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Fort McMurray Career Centre

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Oil Sands Resume - Getting That Interview

Resumes (and their accompanying cover letter) are important documents—resumes speak volumes about you. They cover your entire professional life and they are one of the key pieces to getting a job interview. How can you effectively capture the true “you” while at the same time not boring a recruiter through 13 pages of previous roles and responsibilities?
Your resume is your first introduction to a recruiter, and as the old saying goes, you only get one chance at a first impression. Building a resume from scratch can be an intimidating prospect, but with the proper care and attention, you can help land that all-important interview with an effective resume.

 An effective resume must contain the following information:  

  • Contact Information
  • Personal Statement
  • Education/Trade History
  • (Relevant) Employment History
  • References   

An effective resume can also contain your:

  • Skills and Abilities
  • Community/Volunteer History
  • Professional Memberships & Accreditation
  • Awards

Six Resume Rules

Each job-seeker is different, and while there are more exceptions than rules, here are a few hard-and-fast rules to stick to:

  • Keep it to two pages. It doesn’t matter if you have three or 30 years experience, show the recruiter that you are a standout by keeping it to two pages. Trust this rule. Two pages are better than three, and two is most definitely better than four.
  • Use a professional email address. Yes, you’ve been using it for years, but is not a professional email address. Even if you need to create a new email address, it’s well worth the time. Try many of the free, more professional-looking email services offered by the likes of Google, etc.
  • Use the same type of language used in the job listing. If your resume is being submitted to a posted job listing, ensure you capture all the main qualities/skills/abilities the employer is looking for. Print out the listing and highlight the key words, then use those key words to craft and build your resume.
  • Make it specific to the job listing. Yes, this is more time consuming than blasting off 30 copies of the same resume to 30 different listings, but if you really want the job, always target towards the specific job. Dusting off and updating the resume that got you your summer job at Student Paintworks five years ago is not the intent here. Take the time to craft an effective resume.
  • Warn your references! While the boilerplate “References available upon request” is perfectly acceptable, always think through who your references should be, and no matter what else you do, ask their permission before providing their names. There is nothing worse than having your unprepared reference receive a call out of the blue. They will provide much better service to you if they are forewarned and forearmed.
  • Make sure your content is clear of spelling errors. Spellchecking on our electronic devices is great, but make sure you, or better yet, a friend, thoroughly review your document. Too, Two and To are great examples of how our spellcheckers can lead us astray.

Ensuring you have the right content while sticking to the Six Resume Rules will help to make your resume (your entire professional life) effective and increase your chances of landing that all-important job interview. So what are you waiting for? Get writing and find that perfect job already!

Have a job hunting or human resources question? Email YMM at and we might print both your question and our answer in a future issue.