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Resume Tips from a Career Coach

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Given that the average Canadian changes jobs a minimum of 8 times in their lifetime, there is always a need to keep resumes sharp and ready to go. Resumes need to be flexible, adaptable, and able to meet the demands of each new opportunity.

This might help explain the steady growth of the Calgary Public Library’s Career Coaching program, now running at five locations throughout the City. The volunteers are a stellar and experienced group, drawing from years of experience in industry and non profits. The Central Library’s Thursday evening sessions have been going for more than 10 years, and I spoke with one of our newest additions to the team and asked Jillian to share her thoughts and a bit of wisdom:

Jillian, you have been volunteering now for over a year with the Library’s Career Coaching program. What attracted you to the position and why did you decide to volunteer?

I initially applied to be a Career Coach in order to find a volunteer opportunity that would utilize my skills in a setting where I could really be hands on. After a few sessions the CPL program quickly became something that I looked forward to on a monthly basis. The program reaches various demographics of customers who are so grateful for the assistance given in finding meaningful employment. The coaches, Library staff and participants are an incredible group of people to work with.

What is the one piece of advice for job searchers who are trying to make their resumes stand out from the rest?

Keep your resume professional and as relevant to the job posting as possible. The screening process isn’t always completed by the direct manager, so it is important to customize your resume to match key skills and words in the job posting. This will give you a better chance of having it selected during the process. If you’re under qualified, try to highlight any transferable skills you’ve attained in previous jobs, school or volunteer positions in your profile.

Jillian, we have had questions from customers about creating YouTube video promotionals or video resumes about themselves, to help showcase who they are. In your role as a Human Relations Generalist with private and public industry experience, have you ever come across this, or would you recommend it?

I’ve come across it a few times and I would only recommend it if the applicant understood that this type of application aligned with the organizations hiring practices. For more creative and progressive companies this style might catch a hiring manager’s interest. It’s important to have your first impression come across as being professional while not relying too heavily on gimmicks to differentiate your application from others.

What one resume book would you recommend to job searchers?

Best Canadian Resumes and Best Canadian Covers Letters is a great series!

Any parting words?

My general advice for all of these activities is to use the services from this program. Having a resume critiqued, going through a mock interview and getting advice from a Coach will give the best feedback customized for that person.

- Jillian was interviewed by Roberta Kuzyk-Burton, the Library’s Community Learning Advocate for Careers at the Central Library

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