How to write a Canadian Resume

How to write a Canadian Resume

Résumé -- this spelling actually originates from French and it means “summary.” True enough, a resume's objective remains the same: to give companies an overview of your relevant qualifications. This usually includes your relevant work experience, skills, education and notable accomplishments. A resume assists you in demonstrating your talents and persuading companies that you are competent and employable.

However, there are many differences in writing resumes around the world. Some keep it short and concise but other cultures prefer a more longer and detailed version.

If you want to write a good Canadian resume, you don’t have to tell the employer everything. Instead, focus on things that will make them believe that you can help their company. Your resume format must contain the following in this order:

  • Contact information
  • Professional or Career Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education and Professional Development
  • Technical Skills and Volunteer Experience (if appropriate)

Here are some Do’s and Don'ts of writing a good Canadian-style resume

Do’s

1. Keep your resume clear and concise

The average time it takes for an employer to browse your resume is 30 seconds, and you want them to know straight away that you are qualified for the job.

2. Proofread your resume several times

Ensure that there are no errors in spelling or punctuation. A small blunder might give the employer a bad impression.

3. Limit your resume to two pages

Make your most recent experience the focal point of your resume. Older employment and experience over 15 years should be eliminated or reduced.

4. Tailor your resume to suit the position you are applying for

Indicate any relevant job experience or accomplishments that are relevant to the position you are looking for.

5. Highlight what you have accomplished

You want to be able to identify the most effective examples of your abilities.

6. Be honest

It's never a smart idea to lie on your resume. You must believe in yourself and your abilities.

7. Quantify your achievements

Use precise figures that the employer will comprehend and admire. For example, how many employees you managed, how many items you sold, and how much you improved sales by, among other things.

8. Use simple words and action verbs

It's possible that the individual examining your resume isn't the employer. Recruiters and human resources professionals who are unfamiliar with your area may evaluate your resume. Use simple and plain language but also persuasive verbs such as handled, managed, led, developed, increased, accomplished, etc.

9. Include unpaid work that shows off your skills

If you have volunteered with a well-known organization or worked for an important cause, put it in your resume.

10. Double check and include your contact information.

Your resume should list your name, address, email and phone number.

Don'ts

1. Don’t use an inappropriate email address

Make sure your email is easy to read and type, professional and non-offensive. In general, your email address should be based on your name. Exclude any nicknames, numbers, or special characters.

2. Don’t include unnecessary personal information

Any personal information that may be contentious, such as age, weight, height, marital status, religious preference, political beliefs, or any other personal characteristics, should be avoided. This eliminates the possibility of prejudice.

3. Don’t include a picture of yourself

Although in some countries it may be acceptable to include a photo, it is not the norm in Canada. It can actually lower your chances of obtaining a position and divert the whole focus of your resume. You want the employer to focus on your skills and experience, not what you look like.

4. Don’t use too many bullets

Limit each section or part to 5-7 bullet points to make your resume easier to read. This makes it easy for your company to review your resume and assess your qualifications. Each bullet point should be utilized properly, with information that is both useful and concise.

5. Don’t use personal pronouns

Write your resume in the third person as if it’s being written by someone else.

6. Don’t simply list job responsibilities

Your job responsibilities will be obvious from your job title. Instead, emphasize your accomplishments by personalizing your work responsibilities and offering specific examples.

7. Don’t make general statements

Steer clear from vague statements that don’t highlight your actual contribution. Unclear statements such as ‘responsible for improving efficiencies and making cost savings’ does not provide any information to an employer. Personalize your experience.

8. Don’t include reasons for leaving previous jobs

Your resume's main goal is to showcase you, your talents, expertise, and accomplishments. It should be totally positive, with no mention of reasons for leaving, as this adds no value to you as a candidate.

9. Don’t include references

If an employer is really considering employing you, they will ask for references. References should be kept on a separate sheet and only provided when specifically asked.

10. Don’t include hobbies or interests

It is not recommended to include these because of the judgements potential employers can make. However, if your hobbies relate to the position, you may include them as they can demonstrate to the employer why you are a good fit.

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