Refine your story

Your resume is a personal marketing document that showcases your skills and experience. Here’s how to craft a clear, tailored and professional resume that highlights what sets you apart.

In this section

Preparing to write

There are countless ways to write a resume, and you’ll hear different opinions and preferences. The important thing is to produce a document that represents you, what you’ve achieved and what you can bring to the company.

Employers receive many resumes, so they can afford to be selective about who they interview. Stand out by targeting your application. That means customizing your resume and cover letter to emphasize how your strengths fit the company and the key skills required for the job. Doing so demonstrates initiative and commitment, and it will help the employer see why you’re the best fit for the role.

Here’s how to get started:


    1. Review the job posting carefully.
    • Make note of the key skills and qualifications in the description.
    • If the posting offers few details or you’re applying for an unadvertised position, research similar positions at similar organizations for guidance on what to emphasize.


    1. Research the company.
    • Review the company’s website to understand its market, products and vision.
    • Search for more information, such as news articles, press releases and social media posts. You can find some of this information in the Company Pages section in the Milt Harris Library.
    • Seek information from your network of contacts.


    1. Have your personal brand and career story ready.
    • Be sure to devote time to this section of the website before you begin to construct your resume – it will help you identify your strengths, capabilities and much more.


    1. Start listing your educational and work experiences.
    • Include schools, programs and certifications and the years you attended or earned them. Also include awards, scholarships and your Rotman GPA (if 3.50 or above). For work experiences, include employers, the years you worked there and key responsibilities. If you’re just starting your career, think about major projects you’ve worked on at Rotman. (We’ll get into more details about this section below.)

Writing your first draft

Now that you’ve pulled together the information you need, you can start writing.



Your resume should fit on one or and follow the structure below (or similar).


  1. Header
  2. Profile or summary
  3. Skills section (optional)
  4. Education
  5. Professional experience
  6. Additional interests


  1. Header
  • At the top of the page, in bold 14-pt font, type your full name and designation (only if you’ve completed one).
  • If you have a nickname you prefer to use rather than your given name, include it in parentheses between your first and last names: Shuang (Cindy) Zhu
  • Below your name, in 11-pt font, add your contact information: phone number, Rotman email address and LinkedIn URL.
Customizing your LinkedIn URL


When you join LinkedIn, your profile is given a default URL with a series of digits. Changing your URL to include your name instead will make it easier to read and remember. Here’s how to customize your public profile LinkedIn URL:


  1. At the top of your LinkedIn homepage, click “Me”
  2. Click “View profile.”
  3. Click “Edit public profile & URL” at top right. This will take you to the “Public profile settings” page.
  4. Under “Edit your custom URL” at top right, click the edit icon (pencil) beside your public profile URL.
  5. Change the last part of the URL to your first and last name:

If “FirstNameLastName” is already taken, try these variations:




Avoid using numbers in your new URL — it will look like a default address.

  1. Profile or summary

This is an optional section on your resume. It’s most often used by professionals who have been working for two or more years. In two or three lines, highlight your most relevant skills and competencies. What combination of qualities, experience, results, track record and/or education makes you their ideal candidate?


A candidate seeking to deepen their career in marketing might say…

Marketing professional with a passion for creating inclusive brand stories. Enjoy leveraging data to respond to diverse market sectors. Extensive experience building relationships across teams and managing projects end to end.

A candidate seeking to transition into management consulting might say…

Expert relationship builder possessing extensive experience asking questions to assess and respond to client needs. Strong research skills and comfort working with large volumes of data. Enjoy working across industries and adapting quickly to tackle new projects.

A candidate seeking to progress their career in technology might say…

Technical consultant possessing four years of experience designing solutions to make business processes more efficient and cost-effective. Known for bridging the gap between technical and non-technical audiences. Comfortable liaising with diverse stakeholders from front-line staff to executive leadership teams.


  1. Skills sections (optional)

List three to six relevant skills as bullet points. Use specific language.


  • Experienced and persuasive presenter (not: Strong communication skills)
  • Extensive relationship management experience (not: Team player)
  • Advanced cloud solutions knowledge (not: Technical knowledge)



  1. Education

Include any awards, scholarships, class rank, leadership roles, case competitions, significant/relevant group projects or club memberships.


List your schools and programs starting with Rotman.


Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

MBA Candidate, [year of graduation]

      • Entrance Scholarship, [year]
      • GMAT, GPA, Dean’s List, [year]
      • Elected First Year Representative of X
      • Participated in XX case competitions
      • Member of X Association/Clubs


Continue with your other designations and degrees.


Details about professional development or designations such as CFA, CPA, PMP and post-graduate diplomas should be listed in one line starting with the institution name. For example:


McGill University, CPA Charterholder,  2019

Global Association of Risk Professionals, FRM , 2018

CFA Institute, CFA Level III Candidate,  2021


You can add the month and year you passed an exam but not a date you “expect” to pass. Future dates are not permitted unless it is for the CFA exams. When you formally register, you can add it to your resume.



  1. Professional experience

List professional experience in reverse chronological order. For each position, showcase specific accomplishments and skills that will be of interest to the employer.


  • Use a bullet point for each skill or accomplishment.
  • Each point can be one or two lines long. Do not use periods within or at the end of each point. Use a semi colon to connect two sentences.
  • Write each point in past tense and start with a strong action verb (see list below). The format could be: Action verb + description + result/outcome.
  • Use a variety of action verbs and other key words to avoid repetition.
  • Do not use personal pronouns.
  • Do not list job responsibilities; instead, provide your best examples and quantify your accomplishments. Explain how you contributed (details of role, size of team, size of sales budget, etc.)
  • Avoid technical jargon.




[Employer name], [city], [province or country]

Optional: include a one-line description of employer (in italics) if it is not well recognized in North America

[Job title], 2020 – Present (only include months if the experience was under one year)

      • Led and performed competitive analysis of XXX leading to $XXX development of XXX
      • Initiated market segmentation study, involving XXX and XXXX; presented findings to CEO and recommendations adopted


  1. Other interests

This section is your opportunity to share interesting details like professional association memberships, volunteer involvement, hobbies, sports or other extracurricular activities. The bullet points here should:


  • Feature volunteer experiences, hobbies or interests that show leadership, perseverance, drive, stamina, excellence or creativity.
  • Demonstrate your personal impact on community or social/professional associations.
  • Include technical skills that are relevant for your target function/industry; only list those for which you have a working proficiency.
  • Include language fluency other than English; only include languages where you are fully proficient, and don’t use the terms “native language” and “native tongue.”

Polishing your resume

Once you’ve written your resume, run through the steps below. Repeat until your document is in the best possible shape.


  1. Proofread your draft for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. (Don’t just use a spellchecker — it won’t catch all types of errors.)
  2. Follow the formatting tips above, and check for any formatting glitches.
  3. Ask a friend, a classmate, a mentor or Career Services staff to review your resume. Consider their feedback and make revisions. Repeat steps 1 to 3.
  4. Proofread again! We can’t emphasize this enough — many employers disregard applications with errors.
  5. If using the “track changes” function in your word processor, accept all changes and turn off track changes.
  6. Save your resume as PDF.

Next steps