September 27, 2020

BY JOANNA DITTMER

Students leave post-secondary institutions well informed on the material needed to pursue their career, but they tend not to leave with knowledge on how to get said occupation.
Many students find it difficult to write a good, professional resume. Some of the most common problems, according to Violet Vadjina, Conestoga College’s student employment adviser (non-co-op) and lecturer of the school’s Feb. 24 cover letter and resume workshop, are not personalizing a cover letter and resume to the job being applied for, overlooking spelling and grammatical errors and not putting the most relevant information on the first page.
“Not including a header on the second page (of a resume), with at least your name, phone number and page two (is a common mistake). Copying and pasting the header from the first page is an option, and gives the resume a nice consistent look,” Vadjina said.
Another tip is to use the same font on both the cover letter and resume.
According to www.saicareers.com, a website written by career experts, lying is the worst thing you can do on a resume.
“Even if you pass the background check (very unlikely considering how sophisticated background checks have become), a savvy employer will discover the deception within days, if not sooner,” the website says.
According to Vadjina, a cover letter should include an introductory paragraph telling how and where you heard about the job and why you want to work for the company, a body paragraph or two discussing your top qualifications and how your education and experience will match the company, and a closing paragraph thanking the reader and expressing interest in meeting for an interview.
Information to be included in the resume varies depending on the style chosen. According to Vadjina, the reverse chronological style is recommended for most students.
“It is typically comprised of the following sections: header, objective, highlights of qualifications, education, work experience, volunteer experience and the optional activities and interest section,” Vadjina said.
Kayla Rogers, the assistant manager of a popular clothing store in Waterloo, said if the resume is boring, she usually doesn’t give it a second look.
“A resume needs to pop! If it looks identical to the one I received 10 minutes ago, what does that tell me about you? You need to stand out,” she said.
Vadjina said it is a myth that a resume has to be kept to one page.
“A resume should be two pages maximum.”
Vadjina encourages Conestoga students to visit Conestoga’s MyCareer (careers.conestogac.on.ca) for your job search needs.