Co-Op, Internship and Practicum Resumes



Your resume should be at least slightly different for each type of job you are applying for. For a restaurant job, you will need one resume, for a professional internship, another. All resumes, whether professional or casual, will have the same basic structure made up of: title, personal profile, work experience, education.

The resume we prepare for you as part of your program at Experience Education will be created in a standardized format in the interests of cross-platform accessibility. Students will often send us beautifully formatted resumes that look great when printed out, but are unreadable on a mobile device or tablet.

TITLE

The title of your resume will be your name. To make things simpler for your employer, just write your given name, and your family name - with your given name being first, and your family name second. It's best to minimize confusion for employers. If you have a nickname, it can be added here by putting it in brackets, often with quotation marks to show that it’s a nickname - Example: John (“Jack”) Doe.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Write your address, your phone number, and your email address. Give your local address - make sure all spelling is correct. Next your phone number - as soon as you start looking for a job, you will need to make sure that your phone has voice mail - if it's a 'Pay As You Go' phone, always make sure you have money on your phone. Your voice mail should be in English, professional, and very clear. Lastly, your email address. You should check your email twice a day, you will usually get very little advanced notice of a job interview, and if you don't check your email often you will miss it. Make sure your email address is something professional - and avoid email accounts that are identifiably from overseas. Use a new email for Canada, and use either Gmail or Yahoo. There are big problems with other types of email, especially smaller services from foreign countries - these email providers often block emails that come from companies, and that will mean that your future employer may not be able to contact you.

PERSONAL PROFILE

A personal profile has two parts - an 'objective' and a 'skills summary'. The objective should be changed for each job. Your objective should be 2 or 3 sentences and written in the present tenses. The first sentence should explain what type of job you are looking for.

Ex. "I am an international student, in Canada on a 6 month work permit and I am currently looking for a job in food services".

Your next sentence should explain why you are suited to this job. Mention any relevant experience or personal skills that you think would be important.

Ex. "I am a hard worker and have 3 years of experience a restaurants and cafes in different positions." Your final sentence should introduce your skills summary."

Ex. "I can bring the following skills to my future employer."

If you are a mature student, or have a lot of work experience, the objective section is the right place to preempt any host concerns. You could say something like: “I have years of management experience in my country, but am looking to start over here in Canada. I’m comfortable working from the bottom up.”

The skills summary is probably the most important part of your resume. Employers often tell us that this is the part they read first. The skills summary should be done in 'point form'. List your most important skills, your education, your work experience, volunteer experience - anything that your future employer needs to know about you. Yes, this information will all be discussed later on in your resume, but best put it here too because in most cases, this will be the only part of your resume the employer will read - if you don't impress them here, they won't read any further.

Example:

  • Experience serving customers at restaurant

  • Food Safe Certified

  • Completed work place preparation course

  • Hard working, outgoing

  • Fluent in Spanish and English

List them in order of relevance to your employer, with the best and most relevant experience at the top, the least relevant at the bottom. If you're applying for a casual job, your Master's degree in Chemical Engineering is less important here than your experience serving at a restaurant, so put the restaurant at the top, and leave the degree off if you can (if you're applying for a professional internship, then the exact opposite is true). 4 or 5 points is sufficient. 3 points is too few, 6 or more is usually too many.

WORK EXPERIENCE

When it comes to work experience, remember three things: be consistent, be clear, and explain what you did. List your jobs in reverse chronological order, with the most recent jobs at the top, the oldest jobs at the bottom. Use the past simple and stick to the same format for each job. We recommend the following:

Month, Year Started Work - Month, Year Finished Work
Company Name
, City, Country [or City, Province/State if it is in Canada or the US]
Job Title

  • Job Duty 1

  • Job Duty 2

  • Job Duty 3

Most of this should be very easy for you to do. Don't worry if you don't remember the exact month you start or finished work, just estimate it. As for the job duties, you should put a lot of effort into these. Students often tell us that they can't remember what they did at the job, or that they did the same thing at every job. Regardless - you need to write something. Think hard about what you did, and if you can't remember what your job duties were at your old company, try instead then to list accomplishments.

Example: "Conducted presentation which won a $3,000,000 sales contract" - or - "Served customers on my own through busy carnival season".

You should try to have at least 3 points for each job. One last note - don't use the word 'Etc...' anywhere in your resume. It makes you look lazy.

EDUCATION

Start with your current school, college or university in Canada. List school and what you did there, for example 'Took Work Place Preparation Course'. Also list your university or junior college. Don't list your high school or elementary school. The format for this is the same for jobs:

Month, Year Started School - Month, Year Finished School
School Name, City, Country [or City, Province/State if it is in Canada or the US]
Degree name and Major

If you are still attending school, you can write:

Month, Year Started School - Present
School Name, City, Country [or City, Province/State if it is in Canada or the US]
Major

If you are taking a break from university, but will finish it when you return to your country, you can write:

Expected Graduation: Year
School Name, City, Country [or City, Province/State if it is in Canada or the US]
Major

If you do not have any work experience, then you will need to add extra information to your education section. If you have work experience, then you would need to add extra information. So for those who do need to add something extra, here is an example of what you could write:

Example:

September 2009 - May 2010
Ersatz Polytechnica, Fauxville City, Venezuela
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

  • Member of sociology department debating club

  • Helped organize frosh week events

  • Participated in campus fundraising for tsunami relief efforts

OTHER INFORMATION

Many resumes include extra information like Computer Skills, or Interests. Unless you are an IT major, you can just list your IT skills in the Personal Profile section. As for Interests, some employers love that section, some hate it. Overall if you don't have a lot of material in the rest of your resume, you can include an Interests section. A lot of people will do interests like this:

Interests: Soccer, Internet, Watching Movies

That's no good. If you are going to include interests, give it as much effort as the rest of your resume. So try something like this:

INTERESTS
Soccer: Assistant coach on community team. Helped organize matches with other neighbourhoods. Managed money for players.
Knitting: have a knitting circle with other men from the neigbourhood.