Canadian Resume Format: Land Your Dream Job in Canada

Canada, also known as the Great White North, is a country renowned for its massive career opportunities, especially for immigrants. There is a lot that this country offers, and many immigrants seek to work in Canada. But how do you write a Canadian-style resume for Canadian employers?

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Also, how is the Canadian resume format different from that of other countries like the USA? To help you answer these questions, compiled below is a Canadian-style resume guide, including resume examples, to help you increase your chances of finding a job in Canada. 

Canadian Resume Example

Follow this Canadian resume example to know the correct format to use.

Joan Brown
Top Chief Accountant
317-555-686
joanbrown67@gmail.com
linkedin.com/in/joanbrown

Summary
Chief accountant with six years of experience seeking a more challenging position as a Top Chief Accountant in a leading organization with opportunities for continuous development. Fully experienced in managing accounting and finance procedures, I aim to increase productivity and enhance compliance.

Experience

Chief Accountant
Keringat Technologies Company 
June 2018 to Present

  • Oversee the preparation of the company’s budget.
  • Preparing filed tax statements and annual tax statements.
  • Conduct regular internal checks to prevent any discrepancies.
  • Verifying monthly bank accounts and accounts payables and receivables.
  • Training accounting staff and evaluating their performance.
  • Answering any inquiries presented by the federal agencies.

Assistant Auditor
Absa Auditing & Accounting Firm
May 2016- May 2018

  • Prepared financial statements, reports, and commentaries.
  • Analyzed the company’s financial information and accounts.
  • Aligned the company’s financial activities with the set regulations.
  • Ensured compliance with tax regulations.

Education

Masters of Business Administration
York University, Toronto, ON
Graduated 2015

B.A Degree in Accounting and Finance 
York University, Toronto, ON
2010-2014

Skills

  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Time management
  • Analytical skills
  • Knowledge of GAAP
  • Strong accounting and auditing knowledge

Certification & Licenses
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Canadian Resume for International Students

Are you an international student and intend to stay in the country after graduation? If so, you need to create a North American resume to help you land job opportunities. Your Canadian resume may differ in style and format from your home country.

Here is a sample of a Canadian resume for international students to guide you: 

Alex Texas
Marketing and Sales Director
555-674-5678
alextexas6@yahoo.com
linkedin.com/in/alextexas

Objective
Dedicated, proficient, and enthusiastic marketing leader with a background in sales and marketing. Seeking a position to grow my potential and create innovative marketing strategies to increase sales targets.

Education
Bachelor of Arts Marketing
University of Tampa, Tampa Florida
Anticipated Graduation: July 2022
GPA: 3.7

Certifications and Training

  • Health and Safety
  • First Aid and CPR

Skills

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Refined leadership skills
  • Building effective collaboration relations
  • Able to prove the necessary training and mentorship

Work Experience
Ruby Motors Company, Saskatoon, SK
Marketing Coordinator
From 2015 to 2018

  • Collaborated with other team members to come up with initiatives and product promotions.
  • Managed a corporate social responsibility campaign that accelerated sales by 60%.
  • Led mandatory employee training for increased awareness on product promotion, pricing, and sales planning.

Volunteer Work
Zetech Company, Saskatoon, SK
Sales Representative
From 2014 to 2015

  • Worked with a focused team to discover market opportunities.
  • Participated in employee training and development programs and increased sales volume by 35%.
  • Engaged with customers leading to more market opportunities.

How Do Canadian Resumes Differ From American Ones?

Unlike many deem, a Canadian resume model does not differ from the American resume in terms of style and format. However, the two differ in the English variation in several aspects.

Therefore, you may want to use Canadian English when writing a Canadian resume. You also need to know what information to include and what to omit in your Canadian-style resume.

  • A Canadian resume can have up to two pages while an American resume is limited to one page only.
  • When writing a Canadian resume, you are required to include more of your work experiences and volunteer work. On the other hand, a US resume allows you bring in more your personality.
  • The US resume contains a lot of jargon words while the Canadian resume has fewer power words.

work in Canada

How to Create a Canadian Resume? Create a Canadian-Styled Resume Step-by-Step

While there are different structures for writing a Canadian resume, there is standard formatting. Below is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to write a Canadian-style resume.

Begin with The Resume Header

You need a resume header at the top of your resume. When writing it, we highly recommend keeping it simple and clear. In this part of the resume, ensure that you include your name, title, contact information, and LinkedIn profile URL.

A well-written resume header will quickly give the hiring manager information about the resume and how they reach out to them.

Create a Resume Profile

The next step is to create a brief introduction of the content in your resume. This includes writing a resume summary if you have more achievements and experience and a resume objective to start your career. A summary of qualifications can be useful if you have more qualifications to showcase.

List Your Work Experience

You should pay attention to the professional experience section since most employers are most interested in it. We highly recommend using the reverse chronological order, where you first state your most recent work experience down to your initial career experience.

