Resume Writing Tips


Your Key to Interview!


Appling for Provincial Government Opportunities.



Purpose of a Resume:

  • Your Key to that Interview.
  • Showcase your.
    1. Knowledge, skills & abilities.
    2. Your experience & accomplishments.
    3. Your education & trainings.


Common Questions:

  • The format and style of the resume.
  • What to include.
  • How long should the resume be.
  • How old/dated experience should I include.
  • Do I customize.
  • Do I include cover letter.
  • We will help address them throughout this presentation.


Style of Resume:

  • Chronological (most preferred) (example further below).
    • Focuses on work history.
    • Recent most job on top.
    • Can help portray career progression.
    • Most used and preferred.
    • Ideal if you have no major gaps in career.
  • Functional/skill based (example further below).
    • Focus on transferable skills.
    • Group key skills and experience related to the job.
    • Most information on skills section.
    • May list work history without details.
    • Used mostly when changing industry/profession.
  • Combination (example further below).
    • Elements of both chronological & functional.
    • Can be used to showcase specialized skills.
    • Transferable skills and details of work history. 



Resume Summary – introduce your relevant experience, achievements, and skills.


Administrative Assistant with 6+ years of experience organizing presentations, preparing facility reports, and maintain the utmost confidentiality.  Possess a B.A. in history and expertise in Microsoft Excel.  Looking to leverage my knowledge and experience as a Project Manager.


Professional Experience – past jobs or relevant experiences (most recent at top). 3-5 descriptive bullets per experience.


Redford & Sons, Boston, MA.

Administrative Assistant, September 2015 – Present.

  • Schedule and coordinate meetings, appointments, and travel arrangements for supervisors and managers.
  • Trained 2 administrative assistants during a period of company expansion to ensure attention to detail and adherence to company policy.
  • Developed new filing and organizational practices, saving the company $3,000 per year in contracted labour expenses.
  • Maintain utmost discretion when dealing with sensitive topics.
  • Manage travel and expense reports for department team members.


Bright Spot Ltd, Boston, MA.

Secretary, June 2011 – August 2015

  • Typed documents, such as correspondence, drafts, memos, and emails, and prepared 3 reports weekly for management.
  • Opened, sorted, and distributed incoming messages and correspondence.
  • Purchased and maintained office supply inventories, and being careful to adhere to budgeting practices.
  • Greeted visitors and determined to whom and then they could speak with specific individuals.
  • Recorded, transcribed and distributed minutes of meetings.


Education – highest degree, school name, and academic honours.


Richer Brook University, Chicago, IL

  • Honors: cum laude (GPA 3.6/4.0)


Additional Skills – relevant technical skills and soft skills (bullet format).


  • Expert in Microsoft Office, with focus in Excel.
  • Bilingual on Spanish and English.
  • Web and tech savy, require little to no training.



Resume Summary – introduce your relevant experience, achievements, and skills.


Experience customer services representative with a proven track record of boosting month-to-month sales. Able to predict, evaluate, and meet the specific needs of a customer while maintaining an efficient work schedule.  Awarded ‘Employee of the Month’ for consistently receiving positive customer feedback.  Seeking to leverage my experience in customer service to fill a Sales Clery position at Blarneys.


Relevant Skills – create skill categories (instead of job titles). 3-5 bullets under each that proves you have the skill.


Customer Service

  • Receive a 95% on customer service feedback surveys on a consistent basis by providing a friendly in-store environment.
  • Enhance the customer experience by providing quality assistance and in-depth product knowledge.
  • Educate customers on up-and-coming brands and the latest fashion trends.


  • Exceeded sales goals on average of 10% for 5 straight months.
  • Upsell customers through the recommendation of products that meet their specific needs.
  • Process 30+ customer transactions a day and factored sales, discounts, and promotions into the final price.


  • Restock and organize new shipments of inventory in a timely manner, cutting average of 2 days off the merchandising process.
  • Develop and create unique displays that attract customers to a desired product.
  • Team worker who is able to adapt in highly dynamic and changing situations in the office.


Work History – short list of past jobs (employer name, job title, years employed).


Ulta, Manhattan, NY


Sales Clerk


GAP, Albany, NY


Sales Representative


Education – highest degree, school name, and academic honours


Associates Degree / Fine Arts

Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY

3.77 GPA



Resume Summary – introduce your relevant experience, achievements, and skills.


A general bookkeeper with 8+ years of experience using both single-entry and double-entry systems for medium-sized businesses. Specialize in performing bookkeeping for multimillion-dollar companies.  Possess expertise in numerous pieces of bookkeeping software.  Identified and eliminated departmental inefficiencies to increase productivity by 15%.


Technical Skills – organize your relevant hard skills (best for senior-level, managerial, or highly skilled job seekers).



