Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you make the most of staying home.
Visit the hub

Paul, 26, graduated with a food science and biotechnology master’s degree from his native Belgium in 2018. He moved to Toronto shortly after graduating because he’d always liked the city and has family here. He was able to find a position as a production assistant for a small beverage company in Toronto a few months later, in February, 2019, but was laid off in April, 2020 because of COVID-19.

“I really enjoyed the environment and the people, but I was overqualified for the job,” Paul admits. He didn’t enjoy the repetitive tasks involved in that job, like taking cans off the canner or checking cans for defects. But he really enjoyed the R&D aspects of the role. “I did research, conducted trials and helped my manager improve and develop products,” says Paul. “My ideal position would be in research and development in the food or pharmaceutical industry. I enjoy working in the lab, doing research and conducting experiments.” He’s also considering roles in quality control or as a lab technician.

Paul’s job search has been extensive. He has applied to over 200 jobs and, at the end of June, extended his search area up to 100 kilometres around Toronto. Since then, he’s been contacted by a few recruiters and has reached the interview stage at a handful of companies, but they’re mostly for low-paying positions as a production technician.

Story continues below advertisement

While his goal is to work in R&D, Paul wonders whether he needs more Canadian education or experience to get him there. We asked career coach Alison Hemmings and Danone Canada’s vice-president of R&D, Pierre Morin, to review Paul’s resume and offer him some advice on his next steps.



Paul is playing the numbers game in the job market, but Ms. Hemmings reminds Paul that online job boards aren’t the only places to find employment. “Most jobs are not posted,” she explains. Ms. Hemmings recommends reaching out to industry professionals to request informational interviews. “Speak to people who are in the industry and ask them how they were able to navigate a successful career. Afterwards, send them a thank-you note and ask them if they can introduce you to someone in their network.”

Building up a network is especially important for Paul, who has limited experience and education in Toronto. Thankfully, Paul’s industry hasn’t been hard-hit by COVID-19, so he shouldn’t have too much trouble finding employment if he spends more time networking. Paul might also consider taking on an internship to add to his Canadian experience.

For Paul’s resume, Ms. Hemmings has a few tips to polish it further. First, she suggests adding a short summary paragraph to the beginning. “A paragraph description of your experience and skill set will help to give a sense of who you are, your expertise and background,” Ms. Hemmings explains. Paul’s experience section can also be improved. “He should identify to prospective employers the impact he had.” Paul can do that by adding ways that he helped his employers save money, implement change, change a process or improve a system. “Anything that goes on the resume needs to add value to the organization and should always be from the mind, what is in it for the company.”

Ms. Hemmings says that resumes should be two pages at most. Paul’s is just one page, which is good. But he can work on making it more eye-catching by incorporating design features, like colour, to stand out even more.


Paul is off to a great start with his resume, according to Danone Canada’s Pierre Morin. “It’s simple, clear and easy to read through,” he says. Since Paul is a recent graduate, Mr. Morin says it’s normal to see just a few work experiences listed, and most of them are relevant to an R&D position at a food company.

While Paul did an excellent job describing a major accomplishment he achieved during his first internship (developing a sparkling wine beverage), this sense of achievement is missing from his other work experiences, as Ms. Hemmings has also noted. “Adding an accomplishment for each of his work experiences would help demonstrate what he is capable of,” Mr. Morin says. He commends Paul’s openness to positions as a lab technician and says that lab tech roles in R&D or quality control could help him learn the basics of food product development. But Mr. Morin suggests that Paul consider positions in manufacturing, too. “Once you understand the intricacies of a manufacturing line or plant, you become a much more efficient food product developer,” he explains. As for further education, Mr. Morin doesn’t believe it’ll necessarily be beneficial for Paul. “Paul already has a Lean Six Sigma training [a process improvement method popular in health care and manufacturing], some great computer skills and he is proficient or fluent in four languages, which is certainly an added value when you work for a global company,” says Mr. Morin.

Story continues below advertisement

Finally, Mr. Morin reminds Paul that, while employers are looking for technical skills (which are learned in school and on the job), soft skills like the ability to collaborate with multiple teams are equally important to demonstrate on a resume. “Our scientific vocabulary is sometimes not easy to understand for non-technical people, so you need to be able to communicate your work in a language that other departments can understand and work with,” Mr Morin says.


With the help of Mr. Morin and Ms. Hemmings, Paul has polished up his resume and kept it to one page. He added a short summary at the top to show a bit more of his personality as well. In his work experience section, Paul included more accomplishments to detail how his achievements were beneficial to the companies he worked at. Finally, he’s added some colour into his resume, as suggested by Ms. Hemmings, to garner more attention.


E-mail us with your resume at and we’ll ask a career coach and an expert in your field to provide their feedback. Names and some details are changed to protect the privacy of the persons profiled. We’re especially interested in hearing from those who have had their employment impacted by COVID-19. On the flip side, if you’re a hiring manager interested in reaching out to the person profiled, we encourage you to contact us as well.

Stay ahead in your career. We have a weekly Careers newsletter to give you guidance and tips on career management, leadership, business education and more. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies