Resume Help

Your resume is a key document used to apply to jobs during the co-op process, and later on in life. 

Building your resume in Science

This video presentation was made by an experienced Centre for Career Action (CCA) career advisor, specifically for a course in the Faculty of Science. As you find yourself building your resume for the co-op process, be sure to check out some of the key takeaways and tricks mentioned during the presentation!

To supplement the presentation, here are some additional skill and achievement verbs that you may find useful in building your resume. 

Resume Bank

This resume bank is available to all undergraduate students. It is to be used to help students reference personal resumes made by Faculty of Science students when making their own. While the resumes that are submitted are looked over by a member of the Science Society, we are not responsible for how you decide to use the resumes. 

The resume bank may be accessed here .

In order to submit a resume to the resume bank, please anonymize your resume and check over all of its details. You can submit your resume here . 

For submitting your resume, you are allowed to enter an optional draw for the Winter 2020 term. The prize is a gift card valued at $20 of the winners' choices. While submitting your resume gives you one submission (even if you submit it multiple times), you may garner more draw submissions by submitting your cover letter. The winner will be selected after April 14, 2020. Please reach out to the VP Academic if you have any further questions.

University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our  Office of Indigenous Relations .

The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  [email protected]   or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935. Positions are posted for internal candidates and are reviewed first before exploring external applicants. Due to the number of applications received, only applicants who are selected for an interview will be contacted.

Job Listings

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Resumés, cover letters and cvs, resumés, cover letters and cvs.

A targeted resumé or CV is essential for an effective application to any type of job. The Career Centre is here to assist you in preparing an effective resumé, cover letter and application. Professional advice for your resumé and cover letter helps you to create application documents that are more targeted and effective.

Resumé Checklist

Is your resumé…

  • Easy to read
  • Professional
  • Position-relevant
  • Formatted (PDF)
  • Appropriately named
  • Written by you!

Resumé Services

  • Attend a Resumé Writing workshop .
  • Attend a Cover Letter Writing workshop .
  • Earn the  Career Development Certificate .
  • Book an individual appointment  for resumé feedback. 
  • Receive resumé feedback by email . 
  • Contains sample resumés, CV, cover letters, and tips for preparing effective documents.
  • contains an inventory of key skills sought by employers, including variations in wording for your resumé and cover letter.

Advance your Career with Social Media

Social media can be a helpful tool for exploring careers and connecting with professionals in the field.

Get started by learning more about building your professional online presence and how to use it for your job search. Join the Laurier Career Centre Group on LinkedIn to follow discussions, post questions, get career advice and interact with Laurier Career Centre staff.

Contact Us:

Waterloo Campus

E: [email protected] T: 519.884.0710 x4495 Office Location: 192 King Street North

Brantford Campus

E: [email protected] T: 519.756.8228 x5726 Office Location: One Market, OM 206-40

@lauriercareercentre Instagram Page

Laurier Career Centre Group Linked In Page

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Great jobs from scratch

Zero work  will teach you how to find the career you’ll love in a single weekend..

university of waterloo resume help

Job hunting, but  way   better

This pair of weekend workshops – hosted entirely online for your convenience – is where you get the clarity you need; tools to reshape your resume into an impressive story, interview memorably, network without feeling like a fraud, and finally decide what path matters most to you.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a first-year or grad student. Zero Work will help you get the career you want.

“This gave me a no-fluff rundown of how to get started thinking about my career. It helped me a lot – I would recommend Zero Work to everyone.” 1B Alum

Student talking to Velocity ambassador at event

Clarity in a weekend

Zero Work gives you everything you need  in just a single weekend, all online!

Saturday – How do you find a career you’ll love?

Figuring out your next step is often a foggy mess – no one has a good answer to “What do you want to do after you graduate?” Saturday is about solving that together and finding yourself more opportunities to thrive.

Sunday – How do you get the job you want ?

Building off of what you discover on Saturday, Sunday is where you break down your resume, job hunting strategies, interviewing skills, and more to land the job you want. This gives you the tactics you need to succeed, and the next step you should take.

“ Zero Work opened my eyes to a lot of things that had me thinking “How have I gone my whole life without thinking of that ? ” “ Graduate Studies Alum

university of waterloo resume help

What do you get out of it?

The most powerful outcome that hundreds of Zero Work alumni talk about  is the confidence and clarity gained.

