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If you’re moving to Canada and don’t yet have employment lined up, you will need a resume to begin your job search. Though it’s tempting to think that all resumes are created equal, that’s simply not the case. Employers in different countries can have different expectations when it comes to resumes. Unfortunately, if your resume doesn’t meet those expectations, you could lose out on potential job opportunities. To avoid that possibility, you need to learn as much as you can about the Canada resume format. Here are some essential tips that can help you create a Canadian-style resume that gets results.

Canada Resume Format:  Essential Tips for Resumes in Canada


Canada resume format 2



Canada Resume Format: Functional or Chronological?

It is vital to choose the right Canada resume format for the job. There are two basic formats, the functional and the chronological. Your choice should be determined by the amount of experience you have and the type of job you’re seeking.

For example:


Example of a good Canadian resume format.

Keep in mind that most Canadian employers use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to screen your resume before it’s ever seen by a human. These ATS reject an average of 75% of resumes submitted. Many times the candidate is qualified, but the resume is not optimized for ATS.

Make sure you use a traditional resume format (like the example above) and include keywords relevant to the position you’re targeting.


ATS Resume Test 

You can see how your resume performs in an actual ATS scan with our Free Resume Review:

Free Resume Review


Chronological Canada Resume Format

A chronological resume is one that details your job experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with the most recent position. You will probably benefit from this resume choice if you have at least some experience in the workforce. If you are a recent college graduate or have significant work gaps, however, you should consider the functional Canada resume format.


Functional Canada Resume Format

The functional resume is a versatile format that focuses on your skills and qualifications instead of experience. While your employment history is still included, it is usually listed after your skills and education section. That places greater emphasis on those skills, showcasing your suitability for the position. As a result, this option can sometimes be used by newcomers to the workplace and those who are changing careers.

It should be noted, however, that many experts advise job-seekers in Canada to stick to a format closer to the chronological. Whatever you choose, be sure to include all the required sections: Contact information, your career summary, work experience, and education. A skills section is also useful, as well as volunteer experience where appropriate.


Focus on Employer Wants

You can maximize your odds of landing a job if you understand what Canadian employers want to see. That can help you to shape your Canada resume format to fit those wants and needs. To meet that goal, you should emphasize three main areas of concern:

  • Hard Skills. Make sure your Canada resume format emphasizes the technical skills needed to perform the job. These may include data analysis, language skills, computer skills, or similar qualifications relevant to the position.
  • Soft Skills. Canadian employers appreciate the so-caller “employability skills.” These soft skills can include everything from communication and teamwork skills to problem-solving, flexibility, and the ability to learn and adapt. These are the skills that can demonstrate your ability to grow and learn as an employee.
  • Professional qualifications. Canadian employers are like any others: they value relevant professional qualifications. However, some academic and professional credentials are more prized than others – depending on the industry. You should do your homework to ensure that you have the right qualifications for the job.


Key Tips for Your Canada Resume Format

To modify your resume to the Canada resume format, it’s important to pay attention to the small details too. For example:

  • Make sure that your contact information is placed on either the left or right side of the first page of your resume, at the top of the page. Include your name, address, phone, email, and LinkedIn address.
  • Your second resume page should also include your name at the top of the page.
  • Since you should limit your resume to two pages in length, omit any irrelevant information. If a skill or experience doesn’t enhance your qualifications for the job, get rid of it.
  • Feel free to include volunteer activities. This experience is often relevant too.
  • Be specific with your experience. Don’t just list job titles and duties. Instead, focus on accomplishments and how those achievements benefit the company.
  • When describing your achievements, use real numbers to show the value those accomplishments provided.
  • You only need to include work experience going back 10 years.
  • Stick to the job. Omit any personal details, including political party affiliation, gender, religion, or immigration status.

Remember, your goal is to create a resume that Canadian employers will feel comfortable reading. By using these Canada resume format tips, you can increase your chances of securing an interview and landing an eventual job.


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