Your Resume

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”​

                                                        Thomas Jefferson

Creating a Strong Resume

A resume is a marketing document.

Create a clean, polished layout that demonstrates your written communication skills while also describing your skills and experience. 

 

Customize!

Tailor your resume to each position. Look at the job requirements listed in the posting and customize your resume to address as many of those areas as possible. Use key words and actions words that correlate with the posting.

 

Keep it Short

1 page.

Highlight Social Media Skills

Social media savvy is the top skill cited in the internship postings in this field. Be sure you include every platform you are comfortable using (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.) Check out the Most Listed Skills post for more.

 

Use Consistent Verb Tenses 

Choose one verb tense and stick with it, unless the job is one that you are still doing. In that case use the present tense. 

 

Avoid Personal Pronouns

"I designed some new lunch menus" > change to: "Designed new menus".

Edit 

Triple check spelling/grammar/formatting. Minor errors will land an otherwise great candidate resume in the trash.

Recommended Links
 
Resume Samples
 
How to Tailor Your Resume
 
Describe Your Transferable Skills:    
 
Retail Experience
 
Service Industry
 
Top Skills to List When Applying to Internship Postings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On This Page

Resume Layout + Appearance

Layout and Appearance

 

  • The content of the resume fit neatly on one page. There should be enough white space to make the document easy to read.  

  • The resume should look professional on screen and in print. 

  • The header (name, address, telephone number, email, etc.) is centered or laid out in a way that is visually appealing and easy to read. Your name should be in a large font size and bolded or in upper case so that it stands out.

  • The font size on the rest of the resume is between 10–12 points.

 

 

Content

Include the following sections:

1. Header (your contact info)

2. Profile/Summary of Qualifications

3. Education (NO HIGH SCHOOL! Only include University)

4. Relevant Experience/Work Experience

5. Other Experience/Other/Interests & Awards

*Check for spelling and grammatical errors. Get your friends and peers to proof read it for you. Twice! 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
List your Accomplishments

 

  • Use action verb + example + outcome to describe your skills.

eg. : “Initiated the reorganization of the filing system, resulting in more rapid retrieval of key documents and files.”

  • Describe your accomplishments as well as your job duties. Use numbers to make your statements quantifiable whenever possible.

eg: "Planned and organized a volunteer fair attracting 30 volunteer agencies."

 

Check the Format and Layout

  • Use a chronological format if your work history has been progressive and relates to your objective. 

  • Write clearly and concisely.

  • Do not include irrelevant and inappropriate personal information (i.e. height, weight, gender, or age).

 

 

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts (B.A), School of Creative Industries                                            2016 - exp 2021

Ryerson University, Toronto, ON

  • Specializing in business and music

sample resume good_RZ.jpg

Profile

 Photoshop                                        Written Communication                       Organized

 Hootsuite                                          Research                                                   Dependable

 Social Media Management            Presentations                                          Collaborative

 Slack                                                   Customer Service

 
 

How to Tailor Your Resume

 

Step 1

 

Review the job description in the posting. Highlight important skills required. Highlight responsibilities.

 

Step 2

 

Look at your current resume and review the job description and responsibilities you have listed. Compare job duties, qualities, etc. with the job posting. Note similar requirements. If you cannot find any direct matches, dig deeper. (Note: always include items that relate to communication skills. Most jobs require this).

 

For Example

 

Job Posting

Requirements: "The ideal candidate is organized, has the ability to multi-task, displays a high attention to detail and is able to successfully execute both administrative and research-oriented projects. The intern should be motivated, self-directed and able to collaborate. In addition, solid writing, research and computer skills are preferred."

 

Responsibilities: "The intern will predominantly assist with the development and administration of key foundation programs, including the  Film Festival as well as the art events in Vancouver and Montreal, gaining experience and developing practical skills from within programming, communications and events."

 

 

Your Resume

In sections where you describe your experience, make sure you list examples that relate to some of the highlighted points in the job description. For example, if you've worked in the retail or service industries (bars/restaurants/stores) you can probably list examples that relate to: organization, multi-tasking, attention to detail, motivated, self-directed, ability to collaborate.

