Resumes: FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
Formatting and structure
Should a resume be 1 or 2 or more pages?
Your resume should be created according to the job posting. Generally, your resume should be 1-page and no more than 2-pages. If the job posting is long (more than about 15 bullets), then you might need a 2-page resume. Otherwise, look to keep it to 1-page.
If you’re applying to a public sector government job, you can probably count on the job posting to being anywhere from 2-5 pages. So in those cases, you could have a 3, 4, 5+page resume.
Should I have my education first or work experience first?
Whatever is most relevant to the role that you are applying for. If you have relevant work experience, generally your work experience should go first. If you are switching careers or the experience you’ve had so far isn’t as relevant and your education is more relevant, then education goes first.
For newcomers, some times Canadian education is more looked higher than foreign relevant experience. You’ll have to gauge whether that is appropriate for your industry and the specific company you will apply to. Likely through conversations with people (ideally recruiters and hiring managers) in the company.
Why is my resume not getting me interviews?
There could be a few reasons, which normally amount to: quantity and quality.
- Quantity: you might not be applying to enough jobs.
- You should expect to get an interview for 5-10% of your applications.
- If you are higher than 10% then your resume is in good shape and you just need to apply to more roles (ideally network and BMC as that’s the best way to find your next opportunity).
- If it’s less than 5% AND you haven’t applied to at least 20 jobs, then you should seem some professional help with your resume.
- Here’s my resume guide. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn if you’re really stuck.
- Quality: If you are indeed applying to enough jobs then it is likely that:
- You are applying to jobs that you are not qualified for: in this case, go get more experience. Volunteer. Get part-time work. Freelance. Get more education. Network and BMC.
- You are not presenting your experience relative to the job posting: in this case, make sure you’re “reverse-engineering” the job posting and ideally upgrading your bullets from activities to achievements