Now that you are at the beginning of your Canadian job search, one of the first steps is preparing a great resume that will make you stand out. While Canada is a welcoming country with great immigration prospects, the job and labour market is very competitive so you will need to be on the top of your game.
At the stage of applying for a job, your resume is the main tool that will get your foot in the door. At this stage, the recruiter or hiring manager is only looking at your resume for between six to ten seconds, so your resume will have to really stand out from hundreds of other resumes. With our tips for making your Canadian resume, you can easily achieve that.
1. Keep it short!
People who arrive in Canada often come with a wealth of experience and education and often think that it would be beneficial to put everything we have ever done in our life on that resume. However, as I noted before, recruiters typically just scan your resume with their eyes for a couple of seconds before they move on to the next one. Our advice is to keep it short and relevant to the job you are applying for. Generally, keeping your resume to 1 or 2 pages is considered ideal.
2. Canadian resume structure
When looking for a good candidate for a job, employers are expecting the following things on your resume: name, contact information (phone number and email), highlights of qualifications, past work experience, and education. Even though some flexibility is acceptable and in some cases welcome (such as outlining your volunteering experience), make sure you follow this structure.
3. Highlight relevant skills
Resist the urge to put all your talents on paper. There is nothing wrong with bragging about yourself once in a while, however, employers are typically looking for certain things, usually outlined in a job posting. Make your resume relevant to what you are applying for by reading through the job description, identifying the keywords, and using them when describing your own skills and experience.
4. Make those transferable skills shine!
If you wish to apply for a position, but you have never worked in that field, it does not mean you can’t do so! Even if your previous experience is not directly related to the job you are applying for, you probably developed certain skills that are transferable to your dream job. Never underestimate the role of transferable skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Employers are often looking for ability, a willingness to learn, and a can-do attitude.
5. Accomplishments, Not Responsibilities
When describing your past positions, people tend to put down what they were doing at their previous workplace instead of talking about what they have accomplished. Tell your employer what great results you have achieved! Even better – quantify these results to show that you were not only performing your duties. For example, making your potential employer aware that you increased the sales of the store you were managing (and do not forget to include the percentage!) is a lot better than just saying that making a sale was one of your responsibilities.
6. Don’t be modest
Your resume is your chance to tell a potential employer all about your skills. You should not feel shy about including everything that makes you a great candidate. Think carefully about what you can bring to the table and then add it to your resume. It is always a good idea to keep referring back to the job description so that you check all of the boxes they are looking for.