Before we delve into the topic, we will like to let you know firstly, that the CVs and resumes you are used to writing in your home country may be entirely different or share a little bit of similarity with the resume format in Canada, but if you adhere to our instructions, then, you will do just fine in adapting to the Canadian way of presenting your experience and skills in writing.
What is the significant difference between the resume format in Canada from other countries?
Your resume is your ticket to finding a Canadian job, this is why you must pay close attention to it if you wish to find a job in Canada. Based on this document alone, your potential employer will evaluate you to how suitable you are for the position.
The main essence of writing a resume is to secure yourself a spot in the interview by arousing the interest of the reader. For you to achieve your aim, try as much as possible to skip telling the employer about yourself, instead, let the employers know things that will convince them that you are the most suitable candidate to fit into the job description, such as things that will be of great benefit to the company.
In addition to this, you should avoid listing your duties in each role, instead, discuss the achievements that the resumes of other candidates may not carry in order to set yourself apart from the crowd.
In Canada, the resume format must be (in this order):
1. Your contact information
2. The summary of your professional/career
3. Your work experience
4. Your education or/and professional development
You can as well include technical skills and volunteer experience/community involvement. where necessary.
Sixteen tips on how you can adapt to the Canadian resume format.
1. Your resume has lost its relevance if it cannot secure you an interview, therefore, it is not supposed to be a detailed work history document. Hence, you should take into consideration presenting the reader with your highlights when you are writing your resume for Canada, and not going into detail. Save all the details for when you are invited for an interview.
2. Secondly, make your resume as interesting as possible because a typical hiring manager does not have all the time to go through your document, hence, utilize the opportunity you have to sell yourself, but don’t forget to do that concisely and focus on your achievements.
3. Employ the use of a resume template that is highly professional.
4. A font that is below size 10, and long paragraphs are unacceptable, instead, employ the use of an easily readable font and be consistent with that font size throughout your resume.
5. Endeavor not to make use of the first person pronoun and statements such as “I am technical”, “I worked at XYZ”, rather, employ the use of short sentences like “heightened sales by 10%”.
6. Another thing you should look out for is the length of your document, let it not be less than two pages if you are writing a resume format in Canada. But if you do not have enough experience, there is no need to make it up, just one page is enough, on the other hand, if you have more than 10 years of experience, you can make use of three pages.
7. Because you have limited space, ensure you do not waste important space, this is why we earlier advised that you must only list the experience that is relevant for the role to which you are applying.
8. You must not forget to translate all terms to their Canadian equivalent. For instance, infused terms such as “high school”, “GPA” (Grade Point Average — which is the equivalent for university grades), “internship”, and the rest of them.
9. Any hobby that doesn’t resonate with or add to your character should not be included in your resume. What distinguishes you from others is a good resume, and not your hobbies, therefore, talk about only things that will increase your chances of success.
10. Do you have the ability to speak a second language or mastery of particular computer applications? As long as they are relevant to the job you’re applying for, add them immediately.
11. Another unacceptable act is sending a generic resume to thousands of employers, instead, for each job and company you are applying to, you have to take your time in preparing your resume.
12. A little extra won’t be much of a problem, therefore, seeking the help of a professional in the field to go through it again and look out for grammatical and spelling errors if need be because these things can mar your first impression.
13. By no means should you mention that you are on a “gap year” or “one-year work permit”. Our reason for saying this is that companies are in search of candidates who will be committed candidates to the course, and contribute to their success. When the time for the interview comes, if the employer requests more information concerning your immigration status, then you can discuss that. Moreover, you should continuously research options of longer-term permanent residence if you are in Canada on a temporary permit, so you can discuss ways of residing in Canada once your work permit expires.
14. certain things should not be seen at the top of the page on your resumes such as the word ‘resume’ or ‘CV’ or the date you prepared the document.
15. Appending your signature on your resume is not required.
16. Recall what we said about not using up valuable space for writing irrelevant things like listing references or even including the line which states that references are available on request because it is already assumed that you have your reference ready. Just make sure that everything that concerns your references, their names, and contact details are inclusive ready to be presented upon request, also find out from them if they are ready to speak highly of you.
What are the useful tips on preparing for the resume format in Canada?
When you are crafting your resume beginning from your contact, career summary, to the work history sections, below are the useful tips you should employ.
The section bearing your contact information:
- The Canadian employment law states that information pertaining to your date of birth, gender, marital status, religion, or parents’ names are not required.
- Information concerning your Canadian phone number is included where needed, and then ensure you have a Canadian address listed.
- As for your email address, it should be a combination of your first name and last name, let it look as professional as possible, and not slang terms or nicknames. Furthermore, avoid the use of email addresses with country-specific domains, like .co.Uk, and if your email address is not up to standard, you can set up a new email address particularly for job hunting.
- We are sure you wouldn’t want your employer going through the hassle of locating your profile, therefore, we advise that the best way to avoid that is to create a custom Linkedin profile URL so that it doesn’t appear as ‘clunky’ as the one that LinkedIn designated for you and do not forget to include your LinkedIn profile URL. It doesn’t stop there, ensure that you continuously update and have a strong summary.
The section bearing your Professional / career summary
Take this to be a portion of your resume that will explain to the reader in detail how you can be of assistance to their company thereby enabling him or her to understand your goals.
Just take your time to search for what distinguishes you from others, even if it is your personality, technical ability, managerial skills, team building, or some other talents as long as they are relevant to the job.
You can begin by clearly stating your aim, talking about the title of the role you are applying for, that is if you’re responding to a job posting, if otherwise, it should be the title of the role you are aiming for. Another thing you must take cognizance of is that appearing as “jack of all trades” doesn’t go down well with most employers. That is to say that if you desire to be a Project Manager, go ahead and call yourself one, and don’t expect a company to identify what you should be.
And, if by any means you would like to do two or three distinct things, you must be willing to prepare two or three specific documents, and for each of them, you must adhere to the resume format in Canada.
- Put into writing your years of relevant experience if you do have, the type of experience you have garnered, and talk about your future ambitions.
- Avoid the use of generic comments totally such as “honest and hardworking professional”. Instead of this, why not give the reader a true insight into your strengths and objectives which should be of course, specific to you, and not just about things that you can find on anyone’s resume.
- In addition to this, discuss your aspirations geared towards your career, irrespective of if it is professional designations, supervisory work, managerial work, or any other work.
The section bearing your Canadian work experience
You don’t have to go overboard trying to give details of roles that are relevant to the job, because your prospective employers are already accustomed to the duties and responsibilities of these roles, therefore, there would be no point listing them. Just give three or four concise bullet points and not lengthy lists.
Carefully think about the roles you played and your major achievements in each of the previous roles after which you then elaborate on each of the points by pinpointing a particular problem you experienced, the actions you took, and the results you accomplished. Do you know that managers have a language and the language of a manager solves problems successfully thereby bringing either an increase in revenue or a decrease in costs?
Finally, writing a resume is not hard, but writing a good resume may come off as hard. If you adhere to our step-by-step instructions, be sure to write a resume that will be intriguing to your employer, and commit them to invite you for an interview, then finally secure the job which is the major reason why you are reading this article.