They say Zero Work answered questions they’d had for years but never known how to tackle. They feel far more confident networking and in conversation, and are finally proud of their resumes. They’re excited about their futures, seeing more opportunities than ever. And they know exactly what their next step needs to be. Plus, joining nets you dozens of deeply researched essays on how to be successful, freely available in the Zero Work library and written by UWaterloo students like you, along with a career fireside Q&A and permanent access to the alumni group.

“ There are so many resources offered and so many chances to ask real-life questions. The advice I got in return for 3 hours of my time gave me a great sense of direction for who knows how many years down the line in my career.” 2A Alum

university of waterloo resume help

Intensely useful

Every part of Zero Work is super interactive, stuffed to the brim with knowledge and all those soft skills university doesn’t teach, created so you can practice with peers  immediately .*

*There’s never more than 10 minutes of lecturing at a time. Every cool idea is instantly used, and echoes as the program goes on.

This works.

Now on its sixth term and with over six hundred alumni, Zero Work is proven to give you clarity about what career you want and how to get it. Far from a stereotypical lecture on “how you’ll have a lucrative career if you just master these six steps” – it is an interactive meditation on what you want to do, and how you can start doing it.

If you don’t like it, it’s only a couple hours from a weekend!

But if it clicks with you as it has for your peers, Zero Work will transform your university experience.

“This wasn’t just job advice for me, this was life advice and something I will cherish and use for a long time.” 4A Alum on Zero Work
  • Student Services
  • Career and experience
  • Career resources

Resumes and cover letters

You have more experience than you think. Learn how to identify and articulate employable skills through your resume and cover letter.

This guide is written with all students in mind. However, if you’re a graduate student, review the additional career resources specific to you.

Most employers spend less than one minute scanning your resume in their first pass through of job applications. In those few seconds, you need to clearly demonstrate how your skills, experience, education, and characteristics match the employer's needs. Here’s how you can do it.

Customize your resume

Make sure that you have reviewed and tailored your resume to match the job posting and requirements:

Develop a “summary” or “highlights” section at the top of your resume that speaks directly to the top skills, experience, and knowledge the role requires.

Review the statements under each role on your resume and make them relevant to the job to which you are applying. 

Accomplishment statements

Accomplishment statements are the foundation of an outstanding and competitive resume. By the end of the following video, you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of how resumes function,
  • Be able to identify the components of an effective accomplishment statement, and
  • Know how to create accomplishment statements that reflect your own skills, abilities and potential.

Consider how you might apply what you learn from the video to your resume. Here are some questions to consider:

  • How have you described your experiences in your resume? Where are you already sharing about your results or the quality of your work?
  • What about your experience can be better described with the VERB + TASK + RESULT formula? How might you quantify and qualify your experience even better?
  • How can you apply “fast numbers” (e.g., service to over 250 clients, collaborated with a team of four classmates, raised $4,000 dollars, supervised 10 volunteers) to the statements in your resume? These give the employer a better sense of the scope and complexity of your work.

Formatting and readability

It’s important to ensure that your job application documents are professional, consistent, and error free. While some of this can be subjective, make sure to complete the following:

  • Review your documents for spelling and grammar
  • Format your documents for easy reading. For example, pay attention to fonts and white space.
  • Keep formatting consistent across your job application documents, like your resume and cover letter.

Remember, employers have many resumes to review and they can often look similar. Make sure that key elements of your resume stand out in a quick scan. This includes the key qualifications that you believe are going to be most important for the role and the unique assets you bring to the table.

  • Resume samples

For undergraduate students

  • Bachelor of Applied Science: Integrated Engineering  (pdf)
  • Bachelor of Arts: Psychology  (pdf)
  • Bachelor of Arts: English  (pdf)
  • Bachelor of Science: Biology  (pdf)
  • Bachelor of Science: Food and Health  (pdf)
  • Bachelor of Social Work  (pdf)
  • Bachelors: Dietetics  (pdf)

For graduate students

  • Masters: Engineering Physics  (pdf)
  • Masters: Political Science  (pdf)
  • Masters: Sociology  (pdf)
  • PhD: Biomedical Engineering  (pdf)
  • PhD: History  (pdf)
  • PhD: Immunology  (pdf)
  • PhD: Marketing  (pdf)

Get additional tips  (pdf) on how to tailor your application to make a strong first impression.

  • Cover letters

Unless the job posting says otherwise, always write a cover letter to go with your application. It personalizes your application and is a chance to emphasize your most relevant qualifications and make a case for why you're a great candidate.

Ideally, your cover letter should fit on one page. Read these  additional tips  (pdf) on writing a cover letter that will help you stand out from other candidates.

Things to put in your cover letter

Contact information and date.

  • Include your name, telephone, and e-mail. You do not need to include your mailing address. Keep the format of this section consistent with the header of your resume.
  • Include the name of the contact person or hiring manager, as well as their job title, company name, address, and postal code. Try to identify as many of these details as possible by looking at the job posting and the company website. If in doubt, use “Hiring Committee” or “Hiring Manager” in place of the name.
  • Add a “RE:” line at the top of the letter that includes the title of the job and a job ID if it is listed on the job posting (e.g., RE: Social Media Coordinator, 544321).
  • State the month, day, and year (e.g., May 15, 2021).
  • Begin with “Dear” or “To”.
  • Address the contact person by their full name (e.g., Santa Ono). If you know that the person holds a professional title such as Dr. or Professor, you may wish to use the full title (e.g., Dr. Santa Ono).
  • If you don’t know the person’s name, address the person by their job title, or address your letter to “Hiring Manager” or "Hiring Committee".
  • Avoid writing “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.
  • Avoid using Mr/Ms/Mrs because doing so can put you at risk of misgendering the employer.

Opening paragraph

Keep your opening paragraph brief with just a few sentences.

  • Start with a compelling statement about who you are and why you are applying for the role. Like a good story, this should hook your reader into the rest of your letter. For example, “As a current student in Earth and Ocean Sciences with past experience in event planning I am excited to express interest in the role of Event Planner. I bring strengths in communication, research, and commitment to the David Suzuki Foundation’s mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future.”

Demonstrate knowledge of the position. Mention why you are interested and briefly mention 2 or 3 strengths that make you a strong candidate for the position.

Mention if you have a referral from someone internal to the company. Reference the position you are applying for and how you learned about the job (e.g., through a referral or advertisement). For example, “Jane Chu, Manager of Customer Service, suggested I write you...”.

Follow-up paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your cover letter give the employer more information about just a few skills or experiences that you have listed on the resume. The purpose of this section is to show evidence of your qualifications and convince the employer that you are a good fit for their organization.  

Pick 2 to 3 key strengths or past experiences that have equipped you to succeed in this role. They should be the things you can speak in depth to that are also very relevant to the position to which you are applying.

These can be from accomplishments from paid work, volunteer roles, academic or community-based experiences that show your strengths and skills.

Use the next 2 to 3 paragraphs to explain the strengths or skills you have picked, provide examples of when you have showcased these well, and connect it back to your value to the potential role. Focus on quality, not quantity. One of the most common mistakes we make with cover letters is trying to talk about everything.

Second-to-last paragraph

Depending on the length of your body paragraphs, you may or may not be able to include this paragraph. Either is fine, but make sure you speak to your interest in the employer somewhere in your cover letter. It can be woven into other paragraphs.

  • Showcase your knowledge about this organization and explain why you are interested in working for them in particular. This is a very important element of a tailored cover letter. Not including this information puts you at risk of looking like you sent the same cover letter to many employers.
  • Indicate the organization’s values, culture, or areas of prospective growth, and describe how these are similar and relevant to you, your previous accomplishments, and interests. Reassert your interest in supporting them to reach their goals.

Closing paragraph

This should be a short paragraph with no more than 2 or 3 sentences.

  • Thank the employer for their time.
  • Reassert your interest in the role.
  • Request an opportunity to interview for the role.
  • When appropriate, take a more proactive approach by arranging to call the employer.
  • Cover letter samples
  • Bachelor of Applied Science: Electrical Engineering  (pdf)
  • Bachelor of Arts: Communications  (pdf)
  • STEMCELL position  (pdf)
  • Race Forward position (pdf)
  • Clinical Research Coordinator  (pdf)
  • Director of Engagement  (pdf)
  • Assistant Forester  (pdf)
  • CareersOnline

Use your CWL to log into the online job and volunteer board for UBC students and alumni.

  • Career events

Whether you're looking to improve your job applications or find resources to help you develop your career, UBC has events and workshops to support you.

  • Access LinkedIn Learning

As a UBC student, you have full access to LinkedIn Learning . LinkedIn Learning provides short courses and individual videos to help you develop employable skills and learn about career options.

  • If you have questions

Contact the UBC Career Centre for career-related information or to drop in to career advising.

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