Life after Auto – Connect with your Community Resources

Life After Auto Success Story – Jeff, Police Officer

Jeff always wanted to be a police officer, but after extenuating circumstances kept him from getting hired on the Toronto Police force when he was young, Jeff found himself needing a job to support his young family. Growing up the son of a lifelong GM worker, he never considered the auto industry as a career option at first, but after taking a job at Mackey Auto out of necessity and eventually making his way to Lear in 2000 for 8 years, things changed.

Jeff knew he didn’t want to stay in the auto industry forever, but he didn’t really know for sure what he wanted to do. He’d always wanted to be a police officer, he’d applied a few times throughout his auto career, but with a young family to support it never seemed like a real possibility to leave his full-time job and go back to school. So, when big cutbacks caused him to be laid off in 2007, Jeff saw this as an opportunity to finally pursue what he wanted to do.

With the help of the Employment Action Centre, Jeff applied to Durham College and was accepted into school full time in 2008 for law and security, which got him started on the full-time career he now enjoys as a police officer. He truly believes in the importance of taking opportunities as they come to you and credits the layoff as a catalyst to help him start a career he truly enjoys.

Rumors of plant closures and layoffs were abundant during his time at Lear, although he never suffered from these (other than the final layoff in 2007) Jeff spent his free time volunteering as an auxiliary officer with the Durham Region Police Service and taking night courses to upgrade his resume, both of which he attributes to helping his transition out of the auto industry, into full time schooling, and then into his new career.

Jeff says that he hopes anyone going through the same thing he was in 2007, will use the unfortunate situation as an opportunity to start over again and find what truly makes them happy. His advice to them is, to look for your own opportunities and figure out what you need in order to do what you truly want. “Treat this as an opportunity and not a punishment. Life is going to keep ticking away whether you have a job or not so if you have the opportunity to better yourself or upgrade your skills, jump on it!”

Top Tips for an Exceptional Resume

To create an effective resume, you must first view your resume as a tool that evolves with your career. It should be adaptable, and change based on new experiences, skills, and industry standards. Use a clear, modern font and take out any clunky headlines, using bullet points when appropriate to make it look clean and professional. Most resume collection is done online now, increasing the volume of resumes recruiters receive, so make your resume is concise and to the point to avoid being overlooked!

There is no standard resume template, so how you put it together depends on your industry, experience, and personal preference. A quick Google search will bring up several resume building tools or examples you may find helpful to follow.  It is important to provide correct information with proper spelling and grammar, so have someone else look over your resume when you are done. Continuously update your language to reflect industry standards, and make sure not to include specific jargon. Also, if it sounds like a cliché, you probably don’t need it!


Here are a few tips to help take your resume from a pass to a-mazing!


  1. Keep your resume easy to read by using a plain font (such as Arial), sized 10-12 for body text.
  2. Only highlight relevant or important information to keep your resume to 1-2 pages at most.
  3. Tailor your resume to the job by including the job title and company in your objective.
  4. Use keywords from the job description in your resume to fit what they are looking for.
  5. Only include the most recent 10-15 years of experience in your career history.
  6. Only highlight what is important to the job you’re applying to.
  7. Use a professional looking email address and up to date contact information in your headline.
  8. Avoid outdated, unnecessary terms such as “references available upon request”.
  9. Use preferred action verbs to better illustrate your job responsibilities for a stronger impact. For example:
  • Orchestrated
  • Addressed
  • Executed
  • Established
  • Appointed
  • Achieved
  • Constructed
  • Maximized
  • Advised
  • Ensured
  • Launched
  • Integrated

For more great resume tips please visit our Resume Bar. For extra assistance with writing a resume, check out one of the workshops hosted by one of the many service providers listed here, or make an appointment to speak with an adviser one-on-one.

Organization Spotlight

VPI Working Solutions

VPI Working Solutions provides employment programs, assessments, and supportive vocational services to help you improve job readiness skills, explore training, and get back to work. VPI has two locations in Durham Region; Ajax and Oshawa.  A quick visit to their site shows that VPI has a job board and a strong selection of resources such as self assessments, tips on interviewing, and resume guides.


VPI has a job board you can access here:

VPI Online resources: