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15 Fascinating Facts About Canada

resume writing tips canada

It’s big — the second-largest country in the world behind Russia — and it’s home to forests, mountains, beaches, rivers, streams and majestic wildlife. But there is much more to know about Canada than most people realize. For example, it has the largest coastline in the world, and it sits in six different time zones. Here are 15 more Canada facts about the country nicknamed the Great White North.

Canada does indeed have the largest coastline in the world. It would take the average person about four and a half years to walk all the way around the country, and that’s if they didn’t stop to eat or sleep. The entire country covers 3,855,103 square miles.

resume writing tips canada

Donut Capital

If you’re a donut fan, you may want to head straight to Canada. The country is home to more donut shops than any other country in the world. That’s a lot of sugary goodness.

resume writing tips canada

Polar Bears

If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing polar bears in the wild, you better head to Canada. Out of the 25,000 left in the world, approximately 15,500 live in the country. The town of Churchill is the best place to spot them, as you’re likely to see more bears than people.

resume writing tips canada

Land of Lakes

If you like spending time at the lake, Canada may be your dream vacation spot. The country is home to over two million lakes of all sizes. The biggest are the ones it shares with the United States: Lake Superior and Lake Huron.

resume writing tips canada

Most Famous Resident

Canada has produced many celebrities, including Drake, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion and Ryan Reynolds, but there’s one person who is more famous than any of those people combined. The Canadian government once declared Santa Claus a resident of the country, and kids can even send letters to him there and receive a response each Christmas.

resume writing tips canada

Plenty of Forests

Despite the fact that Canada is the second-largest country in the world, nearly one third of it is covered by forestland. That’s 10 percent of the world’s forests in one country. Most Canadian residents live in urban areas.

resume writing tips canada

Cold as Mars

It can get pretty cold in Canada. Anyone who has ever lived there or even visited knows that. But what you may not know is that, back in 1947, temperatures were recorded that were comparable to the surface temperature on Mars. That’s about – 81.4 degrees.

resume writing tips canada

During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, French and English settlers built walls around Quebec City to help keep it safe from potential invaders. Those walls remain standing today, making Quebec City the only city north of Mexico to have a walled enclosure.

resume writing tips canada

National Parks

Canada is home to 47 National Parks. Some of them are so big that they make other countries look pretty small. For example, Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park is so large that it takes up more space than countries like Switzerland and Denmark.

resume writing tips canada


If you’ve ever wondered how far north people live on the Earth, wonder no more. A little settlement called Alert, Nunavut, which is about 500 miles from the North Pole, is the northernmost place where people live permanently on the planet. July temps are around 38 degrees, while it gets down to around – 26 in January.

resume writing tips canada

Mac and Cheese

Americans consume a lot of macaroni and cheese, but not as much as their northern neighbors. Kraft reports that Canadians consume more of the comfort food than any other country in the world.

resume writing tips canada

Frozen Ocean

It gets cold on the Canadian island of Newfoundland, but you probably don’t realize just how cold. Sometimes the Atlantic Ocean surrounding the island freezes to a point that residents can actually skate on it and play hockey.

resume writing tips canada

If Santa is an official Canadian resident, it only makes sense that he’d need to live in a place that has plenty of reindeer for him to choose from. The country is home to over two million caribou. No word on whether any of them have red noses.

resume writing tips canada

Americans may be in love with basketball, be it the NBA, college hoops or even local high school teams. Many people don’t realize the beloved sport has Canadian roots. Dr. James Naismith of Ontario invented the game in 1891.

resume writing tips canada

Snake Capital

Scared of snakes? You may want to avoid Manitoba. The Canadian province has more snakes than any other place in the world. Every spring, approximately 70,000 snakes come out of hibernation.

resume writing tips canada


resume writing tips canada

How do I create a Canadian-style resume in order to find a job?

Your resume will get noticed more by Canadian recruiters if you have a Canadian-style resume. While Canadian-style resumes come in many different formats, they share some standards that you should know about.

Style and Personal Details 

In Canada, you never use a photo on your resume and you also don't include personal details other than your name and contact information. You should never:

None of these are considered relevant to obtaining a job. Do showcase how your strengths and achievements in past jobs will benefit the role you're applying to. 

Adapt your Resume for Each Role

Career experts recommend that you customize your resume for each job, especially for your most recent work experience. General or generic resumes do not work in today’s labour market. It's advised to follow the requirements of the job posting so that your resume speaks to those specific requirements.  Generic resumes are better used for applications to companies that are not advertising a job opening. If you research a company that you want to work for but they don't have an current opening you can use a more generic version of your resume in this instance. Also, remember to use your cover letter to showcase how your experience matches the job role requirement.

The Job Ad. or Posting

In general, the bullets sections for the requirements are listed in order of importance or according to job requirements. The top 5 bullets on the list are typically the highest requirements of the job with the least demands towards the bottom of the list. Ensure that your resume speaks to the top requirements in particular by focusing on comparing your past experiences and achievements those in the top requirements.  For some jobs, you can change a few bullets or sentences to focus on certain skills and accomplishments. For others, you may need to rewrite a completely new resume. The important thing to keep in mind is that each application that you submit reflects the role you are applying for specifically. Find what jobs are available in your area from our Where can I find job listing websites? page. 

Mind the Length

It's preferred to have a shorter resume over one with many pages. Most people have a resume that is 2 pages long. If you are a junior professional or fresh out of school you might choose a one-page resume. But depending on your seniority level if you have more years of experience it's ok to have up to a 3 page resume if you need it.  Don't sacrifice quality details, achievements and past relevant experiences to make a resume shorter.   

Include Volunteer Work

You should include your volunteer experience if it relates to the job you are applying for in the section on work experience. It is important to talk about what you have done. It does not matter if it was unpaid work.

Use Social Media

Many employers cross-reference your resume with your online presence. You can include a link to your LinkedIn profile or if you have an online portfolio for your work or related blog you may include that as well. 

Employers may also look for you on other social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc First impressions are important - if you don't want a potential employer to see something, don't make it publicly accessible or put it online at all.

Formatting Hints

Format is critical. Your resume should be organized, neat, clear, and consistent in formatting (e.g., font and bullets).

If you are applying for a job which requires that you have attention to detail, then you need to demonstrate this with your résumé.

Use headings to organize the information in your resume. Common resume headings are:

Use formatting tools such as bold and bullets to make important information stand out.

Use Keywords

In today's job market a lot of recruiters use online tools to select resumes. These tools are designed to match keywords from the job ad. to your resume. It's important to use keywords in your resume chosen specifically to match what you see in the job posting and on the company's website. Recruiters sometimes do not read every word on each resume and rely on the keyword matches. Keywords describe skills and qualifications. Enhance your resume by using as many keywords as you can. But, do not make up experiences just to use keywords.

Proof Read it

Look over your résumé before you send it. Make sure the company names, job titles and dates are accurate. Print out your resume to see how it looks when printed if you can or save it as a PDF to review the formatting.  It's good to send a resume through as a PDF so that employers will be able to open the document without difficulty

Sample Resumes

There are 2 common types of resumes:

You can find general samples of these types, below. You can use these samples as guides. Do not rely on samples or templates to create a good resume.

In some fields, employers will expect to see a resume with a specific format, which may be different than these samples.

Chronological Resume

A chronological resume is time-based. It is organized by the positions you have held, in order of time. You list your most recent position first. These resumes are best if you have a lot of experience in your field. They are also better for people who do not have periods of time when they were not working.

This is an example of a Canadian-style chronological resume:

Functional Resume

A functional resume is skills-based. It is organized by skills that you gained in your previous work. Functional resumes are best if you:

This is an example of a Canadian-style functional résumé:

Many settlement or employment agencies can give you information and advice about your résumé, and how to create resumes for specific fields. To find help, go to Services Near Me  and search for "employment services" in your area.

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Eight Tips to Write a Canadian-Style Resume

by Corinna Frattini | Dec 3, 2021 | Employment In Canada , Working In Canada: A 5-Step Approach

Woman reviewing a Canadian-style resume with an interview candidate.

A Canadian-style resume is necessary to propel your job search and find the right job faster. As well, Canadian employers look for specific items that you may need to add to your existing resume. And, in some cases, you may need to delete information. So to get noticed by employers it makes sense to revise and update your resume format with these tips in mind.

1 . Choose the right resume format

2. Read the job description carefully

3. tailor your resume to the job description.

4. Use keywords in your resume

5. Include the right information on your Canadian style resume

6. Omit irrelevant information

7. use strong and concise language.

8. Proofread your resume for spelling and grammar errors.

Why is a Canadian-Style Resume Important?

A Canadian resume format may look much different than the resume that you have used in your home country. So it’s important to know what information to include or omit on a Canadian-style resume. This is important because your resume is often the first impression you will make with a potential employer. 

As well, recruiters may easily receive over 100 resumes for one position. And when they view that many resumes, they quickly scan them for essential information. 

Preparing Your Canadian-Style Resume

1. choose the right resume format.

There are three resume formats that job seekers commonly use: 

Chronological resume: this format highlights your work history and timeline.

Functional resume: this format highlights your work experience and previous job activities.

Combination resume: this combination format shows your experience and timeline like you would see in a chronological format and has a strong emphasis on your skills as you would see in a functional format.

You can decide which format is best for you based on your work history and what you want to highlight.

Download our free Canadian-Style Resume Templates

& accelerate your job search in canada.

Click Here to Download Resume Templates

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The job description will provide you with a clear picture of the:

You can even use a pen or highlighter to mark what requirements match your work experience and achievements. This will give you a good sense of how closely your experience matches the job requirements.

When you see a job that interests you and that matches your skill set, take the time to tailor your resume to the job description. The time you invest in tailoring your resume will pay off. And when you tailor your resume you clearly show potential employers how you are a perfect fit for the job. This will increase your visibility to employers.

However, when you submit the same resume to every employer you reduce your chances of meeting specific job requirements the employer is seeking.

Whatever your job focus, you will need to clearly state the qualities you bring to that job to sell yourself to a prospective employer. For example, you can do this by adding a strong career objective/profile at the top of the first page, followed by a breakdown of your skills/talents with concrete examples. Then list your job experience and educational credentials on page two.

4.  Use keywords in your resume

Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to collect, sort, and store resumes. This automated software can also compare your resume to keywords in the job description. If there is a good match, your resume will appear in search results. 

You will have a better chance of showing up in search results if your resume contains keywords used in the job description. A good way to determine keywords is to read job descriptions for keywords that are used. Use those keywords to tailor your resume based on your skill set. 

5. Include the right information on your Canadian-style resume

Your resume should be a maximum of two pages in length. So this will require you to be concise and only include the relevant information that you want to highlight. 

So make sure to avoid listing every job responsibility and only include the skills and responsibilities that best match the job description. Also, rather than listing your responsibilities, showcase what you accomplished. For example: 

Instead of:

Again, it’s important to remember that recruiters will quickly glance at your resume. So make it easy for them to identify that you have the skills, knowledge, and experience to be successful in the job you’re applying for.

Be aware of the information that you do not need to include on a Canadian-style resume. Avoid including the word Resume at the top of your document. Recruiters know they are reading your resume and this also takes up valuable space. It’s also unnecessary to add your photo. 

Other information to omit:  

Your ultimate goal is to showcase your experience, skills, and qualifications in a professional manner. Most importantly, you want to avoid including information that can be used to discriminate on the basis of age, nationality, marital status, or other factors. This information can also contribute to employer bias in the selection process.

For newcomers entering the Canadian job, it’s also helpful to know that employers cannot ask interview questions that could be viewed as discriminating. For example, interview questions that ask about your marital status, nationality, religion, and other factors defined by the Canadian Human Rights Act are illegal.

There are many settlement agencies in Canada that can help you adapt your resume to meet Canadian requirements when you arrive.

It’s important to use strong action verbs that will grab attention. Choose strong verbs that showcase your capabilities. And remember to use the past tense to describe your previous experience. 

Consider these strong action verbs:

Acquired   |    Advised   |    Analyzed   |    Assembled   |    Briefed   |    Centralized   |    Consulted   |    Collaborated

Composed   |    Defined   |    Enhanced   |    Evaluated   |    Exceeded   |    Expanded   |    Facilitated   |    Forecasted

Informed   |    Influenced   |    Mobilized   |    Negotiated   |   Overhauled   |   Redesigned   |    Resolved   |    Secured   

Streamlined    |   Stimulated   |    Surpassed   |    Transformed   |    Verified

8. Proofread your resume

To write the perfect Canadian-style resume, be sure to check and double-check for spelling and grammar mistakes. It’s also helpful to ask someone to proofread your resume. A good proofreader can identify unclear sentences, spelling, grammar errors, or repetition.

While using the spell-checker on your computer is helpful, it’s not always perfect. For example, it may not pick up the difference between words such as there, their, and they’re. So always remember to check your writing.

When you follow these eight tips to format your Canadian resume, you’ll be on your way to resuming your career in Canada.

Final Checklist

a Canadian-style resume with a summary at the top and work experience listed below.

When you have completed your resume, apply this short review checklist before you submit it.

Also, it’s important to write a one-page cover letter to accompany your resume. The purpose of the cover letter is to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and how well you’ll fit it and add value to the company. Many hiring managers may not even read your resume if your cover letter doesn’t capture their attention.

For additional information, resources, and webinars related to finding a job in Canada, click here ! We can help you achieve your career goals in Canada!


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Top 10 Tips for a Canadian Resume

resume template guide

Writing the perfect resume can sometimes be a difficult task.

It can get quite confusing to decide what to include and what’s not worth adding to it.

This is why we have collected the best tips for a well-written Canadian resume in this guide. Check them out below.

1. Resume Lenght

You must be wondering how long should a resume be. Résumés should be two pages at most .

Some people say they should be kept to one page, however, two will be accepted.

2. Update your résumé for each job

Copy and paste is your job hunting enemy. Each résumé that you send to an employer should be tailored specifically for the job you are applying for.

You should highlight the elements of your experience or certain previous achievements that are more relevant to each different position.

Copying the same résumé for each employer is lazy and employers will notice it. Nobody wants to hire lazy people.

3. Use Keywords

An easy way to help you change each résumé is to read the job advertisement in detail .

Identify what skills or attributes they are looking for and use the same keywords when listing your previous responsibilities.

That said, don’t come up with responsibilities or tell lies on your Canadian résumé just to include keywords.

4. Use action words

Choose your words carefully. You are limited to about 300 words per page in your résumé so, again, don’t be lazy.

Certain words will have more impact and are better used in the past tense.

For example:

Achieved, analyzed, coordinated, established, managed, maintained, surpassed, designed, trained, organized, implemented, motivated, determined, showed initiative, improved, produced, assisted, increased, prepared, built, facilitated, eliminated, streamlined.

5. Double-check it before sending

One spelling mistake is very bad. Two is unforgivable.

Proofreading and spell check are your new best friends.

If you are still not confident in your spelling and grammatical abilities, get a nerdy friend to read over your resume and cover letter before sending them.

Punctuation, grammar and spelling mistakes are like a red flag to a bull for some employers – don’t shoot yourself in the foot!


6. Resume Format and layout

This is related to point five above but we feel it is so important that we are making it a separate tip.

An ugly resume will be hard to look at and employers will not enjoy reading it.

Have a clear structure with separate sections for your resume. If everything is too close together it will be hard to read – empty space is not wasted!

Use bullet points where possible instead of long sentences and paragraphs.

Remember you only have 20 seconds to make a good impression.

Use a standard font such as Arial 10.

Justify all text to the left.

Headings of new sections such as Work Experience and Education should be bolded and underlined.

This helps to break up the page neatly.

There are templates available in Word if you search the “Tools” and you will find other examples of resumes in your WHC Jobs Kit as well as online.

Try these for some ideas to get you started.

7. Don’t include personal details

While this may be common in other countries it is not the norm in Canada, so don’t do it.

