Do's and Don’ts of Resumes:


  • Tailor your resume to each job application

  • Include how and where you acquired transferrable skills mentioned on your resume

  • Use action verbs to describe your skills and qualifications

  • Make you resume organized, factual, and honest

  • Proof read your resume several times

  • Use a professional email address – one that includes a version of your name is best

  • Write your resume in point form


  • Make your resume longer than 2 pages

  • Include references or state “References Available Upon Request” on your resume

  • Include personal information such as your birthdate, SIN, age, or race on your resume

  • Lie about your skills and experience

  • Submit a resume with typos or inconsistent formatting

  • List your high school education on a resume if post-secondary education has been completed

  • Use complete sentences on your resume

Resume Format

A resume should outline your contact information, job specific skills, education and experience. Remember your resume is a “living document”, which means it is always changing and should be revised for each job you’re applying to. Keep in mind, that most employers prefer a reverse chronological format for resumes, which means you should state your most recent experience or education and work backwards.

YOUR NAME, Phone number, Email address


  • Outline the skills that are most important for the job you’re applying to

  • Explain where and how you acquired these skills using specific examples

 EDUCATION  (start with your most recent education and work backwards)

Program Name, Institution Name, Location, Start and End Dates (month and year)

  • Outline awards or grades if they are an asset

EXPERIENCE (start with your most recent experience and work backwards)

Job Title, Organization Name, Location, Start and End Dates (month and year)

  • Explain your job responsibilities, including examples and accomplishments

Do's and Don’ts of Cover Letters


  • Include a cover letter with your application to a job advertisement

  • Personally address your cover letter

  • Proof read your cover letter a few times

  • Demonstrate how you’re a good fit for the role and employer

  • Structure the document in letter format

  • Plan out what to include in the letter in advance

  • Research the company, and its products and services prior to writing your letter

  • Show your enthusiasm and motivation to do the job


  • Make your cover letter longer than 1 page

  • Forget to personally sign your cover letter

  • Explain or apologize for skills you don’t have in the document

  • Forget to use the same header with your name and contact information on your cover letter, as is on your resume

  • Address the letter “To Whom it May Concern”

  • Forget to include the date at the top of your letter

  • Forget to restate your interest in the job, and ask them to contact you for an interview in the final paragraph

  • Forget to use wording and phrases from the job advertisement


Cover Letter Format

A cover letter is your opportunity to inform the employer what position you’re applying for and highlight your most important qualifications for the job. It should also explain why you are right for the position and how your experience and education relates to the position. Use formal business letter format, the same font as your resume and keep it to one page in length.

 YOUR NAME, Phone Number, Email Address


Employer’s Name

Employer’s Title

Organization Name

Dear Mr./Ms. Employer’s Last Name,

OPENING (1 paragraph) – Identify the position you are applying to and how you heard of the opportunity. Mention why you are interested in the position.

BODY (1-3 paragraphs) – Describe how your skills, education and experience relate to the job and what makes you the ideal candidate. Outline what you have to offer that relates to the employer, not what you want from them.

CLOSING (1 paragraph) – Offer your availability to meet for an interview to discuss your qualifications for the job, and include your phone number and email. Thank the employer for considering you for the position.


Your Name (**Don’t forget to sign it too!**)

Are you working on a resume or cover letter together in your match? Contact your Program Coordinator and receive a resume/cover letter checklist to ensure you don’t miss any important information!

For more help with your resume, cover letter or job search visit a Career Consultant in Career Services:

Located in D 1063, 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd.

Telephone: 519-452-4294


Source: Fanshawe College, Career Services, Job Search Toolkit

Resume Checklist Source: The Mentoring Partnership, Handbook, Resources, Resume Checklist