Canadian Style Resume: Is It Necessary?

A Canadian Style Resume Propels Job Search

A Canadian style resume is necessary because it can propel your job search. As well, Canadian employers look for specific items that you may need to add or delete to your existing resume. So to get noticed by employers it makes sense to revise and update your resume.


Follow these eight tips to write a Canadian style resume


1. Choose the right resume format


2. Read the job description carefully


3. Tailor your resume to the job description


4. Use keywords in your resume


5. Include the right information on your Canadian style resume


6. Omit irrelevant information


7. Use strong and concise language


8. Proofread your resume for spelling and grammar errors.

Why is a Canadian Style Resume Important?


A Canadian style resume may look much different than the resume that you have used in your home country. So it’s important to know what information to include or omit on a Canadian style resume. This is important because your resume is often the first impression you will make with a potential employer. 

As well, recruiters may easily receive over 100 resumes for one position. And when they view that many resumes, they quickly scan them for the essential information. 

Eight Tips to Write a Canadian Style Resume

1. Choose the right resume format


There are three resume formats that job seekers commonly use: 

  • Chronological resume: this format highlights your work history and timeline.
  • Functional resume: this format highlights your work experience and previous job activities.
  • Combination resume: this combination format shows your experience and timeline like you would see in a chronological format and has a strong emphasis on your skills as you would see in a functional format.

You can decide which format is best for you based on your work history and what you want to highlight.


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2. Read the job description carefully


The job description will provide you with a clear picture of the:

  • required skills (technical and soft skills such as communication and language)

You can even use a pen or highlighter to mark what requirements match your work experience and achievements. This will give you a good sense of how closely your experience matches the job requirements.


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3. Tailor your resume to the job description


When you see a job that interests you and that matches your skill set, take the time to tailor your resume to the job description. The time you invest in tailoring your resume will pay off. And when you tailor your resume you clearly show potential employers how you are a perfect fit for the job. This will increase your visibility to employers.

However, when you submit the same resume to every employer you reduce your chances of meeting specific job requirements as the employer is seeking.


4.  Use keywords in your resume


Many companies using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to collect, sort, and store resumes. This automated software can also compare your resume to keywords in the job description. If there is a good match, your resume will appear in search results. 

You will have a better chance of showing up in search results if your resume contains keywords used in the job description. A good way to determine keywords is to read job descriptions for keywords that are used. Use those keywords to tailor your resume based on your skillset. 


5. Include the right information on your Canadian style resume


Your resume should be a maximum of two pages in length. So this will require you to be concise and only include the relevant information that you want to highlight. 

So make sure to avoid listing every job responsibility and only include the skills and responsibilities that best match the job description. Also, rather than listing your responsibilities, showcase what you accomplished. For example: 

Instead of:

  • Responsible for sales and marketing.


  • Planned and implemented a $1M marketing campaign that achieved a 10% sales increase within six months.

Again, it’s important to remember that recruiters will quickly glance at your resume. So make it easy for them to identify that you have the skills, knowledge, and experience to be successful in the job you’re applying for.


6. Omit irrelevant information


Be aware of the information that you do not need to include on a Canadian style resume. Avoid including the word Resume at the top of your document. Recruiters know they are reading your resume and this also takes up valuable space. It’s also unnecessary to add your photo. 

Other information to omit:  

  • Political or religious beliefs
  • Outdated technical or business skills

Your ultimate goal is to showcase your experience, skills, and qualifications in a professional manner. Most importantly, you want to avoid including information that can be used to discriminate on the basis of age, nationality, marital status, or other factors. This information can also contribute to employer bias in the selection process.

For newcomers entering the Canadian job, it’s also helpful to know that employers cannot ask interview questions that could be viewed as discriminating. For example, interview questions that ask about your marital status, nationality, religion, and other factors defined by the Canadian Human Rights Act are illegal.


7. Use strong and concise language


It’s important to use strong action verbs that will grab attention. Choose strong verbs that showcase your capabilities. And remember to use the past tense to describe your previous experience. 

Consider these strong action verbs:

Acquired   |   Advised   |   Analyzed   |   Assembled   |   Briefed   |   Centralized   |   Consulted   |   Collaborated

Composed   |   Defined   |   Enhanced   |   Evaluated   |   Exceeded   |   Expanded   |   Facilitated   |   Forecasted

Informed   |   Influenced   |   Mobilized   |   Negotiated   |   Overhauled   |   Redesigned   |   Resolved   |   Secured   

Streamlined    |   Stimulated   |    Surpassed   |   Transformed   |   Verified


8. Proofread your resume for spelling and grammar errors


To write the perfect Canadian style resume, be sure to check and double-check for spelling and grammar mistakes. It’s also helpful to ask someone to proofread your resume. A good proofreader can identify unclear sentences, spelling, and grammar errors, or repetition.

While using the spell-checker on your computer is helpful, it’s not always perfect. For example, it may not pick up the difference between words such as there, their, and they’re. So always remember to check your writing.

When you follow these eight tips to write a Canadian style resume, you’ll be on your way to resuming your career in Canada.