Details not to put on your Canadian resume include the date of birth or age, marital status, health status, sex or gender, religion, or a photo of yourself.

8. Don’t leave time gaps

Account for all months and years in your resume no matter if you were working during this time or not.

It is always better to account for a period when you were not working than to leave it blank.

Give a clear explanation for this time so that employers are not left wondering if you spend those six months sitting on your couch watching daytime soap operas.

Show that you have always had purpose and direction in your life as this transfers to work situations too.

For example, if you took a year out to travel around South America or the Greek Islands – say this.

Include it in your work experience section with “Personal Travel” as your employer name and indicate the dates also.

If you kept a travel blog or diary during this time include this as a job responsibility and even if it is just a light-hearted talking point for your interview, it will at least show that you can manage an online blog or website and you may also have some writing skills .

9. Cover Letter

All resumes you submit for any job should include a customized cover letter unless the employer specifically says that cover letters are not required.

That means if cover letters are not mentioned in the job description, send one anyway .

It may make you stand out from everyone else and it is also an extra opportunity to highlight extra information to the employer that you could not fit on your resume.

Nearly more so in this case, copy and paste is your job hunting enemy.

Employers will know if you send them a letter that is not specifically for that position, so write a new letter for each job application.

Use keywords in your cover letter too. If the job advertisement mentions certain skills or requirements, mention them in your cover letter.

If the company has a certain mission statement or agenda that you agree with – say so.

It will show the employer that you are genuinely interested in working for that company or at least that you took the time to read their website.

Say why you want to work for that company and what you can bring to the table or contribute.

Suggesting what you might like to achieve when working for that company or offering ideas is another huge plus that will make you stand out in an employer’s memory!

NOTE: Do not include information that is already in your Canadian resume .

10. Follow Up

If you don’t follow up on applications you send – you may as well not bother sending them in the first place.

Make a list of every job you apply for.

This includes casual jobs in high street shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Call the employer back or visit the café 3 days later to ask if they have received your application.

Express your sincere interest in the position and ask when you might hear some news about your application.

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Canadian Resume Format: Write a Resume for Jobs in Canada

Canadian Resume Format: Write a Resume for Jobs in Canada

Looking to make a move north of the border? Check out our complete guide to writing a Canadian resume for job-hunting success that's sweeter than maple syrup.

Jacques Buffett, CPRW

As seen in:

Canada. The great white north. Lumberjack country. Call it what you will, our northern neighbor offers all kinds of career opportunities.

Geographic proximity, cultural similarities, and generous mandated leave and benefits can make Canada a very attractive place to work. But how to get started? How do you write a Canadian resume and is it different from an American one?

We’ve got the answers. This guide will help you learn everything you need to know about Canadian resume format. And by the time you’re done, you’ll have a resume that’s more Canadian than moose, maple leaves and Medicare.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here .

Create your resume now

canadian resume example

Sample resume made with our builder— See more resume samples here .

And when you’re done “poutine” all your skills and experience into a Canadian style resume we’ve got lots of other career advice too.

Canadian Resume Sample

Jennifer Birch

Senior Sales Associate


[email protected]

Energetic, friendly sales associate with 5+ years of retail experience. Extensive product knowledge and technically proficient with modern point-of-sale systems. Maintained 99% positive customer feedback score. Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) certified. Seeking to leverage proven merchandising, upselling and customer service skills to become a senior sales associate at McWhirter’s Home & Office Depot.

Retail Sales Associate

Maple Leaf Home Stores, Toronto, ON

September 2017–Present

Key Achievement. Achieved a 99% customer feedback score in the first month of employment and maintained it constantly ever since.

Junior Sales Associate

Frozen North Outfitters, Toronto, ON

August 2015–September 2017

Bachelor of Science in Retail Sales Management

York University, Toronto, ON

Graduated 2017

Certifications & Licenses

You’ve just seen a perfectly written Canadian resume template. Now learn how to make your own.

1. Is Canadian Resume Format Different from American Resume Format? 

Canada and America have their similarities, but there are plenty of differences too. From the way they do politics, to selling milk in bags, the land that gave us Jim Carrey and Justin Bieber can seem like a pretty original place.

But do those differences extend to the Canadian resume? The answer is no. A resume in Canada is exactly the same as an American resume . No need to worry about all the differences as you would when applying for jobs outside North America.

Or to put it another way a resume that’s as American as apple pie is as Canadian as maple syrup too! But let’s not leave it at that, now we’ll take a look at some Canada resume tips to make sure your Canadian job search gets off on the right foot.

Pro Tip: If you live in Europe, Asia or the Pacific, you probably refer to a resume as a CV. A North American resume is basically the same as what you call a CV, but to get a better understanding of the two terms take a look at our guide on the differences of a CV vs a resume .

2. Best Format for a Canadian Resume

The best resume format for Canadian jobs is the same tried and true classic as in the U.S. It’s known as the chronological or reverse-chronological resume . It puts your work experience up front and it’s the format recruiters are most familiar with on both sides of the border. 

Here are the sections a typical chronological Canadian resume consists of:

Standard Canada resume format also follows the same layout rules as you’d use in the U.S. A good layout ensures that you’ll have a document that looks professional and is easy to read. 

Here are some basic resume layout guidelines:

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a  professional resume template here for free .

Create the perfect resume

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

3. How to Write a Canadian Resume

As we’ve discussed, you follow the same rules for resume writing in Canada as you do in the U.S. You’ll find detailed advice in our comprehensive how to write a resume guide. But if you’re looking to make a quick start, here’s a brief section-by-section breakdown.

1. Add a Header with Contact Information

Include your full name, job title and contact details. These should consist of your phone number, email address and LinkedIn profile . There’s no need to include your address on your resume , though. It’s not needed and it wastes space.

2. Write a Resume Profile

Your resume profile acts as the introduction to the content that follows. The general rule is to use a resume objective if you’re just starting your career and a resume summary if you’re more experienced. A summary of qualifications is another good option if you’ve got plenty of experience and achievements to highlight.

3. List Your Work Experience

This is the most important part of your Canadian resume. 91% of employers prefer their candidates to have work experience, so you need to get your work experience section right to capitalize on that demand. Here’s how to do it.

4. Mention Your Education

Often overlooked, but still necessary. List your degree, your school and its location, and your graduation date (use an expected graduation date if you’re still studying). Only include your GPA on your resume if you’ve just graduated and it’s 3.5 or above.

And another thing you can include in your education section if you’ve just graduated is relevant coursework and extracurricular activities .

5. Include a List of Skills

The skills employers look for in a Canadian resume are the same as for the U.S. Be sure to include a mix of hard skills and soft skills , and target your resume to the job by keeping your skills section relevant and focused.

6. Make Use of Additional Sections

Extra sections are the icing on the cake, or seeing as this is a Canadian resume, the gravy on the poutine. Adding them gives you the chance to add extra skills and achievements and stand out from other applicants. 

Here are some of the best options:

And there’s no need to add references to your resume or even to write “ references available upon request .” If an employer needs your references they’ll ask for them later on in the recruitment process. Including them now is just a waste of valuable page real estate.

7. What Not to Include in a Canadian Resume

You guessed it, the same rules apply as for an American resume. Here are the things you shouldn’t include on your resume .

And that’s it, you’re all set to craft the perfect Canadian style resume.

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here.  Here's what it may look like:

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

Canadian resume format is exactly the same as American resume format. Follow the same guidelines and focus on writing a resume that’s tailored to the job you’re applying for and best shows off your strengths as a candidate. It’s that simple. All the best for your Canadian job search!

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to know more about Canada resume format then please ask in the comments section and we’ll be happy to help.

Jacques Buffett, CPRW

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How to write a good resume.

Your resume must clearly, concisely and strategically present your qualifications to get a recruiter interested in meeting you. It should convey your skills, work experience and assets. The resume is used to describe what you can accomplish professionally in a manner that also illustrates what you can do for an employer. Job opportunities can arise unexpectedly. An updated modern resume is the key to a successful job search. Here are some do's and don'ts of how to write a good resume and what to include.

