Many people are surprised to hear that there are many different types of resume formats. The most popular formats are the chronological, functional and hybrid. Many countries also use a CV instead of a resume. They are very similar but there are quite a few differences between the two. We won’t go into detail on these differences in this post (You can check out our post here on the difference between a resume and CV) Today we’ll cover if there is a difference between a resume formatted for the U.S. and Canada.
The answer is…no.
Canadians do not use a CV.
There is no difference between how a U.S. or Canadian resume is formatted. They both use the “traditional” resume format. Many in the U.S. think that Canadians use a CV like most other countries. That’s not the case. You can use the same resume whether you’re applying for jobs in the U.S. or Canada.
Here is an example of a traditional resume format which is suitable for both the U.S. and Canada.
All resumes should include a summary. The summary should be a “hook” that captures the recruiter’s attention and gives him reason to read the rest of the resume. To do that, you should write a resume summary that contains between four and six lines of text that highlight key points that will invite further reading.
Here is an example of a well written summary:
Dynamic and results-driven professional with an accomplished track record of deploying marketing and sales initiatives that consistently achieve client satisfaction, preserve brand integrity, translate product vision, and connect with diverse audiences. Collaborative and energetic leader who infuses modern tools (CRM, SEO, Google AdWords, SalesForce) and emerging technologies into compelling sales and advertising plans that exceed performance goals in high-volume, rapidly-evolving environments. Talented communicator focused on building sustainable relationships with clients, partner networks, and industry influencers. Positive attitude, intuitive business acumen, and analytical mindset used to identify profitable opportunities, define change, and devise unique competitive advantages. Bilingual fluency in English and Spanish.
We wrote a good post here on how to write a resume summary with more tips and examples.
Most companies today automatically scan your resume with an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and you need to ensure your resume is optimized for these scans.
Including keywords in your resume is the best way to do that. Look at the job description to see what skills the position requires and include them in a core competencies section.
Keyword optimizing your resume is crucial for getting past these ATS systems.
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is focusing on duties rather than achievements. There are an average of 250 applicants for a corporate opening in the U.S. You need to stand out from the competition and the best way to do that is by focusing on achievements. Show the hiring manager how you went above and beyond what was expected.
Example of a good achievement focused bullet point:
The formatting of a resume is the same for the U.S. and Canada. Other parts of the world usually require a CV which is somewhat different from a resume.
Make sure that you optimize your resume for ATS and focus on achievements.
Best of luck with your job search.