Metro Learning Curve





michelle novielli/for metro toronto

Resumé advice abounds.

Employers receive stacks of resumés from job-hungry students, so if yours doesn’t make the grade, chances are you won’t even be considered for an interview.

But before you begin your resumé, it helps to know yourself, advises Aino Lokk, an employment counsellor at Ryerson University’s Career Centre. “By doing a self-assessment, students can get a sense of what their own skills and capabilities are, and then determine how they relate to the position they’re applying for.”

Next, research your career field and prospective employers using the Internet, business directories and annual reports. “The last thing you want to do is rush into a resumé without taking time to think about who you’re selling to and what they’re looking for,” Lokk says.

Generally, resumés should be broad-based. “Students don’t just want to concentrate on school,” she says. “A resumé should contain a mix of extra-curricular activities, clubs, and student groups.”

Also include all your work history, even if it doesn’t relate to your program of study. “Employers want to see the specific skills exhibited in job duties, not just a simple list of the duties themselves.”

Under the education section, you may wish to highlight information about specific class projects and assignments, or any career-related conferences or seminars where you gained information about your field.

Volunteer experience on a resumé is a great way for students to show career skills and demonstrate their work-related ethics.

Tammy Caroe, a staffing specialist with Manpower Employment Agency who receives thousands of resumes from students, considers attention to detail a key factor. “Something as simple as putting dates for previous employment is often left out,” she says. Some applicants even fail to include personal contact information, such as an e-mail address.

Grammar is also a big issue for Caroe, who says she can instantly pick out a rushed resumé. “Taking the time to actually read and edit what you wrote makes a huge difference.”