Whether you love it or hate it, everybody has to make a resume at some point. And with so many job options in Montreal right now, we figured there are probably others, like us, wondering how and what makes a good resume. That's why we turned to Jess Daltrey at We Love Resumes.
The company helps Canadians with resumes and cover letters to help with the tough competition. Even here in Montreal and yep, even in French.
Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Editor's Choice: Bars In Montreal That Sadly Closed Their Doors Forever In 2020
What are the common misconceptions about resumes?
The first thing is tailoring. People think you can just make a general resume that you can use to apply to multiple different job postings and think you're going to get some feedback.
That's not the case — every single time you apply to a job posting, it should be tailored to the skills and requirements listed in the job posting.
The second thing is the design. There are lots of companies out there saying that hiring managers will hire you or not within the first ten seconds of looking at your resume because of the look or the layout.
If you were a hiring manager and you received two resumes: one from someone who had great experience, great qualifications and everything, but it's dull and flat and the other is designed by a graphic designer and looks amazing, but doesn't have the same substance.
Do you really think they're going to care what it looks like? They'd be the most useless hiring manager in the world if they went for the snazzier one.
The biggest thing on the resume is content, NOT design.
The last thing is resume scanning software. Again, each job posting will have keywords. There's no big secret to beating these software systems.
Don't fall for companies that tell you that they can. All you have to do is make sure you're consulting the job posting.
What should people include? What should people avoid?
Obviously include work history, a summary is nice and your soft skills. Usually, a posting will list the soft skills that they're looking for, like communication, collaboration, teamwork, that kind of stuff.
As for work history, make sure you highlight the major achievements. People want to know what the major add-value you bring to a company: How did you make the company better? Why should hire you as opposed to the competition?
You want to really showcase things, like how you can increase revenue, productivity, etc. If you can, try to quantify the results.
For what to exclude, some people say to include your interests, some people exclude. It all depends on who you're writing to.
If it's a start-up and they mention quirky, niche things in the posting, then sure, include your interests and hobbies.
If it's a corporate company, you don't need to waste time with your interests and activities.
Just make sure you know your audience.
What do employers in Montreal look for in a CV that ones in other Canadian cities may not?
Even across North America, every job posting is going to be unique and every HR person is going to be looking for unique things.
Obviously, you can generalize that companies in Montreal will be looking for people who are bilingual. That just goes with the territory. Especially if you're client-facing.
In terms of more general things, no, there really shouldn't be any major differences.
You could have a hiring manager in Montreal, Austin, somewhere in Alberta, anywhere that could ask for the same thing. Or they may have something completely different.
That's why you shouldn't be afraid to apply anywhere. If you're allowed to work in that area, of course.