Writing your first Resume


Without Further ado.... Resume writing 101


Step 1: Uncover Your Skills, Abilities, and Special Talents


Download Attachment One and Complete the Quiz


This Quiz is designed to get you thinking about the skills, abilities, and special talents that you already have. Once you know your strong point, you'll be better able to choose some jobs goals, write a resume, and get started towards your future career.


You can work on the quiz by yourself, OR you can get together with a few friends (max. 3) and ask each other these questions as a group exercise. Write down your answers in the spaces provided on the worksheet that is to be downloaded from attachment one. Then look at these answers for CLUES, IDEAS, and EXAMPLES of what to write on your resume. Ask your teachers, counselors, and other adults how THEY think your talents could apply to 'the world of work'.


Step 2: Choose a Job Objective


A: Make a list of all the JOBS or positions that you THINK you'd like to apply for


--> Include jobs that call for the skills, abilities, and special talents that you discovered about yourself while doing the quiz from step one. 


--> Include jobs we call 'bridge jobs' that would give you a chance to gain experience or learn more skills for even better jobs. 


--> Here are some local places to look for listings in the Parksville/ Qualicum Beach area:

      The Career Center

      Parksville/Qualicum News


B: Download Attachment 2, resume template.


Choose ONE job from your list created for step 2 part A, as your current Job Objective, and write it in the Job Objective section of the template.

--> Here are come examples for clearly written Job Objectives:

      Job Objective: Position as an Office Assistant

      Job Objective: Part-Time Sales Job with Macy's

      Job Objective: Trainee Position in Marketing

      Job Objective: Weekend/After School Job as Stockroom Helper

      Job Objective: Summer internship in the Computer Science Department

      Job Objective: Work-Study position exploring careers in the field of...


Step 3: Learn the Requirements of That Job


Find out what education, skills, and experiences are needed to do the job you chose as your Job Objective. Write out what you find on a separate piece of paper. You should be looking for things use as

--> Education or Certification needed

--> Skills needed (including special knowledge needed)

--> Experience needed


Information about what it takes to do the job can be found in SEVERAL ways:

1. Look on the WEB. 

2. Talk with several people already working at a job like that.

3. Read a classified ad for a job similar to your job objective.


Step 4: List Your Related Skills and Abilities


Review all of your skills and abilities that you listed in the quiz from step one. Select ones that are most related to your job objectives, and write them in the space called Skills and Abilities on the top of the first page of Attachment 3 - Step 4 and 5


TIP: some of the skills that aren't needed for your current Job Objectives could be left off, and perhaps used on a future resume when you are looking or a different kind of job. 


Here are some EXAMPLES of Job Objectives and the related Skills and Abilities. 

Notice that you can combine a couple of your skills which -by themselves- might not seem all that impressive. 


If your Job Objective is Position as Receptionist for a Pediatrician...

     Some related skills might be:

  • General Office & Telephone skills
  • Experience with Children
  • Record keeping

If your Job Objective is Position as a Delivery Person...

     Some related skills might be:

  • Knowledge of the Parksville/Qualicum Beach Area
  • Driving experience / Safety awareness
  • Auto Maintenance

If your Job Objective is Position as a Marketing Intern...

      Some related skills might be

  • Customer Service
  • Marketing/Sales/Display
  • Computer Knowledge

 Step 5: Write One-Liners To demonstrate Your Related Skills and Abilities


Demonstrating - or documenting - your related skills, is really the HEART of your resume. Since this is such an important step, let's STOP and take a d-e-e-p breath and get our bearings!


For this step please read through Attachment 3 - Step 4 and Step 5 - and following the instructions.

All the information and examples that you need are included in the attachment 3 for download. 


 Step 6: List Your Work History


Make a list of any work you've done or jobs you've held - including any jobs you've created for yourself. List them on the Resume template.

--> List your most recent work first, then your earlier work. 

--> Include the dates of the work or employment, your job titles, and your employers.

