Professional Perspective: Creating eye-catching resumes

Welcome back to Professional Perspective where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment related topics!


Zain Ali, Human Resource Manager at Domo Gasoline Corporation Ltd., is back to answer today’s question. Zain’s professional perspective comes from an accumulation of his personal experience as an international student and his professional work experience within various industries, and now as a Human Resource Manager.

Today’s question is:

As a human resources professional, what do you look for in a resume?


Zain’s Professional Perspective

A resume has about 10 seconds to get the recruiter’s attention. If there is nothing that stands out or at catches my attention, I move onto the next one. Here are 4 general things that I look for in a resume:

1. Education – training and certifications

The education an applicant lists provides me with an idea of what kind of person the candidate is – their knowledge, skills, learning attributes, vision and commitment to the field.

2. Experience – employment, internships and volunteering

I look for work related experiences – including both the duration and the organization. Duration denotes commitment and efficiency while the organization shows ambition and capability to handle jobs for different organizations and their products and services.

3. Responsibilities – detailed description

To understand how your experiences have prepared you for the job you are applying for now, I need you to make the connections for me. Your explanation will also tell me whether you are enthused about your previous jobs or otherwise.

4. Format – uniformity and professionalism

Use a good font (Times New Roman, Garamond, Arial or Georgia) and easy to read layout. Black and white is ideal. Adding colour isn’t bad, but the print quality shouldn’t compromise the uniformity or professionalism of your document.

And when it comes to resumes, I have my own pet peeves. As a final tip, don’t get caught having a resume with these:

  • Information written in pen
  • Coffee stains or other marks
  • Improper grammar
  • Photos and overly creative designs
  • Incorrect information and inflated titles
  • Third-person writing
  • Long resumes
  • Out-dated personal information 

For additional tips on how to develop your resume, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources.

Everybody is unique – book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204-632-3966 or for personalized supports!pp-banner