Canada is an attractive country to immigrants not just because they offer jobs, but more importantly, because they protect their workers. Canadians, whether employer or employee, are very conscious of worker rights; those rights also apply to the resumé and application process. Canada wishes to eliminate the chance of discrimination whatsoever. Workplaces can’t fire you if you’re too old nor can they choose you based on how you look.
If you want to catch the eye of a Canadian employer, here are some tips and tricks you can use to build your (Canadian) resumé.
What Not to Put in your Resumé
Here in Canada, pictures are not attached to a resumé. Only add it in if the job requires it, like an acting job. Sometimes sending your photo could lead to racial, gender, or even age discrimination so trust your instincts if something feels wrong.
This crosses over into the territory of oversharing. Your age isn’t going to affect your chances of getting a job so use the space for something that will.
Your employer does not need to know your home address. In fact, they shouldn’t have to know any of that. That’s your personal, private information.
Once again, this has no relevance nor affect on your ability to get a job. It doesn’t need to be there at all.
Interests and Hobbies
Unless this information is directly related to the job you are applying for, do not add it. The main focus of your resumé is to highlight your work experience. You may be asked this in the interview, but it’s overall unimportant.
Adding this to your resume is an old way of doing things. It’s no longer relevant to you getting a job.
Employers will only ask for references after they interview you. You do not need to add anything at the bottom of your resumé that tells the employer that references are available upon request. If they need it, they will request it.
Your employer does not want to read an essay. Keep it short and simple.
Proofread your work and then proofread it again. If you have too many mistakes in your resumé, it implies that you are careless and have poor attention to detail. If you are doubtful about your English skills, ask a friend to help you out.
What to put in your Resumé
A profile is similar to a social media bio. Try to describe your personality and some of your strengths in the workplace. This isn’t the same as a career objective, which is not commonly found in resumés anymore.
Be specific and list out your skills, not just that you have some. Some common ones that corporate jobs look for are Microsoft Office or Adobe skills, so don’t be afraid to show that off. However, you do not need to list your cooking or painting skills if it’s not relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Quality (not Quantity)
Maybe you’ve had a lot of experience; you’ve worked a lot of jobs and you want to show that. Even if you really want to do it, you do not need to tell your employer that you worked at a supermarket ten years ago. Rather than giving a list of all the jobs you have done, focus on the ones that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. You can then give a lot of detail about that job. Be as thorough as you can with your roles and responsibilities.
You are welcome to use full sentences in your resumé, but have them in list form instead of paragraph form. Whoever’s reviewing the resumés does not want to spend a lot of time reading so make your experience and qualifications scannable.
If you’ve volunteered anywhere, your resumé is a great place to showcase that. Many students and entry level workers volunteer to gain experience in their desired field or to build their resumé.
Canva has some great templates that can inspire your resumé. A well designed resume is eye-catching and shows the employer that you put effort. Despite this, do not go overboard. Excessive shapes and banners are not going to help you. Rather, observe the colour schemes and the font families and then apply it to a simpler format.
Keep Information on One Page
Employers get dozens of resumés in one day. They don’t want to take too long to read what you can do so condense as much as you can without sacrificing readability.
Some employers ask for cover letters, some leave it to be an option. It’s not a fun part of the application process, but knowing how to pair one up with your resumé can give you the upper hand. You have the opportunity to tell the employer why you’re a right fit by giving examples of your accomplishments.
Here in Canada, what matters most is your work experience and (sometimes) your education. The goal with your resume is to be memorable and to show you meet the requirements. Leave out irrelevant information and be detailed where you need to be. If you ever feel like the places you’re applying for are discriminating against you on any basis and it’s getting extreme, report to Canadian Human Rights.
Here are some examples of a good Canadian resume.