Resume Writing Do's

An employer takes an average of 30 seconds to skim a resume. You want them to see right away that you are qualified for the position.

Be sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Have someone else read it over as well. A simple spelling mistake on a resume can give a negative impression to the employer. It can even prevent you from getting the job.

Place the emphasis of your resume on your most recent experience. Older jobs and experience that are more than 15 years old should either be cut out or minimized. This way, the employer can focus on more relevant information.

Specify work experience or achievements that are related to the position you are applying to. This can be done by reviewing the job description or the employer website.

You want to be able to identify the best examples of where you demonstrated your skills. These examples should speak to what you achieved in your role, and should demonstrate what kind of employee you are. It is best to include this information in the "Work experience" section of the resume.

Lying on your resume is never a good idea. You don't want to overstate your skills or results as it will mislead the employer. Have confidence in what you have to offer.

Use firm numbers that the employer will understand and be impressed by. For example, how many people you supervised, how many products you sold, by what percentage you increased sales, etc.

The person reading your resume might not always be the employer. Resumes can be reviewed by recruiters or Human Resources specialists who may not be familiar with your specific field. Use simple and plain language, but also persuasive verbs such as handled, managed, led, developed, increased, accomplished, leveraged, etc.

If you have volunteered with a well-known organization or worked for an important cause, put it in your resume. You should include these experiences under the "Work experience" or the "Volunteer work" section, especially if they are related to the position you are applying for.

Your resume should list your name, address, email and phone number. This information should be placed at the top of the first page. Also, make sure this information is accurate. Otherwise, the employer won't be able to contact you.

Resume Writing Don'ts

Make sure your email is easy to read, easy to type, professional and non offensive. In general, your email address should be based on your name. Exclude any nicknames, numbers, or special characters.

It is best to leave out any personal details such as age, weight, height, marital status, religious preference, political views, or any other personal attributes that could be controversial. This will prevent any potential bias. Most importantly, never include your Social Insurance Number in your resume.

Although in some countries it may be acceptable to include a photo, it is not the norm in Canada. It can actually lower your chances of obtaining a position and divert the whole focus of your resume. You want the employer to focus on your skills and experience, not what you look like.

Make your resume easy to read by limiting each resume section or sub section to 5-7 bullet points. This will make it easier for the employer to scan your resume and identify your potential. Each bullet point should be used wisely by keeping the information relevant and concise.

Do not use "I," "my," or "me". Write your resume in the third person, as if it's being written by someone else.

Your job duties will be obvious from your job title. Instead, highlight your achievements by putting a personal spin on your job duties and providing specific examples.

Steer clear from vague statements that don't highlight your actual contribution. Unclear statements such as, "Responsible for improving efficiencies and making cost savings", does not provide any information to an employer. Personalize your experience!

The main purpose of your resume is to promote you, your skills, experience and achievements. It should be entirely positive, and therefore should not include reasons for leaving as it does not add any value to you as a candidate.

An employer only requires references if they are seriously considering hiring you. Keep references on a separate sheet and provide them only when they are specifically requested.

It is not recommended to mention hobbies because of the judgments potential employers can make. However, if your hobbies relate to the position, you may include them as they can demonstrate to the employer why you are a good fit.

Want to create a professional resume in a few minutes? Sign up for a Job Bank account to use our free Resume Builder tool.

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The resume format in Canada is quite different from CVs and resumes you may be used to writing in other countries. By following our advice, you too can adapt to the Canadian way of presenting your experience and skills.

Start off with this webinar from recruitment expert and Moving2Canada founder, Ruairi Spillane, about how to create the best resume for the Canadian jobs market:

When you’re done reading through these tips, visit our Jobs Board  and review our  practical advice for finding jobs in Canada.

What’s different about the resume format in Canada?

Your resume is key to finding jobs in Canada . Employers will generally assess your suitability for roles based on this document alone.

Your sole objective in writing a resume is to pique the reader’s interest so that you get an interview . Shift the focus away from telling the employer everything about yourself. Instead, focus on things that will make them believe you can help their company.

Avoid simply listing your duties in each role. Instead, refer to achievements that other candidates wouldn’t be able to put on their resume. Differentiate yourself from the crowd.

The resume format in Canada must contain (in this order):

1. Contact information 2. Professional / career summary 3. Work experience 4. Education / professional development

Where appropriate, you may also add technical skills and volunteer experience / community involvement.

resume writing tips canada

"I sent countless resumes, but never heard back!"

16 tips to adapt to the resume format in canada.

1. Your resume is a tool to secure an interview. It’s not intended to be a thorough work history document. When you write a resume for Canada, concentrate on presenting the reader with your highlights, not every detail. The interview is the time to go into detail.

2. Keep your resume interesting. Typically, hiring managers will only spend 10-30 seconds browsing your document. Use the resume format in Canada to sell yourself in a concise way that focuses on your achievements.

3. Use a professional resume template. Register for a Moving2Canada account to get a professional resume template for free.

4. Avoid long paragraphs and small fonts (less than size 10 is not a good idea). Use an easily readable font and make sure that only one font is used throughout. Ensure your resume format style is consistent.

5. Do not use the first person (e.g. “I am technical”, “I worked at XYZ”). Use short sentences (e.g. “Increased sales by 10%”).

6. The resume format in Canada means your document should typically be a maximum of two pages. If you do not have a lot of experience, then one page should suffice. If you have 10+ years of experience, then three pages may be acceptable.

7. Don’t waste valuable space. Only list experience relevant for the role to which you are applying.

8. Convert all terms to the Canadian equivalent. For example, use terms like “high school”, “GPA” (Grade Point Average — the equivalent for university grades), “internship”, etc.

9. Do not list personal interests or hobbies unless they are achievements that add to your character. Remember: a good resume sets you apart from other candidates. Mentioning that you like football, play piano, and enjoy the cinema is not likely to boost your chances of success.

10. Include skills such as being able to speak a second language or mastery of particular computer applications. Ensure you only include those that may be relevant to the job you’re applying for.

11. Avoid sending a generic resume to dozens of employers. Your time is better spent being selective and tailoring your resume for each specific job and company you’re applying to.

12. Use a nice resume format, and where possible, have it proofread by an expert in the field. Grammatical and spelling errors on a resume can harm your first impression.

13. Do not list that you are on a “gap year” or “one-year work permit”. Companies want to employ committed candidates who are going to contribute to their success. In an interview, you can discuss your immigration status if the employer requests more information. If you are in Canada on a temporary permit, research longer-term permanent residence options so you can discuss ways of potentially staying in Canada once your work permit expires.

14. Do not include the word ‘resume’ or ‘CV’ at the top of the page, or the date you prepared the document.

15. Do not sign your resume.

16. Do not list references, or include the line ‘references available on request’. It will be assumed that you have these ready, so don’t waste valuable space on your resume by stating this. Have references’ names and contact details ready to present when requested, and make sure they’re willing to speak positively on your behalf.

Preparing for the resume format in Canada

Here’s some useful advice to help you craft the contact, career summary, and work history sections of your resume.

Contact information:

Professional / career summary

This is a micro resume that will allow the reader to understand your goals and how you can help their company.

Three or four short sentences will suffice to set the tone for the detail that follows. Outline what makes you different, whether it is personality, technical ability, managerial skills, team building, or some other talents.

Begin by stating your objective clearly. You should list the title of the role you want to target — if you’re responding to a job posting, this role will be the job you’re applying for. Being a “jack of all trades” is not a good thing for an employer. If you want to be a Project Manager, then call yourself a Project Manager. Don’t expect a company to identify what you should be.

If you would like to do two or three different things, then build two or three specific documents, and follow the resume format in Canada in each. Listing “Marketing / Admin / Finance Professional” is not attractive, so have a clear focus for the relevant job application.

Work experience in Canada

Include details of relevant roles. Prospective employers will already be familiar with the duties and responsibilities of these roles, so there’s no need to list them.

Use three or four concise bullet points instead of long lists.

Think about key achievements in each previous role, then build each point by highlighting a specific problem you encountered, actions taken, and results accomplished. Every successful problem solved brings either an increase in revenue or decrease in costs. This is how managers think, so speak their language.