 

 

Here are a few examples of duties common to retail and service industry jobs:

 

  • Communicated clearly and positively with clients, coworkers and management

  • Mastered point-of-service (POS) computer system for automated order taking

  • Demonstrated accuracy and speed when handling currency and credit transactions

  • Prepared employee performance reviews for approval by human resources department.

  • Prioritized and handled multiple orders

  • Opened and closed cash registers, performing tasks such as balancing cash drawers and making deposits

  • Maintained records related to sales

  • Collaborated with team to create new sales initiatives

  • Consistently met targets established by management

                                              

                                                   More tips on describing transferable skills

 

Step 3

 

Describe specific accomplishments if available and appropriate to your new job. For example, you can say "outsold nearest sales associate by 30 percent or more during fourth quarter in 2010." Supplying numbers and time frames measures your abilities and provides solid examples of your accomplishments for recruiters.

 

Step 4

 

Make sure the relevant experience you have listed (which corresponds with the job posting) is obvious to the reader (ie, don’t bury it in the middle of a long description).

 

Step 5

 

Edit your resume! You've made a few changes, so it's time to look it over again. Are all verb tenses the same? Is the format neat and polished? How about spelling and grammar? How about the layout? 

 

Step 6

 

Time to tailor your cover letter!  (Side note: this process can take some time when you first build your resume and cover letter. But the more you do it, the easier and faster it gets!)

 

Top Skills for Arts & Media Internships

 

The following list was gathered from approximately 200 internship postings. Below are the top listed skills and attributes in arts & media internships.

 

Social Media Assistance

Online Content Creation & Management (ie, Wordpress)

Event Assistance

Marketing Assistance

Graphic Design

Customer/Client Services

Research

Presentation Development

Writing & Content Production

Grant Writing & Fundraising Assistance

Office/Administrative Support

 

 

 

Adobe Suite

Wordpress

MS Office

 

Excellent Oral & Written Communication

Organized

Team Player

Problem Solver

Multitasker

Detail Oriented

 

Portfolio Required:

Positions that include visual or written content will ask for a portfolio of your work. You can pick and choose your best work from prior school projects and personal endeavours.

 

In addition, many organizations want to know whether you have a genuine passion for their industry and they will be interested in your related activities (do you blog, tweet, etc. about a particular topic or industry? Do you volunteer for festivals or other industry events? Are you engaged in the community in some way?) Be ready to reference these activities in your resume and cover letter.

 

 

 

How to Describe Your Transferable Skills:

Retail & Service Industry

 

 

Qualities and skills that develop through restaurant/bar/ serving jobs

 

customer relations

time management

problemsolving

multi-tasking

attention to detail

ability to work under tight timelines

self-reliance

resilience

leadership

interpersonal

initiative

 

Some suggestions for your job description:

 

  • Maintained high standards of customer service during high-volume, fast-paced operations

  • Communicated clearly and positively with coworkers and management

  • Mastered point-of-service (POS) computer system for automated order taking

  • Handled currency and credit transactions quickly and accurately

  • Followed procedures for safe food preparation, assembly, and presentation

  • Assisted management with inventory control and stock ordering

  • Built loyal clientele through friendly interactions and consistent appreciation

  • Resolved complaints promptly and professionally

  • Cross-trained and coordinated scheduling with team members to ensure seamless service

  • Took initiative to find extra tasks when scheduled duties were completed

  • Mentored and trained new hires

  • Handled multiple requests for service calmly and promptly

  • Increased revenue for the organization by upselling

  • Demonstrated accuracy and speed when handling currency and credit transactions

  • Took initiative to find extra tasks when scheduled duties were completed

  • Handled multiple requests for service calmly and promptly

  • Increased revenue for the organization by upselling

  • Prioritized and handled multiple orders

 

 

Express your achievements as measured results

 

Quantifying and qualifying your achievements will demonstrate how you contributed to your company and grab the hiring manager's attention. (Estimating is acceptable if you do not have the exact figures.)

