Canadian Style Resume: How to write it

Your resume is the primary tool to secure a job in Canada. So creating a Canadian style resume is by far the most crucial step for any new immigrant in Canada who is looking for a job.

One of the most common and easy to fix challenge as a job hunter in Canada is to work on your resume. Suppose your resume is not in the correct format and with the right keywords popping out. In that case, it will not attract the recruiter’s attention.

Average employer skims through a resume in 7.4 seconds.

Eye tracking study at theladders

It means you have less than 10 seconds to make your mark. You want them to see that you are an excellent fit for the job within the first few seconds. Hence your resume must present your qualifications concisely and strategically to get an employer interested in calling you for an interview.

An employer might not always be the person reading your resume. Hence you must prioritize your information.

The first review of your resume may occur at a third-party recruiter hired by the employer or by any Human Resources executive from an unrelated field. Hence, it is vital to use simple language along with persuasive verbs and industry-relevant keywords. Remember, a resume may be selected or tossed aside in the first few seconds so its important that you make it clear and concise.

Your resume should promote your attributes in the following manner:

  • Skills
  • Achievements
  • Experience

Ensure that you should spend at least one week to prepare and perfect your resume.

Make sure it clearly describes what you can accomplish professionally and what value will you bring to an employer otherwise a headhunter will simply move on to the next resume.

Canadian style resume structure primarily consists of the following information in that order:

  1. Contact details
  2. Professional Summary
  3. Skills
  4. Work Experience
  5. Education History

There are two main types of resumes in Canada:

  1. Chronological resume
  2. Functional resume

 Chronological Resume:

A chronological resume focuses more on work experience so it is suitable for candidates with experience.

Hence, the chronological resume format is the most preferred resume template of Canadian employers.

Key points:

  • Highlights most recent work experience
  • Presents data in reverse chronological order with your current position stated first followed by previous experience and education
  • Shows vertical career progression in a specific field
  • For those with no gaps in employment history

Functional Resume:

A functional resume is suitable for freshers who have recently graduated and focuses more on skills learnt during education and part-time jobs.

Hence a functional resume is perfect for individuals who want to switch industries and want to emphasize specific skills and expertise.

Key Points:

  • For freshers and those with gaps in employment history
  • Great for highlighting specific skillset

Canadian Style Resume writing do’s:

  • Resume should be clear and concise
  • Proofread several times to check for grammatical errors
  • The CV should be limited to 1 or 2 pages
  • Bullets points should be achievement-oriented
  • Be specific about your skills and achievements
  • Target and personalize your resume for each job that you are applying for
  • Quantify your contributions and achievements
  • Always save resume in doc or pdf format to maintain consistency
  • Always include a cover letter
  • Be honest
  • Use action verbs

Canadian Style Resume writing dont’s:

  • Must not include a photo
  • Must not include unnecessary information
  • Don’t present your job responsibilities as skills
  • Don’t be vague
  • Please don’t use personal pronouns (I, me or my)
  • Don’t add hobbies or interests
  • Avoid reasons for leaving previous jobs
  • Don’t use too many bullets
  • Don’t use an inappropriate email address

Objectives and hobbies are not required for a Canadian resume so you can omit them.

Hope you got to learn something new today and are on your way to creating your first Canadian style resume. If you have any questions around landing your first interview, please feel free to post in Canada Immigration Forum

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