Problem/Situation >> Action taken >> Results/Achievement

Problem/Situation:  Every action that you take in a job is for a reason. Who asked you to perform this task? What was the objective? What was the background behind the task or the problem you set out to solve? Identify what the problem or situation was that prompted the action.

Action taken: This is where you incorporate the duties that you took to resolve a problem or situation.

Results/Achievement: Some questions to think about: What would happen if you didn’t perform this task as well? What was the impact of doing the task well? Did you gain recognition for this work? Did it improve efficiency, increase sales, reduce costs, or all of the above? Where possible, try to quantify the result in terms of either a percentage or Canadian dollar value.

Here’s an example that would meet the resume format in Canada requirements:

Existing phone / communication system was outdated and causing frustration for the staff. Investigated affordable alternatives and project managed the installation of the new system. It increased productivity and efficiency, received widespread positive reaction from staff, and by allowing us to spend more time with customers, generated an estimated $20k in extra sales in six months.

Provide your potential employer with three or four short illustrations of your abilities that showcase what you have achieved in previous roles.

If you’re unsure whether a point you made is useful or not, keep asking yourself “so what?” and try to develop it using the above formula. Explore the impact of your actions and try to bring each point back to a business problem with quantifiable results. Think about the increase in revenues, decrease in costs, or customer satisfaction.

For occupations that are project-driven, outlining your projects in a clear manner is key. Do not make a long list of every project. Focus on outlining a few key projects that demonstrate your skills. Remember, you don’t need to tell them everything you have done — you can do this in the interview . Ensure that you highlight the project name, an outline of the project (e.g. if construction then mention commercial, industrial, residential, etc), project duration, the value of the project in Canadian dollar terms, as well as your role.

Other employment resources in Canada

For vacancies, visit our Moving2Canada Jobs Board . Now that you’ve mastered the resume format in Canada, here are some more resources to help you win interviews and find a job in Canada.

Remember also not all recruitment is done through formal interview processes. Find out how to use an informational interview as a tool to develop your network.

Get planning for Canada!  Did you know that Canada offers free pre-arrival services for approved immigrants who plan to arrive in the country within the next 12 months? You can get free employment mentorship and more through government-funded pre-arrival services. Find out about pre-arrival services provided by Canada InfoNet here:

Register for a Moving2Canada account to receive Canadian resume and cover letter templates. You’ll also receive our free Getting Started Guide, which gives exclusive access to our proven techniques for accelerating your job search in Canada.

Happy job hunting!

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How to write a Canadian resume The "dos" and "don'ts" of writing a Canadian-style resume.

resume writing tips canada

Shelby Thevenot

Employer and new hire shaking hands at job interview.

This is not another article telling you to spell-check your resume—but do spell-check your resume. We’re going to cover the not-so-obvious tips for getting your foot in the door to your Canadian dream job.

The resume is only one step to finding a job in Canada—and it is not even the first. Before you sit down to type up your professional background, do some research on Canada’s job market, and identify the companies that you would like to apply for. The Canadian government website offers some tools that can help you in your job search.

For this article, we are going to focus on optimizing your resume for Canadian employers. Keep in mind, employers will have their own preferences, and there are different best practices for every industry. We hope to give you a general idea of what you can include on a Canadian resume and what is best left out.

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5 don’ts of Canadian resume writing

Don’t include a photo

Unlike some countries, in Canada it is not necessary to include a photo with your CV — unless you’re an actor or a model. In general, the only information you need on your CV is what is relevant to the job posting.

Don’t overshare

You do not need to include most personal information on your CV. At this point, the only personal information the employer needs is your name, and how to contact you. They do not need to know your age, what country you are from, your race, your religion, your marital status, or anything about your family. In fact, if asked these questions in an interview it might be illegal under Canada’s human rights laws .

Also, your CV is not the place to disclose your Social Insurance Number (SIN). Employers do not need that until you are already hired for the job. Your SIN card is a sensitive document, and you should only share it when it is legally required .

Again, all you need to include in your CV is your relevant skills, experience, and basic contact information like name, phone number, and email. Mailing address is not always necessary, especially if you are searching for a job in a different city. If you want to demonstrate that you are within a commutable distance from the place of employment, then you may want to include it, but most job seekers find it just takes up precious space on the page.

Don’t write too much

In terms of length, one page is ideal but having two is fine.

You want the person reviewing your application to see only your best, most relevant, and recent experience. If you are just starting your career and you do not have a lot of experience, you can include items that may be less relevant to the posting.

In general, just keep your resume short and sweet. You want it to be “skimmable.” Recruiters should be able to get an idea of your experience without feeling like they have to read a novel.

Don’t include references

If your employer wants references they will ask for them. A good practice is to ensure your reference knows that you are naming them and giving out their contact information. Talking to your reference beforehand also helps you determine if this person really is going to give you a glowing review or not.

Don’t use an inappropriate email address

Recruiters do pay attention to these details, and they might judge you based on whatever email address you thought was funny in high school. Using an email address that contains your name does not signal any red flags.

5 dos of Canadian resume writing

Do tailor your application to the job posting

It takes longer, but you will often get better results if you tailor each resume to the position you are looking for rather than the “spray and pray” method where you send out a bunch of generic resumes.

Not sure what order you should present your experience? Which skills to include and which to leave out? Are you between word choices?

Look at the job posting. This is your first clue into exactly what the recruiter is looking for, and the language they want to see in your application.

The posting will list the job qualifications and then the nice-to-haves. Include your necessary skills front and centre on the first page of your resume, then put your “assets” after that.

Do quantify your achievements

Try to quantify your achievements with numbers, if you can. For example, if you were a manager, mention how many people you were responsible for overseeing. If you worked in sales, how many products did you sell? How much profit did you ring in every month?

Listing your specific achievements, in numbers that an employer can understand, will highlight your skills better than a generic statement. Saying you have a “good work ethic” means nothing. Demonstrating that you grew traffic to your company’s website by 20% over one year, for example, shows a recruiter that you know what you are doing.

Do write in third person

Write in third-person format, so no “I,” “me,” or “my.” Keep your sentences short and clear.

For your work experience, include the name and location of your company, and list a few of your responsibilities. Include the years you worked at the company, or if you worked for less than a year you can include the number of months. There is no need to explain gaps in employment on the resume. It will come up in the interview if the recruiter even asks.

For your education, list the school, program, credential, and dates. Depending on the position you are applying for, you can include your GPA as well, but it is usually not necessary. You can include your awards here, or in a separate “awards” section.

Do include unpaid work experience

You can include things like your volunteer experience, as long as it prepared you for the duties you will be performing at the job you are applying for.

Do include a cover letter

Even if they do not ask for it, even if they are going to skip it and head straight to your resume, it is always good to include a cover letter.

A cover letter is meant to embellish the resume, and show the recruiter why you are the best fit for their job opening.

We could write a separate article about cover letters— and we probably will. But here we will give you a general idea of how to write a cover letter.

Your cover letter should contain the company’s contact information, as well as your contact information. It should be no more than a couple of paragraphs, and it should not take up a whole page.

You can write in the first person here. Your goal is to connect with the recruiter. Use their name only if you are 100% sure you have the correct name of the person who will be reviewing your application. If you do know their name, use it, but note that there is usually no need to include a prefix. These days, starting a letter with “Sir” or “Madame” is usually inappropriate, unless you know for certain that the recruiter reading your letter prefers that.

The first paragraph should introduce who you are and why you want this job. Be sure to name the position you are applying for. In the subsequent paragraphs, you will want to demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the position, referring to your previous relevant experience. You can go above and beyond by showing them how your involvement will solve their problems, and make them a better company.

Conclude by thanking them, and letting them know that you will be following up.

Bonus tips for your Canadian job hunt

You are dealing with more barriers than the average Canadian-born job-searcher, however, there are immigrant support services, and employment services that can help you in your journey. Immigration Canada has a list of free services on their website , but these are by no means an exhaustive list of everything that’s out there. You can also check your provincial, or territorial websites, or search for employment services in your city.