Here are effective tips on how to list your work experience:

  • Start with the basic information including, the company’s name, the job title, and period of employment.
  • Insert bulletproofs elaborating details of the role.
  • Comprehensively describe your achievements using accomplishment statements rather than general words.
  • Insert resume keywords when writing this part. This is crucial since the Application Tracking Systems (ATS) use resume keywords during the resume filtering process.
  • Be specific and avoid vague language.

List Your Education

Besides your experience, you also need to talk about your education when writing a Canadian resume. List your education and professional qualifications and the data obtained. Mention the degrees, name of institution, and the date attended. If you are yet to graduate, mention the expected graduation date and your Grade Point Average if it’s 3.5 or above.

Skills

Like U.S. employers, Canadian employers look for applicants’ skills when going through a Canadian resume. Therefore, it helps to include your hard and soft skills and try as much as possible to keep this list simple and relevant. Teamwork skills show that you are a team player and are a plus in your Canadian resume.

Utilize Additional Sections

To create a creative resume that stands out from the rest, ensure that you use additional sections to include extra skills and achievements.

Some extra sections that you may want to include are such as:

  • Volunteer experience
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Social media (professional ones)
  • Achievements and awards
  • Licenses and certifications
  • Publications
  • Foreign languages
  • Mentoring programs

What Should I Omit in My Canadian-Style Resume?

Before you write a resume when searching for a job in the Canadian market, it is crucial to know what not to include. Here are things that are best left out in your Canadian-style resume.

  • Your photo
  • The words ‘resume’, ‘CV’, and ‘curriculum vitae’, especially in the title
  • Third-person voice
  • Unnecessary jargon words
  • Irrelevant hobbies and interests
  • Unimportant job from more than 15 years ago
  • Current work email address or an inappropriate email
  • References

good canadian resume

Tips for Making a Canadian-Style Resume

To land your dream job in Canada, you need to know how to masterfully write a Canadian-style resume. Below are some tips to help you create a Canadian-style resume that will give you an edge over other candidates.

Choose the Proper Resume Format

There are three resume formats that you can use when writing a Canadian-style resume.

  • Chronological Resume

This Canadian resume format highlights your resume experience in reverse chronological order, beginning from the most recent position to the previous ones. Generally, this traditional resume includes the last ten years of experience as they occurred.

It works best for job seekers with previous work experience and may not be ideal for those without relevant work experience in the industry. Besides, most hiring managers are more familiar with this resume format.

  • Functional Resume

The functional resume format may work best for you if you have the skills and abilities relevant to the job you are applying for. Therefore, it can justify you if you have minimal work experience, are changing careers, or have gaps in your employment history.

To optimize this Canadian resume model, consider starting with your skills and abilities first. This should be followed by your work experience.

  • Hybrid Resume

As the name may suggest, this is a combination of functional and hybrid resumes. With a combination resume, you can focus on your work experience and skills. Nevertheless, it puts more emphasis on your hard and soft skills.

NB: The reverse chronological and functional resumes are Canada’s most commonly used resume formats.

Use Short Sentences and Write in an Active Voice

Most employers will not read a CV with more than two pages. Therefore, keep it short and simple and scrape off unnecessary details. Also, avoid the first person and instead use active voice. For example, ‘Increased sales by 50%.’

Personalize your Resume

Your prospective employer has probably seen thousands of resumes from applicants before and is most likely looking for something different. To stand out from other applicants in the job search, it would be best to customize your resume based on the requirements of the job you are applying for. Review the employer’s website to know what is expected and tailor your resume to it.

Include Keywords

Try as much as possible to include keywords related to the employer’s words on the job posting. This is important since some employers use automated software known as ATS to narrow down applicants and the keywords are considered favourable during this process.

An Application Tracking System (ATS) is used in the scanning process to scan resumes and establish whether they are the right fit for the job at hand. This software automatically rejects resumes that are not optimized for the position.

By including key phrases in the work experience, skills, and professional experience section, you will grab the attention of your prospective employer with ease. Nevertheless, you still want to write for humans since recruiters and hiring managers will be making the final hiring decision.

Use Canadian English

In a Canadian resume, it is crucial to use the right variation. As we mentioned above, the language variations are slightly different, but a recruiter may take your American spelling as a misspelling, which is critical.

To make sure your resume is spot on, check the differences between both variations.

Also, include Canadian-acceptable terms. These may include words like internship, Grade Point Average (GPA), high school, and more.

Quantify Your Achievements

If you have handled, managed, led, or accomplished something, mention it in your Canadian resume using numbers. Generally, it is wise to be specific when mentioning your skills rather than generic. For instance, you can mention that you helped increase the sales of your current or previous company by 10%.

You can use the CAR approach to describe what the Challenge was, what Action you took, and the Results. This gives your prospective employer or recruiter better insight into who you are and what you can do. However, you should be honest when giving this or any other information lest the recruiter contacts your former employer to verify the information.

