Tips on Adapting a Resume Format for Use in Canada

Tips on Adapting a Resume Format for Use in Canada

Exceptional living standards, fresh air, a friendly Canadian vibe, and staggering nature – it’s hardly surprising that Canada appeals to people from around the world who come to travel, live, study, and work here. Opportunities are plenty, and it’s your turn to enjoy them!

If you’re interested in a Canadian work visa and you need a job offer to qualify, a crucial part of your visa application is deploying a resume format that is standard in Canada. Here are some tips on adapting your CV’s format for use in Canada.

Tips on Adapting a Resume Format for Use in Canada

Why Canada’s Resume Format Matters

While the resume format in Canada differs significantly from that of CVs in other countries, it is important to have an outstanding resume. This document is basically a sales pitch; employers evaluate your suitability based on how good your resume looks.

The goal is to grab the reader’s attention and land an interview. Remove the emphasis from telling them all there is to know about yourself. Instead, focus on points that will win them over, so they feel you are a fit for their business.

Don’t just mention your responsibilities in each role. Instead, share your accomplishments that other applicants might not have achieved. Make yourself stand out from the pack.

This Is Canada’s Standard Resume Format

Follow this order when you prepare your CV:

  1. Contact Details

  2. Career Summary

  3. Work Experience

  4. Educational Background

Contact Details

Do not mention your birthday, gender, religion, marital status, or the names of your parents. Canada’s employment law does not require you to list them, so avoid redundancy.

However, a Canadian address and a cell phone number are essential information on your resume. Also, provide a professional email address with your first and last name. Avoid slang, nicknames, or country-specific domains, such as .za and the like.

Just as important as the email address is your LinkedIn profile – the Facebook page for working people. Create a custom LinkedIn profile URL if you haven’t already done so, as the one that LinkedIn chose for you may not come across well. And make sure your profile is updated and includes a convincing summary.

Career Summary

This is a mini version of your resume that will help the reader understand what you want to achieve.

Set the tone for what follows; three or four short sentences will do. Outline what distinguishes you, whether your personality, technical or executive functioning skills, or talent in team building.

Begin by clearly defining your goal. If you respond to a job ad, mention the role title because employers rarely look for an odd jobber. If you want to be the accounting department’s group leader, then say so. Don’t expect a business to figure out what job you are applying for.

If you can do various work, create 2 or 3 different documents and use Canada’s resume format for each one. Focusing on the job you apply for is more appealing than listing “Admin / Finance / Marketing Professional.”

Work Experience

Include information on relevant jobs. You don’t need to specify the duties of each role because prospective employers know what’s what. Extensive lists are also superfluous. Instead, use very few concise bullet points.

Consider your most remarkable achievements in your past roles, and then expand on each one by outlining specific obstacles you overcame and the solutions you provided. Think of it like this: every problem you have solved means you can potentially increase your prospective employer’s revenue or decrease their expenses. That is the way executives tick, so communicate in their language.

Educational Background

Employers are interested in your educational background and professional growth when hiring for a position. Successfully getting that across on your resume will make a positive first impression.

The educational section below your work experience creates a concise and organized flow for the recruiter or manager.

A recruiter or hiring manager is keen to find out whether you have what it takes to do the job in question. After studying your resume, the reader wants to be sure it’s a good idea to bring you on, so describe your skills and education in the educational section.

14 Extra Tips to Take With You

  1. Do not include the words “resume” or “CV” at the top of the page. Unnecessary is also the date you created the document.

  1. Your resume is essentially a tool to land a job interview. It’s not a comprehensive employment history record. Feed the reader with highlights but don’t get bogged down in every little detail. That’s what interviews are for.

  1. In Canada, the standard resume format is to create a document no more than 2 pages long. One page is enough if you lack experience. Using three pages is acceptable if you have worked in the field for more than ten years.

  1. Use space wisely. Only include the experience relevant to the position you apply for.

  1. Maintain interest in your resume. Recruiters usually don’t spend more than 10 to 30 seconds to decide whether it’s worth reading your CV properly. Use the Canadian resume format to highlight your accomplishments and promote yourself concisely.

  1. Convert all terms to Canadian lingo. Use terms like “GPA” (Grade Point Average) instead of “university grades,” write about “internships,” and mention the “high school.”

  1. Only list personal interests and hobbies if they are relevant and/or can reflect relevant personality traits.

  2. Write short paragraphs, and be sure to use one legible, large font (more than size 10) throughout your resume for consistency.

  1. Are you proficient in a second language? Then say so! Highlight skills that will help you impress the employer and add value to your work.

  1. Using Boilerplate Phrases on your resume so you can send them to dozens of employers may hinder your chances of acceptance. It’s better to customize your resume for each job you apply for.

  1. Use a professional resume format and, if doable, let a professional proofread it. Grammatical and spelling errors are just as bad as generic phrases.

  1. Do not mention that you are on a “gap year” or have a “one-year work permit.” Companies want to take on dedicated employees who can contribute to their long-term success. If the employer asks for more information during the interview, you can mention your immigration status. If you’re in Canada on a temporary work permit, look into longer-term permanent residence alternatives so you can talk about how to stay when your work permit expires.

  1. Prepare a list of references with their names and contact information to hand out when asked.

  1. No need to sign your CV. 

Ready to get started?

UIS Canada offers support and professional assistance in acquiring a Canadian work visa, as well as job search services, C.V optimizations, and more. You can contact us today or check your eligibility online right now!