A resume is an important document that reflects your skills, experience and assets. It is a document that summarizes your work and volunteer history, education, skills and accomplishments as they relate to the scholarship or award that you are applying for. Scholarships and awards vary in their eligibility requirements and purpose. Done properly, your resume will highlight your strongest features and favourably demonstrate your suitability to the scholarship or award you are applying for.
Did you know it takes only 10-15 seconds of reading your resume before members of a selection committee make a judgement about you and your suitability? You have only a few seconds to make a good first impression.
Types of Resumes
Which style of resume is best for you?
- Functional: Use this format if you have lengthy gaps in your working history. The strength of this style is that it is brief, well-structured and highlights you skills. However, some people are unfamiliar with this format and they are suspicious of any work history that does not include dates or places of employment.
- Chronological: This is the most familiar format. It is a simple list of jobs and education in reverse chronological order. This style does not always showcase your strongest assets, especially if your most recent employment position is not relevant to the skills you want to highlight in your application.
- Combination: The strength of this format lies in the emphasis placed on transferable skills and your upward mobility.
- Targeted: This resume is customized specifically to highlight the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the scholarship or award that you are applying for. It takes more work to write, but is worth it in the end. Always target your resume for best results.
- Digital: This is a resume created in a digital format such as: pptx’, avi’, jpg, png, gif, pdf, mp3, mov, etc.
Some applicants make videos or online portfolios and include the link on their resume. Others create ambitious full-feature websites where they post their work. When it comes to creating a digital resume the only real limits are your imagination and skill sets. LinkedIn is an easy way to promote your skills and experience online.
For examples of these styles of resumes, please visit Career Services.
What’s in a Resume?
Name and Contact Information:
Include your full name, address, postal code, telephone number and professional-looking e-mail address.
Summary of qualifications:
A concise overview of your qualifications as they relate to the scholarship or award qualifications. Quantify as much as you can. Use 5-8 bullet points. This is your opportunity to make a good first impression.
Determine 3-4 skill sets based on the qualifications of the scholarship or award. Create a summary of your related skills (not limited to one job or experience). Narrow down to the most relevant skills to include in your resume.
- Planned and hosted special event on Campus for 50 students and staff
- Strong computer proficiency in Microsoft Word, account payable, receivable software
- List in reverse chronological order, starting with your current degree (specify expected competition date if still enrolled), followed by your educational institution, location and date of expected graduation.
- Include relevant courses, training or certifications, such as First aid, WHMIS, etc.
Work History: follow the same format as the Education section
For each position state:
Organization name, city, country
Period of employment
Focus on accomplishments and results. (For example: Greeted up to 25 clients per day promoting connection and smooth communication with each one.)
If you were not given a formal title for your volunteer position, give yourself one that best describes what you did.
Awards and recognitions:
Include honours, scholarships, and recognitions.
Hobbies and interest:
List hobbies, clubs, sports, etc., include your role in these activities, especially if relevant for example club treasurer.
- Research the scholarship or award before writing your resume
- Make your name the biggest, boldest item on your resume
- A 2 page resume is standard
- Your resume should be well organized and easy to read
- Use bullet points, not paragraphs, to ensure your resume is easy to read and to help the reader pick out key words and phrases
- Pay attention to formatting and be consistent
- Be honest, not modest
- Proofread your resume closely and have someone read it over for grammatical and spelling errors