Competency Category:

15.2 – Work with Clients to Write Communications

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) help clients write communications. This commonly includes a cover letter to introduce the résumé and value proposition, which may be required at multiple stages of the career development and work search process.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Outline various types of written communications, e.g. cover letter, informational interview request, follow-upletter, confirmation letter, reference page, online profile
  • P2. Collect information required to write communications, e.g. performance reviews, educational transcripts, job posting
  • P3. Explain how to write communications:
    • Focus on a specific target market, e.g. job, company, or industry
    • Explain reason for communication, e.g. job advertisement, referral
    • Use appropriate tone, e.g. conversational, professional
    • Write original material, e.g. do not copy directly from résumé or job posting
    • Represent facts truthfully
    • Present consistent value proposition
    • Relate skills and accomplishments to the prospective employer’s needs, e.g. job posting requirements
    • Exclude personal information, e.g. age, marital status, gender, religion, political affiliation
    • Mitigate issues related to challenges or barriers, e.g. employment gaps, short employment terms, incomplete
      education, limited experience, terminated from position, older candidate
  • P4. Give advice to client on design of communications:
    • Match design and formatting of the document with the résumé, when appropriate
    • Use font effects sparingly to make certain content stand out, e.g. underline, bold, italics
    • Structure design elements consistently, e.g. section headings, bullets, line and character spacing, margins,
      paragraph justification
  • P5. Proofread communications:
    • Use a Canadian dictionary and style guide
    • Address errors in format, content, grammar, and spelling
    • Resolve inconsistent design

Knowledge & Understanding

Competent career development professionals must know and understand:

  • K1. Client’s background, target market and submission process.

Contextual Variables

Competent career development professionals must be able to perform this competency in the following range of contexts:

Depending on the type of practice, CDPs might write communications or provide guidance to clients.

CDPs may work with a broad range of clients or a specific demographic, e.g. new immigrants, and clients may present with significant barriers and challenges requiring mitigation.

The application process differs based on sector e.g. government, private.

CDPs may refer to specialists for complex materials, e.g. marketing presentations, business proposals, business cases.

Glossary & Key References


Industry-specific terms contained in the standard defined here, where applicable.

Value Proposition: is a message that a client can use to consistently communicate his or her promise of value to potential employers. Note this term originated as a marketing strategy to sell products to buyers. In career development, the client is considered “the product” and the employer “the buyer”.

Information Sources and Resources for Consideration

Graham, Sharon. The Canadian Résumé Strategist 2020 Edition: Certified Résumé Strategist Study Guide. 7th edition. Career Professionals of Canada, Milton, Ontario, 2020.

Graham, Sharon. Best Canadian Résumés: 130+ Best Canadian-Format Résumés. 4th edition. Career Professionals of Canada, Milton, Ontario, 2020.

Context Rating Scales


Q: What is the consequence of a professional being unable to perform this skill according to the standard?



Q: How frequent and under what conditions is this skill performed?

Routinely, regular course of procedure

Level of Difficulty

Q: Under routine circumstances, how would you rate the level of difficulty in performing this skill?

Moderate difficulty or complexity

Time Required to Gain Proficiency

Q: What is the average length of time or number of repeated events that are minimally necessary for an individual to become proficient in performing the skill to the standard?

A competent career development professional requires a minimum of one year of experience with at least 40 different clients, representing a broad range of individuals.


Practitioners typically perform this competency without supervision, and alone.


It is somewhat likely that this competency will automate.

Requisite Work Aids, Tools, Equipment or Materials


Career Development Professional Centre

Help us cultivate a community we all enjoy by reviewing and following the Code of Conduct.  

Our Purpose  

Thank you for being a part of the online CDPC social learning community. To ensure that all members have the best possible experience, we have a few ground rules that we ask everyone to adhere to. This code of conduct applies equally to every person in the community and is intended to foster an online space that is inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all. 

Community Rules 

Be welcoming 

We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. We aim to create and facilitate a community that promotes excellence and innovation in career and workforce development. Please extend respect to all members; we all come from different backgrounds and levels of knowledge and there is no such thing as a stupid question. 

Be respectful 

We won’t all agree all the time, but when we disagree don’t let those disagreements turn into personal attacks. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened will not be a productive one. Instead, when having discussions in the online community, create productive conversations around the content being presented, not the person behind the content. Any post that is determined to be “hate speech” towards any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation.  

Hate Speech could include and is not limited to:  

  • Violent threats or language directed against another person 
  • Discriminatory jokes, language, or materials 
  • Defamatory or abusive language or materials 
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A good rule of thumb is to never post anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable with the world seeing or that you wouldn’t want anyone knowing came from you. We ask that you keep in mind the focus of this community, which is building excellence and innovation in career and workforce development for all individuals.  

Be considerate of the purpose of the community 

This community will be focused on building excellence and discussing innovation in the career and workforce development field. The goal of this community is to communicate goals, challenges, constructive feedback, and questions in relation to career and workforce development. The community should be a place for continued learning and development as well as a place to discuss the future of our field (solicitation without written consent by the Project or Advisory team, is strictly prohibited). Any post that is determined to be soliciting any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation. 

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Make reasonable efforts to ensure that posts and materials are allocated to the appropriate group or topic. This will prevent cluttering the community and make it easier for everyone to find the information that they are seeking. Individuals who do this repeatedly will be contacted by one of the group admins and asked to follow these guidelines.  

Privacy and Release of Information  

CDPC-CEDC will not release your information to any third-party agencies.  

Group Admins 

There are four group admins who are available to you. Below are their names and their spoken language. 

Heather Powell | Anglophone 

Gabrielle St-Cyr | Francophone/Anglophone 

Florence Desrochers | Francophone/Anglophone

Muriel Andoblé-Yao | Francophone

Thank you and welcome to the CDPC Community!