Do's & Don'ts for your application

 DO’s General
  • Make sure the email address is a valid one that you access at least once a day. Ualberta is the best address. It is professional and has your name in it. Do NOT use cute screen names or ones that are questionable. i.e.
  •  Upload your cover letter and resume as ONE document. Employers get MANY applications and to search for two documents instead of one makes things easier for the employer and more of a desirable candidate. 
  • Convert your cover letter and resume into a PDF document. It protects you and your documents. Word is considered an "unfinished" document, .PDF is considered "finished".
  • Be creative with your cover letter and resume. If you have a design background, experiment with different formats/ layouts (see Photoshop resumes). Make sure the cover letter has some white space and looks balanced. 
  • Look over the cover letter and resume carefully. Reverse the roles. Would you hire this person if it came across your desk?

 DO’s Cover Letter 
  • Personalize your cover letter and address to employer if you can.
  • Include the address of the company you are applying to.
  • Use an electronic signature. If possible, scan your signature and insert into your cover letter to make it look more professional.

 DO’s Resume
  • Design a ‘Master’ resume including all your work experience, volunteering activities, extracurricular activities, hobbies etc. → It will help to effectively target the resume for each job.
  • Align your dates to the right.
  • Include personal accomplishments under section Interests/ Hobbies etc. i.e. hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, ran marathon, won national chess championship etc.
  • Provide concrete examples to support each of your qualifications and skills and how you have acquired them. Quantify experiences to indicate accomplishments.
  • Use action words!!

  • Fill the entire resume and cover letter. Too long. Leave white space. Makes it hard to read.
  • Repetitive word. Looks like you have a limited vocabulary. Looks like no thought or effort was put in.
  • Don’t hide gaps in your resume – be honest.
  • Don’t use more than 2 fonts.
  • Don’t use negative phrases.
  • Don’t use overuse I, They, We.