Looking for Ontario PSW jobs? Follow these resume tips for Personal Support Worker career success.
Looking for a Personal Support Worker (PSW) job in Ontario? Here are eight tips to ensuring your resume and cover letter gets to the top of the pile of Ontario PSW employers.
By Duff McCutcheon
1. Highlight that PSW certificate.
Your hard-earned PSW certificate from a recognized school? Make sure you put that up top in the education section of your resume. Many agencies won’t give your resume a second look if you don’t have a PSW certificate and it’s a must-have if you want to work in any kind of government-sponsored setting.
Employers want to know that you have up-to-date First Aid and CPR certifications (as well as any other medical certifications you have earned). Highlight your certifications (along with issue dates).
This part is going to take a little extra effort, but it pays off. Instead of forwarding the same resume to every job you see, tailor your experience to the specific job you’re applying for. Look at the skills required for the job and describe what you have done at previous Personal Support Workers jobs to demonstrate how you possess those skills. And focus on how you helped the client as opposed to stating how “I did this…” in describing your past experience.
“Tell us what you’ve done and why you’re so good,” says Zena Thomas, Area Director, Waterloo Wellington at Bayshore Home Health. “We want to see how you handle client engagement,” she says. “We don’t go in and do things for clients; we go in and to help and we ask what we can do to assist them. We want to keep them independent. When you’re describing your skills, illustrate how you’ve done these things by providing specific examples.”
If you’re a recent PSW graduate and you don’t have much experience yet, “use your PSW school placement experience and any volunteer experience you may have and expand on those activities,” says Joanne Lair, Director, Human Resources at We Care Home Health Services.
4. Long-term care experience.
If you have long-term experience, highlight it—it will really set you apart. “People with long-term care experience typically come with great skill sets,” says Thomas. “They’re dealing with transfers, incontinence, bathing, pericare. They’re dealing with multiple clients and crises. That shows me they have critical thinking skills. They know who to deal with first and why; emergencies; they know when to involve supervisors and report back. They’re more inclined to look at a client’s body and issues that they see – triage skills.”
5. Delegated skills.
If you have any delegated skills you have learned and been signed off on by a nursing supervisor, put them on your resume. This includes things administering eyedrops, putting on compression stockings or taking blood pressure.
6. Languages spoken.
It is very important to include what languages you can speak on your resume. “We do availability filters, so if we get a client that only wants someone who can speak a particular language, we filter through our system to find applicants who can speak it,” says Thomas.
Availability is critical and applicants that state when they’re available will likely get a second look. You’ll likely get a third look if you state that you’re available for evening shifts, casual shifts, and weekends.
8. Online resumes.
To make your resume work even harder, create a personal career profile and post your resume online at www.homecareconnect.ca – a new home care-specific job board for Ontario PSWs.
Just go to www.homecareconnect.ca/login to create your online resume and get noticed by top Ontario PSW employers.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of “must-haves” for your resume, but they’re definitely things you want to include if you’re serious about seeking a PSW job at a reputable employer.
Duff McCutcheon is principal of HomeCareConnect.ca—a free online job board aimed at Ontario home care professionals. Home care professionals—Personal Support Workers (PSWs), companions, home care aides—can register to post their resumes and get noticed by top home care employers. Employer can register to post unlimited free job postings targeting home care professionals across Ontario.