Canada Resume Format: Best Tips and Examples (Updated)

Caitlin Proctor

5 min read

If you’re looking to find a job in Canada, you need to have a resume--not a CV--to begin your job search. This is easy for job seekers who already use a USA resume, but will require more adjustments for job seekers with a more comprehensive CV. In this article, we will go over some essential tips for creating a Canadian resume. At the end of the article, we’ve included a sample resume you can use to increase your chances of getting a new job in Canada.

ZipJob has a wide network of career experts and hiring managers, so the information on our blog is based on real experience from people who know how to land a job in the US and Canada. Spoiler alert: they're pretty similar systems!

The 3 resume formats you can use in Canada

There are only three types of formats you should use for a resume in Canada:

  • Traditional reverse chronological

  • Strategic functional resume

  • Balanced hybrid resume

All of these formats include the same basic information with a different layout.

Expert Tip

View 200+ more professional resume samples for all industries, along with a free template and a 2020 guide to writing resumes from our experts, just click here.

It is vital to choose the right resume format for the job. Your choice should be determined by the years of experience you have and the type of job you’re seeking. We’ll go into details about when to choose a different Canadian resume format, but most job seekers use the reverse chronological resume format.

Most Canadian employers use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to screen your resume before it's ever seen by a human. Based on that electronic sorting system, about 75% of resumes submitted are not read by the recruiter or hiring manager. Many times the candidate is qualified, but the resume is not optimized for ATS.

Key Takeaway

If you’re seeking a job in Canada, it’s important to use a proper Canada resume format to maximize your chances of securing employment.

When to use a reverse chronological Canada resume format

A reverse chronological resume details your job experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position. This is the best resume format 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 hybrid or functional resume formats.

When to use a hybrid or 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 skill sets, showcasing your suitability for the position. As a result, this option can sometimes be used effectively by newcomers to the workplace and those who are changing careers.

A hybrid resume retains the expanded reverse chronological work experience section, but it’s no longer the bulk of the resume. Instead, the skills section is also expanded to include a summary of qualifications in addition to the technical skills or core competencies section.

It should be noted, however, that many experts advise job seekers in Canada to stick to a format closer to the reverse chronological. Regardless of the format you chose, here is the basic information a hiring manager is looking for on your resume:

  • Name and contact information (phone, email, city and province, and LinkedIn URL)

  • Skills

  • Experience

  • Education

Join more than 1 million people who have already received our complimentary resume review.

In 48 hours, you will know how your resume compares. We’ll show you what’s working--and what you should fix.

Upgrade resume

Top 3 things Canadian employers and recruiters want to see on a resume

You can maximize your odds of landing your dream job if you understand what Canadian employers want to see. That can help you to shape your Canadian resume format to fit those desires. Here are the questions you need to answer on your Canadian resume:

1. 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.

2. Soft skills

Canadian employers appreciate people skills. These soft skills can include everything from communication and teamwork skills to problem-solving, flexibility, and the ability to learn and adapt. Include these vital skills throughout your resume with examples, results, and metrics.

3. Professional qualifications

Canadian employers, like most other employers, value relevant professional qualifications and achievements. Make sure you are qualified by the right institutions for the job you’re applying for.

Expert Tip

Enhance your resume with these 7 free certifications.

Canada resume format example


Additional tips for writing a Canadian resume

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

1. Include only the relevant information

Starting with your contact information at the very top, include your name, location (city and province), phone, email, and LinkedIn URL. If you have a second page, it should also include your name at the top of the page.

Keep your skills, experience, and additional information highly tailored to the job you're applying for. This might mean omitting jobs from 10+ years ago or adding in volunteer work.

2. Don't include too much information

Don't include any personal details like your date of birth, parent or spouse names, marital status, or identification numbers. Canadian employers don’t want to see this and may reject your resume automatically to avoid discrimination concerns.

3. Include a cover letter

Take the extra time to write a custom cover letter for each job you apply to. It's professional, polite, and shows that you care about this position. It's one of the best things you can do to stack up well against candidates with similar experience to you!

Expert Tip

Professional resume writers know how to organize your resume to appeal to hiring managers. Check out our guide to the best resume writing services to find your perfect fit!

Summary

The resumes in Canada are very similar to resumes in the US, but vastly different from CVs in other countries. Stick to resume formats that employers will expect, and play up your strengths. By using these Canada resume format tips, you can increase your chances of securing an interview and landing an eventual job.

Good luck with your job search!

Related posts:



Written by

Caitlin Proctor, Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW)

Caitlin joined the ZipJob team in 2019 as a professional resume writer and career advisor. She specializes in strategic advice for executives, career pivots, and remote workers. Read more resume advice from Caitlin on ZipJob’s blog.

Send us your resume now

Our experts will evaluate your resume’s design, grammar, keywords, and ability to pass recruiting software.

Upgrade resume

Is your resume working?

Find out with a free review from ZipJob.

Is your resume getting ignored?

Earn twice as many interviews with a professional resume rewrite.
Launch

What you need for a quick career boost.

$139
or $48/mo with
  • A professional resume
  • ATS optimization
  • Direct writer messaging

Most Popular

Fast Track

The documents you need to apply to jobs faster.

$189
or $65/mo with
  • Everything included in the Launch package
  • A cover letter
  • 60-day interview guarantee
Premium

Advanced features to secure your next interview.

$299
or $27/mo with
  • Professionally written resume and cover letter plus:
  • A LinkedIn profile update
  • Expedited delivery