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The Résumé

A résumé should be concise, persuasive, and extremely well-written.  There is no "best" résumé format. Use what works best for your situation and the position you are applying to.

There are three main ways to organize your information in a résumé:  

Check out samples of the Chronological and the Skills-Based Résumé.

Consider your skills and experience and determine which will showcase you best.

Step-by-Step Process for Creating Your Résumé

Résumé Checklist

Check out our Résumé and Action Verbs Tip Sheets.

Book a résumé critique appointment by calling the Career Centre.

The Curriculum Vitae (CV)

In Canada, the main difference between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a résumé is that a CV is usually only used for academic positions or when applying to some professional and graduate programs. As well, international employers may use the term CV and résumé interchangeably. If you are applying for international jobs, research expectations for CVs and résumés for specific countries. A résumé is used for seeking employment in most other fields.

Important Points about a CV

Common Sections in a CV

Check out the CV or Résumé Tip Sheet.

Book a CV critique appointment by calling the Career Centre.

The Résumé

1.   Chronological - Highlights your job history and your formal education

In the chronological résumé, job history is organized chronologically with the most recent job listed first. Job titles and employers are emphasized and duties and accomplishments are described in detail. A chronological résumé is easy to read, and can highlight career growth. It is suited to those whose career goals are clearly defined and whose job objectives are aligned with their work history.

A chronological résumé is advantageous when:

    • your recent employers and/or job titles are impressive;
    • you are staying in the same career field;
    • your job history shows progress;
    • you are working in a field where traditional job search methods are utilized (e.g., education, government).

A chronological résumé is not advantageous when:

    • you are changing career fields;
    • you have changed employers frequently;
    • you want to de-emphasize age;
    • you have been recently absent from the job market or have gaps in employment.


2.   Skills-based - Highlights the skills and abilities you have

In a skills-based résumé, skills and accomplishments developed through work, academic, and community experiences are highlighted. Your skills and potential can be stressed and lack of experience or possible gaps in work history de-emphasized.

The skills- based résumé is advantageous when:

    • you want to emphasize skills not used in recent work experience;
    • you want to focus on skills and accomplishments rather than a lengthy employment history;
    • you are changing careers/re-entering the job market;
    • you want to market skills and experience gained through coursework and/or volunteer experience;
    • your career growth in the past has not been continuous and progressive;
    • you have a variety of unrelated work experiences;
    • your work has been freelance, consulting, or temporary in nature.

The skills- based résumé is not advantageous when:

    •  you have little work experience or leadership experience;
    •  you want to emphasize promotions and career growth;
    •  you are working in highly traditional fields, such as teaching, accounting, and politics, where employers should be highlighted.


3.  Combination - Features a section that highlights the skills and abilities you have and combines this with a chronological listing of employment and education


Sample Résumés: 



The Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Important Points about a CV

  •  Audience: academics in your field of study
  •  Length: highly flexible
  •  Focus: represents your academic achievements and your scholarly potential
  •  Essential: list of publications, presentations, teaching experience, education, honours, and grants
  •  Extraneous: activities unrelated to academic pursuits
  •  List of References: include at least 3 references on the CV
  •  Goal: present a full history of your academic credentials—teaching, research, awards and services


Common Sections in a CV

  • Personal Information:   contact information in a letterhead look, including name, address, email, phone

  • Education:   postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate: Degree titles; names of institutions including city, province and country if applying out of the country.
  • Dissertation or thesis titles:   include names of advisors and committee members
  •  Awards, Fellowships, Scholarships, Grants:   including name
  •  Teaching Experience:  course titles, institution and dates; include teaching evaluations
  •  Research Experience:   type and description
  •  Publications:   titles of articles, names and dates of publication
  •  Presentations:   name of conference or event; title of presentation; dates; locations
  •  Other Relevant Experience:   non-academic relevant experience such as administrative experience
  •  Special Skills:  might include languages, computers, administrative and technical skills
  •  Professional Affiliations:   memberships, including committee work
  •  References: Include at least 3 references