If you’re moving to Canada, or just looking for your first job in the country, then you might not know the best way to format your resume for Canadian employers.
As you might expect, Canadian employers have expectations as to what your resume should look like, what information should be included in it, and in what order.
To help you navigate this potential employment minefield, we’ve got some tips to help you properly format your resume for Canadian employers.
How To Write A Resume For The Canadian Job Market
Though there are three main resume formats that employers in Canada are accustomed to seeing, the Reverse Chronological format is the one most commonly used by job seekers in the country.
The Reverse Chronological format resume has five main sections to it. They are:
- contact information
- summary of skills and expertise
- work experience
- skills/certifications acquired
As you can see, this is a pretty basic format that is also used frequently in the United States. So, let’s break this down by looking at each section.
As you might expect, this is just basic information on how the employer can contact you. Though not required, it’s good if you can include your LinkedIn URL in this section.
If you’re coming from abroad, then you might be tempted to clip a photograph to your resume. Do not do this.
Canadian employers do not require photographs of job seekers with their resumes.
This section should be treated as an “at a glance” area, meaning the potential employer should get a good overview of you as a candidate by glancing at this area.
Sell your skills and experience here, but leave out the outdated “objective” that you see on old school resumes. Instead, use this summary statement to fill the section.
You can also use some bulleted lists to highlight a few relevant skills or expertise.
This is the meat of your resume where you list your previous work experience in reverse chronological order.
Yes, it’s basic and boring but it must be included. Be sure to give a two to three point bullet list under each job about the position and your responsibilities.
Skills and certifications info
If you have any special and relevant skills, then this is where to list them.
Don’t have anything to list here? That’s okay too. Just omit this section from the resume completely.
This is where you’ll want to list your degree info and details on where you obtained the degree.
If you completed your education outside of Canada, then you should include some information about the Canadian equivalency of your degree/diploma.
Things To Not Include In A Canadian Resume
Now that you know how to properly format a resume for a job in Canada, you might be wondering if there are things to avoid. The answer is yes, there are.
As previously mentioned, you should never include a photograph of yourself with your resume when you send it out to a potential employer in Canada. In fact, no personal information at all should be included on your resume – including date of birth and marital status.
You should also avoid including any charts, graphs, or tables in your resume or cover letter.
Grades and scores should not be included in the skills or education sections, especially if they are in a format that is not native to Canada. Instead, you can say something like “ranked 3rd out of 700” or a similar statement.
As you can see, creating a Canadian resume is a lot like creating one in the United States. A reverse chronological format is the mostly commonly used by job seekers throughout the country.
Just be sure to only include truthful information as using a fake resume in Canada is not a good idea.