The recession across North America means that the job market has tightened in many places, making it difficult for people on the edges of employ-ability, such as those just entering the job market, to find work. Where before you might have been able to get a job no problem, now you will have to have a stellar resume and ace the interview. Many people have little knowledge of how to build a resume, so here are the key factors in making yours.

Work Experience

This is what most employers look for when selecting an applicant: work experience in a relevant field. If you're switching careers, don't be afraid to take a term position at the bottom of the totem pole in your new job sector (for instance, as a receptionist to a doctor if you're getting into medicine) to show that you know what working in the field entails. Any job can be relevant to any other in some way, so include any work that you've done.

Volunteer Work

In lieu of actual work experience in a given field, many companies will accept volunteer work as evidence of your competence. If you hope to land a construction job with New York State Mold Assessor for instance, you could build your resume by volunteering to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity. Many places actually look for volunteer work because it indicates a well rounded and compassionate person, so even if it's not relevant be sure to mention it.

Education and Skills

Education is the proof that you have the skills the company needs, so if you've completed a relevant training program like a realtor's certification course, make sure to put that on there. If you haven't, consider taking a workshop to boost this part of your resume. Under skills you should list anything you've learned outside of your education. For instance, did you one do a ride along with a real estate agent to see what a typical day for him or her entails? Do you write a real estate blog as a hobby?


The best kind of references are involved in the industry you want to enter and who know you well enough to paint an accurate picture of your capabilities to your potential employer. If you're applying to be a personal care worker, ask your neighbor who works in a retirement home or even your family doctor. Just make sure to ask your references beforehand if they're willing to oblige.

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