How to Submit Resumes to Apply for Athabasca Oil Sands Jobs

Since jobs in the Athabasca Oil Sands (also known as the Athabasca Tar Sands) are based primarily on oil extraction, you must customize your oil and gas resume specifically for these oilfield jobs.

Many companies operating in Fort McMurray and the surrounding area will require you to build an online job portfolio and submit an electronic resume with relevant industry and job title keywords and professional accomplishments.

When uploading your oil and gas resume (and possibly a cover letter) to the ompany’s online website, always ensure it is in a readable format (.pdf, .txt, .doc, or whatever the website may specify).

One of the first things you need to do before applying for a job in the Athabasca Oil Sands is to conduct an in-depth job search to find sample job postings of interest. Oilfield companies maintain their websites and have a section devoted entirely to different careers and positions they are hiring for.

You may choose to conduct a basic or advanced search on the website. A basic job search in the oilfield allows you to choose a desired Job Field and Location. An advanced job search contains parameters such as Job Type, Job Level, Schedule, Shift, Education, Amount of Travel, etc. You can also search by Keyword.

Where do you submit your resume to apply for Athabasca Oil Sands jobs?

If you are unsure of which oilfield companies operate in the Athabasca Oil Sands, below is a list that will give you a good start:

  • Suncor Energy– An integrated energy company exploring, developing, and producing conventional oil and natural gas onshore and offshore.
  • Athabasca Oil Corporation – Focused on the sustainable development of light oil resources in Northwestern Alberta and oil sands in the Athabasca region in Northeastern Alberta.
  • Shell is one of the largest corporations in energy exploration, operating internationally and in the Athabasca Oil Sands.
  • ConocoPhillips Canada– An oil and natural gas production and exploration company with positions that focus on technology, innovation, and sustainable development.
  • Imperial Oil – An integrated energy company that explores, produces, refines, and markets essential energy products.
  • Husky Energy – An oil company that operates in Western Canada and the United States and offshore, focused in the Asia Pacific and Atlantic regions.

Another oil and gas website you may wish to look into is Rig Zone. Rig Zone allows you to search by various parameters, such as the ones listed above. You can limit your job search to positions in the Athabasca Oil Sands, or you may want to expand across Canada or the globe. As an oil and gas resume writer, my clients have successfully used the targeted resume and cover letter we create to get results.

After narrowing down the job type you wish to target, you must complete an online application. Usually, you will be asked to build a personal job account first. You can apply for positions once your profile/account has been set up.

Enter your contact information (name, address, home phone/cell phone number, email address), upload a keyword-rich oil and gas-targeted resume in the correct format, and select the highest level of education you have earned. Continue providing details of your work experience, click off relevant skills, select when and where you want to work, etc.

The order of these job search steps applying for positions can vary depending on the company, and not all steps may be required. Be prepared to spend 30-90 minutes completing the online application, with many steps seeming repetitious of the information you provided in your resume.

Note: to ensure your session does not ‘time out’ while you’re building your oilfield applicant profile, have your resume ready ahead of time. Learn how to write an excellent oil and gas resume to ensure your application is read. If you need help writing your resume, contact me at or call toll-free at 1 877 738-8052.

Having your resume available will allow you to copy and paste from a text-formatted document into the fields listed online. When you copy and paste from an ASCII Text format, the resume will not look scrambled or messed up. Double-check details and proofread your resume before entering your information online!

Your goal is to use your online portfolio now and professional oil and gas resume to communicate you meet and/or exceed the organization’s requirements and be an asset to the company. Furthermore, by utilizing industry buzzwords in your resume and cover letter, you will enable the online filter (or Applicant Tracking System) to pick up on your profile, thus putting you ahead of the other applicants.

Keywords differ for each job title. Some of the oilfield industry buzzwords, terms, and skills you should incorporate in your resume include:

Samples of Buzzwords and Terms in the Oilfield:

  • Vertical Drilling
  • Vertical Wells
  • Directional Drilling
  • Directional Wells
  • Emergency Drills and Training
  • Maximum Production Output
  • Safe Job Analysis Process
  • Monthly Operations Audits
  • Government Regulations
  • Corporate Policies and Procedures

The key phrases you could use in your resume must be relevant to the job target, also known as your career focus. I just listed a few to provide an idea.

Sample Skills to Include in Your Oil and Gas Resume:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Organization
  • Highly Detailed Oriented
  • Proactive Problem-Solving
  • Safety-Oriented
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management and Organization
  • Diligent / Hard Working
  • Well-development Computer Skills

These oil and gas work skills and areas of expertise should also be highlighted in your oilfield cover letter, demonstrating you are a dedicated and driven individual.

Once you have submitted your required documents, you must wait for a phone call or email response from the company you applied with. However, use this opportunity to be proactive and aggressive in the job search.

Apply for more than one job with more than one company, ensuring you have a better chance of landing a job in the Athabasca Oil Sands. Depending on the company, you may be required to attend an in-person interview or conduct one over the phone.

A job posting could require a curriculum vitae (CV), not a resume. In Canada, it would usually be a resume. Read about the difference between a CV and a resume. 

Preparing for your oilfield interview is as crucial as developing your resume and cover letter. If you have received notice that you are requested to complete an over-the-phone interview, here are a few job interview tips to keep in mind:

  • Find a quiet location where you can be alone to conduct the interview.
  • Minimize distractions such as television, computers, phones, pets, children, etc.
  • Dress as if you are attending the interview in person, ensuring you will still act professionally on the phone.
  • Use appropriate language. Even though your interview is over the phone, and you may never meet the interviewer face-to-face, you must still conduct yourself accordingly. Every negative word or uneven tone you take will be noted and could cost you the position.
  • Keep a copy of your resume and cover letter in front of you to refer to. The interviewer may ask you specific questions about your job application documents. These documents also act as handy crib notes if you are nervous during the interview.
  • Practice and prepare before your interview!

Over the last 16 years, I have helped many clients in the oil and gas sector by writing their resumes and cover letters and providing job search coaching or interview preparation assistance.

If you have been invited to attend an in-person job interview, many of the above tips apply, with a few more additions:

  • Show up early for your oil field job interview. Drive the route ahead and allow for unforeseen events, such as road construction or traffic congestion.
  • Dress in business casual attire, ensuring your clothing is clean, pressed, and well put together.
  • Shake the interviewer’s hand at the end and beginning of your interview, thanking him or her for the opportunity.
  • Maintain good eye contact, but don’t stare. Remember to smile.
  • Again, practice, practice, and prepare for your oil and gas industry interview!

After you pass the interview stage, you could be asked to undergo a drug screening, ensuring you are a drug-free individual. Most organizations also hold drug screening tests regularly to ensure that their employees are productive and efficient workers who will not be liable to the company and its stakeholders.

If you would like extra guidance and help writing your oil and gas resume / CV, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, or preparing for the job interview, contact the Canadian Resume Writing Service immediately!

Ask yourself this question: Is your resume grabbing attention for the right reasons? If the answer is no, it’s time to take a different approach to preparing your resume for the oil and gas sector. The strength of your resume will determine whether you land job interviews.

You can review our oil and gas resume sample.

If you found these tips on applying for Athabasca oil sands jobs valuable, I would appreciate it if you shared this post with others!

Contact Candace if you need help with your resume. You can reach Candace Alstad-Davies directly by email at or toll-free at 1-877-738-8052.