As much as possible, try to ask people you know if they have any connections or know of any job openings. LinkedIn estimates at least 85% of jobs are found through networking. If you are in Canada and you do not know a lot of people, try industry networking events in your area, which can be found online through events websites, like Eventbrite , or on social media, like Facebook events or groups.

Also, if you think you are underqualified for a position that interests you, apply anyway. In the best-case scenario, you get the job and learn to become the candidate that they are looking for, or else you just do not get the job. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

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Canada for Newbies

Canadian Resume Format

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When I was planning to move to Canada, one of my big concerns was being able to get a job. And the first step in this was how to write my resume in the Canadian resume format.

Getting a job in Canada is different to what I’d been used to in the UK and took a bit of a different approach. But fast forward a year and a half and I’m gainful employed in a pretty senior position in a large Canadian firm.

This article will focus on one particular aspect of getting a job in Canada: how to create a resume for Canada in the Canadian resume format.

Our sample interview questions and guide is also useful to read when writing your resume. It can help you figure out the type of things hiring managers are interested in you demonstrating and are therefore good to highlight in your resume.

I’ve been through the process of adapting my CV (as I called it in the UK) to the Canadian resume format to get my job. And now, in a senior position in a large firm, I see tons of resumes of people applying for Canadian jobs.

These perspectives should make me well placed to give you the information you need to make your resume the best it can be and in the right format for the Canadian jobs market. 

So let’s dive in…

What is a Canadian style resume?

Canadian resume format, canadian resume format general rules, top 10: canadian resume common mistakes, canadian resume format samples, canadian resume template, functional resume.

A Canadian resume is not all that different to any other style of resume you’ve likely come across before.

There’s no fundamental difference in the general information you’re trying to get across in a Canadian resume.

There’s no difference between Canadian resume format and USA format, for example.

There are however a few subtle but important differences in emphasis and structure for the Canadian resume format compared to other countries.

But at the end of the day a resume is essentially a summary of your skills, employment and education and this is no different for the Canadian style of resume.

Any differences in how you write your resume for a Canadian job lies in how you might format and structure your resume; not a full overhaul of the substance.  

Does Canadian CV format differ from a Canadian resume format?

My experience is that Canadians use the terms CV and resume interchangeably.

Overall, resume is probably used more frequently but people will understand the term CV as well.

Generally a resume in Canada is the same as what you might know as a CV in other countries and Canadian CV format is the same as a Canadian resume format.  

There is one caveat to this however:

In some sectors, primarily academia, a CV or Curriculum Vitae in Canada often is different to a resume. In such circumstances, CV tends to mean a much more thorough and lengthy overview of your career than a resume. But realistically if it’s this type of CV you’re being asked for it will be abundantly obvious.

For the vast majority of typical jobs and situations, a CV and a resume are the same thing.

There are two main formats of resumes used in Canada. The traditional reverse-chronological resume and the functional resume.

The most common Canadian resume format is the reverse-chronological resume. This is the traditional resume format you’re probably familiar with that focuses on your employment history and experience. For most people with employment history in the same field as the role they’re applying for, this is the best format to go for.

Reverse-chronological is the format most hiring managers are most familiar with and therefore makes it easy for them to understand your experience.

The other type of resume is the functional resume which focuses more on your skills rather than employment history. This type of resume may be better suited to those that are looking to change to a new career field or are recent graduates with little employment experience.

Typically, a reverse-chronological resume should have this structure:

The format is not set in stone and can be flexed to suit your particular situation: the job you’re applying for, your experience or lack thereof, etc. But generally you should be trying to make sure you hit all of the above items at some point in your resume.

You would still cover the same topics as above in a functional resume but just change the emphasis – that is you’d focus more on skills rather than employment history. Move the skills section to the front and beef it up significantly. You can read more about a functional resume later in the article .

Let’s go into a bit more detail about what each of those headings above actually mean and what you should cover in each:

Resume header

Your name and contact details right at the top of the resume.

Example of a Canadian resume header.

My experience is that Canadians really go for putting post-nominal letters after their name (i.e. qualification and accreditation letters etc.). So include any relevant post-nominal letters.

I also include my right to work status in Canada such as Canadian Permanent Resident . Include it if that right to work is going to be a definite positive rather than a potential drawback (i.e. if the employer is going to need to sponsor a work visa or such).

I think it’s important to set that right from the start because if the employer scans down your resume and sees work experience and education from a foreign country they might immediately wonder about your visa status – or certainly I do. Often that’s because a role may or may not be doing visa sponsorship.

One final point for the top of the resume: do not write the words resume or CV !

Personal Summary

A paragraph or two to set the scene for your resume. Highlight your best achievements and breadth of experience.

Resume sample Canada: personal summary section

If you’re changing careers talk about your skills that are transferable to your new career. If you’re new to the workforce draw on your skills and education and amp up what skills you gained during any summer jobs, coursework and so forth.

This is your chance to make a good first impression so spend time making sure the paragraph is concise, impactful and relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Professional experience

This is the bit that will probably take up the bulk of the space on your resume (depending on if you’re doing traditional chronological resume or functional resume).

Summarise each role you’ve had from your most recent position backwards – i.e. reverse chronological order.

Canadian resume format sample: professional experience section

For each position, you should give:

Education and Professional Qualifications

List any relevant professional qualifications you have with the dates obtained.

Example of a Canadian style resume: education section

Include any degrees you have along with the dates you attended and the name of the institution.

If you’ve not graduated yet, give your expected graduation date. Include your Grade Point Average (GPA) if you have one.

You can include any relevant coursework, courses, extracurricular activities etc. depending on how light the rest of your resume is.

Honestly I’m not all that certain how useful this section is if you’re doing a reverse-chronological order resume and you’ve written the rest of your resume correctly. Any skills you mention here should really have already been given in context in your professional experience section.

I’ve certainly never given someone an interview because they’ve written “Teamwork” or other generic skills in this section.

If you are going to include this section, make it focused and have a mix of hard skills and soft skills.

Where this section does become more useful is if you’re not doing the traditional reverse-chronological CV.

Then it’s a different ballgame altogether.

More on this in the functional resume section .

Conventions of what to include in your resume or CV vary between counties so here’s a list of some do’s and don’ts, and general points to apply when writing a Canadian resume:

Infographic showing Canadian resume format top 10 mistakes. Details as per text that follows.

My team is based across Canada and I see hundreds of resumes every month from people applying for jobs across the country.

Based on this experience, here is my top 10 most common resume mistakes:

Mistake 1: Too long

This is the most common issue I see. Unless you’re writing an academic CV (in which case different rules apply) a resume in Canada shouldn’t be more than two pages.

Most hiring managers will stop reading after the first page, and will often make a decision within a few seconds on whether to read your resume in depth or close it and move on to the next candidate.

Keeping your resume short and to the point makes it more likely that the hiring manager will quickly appreciate your experience and (hopefully!) put you through to the next stage. If your resume is long, the most likely outcome is the hiring manager will just get bored reading it.

Mistake 2: Poor spelling and grammar

It’s surprising how many resumes I see that have spelling mistakes.

Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors tell the hiring manager you haven’t taken care and attention in preparing your resume and therefore you likely won’t take care and attention in performing your job! Stop reading and move on to the next candidate!

Run your resume through a tool like Grammarly . It does a good job of finding grammatical errors but also checks your document for clarity and engagement like overly wordy and unclear sentences, and passive voice misuse. Basically it can help make your resume more impactful. You can check out the tool here . *

Mistake 3: Failure to customize

While its time consuming and, let’s face it, a bit boring – customizing your resume to suit every role you apply for is very important. Tailored resumes stand out from the crowd and demonstrate the most relevant skills and experience to the hiring manager.

Mistake 4: No examples

If you’re saying you have a specific skill or type of experience, it’s important that you back that up with quantifiable examples. This grounds your resume and makes it real for the hiring manager.

Consider the following two statements:

Or, these two statements:

Giving specific examples adds weight to your resume and provides evidence that you’re the right person for the role.

