Your CV…it’s the first thing employers see about you.
And they don’t look for very long. In about 8 seconds they’ve decided whether or not they want to take a second look. So if your resume isn’t formatted in a way that Canadian employers will recognize, you’ll face an uphill battle.
Here’s what you need to know about building a resume that Canadian employers will respond to.
- Telephone Number with Area Codes
- Personal Email Address
- This statement will catch your employer’s attention. Name the field you’re applying for. Customize this field for each job you apply for.
- Begin with your most recent degree, diploma, or certificate. List the college or university, followed by the degree/diploma/certificate, major and graduation date.
- Employers will pay a great deal of attention to this section.
- If you are a recent graduate, include part-time employment, summer jobs, volunteer work, and internships.
- List company names, locations, and employers for whom you have worked. Present this information in a logical, consistent manner.
- Include a bullet-point list of accomplishments or responsibilities at each job.
Qualifications or Skills
- Pay special attention to the job brief. Include any skills that you have which match. Always customize this section to the job you are applying for.
- List this information as a series of bullet points.
- Make sure that everyone you list can be contacted. It is a good idea to ask permission before listing someone as a reference.
- Stating that “references are available upon request” is also acceptable.
- Always spell-check your document.
- Proofread the resume. Make it as error-free as possible.
- Include a customized cover letter. This is a chance to express why you believe you’re the best person for the job. The cover letter also provides hints about your personality. Remember to address it to the employer or manager, by name if you can find it, and include the company name.
- Use action words throughout your resume, i.e.: achieved, acquired, addressed, analyze, coordinated, created, demonstrated, designed, eliminated, enforced, implemented, improved, maintained, managed, oversaw, organized, performed, reorganized, reviewed, selected, supervised, surveyed, trained.
- Do not use paragraphs or long sentences. Remember, employers are skimming.
- Convert all terms to their North American equivalent. CIP can help with this if you are not sure which term to use.
- Use numbers when you talk about your achievements. If you saved your company $30,000 a year, say so. If you supervised a team of 12, say so. The more you can quantify your experience the more impressive it looks.
- If you’re posting your resume online format it so that it is easy for employers to search. That means you’re going to:
- Left-align the entire document.
- Use a standard 10 to 14-point font only.
- Avoid bold face, underlined, or italicized formatting.
- Avoid the use of parentheses, brackets, graphics, shading, tabs, and hard returns.
We’re here to help.
If you have additional questions about creating a resume that Canadian employers will love, just ask. We’re happy to help highlight the differences between your home country’s CVs and resumes that our employers will recognize. Just contact us today to get all the support we can offer.