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About the author

Marisa Baratta loves writing, especially about topics pertaining to environmental change, animal issues, human rights and health. She loves helping others and wants to make a positive difference in the world. She is always working on publishing her books, which seek to inspire and incite laughter. She has been published in the National Post, t.o. night newspaper and on several online magazines. She completed a BA with a specialization in English and a bilingual certificate before studying Book and Magazine Publishing at Centennial College. She lives with her family and two cats (can you spot one of them in the picture?).