Mistake 5: Obvious exaggeration

It’s very important to sell yourself, however don’t fall into the trap of blatantly overstating your experience. Over exaggeration is easy to spot in a resume and makes the hiring manager question everything you’ve written.  

Mistake 6: Not getting to the point

This is tied to mistake 1 but, be concise and to the point. Don’t write a paragraph when a sentence will do. Most hiring managers have limited time and will appreciate succinctness.

Mistake 7: Misreporting dates

The most basic checks done by employers will quickly identify any incorrect dates on a resume. Be honest and make sure all of your dates are accurate.

Mistake 8: Underselling yourself

While some people have a tendency to exaggerate, others don’t sell themselves enough. Don’t feel arrogant or have self-doubt about your achievements, your resume is your opportunity to sell yourself! 

Mistake 9: Gaps

Many people have gaps in their experience, and this in itself doesn’t need to be a problem. But if you’ve not explained the gaps in your resume then it raises alarm bells. Maybe you were raising your children, maybe you had a career break or studied. Explain it in your resume!

Mistake 10: Messy formatting

Margins not aligned, different fonts and sizes, misaligned bullets and so much more. Poor formatting immediately creates a bad impression for the hiring manager and says you don’t have good attention to detail.

Make sure your resume is tidy and well formatted and don’t go overboard on trying to make it look fancy.

I think that the best formatting for a resume is to keep it simple. This makes it immediately easy for the hiring manager to see the structure.

I do see some Canadian resumes that have templates with more elaborate formatting, sidebars and other elements but my approach is to keep is simple.

Using all the guidance outlined above, I’ve created what I think is a good Canadian resume sample. Click below to see the Canadian resume format sample.

Resume sample Canada: page 1 of good example of a Canadian resume

Obviously this is just one sample of a Canadian resume and it won’t be right for every situation. Like I said at the beginning, nothing needs to be set in stone. Use the sample resume for guidance rather than being bound by it.

I think that the best formatting for a resume is to keep it simple to make it immediately easy for the hiring manager to see the structure.

I do see some Canadian resumes that have used a template with more elaborate formatting, sidebars and other elements but my approach is to keep is simple.

With this in mind, I’ve created a Canadian resume format doc that you can download and use to format your resume. You can download the Canadian resume template for free in the form below. The resume template is in Word format.

Subscribe to our mail list and we'll email you our Canadian resume template

* You can unsubscribe at an time using the link in the emails.

I’ve focused this article on the reverse-chronological format of Canadian resumes but, as I mentioned at the beginning, there is another Canadian resume format you may want to use called a functional resume.

When to use a functional resume?

If you want to change career fields, have just graduated or generally do not have a lot of employment history directly related to the job you’re applying for then a functional resume might be a good fit for you.

This is because the functional resume format emphasise the transferable skills you have rather than highlighting the lack of experience.

Let’s cover how you do this:

Functional resume format

In a functional resume format you put the skills section right at the top and label it “Skills and Abilities” or some wording that makes sense for you.

List in detail the skills that you have that would be beneficial to the position you’re applying to.

In a functional resume you talk about your skills in general (rather than tied to roles); you’re removing the link of listing skills under a particular previous job to just talking about them all together. So the skills don’t need to be in chronological order or one skill per role or anything.

To demonstrate what I mean, we can use some examples from the chronological resume sample above.

All we need to do is reword the skills listed under the “Professional Experience” section and put them in the “Skills” section on the functional resume.

Reverse-chronological format work experience statement:

Rewritten for a Functional resume:

So with a little tweak to each statement we make them standalone skills, detached from specific roles, which you can include in the skills section of a functional resume.

The benefit over a functional resume if you’re changing career fields is you can highlight the relevant skills you have without highlighting the fact they were in a different field.

By making your skills stand alone in a skills section you remove the risk of them being ignored under a job role that the potential employer doesn’t think is relevant to the position you’re applying to.

* All of the products and services I recommend on Canada for Newbies are independently selected based upon what I’ve personally found to be useful. When you get Grammarly or ELSA using one of the links in this article, I might earn a small affiliate commission. It won’t cost you anything at all and I would never recommend something I don’t believe in or use myself.

So that’s my advice on creating a great Canadian resume to get a job in Canada.

Remember to check out our guide on how to ace your interview and sample interview questions . Not only is it useful prep for interviews it can also help focus your mind to the type of things hiring managers are interested in you demonstrating. And therefore good to include in your resume. Check out the article:

resume writing tips canada

I’d love to hear any feedback on how you’ve found trying to get a job in Canada. Please drop me a comment about anything below.

Share this:

23 thoughts on “Canadian Resume Format”

resume writing tips canada

Thanks for this! Now I have an idea of how to ace a Canadian Resume.

resume writing tips canada

I’m really glad you found it useful! Good luck with the job hunt – I hope you find your dream job! 🙂

resume writing tips canada

This is so helpful. Thanks 🙏

Ah excellent – really happy you found it helpful! Good luck with the job hunt!

resume writing tips canada

Hey Andrew,

First of all thank you for this great article it was very informative however I’m not receiving anything whenever I hit the subscribe button,

Hi there, As in you’ve not received the email with the link to download the resume template? I’ve had a look and the email did send to you – have you checked your junk folder? Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll resend. Cheers!

resume writing tips canada

Thank you for the useful content you shared. It gave me the willingness to start a new career path. Regards and cheers.

No problem! Glad you found it useful. Good luck with the new career!

resume writing tips canada

Wow, I really enjoyed reading this piece! It was so precise and informative.Now I know how to write my resume for my dream job💅💯💯

Glad you liked it. Good luck with the dream job! 🙂

resume writing tips canada

Oh! This is really helpful! Now i know how to make my cv very concise and brief using any of the styles you explained above. I must thank you Andrew! God bless you!

You’re welcome. Hope the job search goes well!

resume writing tips canada

Thank you very much Andrew for the information and the guidance.

No problem. Happy job hunting! 🙂

resume writing tips canada

Thank you very much. This was really useful.

No worries – glad it was helpful! 🙂

resume writing tips canada

Thank you so much for this useful information shared by you.

No problem! Good luck with your job hunt! 🙂

resume writing tips canada

Very informative. Thanks for sharing. Time to get that Canadian job now!!!

resume writing tips canada

This was really helpful and the simplest one that I found on the internet.

Glad you found it useful! Happy job hunting!

resume writing tips canada

Very informative and precise. Thanks for sharing this article.

Glad you found it useful. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

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Canadian Resume Format

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Candian resume template

The best format for a canadian resume, how to write a canadian resume, what is different from an american resume, final takeaways:.

Canada–the land of maple syrup, moose, and long winters. It’s also the land of job opportunities large and small.

Canadian employers look at resumes in a slightly different way than American companies do. They will be able to tell if you’re an American who’s making the move up north.

If you want your resume to stand out in Canada , you’ll need to know the basics of a Canadian resume format . With these examples and our step-by-step instructions, you’ll be more impressive than poutine.

In this guide, you'll see:

After you finish, you’ll be ready to move to the friendliest country in North America.

Test your resume - will it work for Canadian employers?

Drop your resume here or choose a file . PDF & DOCX only. Max 2MB file size.

Get a head start with this editable Canadian resume template


Now let’s write your Canadian resume.

Believe it or not, the best format for a Canadian resume is pretty similar to an American resume. The format is similar, and the main differences are in the smaller details.

For the general format, you want to use reverse chronological order . This system will showcase your experience and start with the most recent and relevant information.

Here are the sections of a Canadian resume:

Work experience

Each section should be succinct and to the point, but highlight your accomplishments. After all, you have done some amazing things and now is your chance to brag about them.

When writing a Canadian resume, you’ll follow many of the same steps as you would for an American resume. The two countries share a lot in common, including resume formats.

In your header, make sure to include contact information, location, and your name. You don’t need your full address or a picture.

Resume profile

There are two methods for a resume profile: an objective or a summary. The more experience you have, the more likely you are to put a summary. However, beginners or freshly graduated job seekers should use a resume objective.

This section will be the largest part of your resume. When you list your work experience in backward chronological order , employers will see your qualifications at a glance.

