Building your resume

Building your resume

There’s no perfect template, but there are steps to creating an effective resume. Your resume provides employers with a snapshot of your skills and accomplishments. Employers can spend 30 seconds or less reviewing them, so catching their attention and making a good first impression is key.


Ask yourself what you really want in a job. This will help you determine which employers and industries are right for you, what skills you will need, and help you tailor your resume to the jobs you want.

Skills inventory

A chronological list of your academic and work history isn’t enough. Critically evaluate your past jobs and identify the skills and abilities you have. How did you make a difference to your past employers? The more facts and details you can offer to show the positive impact you made on their business or organization, the better the impression you’ll be making on your next boss. 

Resume format

A combination resume is one that blends the chronological details of your work history with a way to exhibit your skills, attributes and credentials. If you are preparing for your internship, we recommend you use the Internship Resume Template found on your D2L prep course. You can self-register to get access to the template after attending a mandatory session.

Resume content

Your resume should include:

Name and contact information

Your objective

Education and / or professional development

Internship status


Work and volunteer experience

Extracurricular activities

Honours and awards


Internship Objective Statement

It is usually one sentence at the beginning of your resume stating a well-defined objective. Like a cover letter, this should be customized to each employer you are applying to. Be specific and brief, keeping your objective focused on how it will benefit the employer.

If you have limited experience, focus on maximizing your background and education. If you have lots of experience, concentrate on data that’s relevant to the position.

The main goal is to convince your employer you are worth the time for an interview.


What about references?

Don’t include references on your resume unless a job posting specifically asks for them. Instead, print out several copies of your references on a separate piece of paper to bring with you on job interviews. 

Final tips

It’s important not to be modest about your abilities on a resume, but don’t exaggerate or falsify them either. You need to be able to speak to, and elaborate on the content in your resume if you are called for an interview. If you make claims you can’t back up, it will destroy your credibility and damage your professional reputation.

Your resume, like your career, is a work in progress. You will continually revise it and tailor it throughout your job search.

I was able to change my resume and strengthen its details.

Bhakti Kawa

Engineering Career Practicum student