--> Include all work experience, even if it was short term or unpaid work. 

--> Include all jobs even though they're not related to your current job objective, because they help create a picture of reliability and willingness to work.

--> Include all jobs even if your parents or relatives were the "employer" and even if you didn't get paid to do it. 

--> Include any work and odd-jobs you did on your own as an "entrepreneur," and list YOURSELF as the employer ("Self -Employed").


Step 7: List Your Education and Training


List the name of your High School, the City, and which class-year you're in

Add a list of any courses you are taking that relate to your current job objective. 

Add any special training you completed, and certificates earned (Life Saving, CPR, etc.) if they seem related to your job objective.


(Sometimes it's okay to include things even though they DON'T seem directly related to your job objective - just because they help make you look like a person who is well-rounded and ambitious, or Check with your counselor or your parents on what would be good to include.)


EXAMPLES of things to include:

--> Classes that relate to your job objective; for example.... 

          Math and Computers, if you're looking for a Cashier job;
          Driver Ed, if you're looking for a Delivery job;
          Word Processing, if you are looking for an office job;
          Psychology, if you are looking for a sales job;
          Any subject, if you're looking for a tutoring job in that subject

--> Apprenticeships

--> Workshops or seminars

--> Certificates (Life Saving, CPR, etc._

--> Correspondence Courses

--> Night-School Classes

--> Hobbies where you are developing job-related skills, such as...

          Photography, Surfing the Internet, etc.

Some other things that it might be good to mention would include:

--> Your GPA if it is 3.0 or higher (B average or higher.)

OR your GPA in job-related courses, it id is 3.0 or higher

--> Any position of leadership and responsibility - for example, treasurer of a club, work on a school newspaper, work on a special fund drive. 

--> Any special school or extra-curricular projects that show initiative, ability to do research, ability to think and to write, ability to organize a project, ability to follow through and get things done.


Step 8: Summarize Your Key Points

Summarize your key points near the top of your resume, under your Job Objective.

1. Make a brief list of key points that a new employer would want to know about you 

   These key points need to show that...

   - You are QUALIFIED for the job.

   - You are a DESIRABLE CANDIDATE for the job. 



- How much experience you have - paid or unpaid - using skills that are RELATED to your chosen field of work. (How many months or years.)

- Your education, including any training in that chosen field.

-  Your best accomplishment that relates to, or supports, your job objective.

- Your key skills, talents, or special knowledge related to your job objectives.

 Something about your attitude towards working, or the way you get along with people, that would be appealing to your future employer. 


2. Make sure that every statement in your Summary is related to your job objective and is supported by what you say in your skills section and your Work History section. 


3. Limit each summary statement to just one line.


4.  Make a heading for this summary. You could call it simply "Summary" or "Summary of Qualifications" - whatever fits your style and seems comfortable to you.


5. Fill in you summary onto the resume template. 


Step 9: Assemble Your Resume


 1. Fill in your name, address, phone number and email address to the top of the resume template.


2. Read through your resume template to make sure that it is 100% complete. 


3. Read through your resume template for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. 


Step 10: Produce a Final One-Page Resume

When you have filled out the resume template to it's fullest you are ready to open the word processor and start to create a beautiful one page resume!!


Just remember this important point:

There is really NO ONE RIGHT WAY to write pr design a resume. 

There's LOTS of room for you to "be yourself."

Everyone is unique, and your resume does NOT have to fit a rigid pattern, or look just like "perfect model" of a resume.

In fact, it's BETTER if your resume DOES NOT look exactly like everybody else's!




Proofread your resume VERY carefully, for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Even little mistakes on a resume can ruin the impression you make. And, if you are not an excellent speller, get help from someone who is!


Get Feedback from someone in-the-know. Find someone who knows about the kind of work you're aiming for, and ask them to look over your resume for content, clarity, appearance, and their opinion of how effective it is.




  • File
    Description: Resume Template

  • File
    Description: Step 4 and Step 5

  • File
    Description: Step One

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