Developing Your Résumé

Most people have high expectations of their résumé writing skills.  It can’t be that hard to write a page or two about yourself – right?


After sitting down to a blank screen, job seekers often realize that they could benefit from a bit of help.

Most people don’t get a lot of practice developing their résumés; and like any skill, résumé writing skills improve with guidance and practice.  If you decide you would like help developing your résumé, consider the following three resources:

  1. Books and websites
    1. These are good options if your critical thinking and research skills are strong and you learn best by reading
  2. Online résumé writing course
    1. This is a good option if you’re a hands-on learner and like completing tasks, as well as reading and following step-by-step instructions
  3. Employment counsellors or résumé writers
    1. This is a good option if you learn best by listening and if you would like to have someone provide you with hands-on help

Case Study

Dave contacted an organization to arrange for help developing his résumé.  He wanted to be prepared for his first meeting, so after he booked the appointment, he did some research online, worked through an online résumé writing course and completed several self-assessments.

At the first meeting, Dave was able to tell the counsellor the style of résumé he preferred.  He was also able to give her a list of his technical and transferable skills and personal traits.  He provided a summary of all his past jobs, including the skills he gained and his accomplishments.  Dave also had a written summary of his education and training, as well as copies of the self-assessments he completed.

By participating, he really felt like he was a partner in the process and he learned a lot about managing his own résumé.   Going forward, he was able to target his résumé to each employer.  He was even able to expand his résumé by adding new skills, experiences and training.