Résumé Writing FAQs


What should I include in my résumé?

Make sure you include each of the following in your résumé:

  • Contact information, including professional email address
  • Work history (most recent experience first)
  • Skills and accomplishments
  • Education and other training or professional development


Include the following if you feel they strengthen your résumé:

  • Professional affiliations
  • Volunteer and community work
  • Awards and honours
  • Publications
  • Presentations


How can I ensure my résumé reflects what I am capable of doing?

Focus on your accomplishments—what you actually did—rather than just describing duties of your jobs.

Highlight the transferable skills you have gained from your education, work, and volunteer experience that are relevant to the position.

Use action verbs to start each bullet, then quantify and qualify as much as possible:

Initial statement: “Responsible for creating a back-safety training program.”
Improved statement: “Created a back-safety training program for 15 employees that resulted in a 75% decrease in back-related injuries within the first year.”



How can I make my experience and skills stand out?

Ensure that the experience, skills, and abilities you include in your résumé match what is listed in the job posting. This is the key to making it through the initial candidate screening.

Consider using a profile or highlights section—think of it like an “executive summary” for your résumé. This grabs the reader’s attention and focuses immediately on what you have to offer.

Ideal information for a profile or highlights section:

  • Years of experience in your field
  • Broad statements of your accomplishments, expertise, strengths, or specialization
  • Your personal attributes that strengthen your candidacy
  • Important or unique skills you have, like language skills, technical skills, computer skills
  • Certifications, licenses, specialized training


Should I include a cover letter?

Yes. While a cover letter is often optional, it is proper business etiquette to include one. The cover letter is also an opportunity to enhance your application.

The cover letter allows you to

  • introduce yourself to the Hiring Manager 
  • outline why you are well-suited to the position, in a more natural voice
  • introduce a topic in your letter and point to your résumé for more detail



Interview  FAQs

How can I prepare for the interview?

  • Review the posting. Take note of the skills, experience, and competencies outlined. These will give you clues about the topics of questions.
  • Expect that you will be asked about how your experience, education, and training qualify you for the position you are interviewing for. Plan what you are going to say.
  • Write down how you would answer each potential question
  • Practice! Try it out loud! You can do this alone or with a friend or co-worker or family member. Record yourself on video, and practice until you look comfortable and confident.


What kinds of questions will be asked during the interview?

  • Covers basic/technical knowledge required to perform the duties of the position
  • Describe your understanding of (SUBJECT).
  • Covers hypothetical job-related situations that focus on relevant qualifications
  • If you were asked to (SUBJECT), how would you respond? Describe the steps you would take.
  • Covers how candidates handled past situations that are similar to ones encountered on the job
  • Tell us about a time ...
  • Covers how you demonstrated the competency being asked
  • Give an example of how you demonstrated attention to ...


What is the best way to answer a behavioural question?

An effective way to prepare for potential behavioural interview questions—and to keep yourself focused during the interview—is to remember the acronym STAR. Your answer will be most effective and complete if you touch on all four aspects of STAR:

Situation: Describe the circumstances of the situation so the interviewers have context. Be concise.
Task:    Specify your role within that situation. What was it that you were responsible for?
Action:  Outline the steps you took to address the situation. What were your actions?
Result:  Discuss the outcome of the situation and any lessons learned. What happened as a result of the actions you took?


Once you have determined possible topics of interview questions, think of examples from your experience. Plan your answers using the STAR technique.


What should I do when I get an interview?

  • If you need any accommodations, let the interviewers know in advance.
  • Prepare questions you can ask during the interview. This can help show you are serious about the job and have researched the position. It can also add to your understanding of the work.
  • If you are not offered the job, consider asking for an interview debrief. You can learn how you did in the interview and how you might better prepare for the next one.