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Do I need a Resume and a Cover Letter When Applying for Canadian Jobs?

Posted by: NIC Online Date: February 28, 2023 Category: Blog
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Are you a newcomer to Canada who is currently applying for jobs? Many job openings require candidates to provide a resume and a cover letter. These documents will give the employer a better understanding of each candidate before the interview process. However, submitting a poor resume and cover letter will jeopardize your chances of an interview. 

Want to learn more about Canadian resumes and cover letters? Continue reading for more information! 

What is a Resume? 

A resume summarizes your professional career and should include your previous experiences, skills, knowledge, and accomplishments. Tailor your resume to be clear and relevant to each job application. According to some experts, the resume should only be 1-2 pages.


  • Be succinct: consider removing excessive words and avoid repeating information.
  • Avoid unnecessary information: save space on your resume and remove information unrelated to your job application. Additionally, stick with using basic fonts and avoid symbols, tables, and pictures that may not get noticed by Applicant Tracking Systems used by employers.
  • Consider the format: there are several resume formats that each have unique benefits: for example, reverse-chronological resume, functional resume, or hybrid resume.
  • Proofread: ensure there are no spelling and grammatical errors on your resume. Have someone else review your resume. 

What is a Cover Letter? 

Your cover letter will give your potential employer a first impression of you. While not all job applications require a cover letter, candidates should submit one with their application if possible. Your cover letter will allow you to explain how your skills and qualifications meet specific job requirements further. The ideal cover letter length is usually one page - unless the employer specifies that it can be more than one page, such as the Ontario Provincial Government. 


  • Explain the “why”: use the cover letter to demonstrate why you want this job and why you would be the perfect candidate for this specific position.
  • Show your personality: try to write genuinely (but also professionally) so that the person reading your cover letter better understands who you are as a person.
  • Don’t copy and paste: avoid blindly copying the words from the job description onto your cover letter.
  • Proofread: Ensure there are no spelling and grammatical errors on your cover letter. Have someone else review your cover letter. 

Want More Job Search Advice?

Upcoming webinar: Writing an Effective Resume and Cover Letter (March 9, 2023 @ 10 AM EST)

Newcomers to Ontario can access the free services and resources NIC Online provides. Our expert counsellors will work with newcomers to answer their settlement and employment questions. In addition, NIC Online hosts a variety of webinars catered towards newcomers.

Click here to register today!

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