Creating a Canadian Resume: Tips and...

Creating a Canadian Resume: Tips and Tricks for Professional Success

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Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

By Olivia Condlln-Wilby

In Canada, your resume is an essential part of the job search process. It is your primary method of advertising your skills, experiences, and achievements to potential employers, and hiring managers will use it to assess whether you’re qualified for the role and a good fit for the company. Knowing how to create an effective resume is a skill that will support your success in any future profession – plus, it will make the entire job search process much easier and less stressful. As you prepare to embark on your next job application, feel free to use this article as a resource for writing, updating, and proofreading your resume.

Resume Appearance

Your resume should be clear, concise, and easy to read. Employers may be reviewing hundreds of resumes from candidates just like you, and they will likely spend a total of 30 seconds skimming the content before deciding whether to invite you for an interview. As such, it’s important to make yourself stand out and get your key points across quickly. Some quick tips for success are as follows:

  • Begin with a header. At the top of your resume, create a header with your name, contact information, and perhaps a link to your LinkedIn page, if you have one.
  • Be consistent. Use a consistent font, style, and text size throughout your resume.
  • Use space effectively. You don’t want your resume to be cluttered and hard to read. Try to avoid using unnecessary graphics, borders, and other embellishments; focus on the essential content rather than a fancy design.

Resume Content & Structure

Canadian employers typically expect resumes to have a certain structure, and while you may be tempted to deviate from the norm, it can actually hurt your chances of getting hired if you think too far outside of the box. A Canadian resume should be 1 or 2 pages, maximum, and submitting a 3-4 page resume may result in a hiring manager deciding not to bother reading it.

Within those 1-2 pages, a Canadian resume should have the following sections:

  • Professional Summary (or Objective): In this section, you can introduce yourself and highlight your most relevant skills and experiences. If you had just a few sentences to explain why you deserve this job, what would you say?

Example: “Hard-working student with strong multitasking skills and previous experience in a fast-paced retail environment, seeking an opportunity to apply my excellent interpersonal skills to a customer service position.”

  • Skills & Competencies: These are a few bullet points outlining your most relevant skills. Review the job listing and pay attention to the specific criteria they’ve outlined for their ideal candidate. How have you demonstrated those skills?

Example: “Strong communication skills demonstrated by over a year of experience in customer service.”

  • Relevant Experience: Identify your most relevant experiences and create 3-5 bullet points to describe each one. These could be work, volunteer, or extra-curricular activities that show how you’re qualified for the job you’re interested in. Use action words to describe your experiences and emphasize your specific achievements.

Example: “Collaborated with a team of volunteers to deliver hot meals to the elderly, resulting in a high satisfaction rate among consumers and an efficient delivery schedule.”

  • Education: In this section, you can list your educational history, including the name of the schools you’ve previously attended, as well as the dates you were enrolled there.

Example: “Northern Secondary School, September 2021 – Present.”

In your resume, you may also choose to include a section focusing on scholarships, awards, projects, or other achievements that do not fall under the categories listed above. A section like this is completely optional, and you should only include it if the items you want to list are specifically related to the job you’re applying for.

Moving Forward with Job Applications

If you follow the resume structure and general guidelines outlined above, you can feel confident that your resume will be in line with Canadian standards and have a good chance of impressing employers as they review all the applications that come in for each job. Remember to be clear, concise, and organized, and don’t be shy about highlighting your skills and achievements.

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