Have you ever wondered how different your current resume might be compared to a Canadian one? How many pages should it have? How much personal information should you include? How do you sell your skill set and experience for the role in question? Keep reading and get answers to these and other questions you might have about Canadian resumes.
In some countries, resumes are expected to be long, particularly for senior positions. In New Zealand and Italy for example, a senior executive resume that is five pages long is perceived positively by potential employers.
In Canada, a resume should be one to two pages long and include only the experience that is relevant to the position you are applying to.
It is common to see personal information such as nationality, date of birth, gender and marital status on European, Latin-American and Asian resumes.
In Canada, however, resumes do not include any personal information. Canadian employers have no legal right to ask you any information that could potentially be the basis for discrimination. When writing a resume for a Canadian audience, make sure you add your name, contact email address and phone number. Some candidates may choose not to put their address on their resume for privacy reasons.
In some countries getting the job requires having a certain amount of education, and as a result, you are perhaps used to starting your resume with the Education section. Another common practice is to demonstrate that you have broad experience listing all the different positions you ever hold.
Getting the job in Canada requires that you demonstrate you have the attributes and experience for the job. In other words, you will describe how your past work experience and skills match the job description of the position you are targeting. With this in mind, the Education section usually is pushed to the last section of your resume.
Grammar and Spelling
Every time I have the opportunity to have an insightful conversation with a Recruiter or Hiring Manager I ask them how they screen in and screen out candidates. A large percentage of them have said they would screen out a candidate if they catch typos in their application. Why? When people – and not only recruiters – find improper grammar or spelling errors in your written communications, they tend to assume one or more of the following:
- Lack of Care. Organizations want the best candidates and believe that if you want to work for them, you also consider them the best. Therefore, a reasonably competent person would make sure their application is 100% free of grammatical and typographical errors. When this is not the case, they could assume you do not care enough and, in consequence, you might not be considered a worthy candidate.
- Lack of Technological Skills. There are several tools that can assist you in revising a document for grammar and spelling: MS Word, Grammarly, GrammarCheck, etc. In the eyes of recruiters, you have no excuse for having spelling mistakes on your job application. If your resume is not error-free, they might think you do not have a real mastery of technology.
- Lack of Training or Education. Schools often put considerable emphasis on basic writing skills through their education cycle. It is then presumed we have acquired and polished our written communication skills throughout our school years. When recruiters find typos in our resume, they could potentially put in doubt the quality of the other skills we are presenting on our resume.
Presenting a well-written resume is paramount to be considered for the position. If you retain one thing from this article about how to write a resume for the Canadian Labour Market, let it be these three concluding points:
- Your resume should be one to two pages long and include only the experience that is relevant to the position you are applying to.
- Do not include personal information in your resume. You only need to add your full name, contact email address and phone number.
- Double-check your resume spelling and grammar.
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Originally written by Written by Arcelia Camacho, updated in Dec 2020