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How to Write a Resume in Canada

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Here’s your definitive guide to building a killer resume!

Most international students agree that getting a job in Canada is single-handedly the one thing that is the hardest to do! That’s why we wanted to do an article that could take you through the key components of a Canadian-style resume and provide some tips to help you make your resume stand out.

First, let's talk about the structure of a Canadian-style resume. Unlike resumes in some other countries, Canadian resumes are typically one to two pages in length (depending on how much experience you have) and follow a reverse chronological order format. This means that you list your most recent work or educational experiences first and work your way backward.

Here are some key components that should be included in a Canadian-style resume:

- Personal Information

This should include your name, address, phone number, and email address. It's also a good idea to include your LinkedIn profile if you have one.

- Objective or Summary

This is a brief statement that summarizes your career goals and highlights your relevant skills and experience. Make sure to tailor this to the specific job you are applying for.

- Education

List your educational qualifications in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent degree or diploma. Include the name of the institution, the degree or diploma earned, the date of graduation, and any relevant academic honours or awards.

- Work Experience

List your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. Include the name of the company, your job title, the dates of employment, and a brief description of your responsibilities and accomplishments.

- Skills

List any relevant skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for. This could include technical skills, language skills, or soft skills like communication or leadership.

Now that you know the key components of a Canadian-style resume, here are some tips to help you make your resume stand out:

- Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for

Make sure to read the job description carefully and tailor your resume to highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the position.

- Use action verbs

Start each bullet point in your work experience section with an action verb to highlight your accomplishments and make your resume more engaging.

- Quantify your accomplishments

Whenever possible, include numbers or percentages to quantify your accomplishments. This helps employers get a better sense of the impact you've had in your previous roles. (Super important to do this!)

Keep it concise: While it's important to highlight your relevant skills and experience, make sure to keep your resume concise and to the point. Use bullet points and short sentences to make it easy to skim.

- Use a professional format

Make sure your resume looks clean and professional. Use a standard font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, and keep the formatting consistent throughout the document.

Last but not least… some GOLDEN RULES that you need to remember. 2 Resume Golden Rules:

  1. Most people, HR or hiring managers, look at a resume for no more than 3 to 6 seconds before deciding if they want to keep reading it or not. It is YOUR JOB to make your resume attractive enough for people to want to keep reading. How do we do that? That’s why we have the 2nd golden rule

  2. Make sure to include how much experience you have and what you do. You do this by:

a. Having the number of years of experience in your summary, for example:

  • "I'm a young professional with over 3 years of experience, most of it in the airline industry, with proven skills in responding to each customer's needs while paying attention to every customer and delivering seamless operations. Currently studying for a digital marketing diploma and looking for a full-time position "

b. Always including 1 or 2 job titles in your resume. And you should customize this depending on the job you are applying for. Example:

  • Digital Marketer & Copywriter

  • Customer Service Specialist & Sales Manager

c. If what you wrote down, could be copy pasted into someone else’s resume and it still makes sense. Then it’s no bueno (not good!). Try to avoid generic summaries or work descriptions. Be specific. Example

  • Do: “Currently working as a Store Manager, I am an experienced customer service representative with 3 years of hands-on experience in resolving complex customer issues, exceeding sales targets, and driving customer satisfaction. Expert in using CRM software, managing customer inquiries, and handling inconveniences”

  • Don’t: “Experienced and friendly customer service professional with excellent communication skills seeking to utilize my expertise in providing exceptional customer support and problem-solving to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Remember, building a great resume takes time and effort 😉 And it’s always a good idea to ask for feedback from friends and family. They can proofread your resume carefully before submitting it.

Oh! And one more thing. Thrivve has prepared a Resume Template just for you! Just to give you a bit of a head start 😉 Best of luck, the Thrivve team.

Did you enjoy this article and find it useful? Join our THRIVVE community on Slack. Help is just a question away!

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