An essential part of starting a new life in a different country is going through the process of looking for a job. You may have traveled with an employment offer, which is fantastic! but if that’s not your case, this blog is for you. Here, we’ll give you an explanation on how to build your resume and cover letter with the most important information required for Canadian employers, and some useful tools to help you during this new adventure.
What is a resume? How do I build it?
So, first of all, what is a resume? You may have heard of this word in your process of planning to immigrate to Canada. A resume, a CV or Curriculum Vitae is a document that lists your past and/or current education, work experience, skills and achievements; this document is a must for all formal job applications in Canada.
Some career expert consultants recommend that the Resume needs to be clearly corelated to the specific Job Position that is open and advertised. The description of your qualifications must be particular for each application that you are considering; in other words, you have to include or exclude certain information according to what has been advertised in the job posting.
Keep in mind that the chances of achieving any vacancy in the labor market of Canada are based on how you “showcase” your profile, that’s why you should write your resume in the most professional, precise, and clear possible way. Use technical terms and synonyms, avoid giving excessive details about you in a personal way, and remember: Try to employ the exact same words that the employer/recruiter is using to describe and focus your abilities and accomplishments; those are keywords of what they are searching for, so using their words is a direct way to relate your profile to their interest.
Besides, remember that Canada has two official languages, so you can send your resume in English for the majority of provinces without worries about this matter; but don’t forget to send it in French if your application is placed in Quebec, for example.
Canadian standard format for a resume
The standard format to write a resume that’s used in Canada might be different from others around the world,and you might not be familiarized with its parts. But don’t worry, understanding how to build it provides more chances to set it down more accurately.
The principal difference from the Canadian resume with other formats it’s the dispense of certain details that usually are required in other countries. But for Canadian employers you don’t need to include in your Resume:
- Photo of yourself.
- Age and/or birthday.
- Gender identity, pronouns or sexual orientation.
- Marital status or if you have children.
- Nationality, ethnicity or cultural background.
- What religion you profess, or if you don’t either.
- Social insurance number (SIN).
- Political affirmation.
- If you have payment expectations unless the job posting asks you to do so.
- Personal interest or hobbies.
Including this information in your resume could leave you out of the selection process because it isn’t relevant and can be considered like a discriminatory conditioning.
In the other hand, what you can and must include is:
- Your full name.
- Contact information, phone number and email address.
- Educational formation.
- Professional summary.
- Relevant experience (This includes volunteer experience).
- Accomplishments and performance goals achieved, ideally, with a numeric quantity to support it.
- Language that you dominate and your proficiency (include certificates if it’s possible).
Remember that quality is over quantity, that is why it’s preferred to have a short and consistent resume over one with multiple pages and unnecessary details; it is recommended to not exceed the two pages. However, this is negotiable too. If you have a high seniority level or more than ten years of experience it’s fine to have up to three pages in your resume. But if you are just starting your work experience path or you’re recently graduated, maybe a one-page resume is the best fit for you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some employers check your profiles in social media like Facebook or Instagram and others. So, if you have something on your profile that you’d like to keep private, try to not make it up to public access. At this time, using social media and web portals can be a significant plus to your resume. Some companies cross-reference your information with your online appearance, so you can include your Linkedin, Instagram or Youtube profile, or related blog as long as it makes part of your professional portfolio.
About the Cover Letter
Now that we know more about what a resume is, it’s time to talk about the cover letter. It is a one-page business letter that you attach to your resume with the intention of conveying to the employer “why” you are a great candidate for the position. Also, it is an opportunity for the employer to get to know more about you and earn points to be selected for an interview. This is your sales pitch!, remember it. Since this letter is thought to be an instrument to give more persuasive information, here are some important tips:
- Direct it to a specific person, department or company using their own name (if available), and add your name and contact information too in the header.
- Start with a captivating and memorable first sentence, and include the name of the position you are applying for.
- Just incorporate information that is relevant to your work experience. Excessive writing that isn’t necessary can be self-defeating and make the reader, in this case the employer, feel overwhelmed.Tell what you can do for them. List the positive aspects that you and your experience can bring to the company and the labor environment.
- With the right words express how excited you are from working with them.
- Finish your letter by subtly and politely inviting an action that you’d like the employer to take, like scheduling an interview or contacting you to expand your profile.
Websites to help you!
An amazing tool that we, the team from P&M Analysis and Solutions, want to share with you it’s the resume builder that the job bank from the Canadian government has put online to make things easy for any person who’s planning to send their application to a position in the country. You can sign in for free clicking here: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/findajob/resume-builder.
Another excellent tool is the Free Templates for Resumes that can be found in different websites that advertise jobs in Canada. One of the most useful ones that we recommend is indeed, you can navigate it and find good samples of different resumes that can be use as a start up!
In terms of your contact information, we also have found that having a “North Ame
rica Phone Number” is a very useful key in the process of being contacted for a potential interview. Particularly, we have tried and used “iplum”, and app that works in any smart phone and give you the opportunity to have a North America number to be more “reachable”.
Dare yourself to get that job!
At P&M Analysis and Solutions we hope that by giving you all this information you can get prepared to put it into practice with the writing of your own Canadian resume. Also, we encourage you to showcase your best professional version with every tool mentioned in this article. Remember, your resume must be able to talk about a great candidate like you with precision and expertise.