Let's Talk Resumes: What to include, what to ditch!

You know your way around the processing plant, like Usain Bolt, knows his way around the track. 

Swift. Proficient. Skilled. 

Yet when it comes to typing up your resume, you are unsure where to start. 

Here’s what to include in your resume as a food and beverage manufacturing professional to land you that dream job. 

Why is a resume important? 

So before we get into what to include and exclude from your resume, let's discuss why this piece of paper, or in today’s time, it’s more likely a PDF, holds so much weight. 

A resume is still the golden standard for hiring amongst food and beverage processing companies in Canada and is the first stage of the recruitment process when applying for a position as a food and beverage production worker. 

What to include in your resume? 

A resume is your opportunity to showcase your best self.  A good resume showcases your food processing skills, knowledge of food manufacturing procedures, achievements in the food processing industry, and the unique talents that will land you that position as a senior food and beverage production professional that you covet.

Format matters 

The most common resume format in Canada is reverse-chronological, listing your work experience (from your current position backward), educational background and food processing skills, so this is the format to follow. 

Make your food processing resume stand out!

Applicant Tracking Programs (ATS) reject 75% of qualified applicants because they can't process the resumes submitted. Formatting your resume clearly and including specific skills and keywords is vital to get through those computer bots. 

Match your resume to the job description 

Not every job profile will have the exact requirements, so tailoring your application to the job description is critical. If the job description lists specific food manufacturing procedures or food processing skills, make sure to list that in your resume. 

Are you applying for a food safety position? List your GMPs, SQF, HAACP or ISO certification. These are food manufacturing procedures that recruiters are looking for. 

Are you looking for a food scientist position? List the degree you completed (this is a requirement for this profile) and highlight any additional Project Management or Engineering Certifications. 

Showcase your years of experience and examples that demonstrate your expertise. You may have increased operational efficiency by 5% by implementing new food and beverage manufacturing processes, pushing your resume to the top of the shortlist for that supervisor position. 

Building your case with sound examples will set you apart as the highly-skilled food and beverage production professional you are.

Be specific 

Quantify your experience. For instance, if Usain Bolt were to write his resume, would he say he won a couple of medals? 

No! He would list each race he ran,  the time he finished, and the position he finished in. 

Being the tuned-in athlete he is, he would also appeal to sponsors (and land the big paychecks) by highlighting his personal skills. So take a note from Bolt, look for the traits listed in the job description, and highlight the soft skills that make you the perfect applicant for the job. 

Food and beverage production workers often overlook soft skills, which are a vital part of your experience in food processing. From critical thinking to attention to detail and collaboration, these skills will set you apart from the crowd. 

What to leave out of your resume? 

It’s great that you love cats and are an avid Bieber fan or enjoy a glass of Chardonnay while lounging around while watching TSN. But none of this needs to be on your resume. Keep your resume short and to the point. You are applying for a food and beverage professional job, not rewriting your Hinge profile. No matter how skilled you are at Trivia, recruiters are only looking at your food processing skills. 

Avoid too much personal information

Food and beverage manufacturing recruiters are less interested in your personal information and more focused on your professional achievements and certifications. Start with your contact details and updated LinkedIn social media profile. Don't worry about including your marital status, nationality, hobbies, and spiritual beliefs. These are best left for your social channels. 

Avoid graphics and images

Keep the format simple and avoid adding a headshot image, bright colours, and pretty graphics. It can create bias and distract from your application, and ATS systems also may reject overly designed resumes. 

Don’t use templates 

Failure to customise your resume can mean those tricky ATS systems will block you from ever getting in front of a human. While the jobs may appear the same, the companies hiring could be different. 

Do some research on the manufacturer that is hiring and see what values they look for in candidates. This way, you can include this in your resume and cover letter. 

And if this all sounds totally exhausting and time intensive, reach out to an expert in the food and beverage recruitment industry. 

That’s where we come in. QTalent is Canada's first talent discovery platform specifically for food and beverage production workers looking for a change. 

Our platform allows you to upload a standard resume and profile to apply for multiple jobs all within one platform, making it simpler to land your dream job in the food and beverage industry. 

Create your profile for free today. 

Romy Zwiers

Author

Romy Zwiers is a journalist and marketing professional with 16 years of experience working across industries with a keen focus on the beverage and food industry, having worked with companies like KFC, Nandos, Cadbury and Coca-Cola.

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