  • Corrected spreadsheeted error saving A/P $3,500.
  • Performed financial calculations such as amounts due, interest charges, balances, discounts, equity, and principal for multimillion-dollar company.
  • Certified QuickBooks Accountant.


  • Checked figures, postings, and documents for correct entry, mathematical  accuracy, and proper codes.
  • Performed general office duties such as filing, answering telephones, and handling routine correspondence.
  • Maintained error-free financial books for over 7 years.


Work History – 2-3 relevant jobs highlighting your expertise (skills + accomplishments). 3-5 bullets per job.

General Bookkeeper.

Franklin & Rodgers Business Solutions, Scottsdale, AZ / September 2012-present.

  • Accessed computerized financial information to answer general questions as well as those related to specific accounts.
  • Formulated, prepared, and issued bills, invoices, and account financial statements with 10% increased efficiency to ensure timely deliverable.
  • Trained 3 new administrative assistants and junior bookkeepers.


Administrative Assistant Bookkeeper.

Patton Group, Tempe AZ / June 2010 – August 2012

  • Operated computers programmed with accounting software to record, store, and analyze information.
  • Operated 10-kep calculators, typewriters, and copy machines to perform calculations and produce documents.
  • Matched order forms with invoices, and record the necessary information.


Education – highest degree, school name, and academic honours.


B.S. Accounting – Wilhem University, 2010 – Pheonix, AZ.

A.S. Accounting – Wilhelm University, 2008 – Pheonix, AZ.

Certified Bookkeeper – American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, 2006.


Where Should You Start:

  • Research the organization & department you are applying for.
  • Focus on the posting you want to apply for.
    • Look at the Duties to understand the deliverables of the role.
    • The Qualifications section outlines the experience, skills and abilities required.
  • Understand the Requirements and Assets.
    • Requirements are listed as should have, must have, need to exhibit etc.
    • Assets are listed as good to have, preferably, will be given preference.
  • Practice doing this:
    • Identify what is the job looking for.
    • Do you have that experience/skill.
    • What example/evidence/accomplishment/lived experience you have to support that.
  • Plan what to include in the resume.


Debugging the Job Posting:

Primary Accountability – talks about the position and deliverables.

  • Ask yourself what experience/skill/competency do you have to speak to this.
  • What example/evidence/accomplishment/lived experience you have to support this.


Qualifications and Experience – outlines the experience, skills, and abilities required.

  • Focus on the requirements and assets.
  • Identify your related/transferrable skills.


Equivalency – outlines if you do not have a certain degree/experience what will be considered equivalent and suffice for the application.


Putting Your Pen to Paper:

  • Decide on the style of the resume, Chronological resume is the preferred style for Government of Nova Scotia.
  • The length will depend on individual experience and stage in career.
    • Recommended length 2-3 pages; make sure its legible.
  • Do not just list responsibilities of each role, focus on WHO, WHAT, HOW, OUTCOME.
  • Use action verbs and write the sentences in active voice.
    • Example:
    • Responsible for creating a training program for new employees on wastage reduction.
    • Created a training program for new joiners on wasted reduction.
  • Portray accomplishments and quality where possible.
    • Can be impact, size or complexity of what you did in your role, end results etc.
    • Example:
    • Created a training program for 25 new joiners on factory safety protocol which resulted in 15% reduction in wastage.
  • Put most relevant and impactful points first.


What to Include:

  • Name & Contact Information:
    • A number where you can be reached.
    • An active voice mail.
    • A professional email address.
  • A summary, a brief profile of yourself.
  • Work History:
    • Mention Name of employer, time worked there including Month and Year.
    • Highlight skills , competencies and accomplishments.
  • Education & Training:
    • Formal education.
    • List of relevant training & certifications.
  • Other:
    • License & Professional memberships.
    • Awards, publications .
    • Volunteering experience.


Things You Can Leave Out:

  • Details of very old/dated experience.
  • Details of experience not relevant to the job being applied for.
  • Personal interests/hobbies/passion.
  • Reference (will need to be provided post interview).
  • Career Objective.
  • Trainings not relevant to the job being applied for.


The Don’ts:

  • Include your personal details like age, height, marital status.
  • Include a picture of yourself.
  • Use colorful font, fancy graphics.
  • Use contact information you do not check/use often.
  • Be dishonest.
  • Include personal identifiable information like SIN.
  • Include salary rates.


Cover Letter:

  • Supplements you resume.
  • Format of a formal letter.
  • Address to the Hiring Manager, include name if you know.
  • Mention the position you are applying to.
  • Dated & Signed.
  • One pager preferably.
  • Describe how you are qualified for the role.


Check Before You Apply:

  • Check for typo/dates.
  • Check you referred the right competition in your cover letter.
  • Make sure if you are applying to the right competition.
  • Make sure you customize your resume and cover letter.
  • Have a master resume, edit that to speak to the role you are applying and it separately with the title of job you applied for.