How do I create a Canadian-style résumé in order to find a job?

You may be able to find a job more quickly with a Canadian-style résumé. While Canadian résumés come in many different formats, they share some standards that you should know about.

Keep it Short

Keep your résumé short. In Canada, most people have a résumé that is 2 pages long. Keep it to 1 page if you finished school recently or do not have a lot of experience.

Change Your Résumé for Each Job

Career experts recommend that you customize your résumé for each job, especially at the beginning of your résumé. General or generic resumes do not work in today’s labour market.

For some jobs, you can change a few sentences to focus on certain skills and accomplishments. For others, you may need a completely new résumé.

Include Volunteer Work

You should include your volunteer experience in the section on work experience. It is important to talk about what you have done. It does not matter if it was paid or unpaid work.

Use Social Media

Many employers cross-reference your résumé with your online presence. LinkedIn is a popular business-related social networking site. When you update your résumé, make sure to update your LinkedIn profile too.

Employers may also look for you on other social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. First impressions are important - if you don't want a potential employer to see something, don't make it publically accessible or put it online at all.

Formatting Hints

Format is critical. Your résumé should be organized, neat, clear, and consistent in formatting (e.g., font and bullets).

If you are applying for a job which requires that you have attention to detail, then you need to demonstrate this with your résumé.

Use headings to organize the information in your résumé. Common résumé headings are:

  • Highlights of Qualifications
  • Professional Experience
  • Education

Use formatting tools such as bold and bullets to make important information stand out.

Use Keywords

It is important to use keywords in your résumé. Employers do not read every word on each résumé. Keywords describe skills and qualifications. You might see them in the job posting that you are answering and on related companies' websites.

Enhance your résumé by using as many keywords as you can. But, do not make up experiences, just to use keywords.

Look It Over

Look over your résumé before you send it. Make sure the company names, job titles and dates are accurate.

Print out your resume to see how it looks when printed.

You may wish to save your résumé in PDF so that formatting will be consistent and employers will be able to open the document without difficulty.

Sample Résumés

There are 2 common types of résumés:

  • Chronological
  • Functional

You can find general samples of these types, below. You can use these samples as guides. Do not rely on samples or templates to create a good résumé.

In some fields, employers will expect to see a résumé with a specific format, which may be different than these samples.

Chronological Résumé

A chronological résumé is time-based. It is organized by the positions you have held, in order of time. You list your most recent position first. These résumés are best if you have a lot of experience in your field. They are also better for people who do not have periods of time when they were not working.

This is an example of a Canadian-style chronological résumé:

Functional Résumé

A functional résumé is skills-based. It is organized by skills that you gained in your previous work. Functional résumés are best if you:

  • Are a recent graduate
  • Have major time gaps in employment
  • Are changing careers

This is an example of a Canadian-style functional résumé:

Many settlement or employment agencies can give you information and advice about your résumé, and how to create résumés for specific fields. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

For More Information

  • How to Write a Good Resume - A guide to writing an effective resume. It includes information about how to increase your chances of being shortlisted with companies that use computerized recruitment systems.
  • Monster.ca Résumé Centre - Many tips for creating great résumés.
  • eRésumés & Resources - Information on posting and sending your cover letters and résumés electronically.
  • Resume Writing - Detailed articles and infographics on how to create an effective resume. From UpToWork.Com.
Last updated: June 16, 2015 4001064