Include Unpaid Work Experience

Don’t pass the opportunity to include unpaid work experiences, particularly in the position you are applying for. This includes volunteer work, which is always a plus when writing a Canadian resume and is a good way to showcase your Canadian experience.

You can include unpaid work experience under the “Work Experience” section or the “Additional” section.

Don’t Include Unnecessary Information

While you may have too much to write about yourself, it is best to avoid unnecessary personal information. Any information that you provide in your resume should be tailored to suit the job application.

Ideally, never include any personal information that shows biasness such as political views, marital status, height, nationality, or weight, unless required. Also, avoid including hobbies and interests unrelated to the job you are applying for.

Omit outdated skills, date of birth, nicknames, visa status, and nonessentials, and keep everything professional as much as possible.

If the employer asks about your immigration status during the interview, be honest. Also, let them know your commitment to becoming a permanent resident if you stay in Canada on a temporary permit.

Always Include a Cover Letter

It is necessary to include a cover letter to help elaborate on your skills, strengths, and experience. A well-written cover letter will help the hiring manager or the employer know you better and evaluate your suitability for the position.

Besides, you can leverage the cover letter to validate the gaps in your resume. Include it in the body on your email and limit it to one page only. Also, ensure that it is relevant and tailored to the job you are applying for. Don’t use any special effects like colour, bold, underline, or Italic but keep it professional with fonts like Arial, Time New Roman, or Calibri and font size of 10 or 12.

Don’t Include References

The Canadian resume format does not include references unless your potential employer asks for them. In most cases, Canadian employers will only require references if they consider hiring a candidate.

In this case, you should contact your references in advance and mention that you want to include them in your resume. Consequently, you can be assured that they will be available when contacted and speak positively about you.

Use a Good Resume Format and Double-Check Your Work

Use a nice Canadian-style resume format and ensure that you double-check your resume for grammatical errors before sending it. Generally, you want to ensure that nothing harms your first impression.

Ensure that the content is well-aligned and that the fonts and style of bullets points used throughout the document are uniform.

Before you submit, get someone else to proofread your work and check spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence formation. You may also want to pass your document through useful grammar and spelling tools like Grammarly to ensure that it is well-written.

Besides grammar and spelling, other things to double-check include:

  • Length of the article
  • Your contact details
  • Clear and easy-to-read information
  • Whether the content and design appear professional
  • If the resume is well aligned with the job description

Carefully follow the Application Instructions

Different companies have varying instructions on how job applications should be made. Whether you are writing a substitute teacher resume or any other Canadian-style resume, ensure that you understand the company’s instructions and follow them to the letter when submitting your application.

This should include the Canadian resume format pdf to be followed, the deadline for submission, and the method for sending, whether through email, fax, etc.

Key Takeaways When Writing a Canadian Resume

While the Canadian job market is promising, landing the job of your dreams requires that you become familiar with the best practices of writing a winning resume to exceed the employer’s expectations. As aforementioned, the Canadian resume follows the same style and format as would resume in the U.S.

Nonetheless, there are specific items and information Canadian employers look for in resumes.

Here are our key takeaways:

  • Tailor your resume to match the job description.
  • The resume should be clear and have easy-to-read information.
  • It should not be longer than two pages.
  • It should look professional and contain all the necessary information.

To accelerate your job search for your dream job in the Great White North, don’t hesitate to download our Canadian resume template. Our resume templates will guide you in writing winning resumes that can significantly increase your chances of being called for an interview and eventually getting the job.

Besides, our website also contains a Canadian resume sample for each profession to guide you. For instance, our French resume template can come in handy when creating a French teacher resume.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a lot to know regarding the best practices for writing a Canadian resume. Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you optimize your resume.

Do Canadians Say ‘Resume’ or ‘CV’?

 A resume is simply a document that summarizes your work experience and skills. At the same time, a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a document that contains detailed information about your education, professional achievements, and more.

Typically, the main difference between a Canadian resume and a Canadian CV is the length-while a resume has a maximum of two pages, a CV extends beyond two pages. Since C.V.s are highly detailed, they are preferred when applying for academic or technical jobs.

There is no clear distinction between a CV and a resume in Canada, and the two can be used interchangeably. However, like in the U.S., most companies in the Great White North prefer a resume to work in Canada. 

What do Canadian employers look for in a resume?

Knowing what your potential employer expects from you when writing your resume is the first step to getting closer to your dream job. In Canada, employers consider several things when narrowing down their list of potential employees.

They include:

  • Hard skills
  • Soft skills
  • Professional experience and qualifications

How far back should I include my work experience?

It is a good thing if you have many professional experience and qualifications. However, with just two pages provided for your English teacher resume, you should avoid giving too much information about your years of experience.

Ideally, it is advisable to keep it current and go as far as 10 to 15 years. Otherwise, your work experience will be considered outdated and irrelevant.

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