In Canada, a resume is a short summary of your work and educational history that will persuade an employer to hire you. It should be 1 – 2 pages and focus on your most recent and more relevant professional experience. Likely this is similar to resumes in other countries, but here are some common tips to make your resume suit the Canadian job market.
There are two types of resumes that are common in Canada.
Want to know more? Find samples of chronological and functional resumes: How Do I Create a Canadian Style Resume?
Place your contact information at the top of the resume. Canada has laws against discriminating against someone based on gender, background, or other personal items. To ensure that resumes are fair and there is no discrimination, Canadian resumes only include basic contact information.
Do NOT include:
LinkedIn is a good choice to include on your resume if you have a profile. Post other profiles only if they are work-related. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile matches the titles, dates, organizations listed in your resume. When employers check your profile, they may have doubts if you present different information on LinkedIn compared to your resume and cover letter.
An employer may search for your social media profiles even if you do not include them, so make those accounts private or only share information that you are comfortable sharing with a potential employer. Before you start applying for jobs, search for your name on the Internet and see what comes up. Make sure accounts are private or delete anything that would make you look undesirable to a potential employer. If you are unsure about what would be undesirable to an employer ask your mentor, a colleague, or a reliable friend to review and give you some honest feedback.
Want to know more? Learn how you can review your social media during your job search: How to Clean Up Your Social Media for Work
Write 3-5 lines about your professional experience to show how your strengths can contribute to their company’s success. Focus on your work history and not your hobbies or personal information.
Customize your resume. Focus the summary to highlight your experience that matches the job posting.
Some Canadian resumes list keywords to showcase their key skills. This is usually formatted as a bulleted list of skills with 2 columns (5 per column). This is a good tool for employers to skim resumes to find those that best match, especially for technical jobs.
Limit your list to 5-10 and use specific terms like “Bilingual in English and French,” “Public Speaking” or list specific credentials like “Java Script Programmer” or “Heavy Equipment Operator.” Avoid general terms like “hardworking” or “team player” because they will not show your unique skillset.
Customize your resume. Use keywords to customize your skills to match the specific job posting qualifications and job duties.
Listing your professional experience is the most important part of your resume. The current practice is to describe accomplishments rather than listing your job tasks. To keep this section short, you don’t have to list every job you ever held. If you find it difficult to identify your accomplishments, review previous employee appraisals. These are specific to your previous performance and can reveal your previous accomplishments based on your work experience.
Do NOT include:
Want to Know More? See examples of accomplishments here: Resume Accomplishments Examples
Include all completed education and training and indicate which post-secondary education and training is in progress. For example:
Bachelor of Commerce Degree, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Completed 2019
Currently completing 4th year of Bachelor of Commerce Degree, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, 2019.
Indicate the name of the post-secondary institution and where it is located. Employers are impressed to see continued education even if it isn’t completed. Just be sure to clearly indicated what is complete and what is in progress.
Do NOT include:
Your final resume needs to be in a text-scannable format. Most employers use software to search resumes for keywords related to the job for the first review. This is why it is important to customize each resume to a specific job posting.
Always send your resume in the format and method requested in the job posting. They may also ask you to use a specific file name or title in the posting. PDF and text formats are the most common:
Use this template to help you create your own resume: Sample Resume
Want to Know More? Read more articles about writing Canadian resumes: