If you want your resume to stand out in Canada you’ll need to know the basics of a Canadian resume format because it’s pretty different from the resumes you may use in other countries.
In this article I’m going to explain every detail you need to know about Canadian Resume style, and go over some useful tips to ensure you stand out in the crowd.
1.First step is to pick a Canadian resume format and there are three well-known types of resumes formats in Canada,
Here is an example of a chronological resume, which focuses on your work experience.
If you have a few years of work experience you may use this resume format to highlight your expertise
This is an example of a functional resume which focuses on your skills, this type of resume is excellent, if you have just a little or zero work experience and since the focus is on your skills you should showcase your work experience after your skills
Finally here is an example of a combination resume, which is a mixture of both resumes, this format is ideal if you’re new to mid-level and your intention is to highlight your skills while also showcasing your limited work experience,
To summarise, if you have zero experience use functional, if you have limited experience use combination, and if you’re an experienced person use the chronological resume.
Now regardless of what a chronological or functional format, there are some common formats to keep in mind, every Canadian resume is made of five sections.
The contact information you should include are, your name, Canadian phone number, and a professional email such as your name at gmail.com. it’s good to have your LinkedIn profile URL as well, make sure to remove any photos from your resume because a Canadian style resume doesn’t include your photo.
Now under the contact information we have our professional summary, this is usually three to five sentences highlighting your achievements and main skills related directly to the job, after reading your professional summary a hiring manager has a better understanding of who you are and what the skills you have.
Next you should include your work experience, beginning with your most current position when listing out your work history, for each job include your job title, company’s name, location, and dates of employment. Now for each job briefly describe your duties and achievements under the skills, you should list all the skill sets you have related to his position detailing a specific skill sets, it very important especially if you have little experience try to provide specific examples of your achievements, for example, if you increase sales in your department by 22% with your customer service, or communication skills, highlight this accomplishment in this section.
Now the last section of a Canadian formatted resume is Education, although the headline title is education, this section also includes any training courses or seminars relevant to the position. when writing the education section, include your degree, educational institution and your graduating there, if you are currently studying you can also include this and state that it is in progress, start with the program of your most recent graduation and list the ones to follow in order similar to your work experience, also include any academic Awards or certificates in this section.
Albright I believe by now you know how to write a Canadian style resume. Let’s get into the more advanced stuff. I’m going to share 7 tips to take your resume to the next level.
- The first tip is do not over share your personal information, at this point the only personal information the employer needs is your name and how they can contact you, they don’t need to know what country you are from or your race, your religion, marital status, or your sexual orientation, or mailing address, or anything about your family, in fact if a hiring manager asks these questions in an interview it might be illegal, under the canvas human right laws also your resume is not the place to disclose your SIN number, employers don’t need your SIN number until you’re already hired for the job. Your SIN number is a sensitive document and you should only share it if it is legally required. Again all you need to mention in your resume is your basic information like your name, phone number, and email address.
2. Tip number two is to use keywords because many company’s, uses automated software (ATS) for the initial resume reviews and scanning. This software looks for specific keywords related to the job posting, adding these keywords can help your resume pass the first initial resume screening. make sure to focus on words that the employer uses in this job posting about specific skills, characteristics, or knowledge. and include these in your professional summary, work experience, and relevant skills section.
3.The third tip is to include a cover letter, a resume offers a glimpse into your professional and academic experience, on the other hand the cover letter acts as an introduction to express your interest in that position and what makes you the best fit for the job. Now adding a cover letter to your resume can make you stand out from the crowd and improve your chances of getting invited for an interview, so make sure to limit your cover letter length just to one page, tailor your cover letter to suit each job application. proofread your cover letter and check for grammar and spelling and finally use a standard font size like 12 points in a phone such as Times New Roman or aerial
4.The fourth tip is to optimise your Canadian resume, there are so many ways to optimise your resume, but I’m going to the most important ones,
I.Make sure to convert technical terms to their Canadian equivalents,
II.Avoid long paragraphs, and font size less than 10, I personally prefer size 12,
III.Use correct headers and include keywords that match the job description. Most resume software tends to process Word files better than PDF so send your resume as a Microsoft Word document.
IV.finally use the standard format and don’t include any images or charts, it’s always a good idea to proofread your resume and check grammar and spelling especially if English is not your first language there are many free tools that can help you with proofreading and I highly recommend grammarly. You can also ask a native English speaker like a friend or a teacher to review your resume for language fluency. you can also include any volunteer experience that directly relates to the position.
if your volunteer work requires you to use skills that may be related to the job that you’re applying for adding your volunteer experience to your resume may work to your advantage
5.The Five tips is to try to quantify your achievements with numbers. for example if you work in sells, how many products or how much did you sell, how much profit did you bring in every month, missing your specific achievements in numbers that an employer can understand will highlight your skills better than a generic statement, saying that I have a good work ethic means nothing to a Canadian Employers, but for example saying I cruise traffic to our company’s website by 23% in three months shows a recruiter that you know what you’re talking about.
6.Tip number Six to don’t include references because if your employer wants references they will ask for them, a good practice is to ensure your reference knows that you’re naming them and giving out their contact information. Talking to your reference beforehand helps you to understand if this person is really going to give you a glowing review or not
7.Alright this is the bonus tip and I just saw it on TikTok, but I had to share it with you. Did you know you can add all of the keywords at the end of your resume ? simply type in all of the keywords even if there are hundreds or even thousands of reviews and reduce the size to one point, change the colour to white, and just like that you can increase your chances to pass the initial software job screening review and get invited for an interview.
Alright now that you know how to make a Canadian style resume but you’re just halfway now you should go ahead and read this and learn HOW TO FIND AND GET A CANADIAN JOB.