Tips for Crafting a Winning Resume, and Why it Matters

image of resume example

First impressions are important. And when you’re job searching, your resume is the first impression you give to a recruiter or hiring manager. Qualifications, previous work experience, and fit have a lot to do with getting hired for a position, but having a finely tuned resume is the best way to ensure you get to the interview stage, where a company can learn more about you and your work history.

Follow the resume dos and don’ts below for a head start on the pathway to a career with Canteen. Aim for:

1. Appearance

Your resume should look clean and professional. On average, a recruiter typically takes only 10-20 seconds to review a resume. Break apart your objective, skills, experience, and references into separate sections and format in lists or bullet points, to make the information easy to process.

2. Length

It can be difficult to keep your resume concise, especially if you have a lot of relevant work experience, but brevity is important. For careers within the vending and refreshment services industry, your resume should be limited to one to two pages maximum, plus a one-page cover letter.

3. Relevance

Many hiring managers do a quick scan of resumes and separate the ones they’ll spend more time reviewing. Your resume should highlight key qualifications and skills, and only include work history that is directly relevant to the position. If space allows, include industry-related memberships and accomplishments, but if space is limited, leave this information off. Don’t bury the information a recruiter needs to see under experience that isn’t applicable.

4. Cover Letter

Unless otherwise noted in application instructions, you should include a brief cover letter with your resume. Your cover letter should state your work objectives and, most importantly, why you are interested and qualified for the specific position. Always tailor your cover letter to each company and position for which you’re applying.

5. Follow Instructions

A stand-out resume won’t do you any good if it doesn’t get to the person who needs to see it. If a job posting requests that you apply through an online portal, don’t simply email your resume and skip the online step. And vice versa, if the application instructions request that you email a resume, do so. Did the job posting ask for a cover letter? Specify a page limit? Request attachments, or specifically request no attachments? Are there any preferred document formats? Always double check, and follow all application instructions.


1. Inappropriate Graphics or Colors

You want your resume to stand out, but not for the wrong reasons. Avoid using unnecessary graphics or clip art on your resume.

2. Spelling or Grammatical Errors

Double check all spelling and grammar. It’s a good idea to have someone else look over your cover letter and resume before you submit for a position.

3. Unprofessional Contact Information

Make sure your contact information is current and correct. Unless applying for a different position within Canteen, your email address should not be a work email with a current employer. If a personal email, it should be something simple and professional (like your first and last name).

4. Irrelevant information

Don’t state a career objective or job experience that isn’t relevant to the position you’re applying for. Leave out hobbies or overly personal information. If personal information or hobbies are relevant to the job, you can mention this in the cover letter, but keep the resume professional.

5. Exaggerated or false qualifications

Don’t waste a recruiter’s time by exaggerating your skills or qualifications. It will eventually be clear if you don’t actually have the skills required for the position you’re applying for.

Always keep in mind that the main purpose of your resume is to get you to the next round of phone or in-person interviews, where you can expand on your qualifications and skills. Remembering this can help you keep your resume tailored and to the point.

Once you’ve got your resume in tip-top shape, explore job opportunities with Canteen on the Compass USA online job portal. And, keep an eye on our blog for monthly updates and tips for job searching within the vending and refreshment services industry and Canteen.

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