Hydrocephalus Canada

Choosing a Career - Activity #5

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Resume Writing and How To Get Help


Personal Data

This information should be limited to your name, address and phone number.

Objective:  A statement about the type of position you are seeking and tailored specifically to the position to which you are applying.

Past Work Experience

This section should generally include the following information:
• Title of the position you held
• Name of the organization that you worked for
• Responsibilities of your position
• Dates of your employment
• Particular accomplishments while in the position


This section should highlight the particular education you posses along with a description of any additional training that you may have completed along the way including:
• Names and city  of the schools you attended
• Licence, diploma, degree or certificates you have earned
• Supplementary training
• Areas you feel you are specialized in
• Additional courses you have taken that would contribute an understanding of the position you are applying for

Personal Information

Include personal information such as:
• Volunteer work you are (or have been) involved with
• Any awards you have received
• Leisure activities including clubs or association you might be belong to

Presentation of your Resume

There are two different ways of organizing your resume, chronologically and functionally.

The Chronological Format

It lists the occupation that you have held in order from your most recent position and proceeds backward in time.  This format is preferable when:
• Remained in different position for a length of time
• Worked without too many interruptions since leaving school
• Achieved promotions or advancements in your area of work and the position you are applying for would be a natural progression on your career path.

The Functional Format

The functional format of a resume highlights your experience in terms of your skills and abilities rather than how or where you acquired them.  This style is preferable when:
• You are a recent graduate and haven’t had too many jobs
• There have been many stops and starts in your employment history due to illness or other reasons
• You have had many positions that have lasted for brief periods only
• Your past position has been in many different career areas.

Describing Your Accomplishments

Keeping in mind employer’s time is most often limited so it is important to present yourself in the most appealing way that grabs the employer’s attention. The verbs in particular that you select will have a great impact with regard to creating a first impression and opening up opportunities to be interviewed.


Consider using some of the following verbs and consider the impact they would have on you if you were the employer and interviewing potential candidates:


Points to consider

• Your resume is one of the most powerful tools you have, to market your strengths and abilities.
• A resume should highlight information about you and your qualifications.
• You need to avoid disclosing information such as political affiliation, religion, disability etc.
• A one or two pages resume is best
• Make sure that your resume looks very professional
• Make sure your document is well laid out with appropriate spacing AND HAS NO ERRORS
• Your goal is to have your information easily found
• Make sure your resume indicates that references will provided upon request
• Have your name address and phone number in easy view on the first page
• Your skills and abilities are ordered in terms of importance

Although there are number of organizations/agencies which specialize in writing resumes and cover letters, you need to choose an organization which has experience in working with people with disability. 

If you receive ODSP, then you can apply for the ODSP Employment Support Program. 

The Employment Support Program provides:

• workshops on looking for work, resumé writing, and preparing for an interview
• referrals to job counselling or training programs
• information on who's hiring
• access to basic education
• access to telephones, faxes, computers and job banks.

You will also have access to a range of employment assistance activities including:

• Education programs
• Job specific skills training
• Literacy screening and training
• Learning, earning and parenting
• Employment placements
• Community placements

In addition, benefits are available to help you with the costs of getting a job such as:

• Vocational assessments
• Training programs
• Travel cost assistance (Public Transit fares) to get to interviews etc.