What is a Resume?

A resume is a professional document that outlines your employment background and highlights your skills and relevant experience. This is a marketing tool for you. It is your opportunity to tell a potential employer why you are a strong candidate for the job. 

Once you have designed a resume, it will take you to the next step of the employment process – securing an interview, which is one step closer to landing the job.

Follow the helpful resume tips below, developed courtesy of our friends at Opportunities for all Youth. This resume builder gives you a sense of the “do’s” and “don’ts” of what employers look for in a candidate’s resume so you can put your best foot forward.  

Key Sections to Include in your Resume


Name and Contact Information – This is to ensure hiring managers know the best way to reach you.

Summary Statement – Include one or two statements that describe who you are and the kind of opportunity that you are looking for.

Skills Snapshot – Provide a short list of the skills and strengths that you have gained from your previous experiences.

Professional Experience – List your professional experiences, starting with your most current role, and include notes on your responsibilities and accomplishments for each. 

Education/Professional Development – Highlight your formal education (i.e. high school) and ‘informal’ education (i.e. courses and workshops). 

Extra-Curricular – List any other relevant experiences, such as volunteering, awards, and achievements that you are proud of.

Resume Do’s and Don’ts


Begin your resume with a summary statement that captures who you are and what you are looking for. Use reverse chronological order when highlighting your experience (work, volunteer, extra curricular). Most current first then work back.  


Discuss your accomplishments as well as your responsibilities to really showcase your skills. Start each statement with an action word like coordinated, supported, serviced, to paint a picture for the employer of you doing.


Include all your educational undertakings, such as any workshops you attended and online certificates and courses you completed. Employers want to see that you continually develop your skills and experience.


Incorporate key words from the job posting in your resume. Employers are often looking for a key set of skills or experience and will include that in the job posting. If you match those skills and experiences, make sure to mention it in your resume.


Don’t exceed more than two pages. Be concise to not lose the reader. Avoid using a small font to get in more information, or extra-large font to make it appear like there is more than there really is.  


Don’t include personal pronouns like I, me, they, and their, as it takes away from the professional tone of the document. For example, instead of writing ‘I helped my customers find…’ you can write ‘Helped customers find…’


Don’t use an email address with nicknames or phrases that might lead the potential employer to make assumptions about you. Remember,  professionalism is key. Use an email that has your name in it, so it's clear who they are emailing. 


Don’t include any personal information above personal contact details. You are legally protected in Canada from having to add a picture and personal details, such as height, marital status, birth year, ethnicity, and others.