 

 

Examples of server accomplishments include:

 

The number of customers handled daily, average sales you generated, number of trainees or team members you led, tables turned per shift, number of error-free transactions per shift and 100 percent compliance to health and safety standards.

 

 

 

 

Describing Your Skills:  Retail Industry

 

 

Some transferable skills commonly demonstrated in
retail positions:

 

customer relations

time management

problemsolving

multi-tasking

attention to detail

ability to work under tight timelines

self-reliance

organizational

resilience

leadership

interpersonal

initiative

 

 
Some phrases and suggestions:

 

  • ​Assisted management with administrative tasks related to inventory control and stock ordering

  • Took initiative to find extra tasks when scheduled duties were completed

  • Mentored and trained new hires

  • Handled multiple requests for service calmly and promptly

  • Increased revenue for the organization by upselling

  • Collected, reviewed and approved employee attendance records

  • Prepared employee performance reviews for approval by human resources department.

  • Prioritized and handled multiple orders

  • Opened and closed cash registers, performed tasks such as balancing cash drawers and making deposits

  • Maintained records related to sales

  • Collaborated with team to create new sales initiatives

  • Consistently met targets established by management

 

 

Quantify your sales performance

 

  • Be specific about what you achieved and when you achieved it. Include important performance metrics like total sales, average sale ($) and items per sale within a certain time period (either quarterly or yearly).  For example: "Outsold nearest sales associate by 30 percent or more during fourth quarter in 2014." 

  • If you were ever the subject of an email or notice of achievement such as a comment on a big sale or award for customer service or enthusiasm, include this achievement 

  • Include the benchmark for each metric

  • Add context to your achievements by including the store’s benchmark or minimum requirements for each performance metric. 

 

 

Display your commitment to learning

 

  • If you attended any optional or mandatory product knowledge seminars during your employment, be sure to list how many and any key, transferable highlights from them.

 

List your leadership, supervisory or management experience

 

  • Were you responsible for training new hires? Did you lead a number of sales associates during peak times? Were you in charge of closing or opening the store? Were you a member of the store’s health and safety committee?

  • If you were called to perform tasks that made you a leader on the sales floor, include the most notable ones and any relevant details about each role on your resume.

 
Describe how your ideas were executed

 

Did you have an idea that positively affected sales, store procedures or your store’s layout? Describe your idea, how it was implemented and what the results were. Be brief and specific.

 

Action Words

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure

 

 

You do not need to disclose the following details in your resume,  cover letter or interview:

 

Your race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion

Your height, weight, age, etc.

Medical issues

Your marital status, dependents, children

Do not include a picture of yourself

Your Facebook or Twitter passwords (you also do not need to add a prospective employer to your social media accounts)

Do not provide references until asked

 

For those with disabilities:

If your disability is invisible and does not affect your work, then you are not obligated to provide disclosure. Additional information on disclosure for those with disabilities is provided here.

 

 

 

References

You do not need to provide references until the employer asks. You do need to be ready to supply the references following the interview, if asked. In most cases, an employer will ask for two references.

 
Who Can You Use as a Reference?

 

  • A previous employer or supervisor (the more recent the better)

  • A professional who can speak about their experience working with you

  • A teacher/professor/supervisor who provided oversight for an activity or event that you helped with 

  • A coordinator/supervisor for a volunteer activity you undertook 

  • If you do not have any work experience or any extracurricular experience from your time at university, think about people for whom you've done some casual work in the past (child care/ life guarding/ gardening/ helping a family member with projects or tasks/etc...)

  • Your references should be people who will provide positive recommendations 

  • It's a good idea to contact your references in advance to let them know you are providing their contact information to a potential employer

  • Do not use a family member or someone who is not a legitimate reference.

 

What will the employer ask the reference?

 

Usually the employer will confirm the type of relationship (eg. employee/supervisor/ etc.) The employer will often ask the reference to talk a bit about their experience working with you and whether you demonstrated some basic skills and qualities (responsibility, enthusiasm, work ethic, etc.)

 

 

 

Sample Resume: Media/Design

 

Sample Resume: Basic

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