Education is a necessary part of your resume , even if it seems as though most people don’t look at it. Make sure it’s visible but doesn’t distract from your work experience.

Applicable skills

If you don’t have the required experience for the job, any applicable skills might help your case. Use professional language and be specific in how your skills and experience coincide with the job you’re applying to.

Extra sections

Any extra information should go into these sections. Insert volunteer work , awards, certificates, and other relevant experience here.

Writing a Canadian resume is pretty similar to writing an American resume. However, you need to make sure that you’re doing these small things:

By doing these small things, you’ll showcase your knowledge of Canada. Any potential employers will see that you can work in any country without losing professionalism.

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Canadian resume and cover letter: Format, tips, and templates

For many newcomers, finding employment quickly after moving to Canada is a high-priority action item. Whether you’re contemplating a career switch or looking to get back in your field of work, the first step is usually the same – to have a resume and a cover letter that you can share with potential employers or networking contacts.    

In this article, we will explore the Canadian-style resume in detail, highlight some key differences between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV), and help you identify which resume format might be best suited to your career goal. We will also go over some useful tips to craft an ATS-friendly resume to ensure you stand out from the competition and get noticed by employers, hiring managers, and recruiters.

resume writing tips canada

In this article:

Understanding the types of resume formats used in Canada

Tips for writing a canadian-style resume, what is the difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae (cv).

Often, there are two ways job seekers can showcase their professional experience to an employer: by using a resume or a CV. In Canada, employers prefer a resume. A CV is mainly used only for academic applications such as academic jobs, grants, research fellowships, etc. 

To provide more clarity, here are some key differences between a resume and a CV:

Many countries use a CV instead of a resume, and some have a combination of both. Some regions use both terms interchangeably: for instance, in most European countries as well as New Zealand, the term CV is used to describe an equivalent of a Canadian resume. In Australia and South Africa, “curriculum vitae” and “resume” are synonyms that can be used interchangeably. In South Asia, the terms CV and resume are used interchangeably and refer to an equivalent of a traditional CV.  

In some parts of the world, it’s common to include personal information such as marital status, nationality, personal interests, hobbies, date of birth, address, and a photograph on a CV. In Canada, however, you shouldn’t include these details on your resume as it is not required under the employment law, and it is also not a part of the resume format.

As a job seeker in Canada, there are three types of resume formats you should be familiar with. Each of these formats includes the same basic information in a different layout. 

1. Reverse chronological resume

This type of resume outlines your professional experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position.

When to use a reverse chronological resume?

If you’re an experienced professional with at least some experience in the workforce, have no major employment gaps , and intend to continue working in the same field.

Tip: The reverse chronological resume is the most popular format in the Canadian job market. Most employers and recruiters are used to and prefer a resume in this format.

2. Functional resume

The functional resume focuses on your overall skills and qualifications instead of specific professional experiences. The employment history is still included, but it is usually listed after skills and education. 

When to use a functional resume?

If you’re looking to switch roles and/or industries and start your career in a new field. It may also be ideal for recent college graduates .  

3. Combination or hybrid resume

A combination resume is a mix of the reverse-chronological layout and the functional layout and is ideal for showcasing transferable skills along with professional experience. In this format, work experience is usually outlined in a reverse chronological format, and the skills section includes a summary of qualifications and technical skills (or core competencies). 

When to use a combination or hybrid resume?

It is commonly used by a variety of job seekers ranging from experienced workers to recent graduates to those with limited experience, multiple short-term work stints, or those having significant work gaps. 

Need more guidance on how to write a Canadian-style resume? For a stepwise approach, check out: How to write a resume for the Canadian job market 10 resume mistakes to avoid when applying for jobs in Canada

Download the free Resume and cover letter templates to craft your Canadian resume

Mastering the art of writing a flawless and impactful Canadian-style resume takes practice and patience. Here are a few tips to help you improve your resume-writing skills. 

1. Adapt your resume to each job listing and keep it relevant

Having a generic resume and sharing it with multiple employers for a variety of positions/roles may not yield the best result for you. It is essential to customize your resume to each position that you’re applying for. Tailor your work experience, skills, and any additional information to the role. Include keywords from the job posting and always start your sentence with relevant action verbs like spearheaded, achieved, managed, trained, etc. Craft a compelling summary for your resume. Avoid including very detailed information for each position you have held; you can share relevant details in the interview instead. 

Job interview resources:  How to prepare for a job interview 10 common job interview questions and how to answer them

2. Optimize for Applicant Tracking System (ATS) but write for humans

Many companies use an ATS to pre-screen resumes and then involve recruiters and hiring managers later in the process. You need to keep both in mind when writing your resume. 

What is an ATS?

An ATS is a software that scans resumes to determine if it is a good match for a specific job listing. Parameters such as work experience, skills, and education are usually considered during the ATS screening process. Resumes that match the pre-defined criteria are forwarded to hiring managers or recruiters, while human eyes never see those rejected by the system. Therefore, even though you may be qualified for the position, if your resume isn’t optimized for an ATS, it may end up being rejected. An ATS is widely used by organizations, recruiters, and job placement agencies in Canada. 

How to optimize a resume for ATS

3. Check spelling, grammar, punctuation, and proofread your resume

It’s always a good idea to proofread your resume and check grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence formation, especially if English isn’t your first language or mother tongue. There are many free tools that can help you with proofreading: Grammarly as well as the in-built grammar and spelling tool in Microsoft Word, are good starting points. You can also ask a native English speaker to review your resume for language fluency.  

To help you finesse your English language skills and get more tips and advice from an experienced teacher, Karen Thomson, read How to improve your English and adapt to Canadian culture .

4. Quantify your accomplishments

Many job seekers make the mistake of outlining roles and responsibilities instead of achievements. Recruiters and hiring managers prefer seeing quantified accomplishments on resumes. The ‘CAR’ approach is a good way to help you structure individual sentences: 

C = what was the Challenge , A = what Action did you take, and R = what was the Result .

Some examples to consider:

5. Include a cover letter

A cover letter is a formal one-page document that accompanies a resume. It is not a rephrased or concise version of your resume, but it is mainly supposed to talk about how you fit the role you’re applying for and why the organization should hire you. The cover letter is also a good way to justify any gaps in your resume or provide any additional info that your resume can’t.

Note that a cover letter doesn’t have to be a separate document but can also be included in the body of an email when applying for a job. Adding a custom, well-written cover letter to your resume can make you stand out from the crowd, thus improving your chances of being approached for an interview. 

Tips for writing an impressive Canadian-style cover letter

Looking for more guidance on cover letters? Read How to write an effective cover letter for advice and insights from recruiters.

6. Show off your skills with unpaid or local volunteer work

This is a good way for newcomers to show Canadian experience on their resume. If your volunteer work requires you to use skills that may also be valued in the position that you are applying for, adding the volunteer experience to your resume may work to your advantage.

Tip: Volunteering can help you build your network and earn Canadian experience. To discover the importance of volunteering in Canada, and learn how to find volunteering opportunities, read The benefits of volunteering as a newcomer in Canada .

7. Double check your contact information

Newcomers sometimes have temporary phone numbers and addresses during their initial months in Canada and occasionally forget to update their contact when they get a permanent one. Before submitting your resume to an employer or a recruiter, do check all your contact information, including social media links, to ensure they are up-to-date.

Tip: LinkedIn is extensively used in Canada by recruiters and job seekers, making it an excellent tool to get started on your job search journey. Read Top 10 tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile for a job search in Canada for easy-to-follow advice to optimize your LinkedIn profile and build your professional network strategically.

resume writing tips canada

A well-crafted resume and cover letter are strong marketing tools to help you get the job you desire. Being familiar with the best practices and employer expectations in Canada will better your chances of securing an interview and landing an offer.  

читайте це українською: Резюме та супровідний лист за канадськими правилами: формат, поради та шаблони این را به فارسی بخوانید: رزومه و معرفی نامه در کانادا: فارمت، نکات و قالب ها

Things our lawyers want you to know

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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