Crafting the Perfect Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide — Professional Resume Writing Services in Calgary

Ken Docherty
4 min readSep 15, 2023

In the highly competitive job market of Calgary, having a standout resume can be the key to landing your dream job. Your resume is more than just a document; it’s your personal marketing tool that should effectively communicate your qualifications, skills, and experiences. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of crafting the perfect resume, step by step, with a focus on the importance of professional resume writing services in Calgary. Discover how to make your resume shine and secure that coveted position.

1. Understanding the Purpose of Your Resume

Before we dive into the details of resume writing, it’s crucial to understand the fundamental role of this document. Your resume serves as:

Your Marketing Tool: It showcases your qualifications and skills, making you a compelling candidate.

A First Impression: It’s often the first thing employers see, so it must leave a positive impact.

A Conversation Starter: It should prompt employers to invite you for an interview.

2. Choosing the Right Resume Format

Calgary job seekers often benefit from using various resume formats. The three main formats are:

Chronological: Ideal for those with a consistent work history, it lists experiences in reverse chronological order.

Functional: Suited for career changers or those with employment gaps, it focuses on skills and qualifications.

Combination: This format blends elements of both chronological and functional styles, highlighting skills while also presenting a work history timeline.

Choose the format that aligns with your career goals and experiences.

3. Structuring Your Resume

A well-structured resume ensures employers can quickly find the information they need. As a basic tip, you could follow this generally recommended structure:

Header: Include your name, contact information, and a link to your professional LinkedIn profile.

Summary or Objective (Optional): Craft a concise statement summarizing your career goals and strengths.

Professional Experience: List your work history, including job titles, companies, dates, and descriptions of your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Education: Detail your educational background, including degrees, institutions, graduation dates, and any certifications or honors.

Skills: Highlight key skills, both technical and soft, relevant to the job.

Additional Sections (Optional): Include sections like awards, publications, volunteer work, or languages spoken, based on your experiences.

4. Tailoring Your Resume to the Job

Calgary employers seek candidates who customize their resumes for each job application. Here’s how to tailor your resume effectively:

Analyze the Job Posting: Carefully read the job description and requirements to identify key skills and qualifications.

Match Your Skills: Modify your resume to emphasize skills and experiences that align with the job posting.

Use Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords from the job description to pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Quantify Achievements: Whenever possible, use quantifiable metrics (e.g., “increased sales by 20%”) to demonstrate your accomplishments.

5. Showcasing Achievements and Impact

Your resume should not merely list job duties; it should showcase your achievements and their impact. Use the “CAR” (Challenge, Action, Result) method to structure your accomplishments:

Challenge: Describe a challenge or problem you faced in your role.

Action: Detail the specific actions you took to address the challenge.

Result: Highlight the positive outcomes or results of your actions.

This approach helps employers understand how you’ve contributed to your previous organizations and the value you can bring to their team.

6. Proofreading and Editing

Errors can quickly eliminate you from consideration. After writing your resume, proofread it meticulously. Consider these tips:

Use Spell Check: Run a spelling and grammar check using word processing software.

Seek Feedback: Ask a trusted friend, mentor, or career counselor to review your resume for clarity and accuracy.

Read Aloud: Reading your resume aloud can help you catch errors and awkward phrasing.

7. Design and Formatting

A well-designed resume is more inviting to read. Follow these design tips:

Use Consistent Formatting: Maintain consistent fonts, bullet points, and spacing throughout your document.

Incorporate White Space: Ensure your resume is not overcrowded; leave enough white space for readability.

Choose a Professional Font: Use standard, easy-to-read fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman.

8. Resume Length

The ideal resume length varies by experience level and is contingent on the specifics of each individual, the type of role they are targeting the strategy employed, and the volume of usable content available to work with. Generally speaking, and the above disclaimer in mind, the following breakdown is a reasonable general position to take:

One Page: For those with less than 2 years of experience.

Two Pages: For those with 2 to ten years of experience.

More Than Two Pages: For seasoned professionals with extensive experience.

Ensure every word on your resume adds value; omit unnecessary details.

9. References and Final Touches

Generally, it’s not necessary to include references on your resume. Instead, have a separate reference sheet ready upon request. Before finalizing your resume:

Save in a Common Format: Save your resume as a PDF or Word document for easy sharing.

Create a Professional Email Address: Ensure your email address is professional and easy to remember.

10. Continuous Improvement

Your resume should evolve with your career. Regularly update it with new accomplishments and experiences. Keep it ready for unexpected opportunities and networking events.

In conclusion, crafting the perfect resume is a vital skill for success in Calgary’s competitive job market. Understanding the purpose of your resume, choosing the right format, customizing it for each job application, showcasing achievements, and paying attention to details are key components. If you’re seeking professional resume writing services in Calgary to optimize your resume, consider partnering with a reputable resume writing company in Calgary to ensure your resume stands out in the competitive job market. Your resume is the first step, so pair it with effective networking and interview skills to maximize your job search success.

Ken Docherty is a multi-certified professional resume writer providing professional resume writing services in Calgary. Ken provides best-in-class resume services to clients in all industry sectors, creating high-impact, compelling resumes that can help you land your dream job. Find out more here https://expertresumewriter.ca

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Ken Docherty
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I am an experienced executive recruiter, former staffing agency owner, and multi-certified, multi award-winning resume writer.