an innoVative centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

helping families in ottawa, canada become self-sufficient contributing members of society

Centre Youville Centre
Ottawa-Carleton Inc.
150 Mann Avenue
Ottawa ON Canada
K1N 8P4

Please e-mail us at:

613-231-5150 ext, 117

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Charitable Reg. Number:
11884 8456 RR0001

Youville Centre



Getting Ready to Work: Resume and Cover Letter Preparation

A resume is all about getting your foot in the door by advertising yourself - who you are and why you're the best person for the job - to a potential employer. In order to stand out from other applicants, it is important to make a great first impression on paper.

DO tailor your resume to the specific job.
Highlight the skills and experiences you have that relate specifically to the position.

DON'T lie. A resume should always emphasize the positives but should never talk up something that you haven't done or don't know how to do.

DO write a cover letter. Find out the contact name of the person to whom you should send your resume, and address your cover letter to their attention. Applications that aren't directed to the appropriate person often wind up in the garbage.
A cover letter should explain why you are sending your resume, why you are interested in the job, and convince the reader to look at your resume.

DON'T be too general. When giving examples of your achievements, make sure you include quantifiable results. For example, if you mention the charity car wash you organized, include attendance figures and the total amount raised.

DO be concise, clear and direct with your language and use lots of action words to describe your experience and accomplishments. A resume is a marketing tool, not a biography. Flowery, run-on sentences are sure to get you resume tossed aside.

DO include an objective and skill summary including any CO-OP experience, leadership in extra curricular activities & sports, whether at school or in the community.

DON'T forget to have your resume proofread. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are sloppy and careless. Run a spell check on your computer, get a relative or friend to review your resume for grammatical errors and then have a third person proofread it and correct misspelled words and awkwardly-worded sentence.

The Important Information to Include on a Resume:

Phone: day and evening or where messages can be taken

Career Objective:
Let the employer know what job you want and where your career path is heading. Should be positive, concise and specific.

Summary of Qualifications
List specific skills, qualities or achievements that relate to your job objective and that you want the employer to notice immediately. Items, such as the following, are examples of the type of useful information to include:

Fluent bilingual, English, French
Over six years experience as an administrative assistant
Excellent work processing skills, proficient in MS Word, Word Perfect, Loutus.
Strong communication skills and effective listener.

Demonstrated Skills and Abilities

Highlights your skills and abilities to ensure that they will be noticed
It answers the employer's question; "What can you do for us"?
Presents your skills according to the job description, and includes those which are relevant to the job you are applying for. For example if you are looking for an administrative job you may list skills under the deadlines: Office experience Telephone communication Skills Computer knowledge.
Each statement should be backed-up with an example focusing on where you have used these skills. You may need to expand upon your skills in an interview.

Note: The following information will be presented differently according to the format you choose.

Employment History:

Can include paid and unpaid work
Always include- dates of employment- your position/title- company name


Any degrees, diplomas or certificates received
Highlight courses or training that relate directly to the job.

Preparing a Resume

"A resume is a one or two page summary of your skills, accomplishments, experiences, and education designed to capture a prospective employer's interest. The purpose of a resume is to secure an interview. It is the primary tool of your job search and may take several drafts to prepare effectively. This article is designed to assist you by offering suggestions and guidelines for you to use as you construct, write and print your resume."

Resume Preparation Tips

"Your resume is your personal marketing brochure - it should stand out from the crowd so that the employer will want to invite you to an interview."

Writing a Resume

"What should you tell employers about yourself? A resume is a short, point-form document that you give to employers to tell them about your work experience, education and skills. Employers will expect you to have one. Don't worry! There are lots of experiences, skills and interest areas that you can put on your resume, even if you don't have a lot of work experience."

Careers Unlimited

Unique in Canada, Careers UnLimited makes career and work help available to all.Accessible online, our team provides advice and assistance in a personal, practical and affordable format.
Whether you live in an urban, rural or remote community
We can help.

The Economic and Social Council of Ottawa-Carleton

"The Economic and Social Council of Ottawa-Carleton (ESCOC), through its service Emploi-CESOC (Jobs ESCOC) has developed strategies to help immigrants enter the labour market via job placement and career advice. To this end, it works closely with its clients and prospective employers."

Employment Ontario

"We're Employment Ontario and we want to help you get the training, skills and experience to achieve your goals."

Cover Letter Format

Your House Number and Street
City, Province
Postal Code

Month Day, Year (e.g January 1, 2010)

Name of Person in job posting or contact person
Company Name
Address Number and Street
City, Province

Dear Mr. or Ms Last Name:

Paragraph one is the introduction:

State what job you are applying for and where you heard about the job opening
If the job was advertised, refer to where it was advertised

Paragraph two is the body:

Explain how your skills, experience and qualifications directly relate to the job
You can also include your personal traits and strengths that would be an asset for the job
Summarize why you are an excellent candidate for the position

Paragraph three is the conclusion:

State that you would like the opportunity to discuss your qualifications in an interview.
Indicate where you can be reached.

Sincerely, (or Yours truly or Respectfully Yours, )

Sign your name here in blue or black pen

Your name (Typed)