Finding a Summer Job - Step 3: Create a Winning Résumé


Step 3: Create a Winning Résumé

A résumé is a necessary part of applying for a summer job. Along with an accompanying cover letter it will provide an employer with a concise glimpse of who you are and what you can bring to their organization. Every résumé is a marketing piece that should be tailored to each specific job and do exactly what you want it to do – which is to get you a job interview!

Potential employers will quickly skim your résumé for about 20 seconds. Electronic scanning equipment, if used, will do it in a fraction of that time. Only if your résumé makes a strong first impression will the reader decide to go through it entirely. It is extremely important for you to clearly indicate what you are looking for and what you have to offer. The objective is to convince the employer that they should contact you for an interview, which is where you get to shine.

What to Include in Your Résumé

Every résumé should include the following:

Heading – written out at the top of the page, it should include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. This is how the employer will contact you for an interview, so it is important that this information be up-to-date.

Job Objective – best used at the beginning of your résumé if you know what position you are interested in. The goal of a job objective is to tell the employer what you want to do and what you are looking for within their organization. Make sure that you keep it clear and precise (ideally should be no more than a dozen words). Remember that if you do decide to use a job objective, tailor it specifically for each job you are applying for.

Summary of Qualifications – may be used instead of a job objective if you are interested in applying for a range of positions. If you choose to go this route, it should appear at the beginning of your résumé after the Header. Your summary of qualifications should generally be two or three sentences in length, and used to highlight your skills or achievements that are relevant to the potential job.

Related Work Experience – ultimately the most important part of your résumé, it shows the employer that you have the skills and experience they need. If you have little or no formal work experience, then include volunteer work, co-op placements or school projects and activities.

Education – list all secondary and post-secondary schools you have attended, in reverse chronological order. Make sure you list the dates when you finished attending each school. State your major and list any courses that might be particularly relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Résumé Accessories – can add to, and make your résumé stand out by adding a few extras such as awards and honours, or hobbies, memberships in relevant clubs or groups, and other interests. It shows the employer a little bit about your personality. However try not to go overboard. You don’t want this section to take away from your work experience and education.

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