Land a job in Canada: Tips on Writing a Resume

Story By: Altheyie

The basic requirement in applying for a job is the resume, and then everything will follow especially when the employer was impressed with it. And maybe, everybody reading this article already knows what resume is all about, but the question is how to write a resume that will stand out among others and how to choose the right type of resume for the specific job you are applying for.

Resume in a simplest meaning is a primary tool used in job hunting. It is a document written carefully that you can share with your target employer containing brief and summarized information about your skills, experience, education and awards or accomplishments.  The purpose of it is actually to advertise the skills and qualifications that you have based on the job required to be able to capture attention and secure an interview. Please also note that resume is not the same as your bio data which is more of personal than professional information.

Types of Resume

In reference to Canada Services for Youth, there are three (3) types of resume that can be used depending on the job you are applying for or your own personal preference:

  • Functional.  This type of resume is a skill-focused resume where you can highlight the skills you gained from previous jobs, activities, experiences or even volunteer works.  This is a good way to market yourself if you do not have a lot of experience yet or when you have had a large gap in your employment history or even when you never worked before.
  • Chronological. This is a multi-purpose resume that works for most job applications. With this type of resume, you are focusing on your work history showing employers all your work experiences, the positions held, the responsibilities and accomplishments in your previous jobs. It is called chronological, because it is organized giving a comprehensive information of work history showing the most recent first. It usually contains each job held from the past, position title, place of employment, duration and the breakdown of responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Hybrid. This is also known as combination resume that combines both elements of functional and chronological resumes that focuses heavily on skills, but also includes dates, titles of previous jobs and the essential information about the position. This is a good resume to use when you want to prioritize your skills and also demonstrate how your career has evolved.

Please see on the last part of this article the template of each type of resume.

Important Information to Include

  • Personal Information
    • Name should be the first thing to be seen, it must be clear , stands out and easy to read
    • Full residence address
    • Contact numbers
    • E-mail where your first and last names can be seen
  • Education, including mini- courses and trainings that might be useful for the job
  • Skills and Experience highlighting your abilities related to the job you are applying for, employment dates and location. Volunteer jobs can be included in this part of your resume. You may use action words to describe your jobs for each position held and focus on the top five if there are a lot.
  • Other important information like achievements or awards, languages or any additional data that would help your resume show why you are the right person for the job.

There are no official rules for what headings to include in the resume as long as it is concise, with the most important information at the top. If you are applying for a job with no experience yet but your educational background will fit, be sure to put your educational information at the top. Or, if your education does not fit but your experience shows it well, then be sure to list all that information before your education details.

Personal Information Not to Include in Resume

  • Height, age and weight
  • A photo of yourself
  • For those already working in Canada, Social Insurance Number

 

Resume tips

  • Plan and think ahead. Be sure to hand in your resume days before the deadline
  • Tailor your resume with the job you are applying for. You can use an opening statement or summary to link your experience and education to the organisation and the requirements of the job
  • If needed, break your resume into separate sections with specific headings
  • Use action words and focus on the things you have accomplished and the important jobs you performed
  • Avoid starting every sentence with “I”
  • Proofread twice or more
  • Having someone to read your resume like co-worker or former employers will help
  • Make it presentable and professional. Your resume must be clean and organized. Use white, letter-sized paper (8.5”x 11”) and a font that is easy to read like Times New Roman, Arial and Verdana. And around 8-11 point font for the details and 12-14 point maximum font for the headings depending on the type of font you used.
  • Keep it concise. An ideal of one page if possible or 2 pages maximum
  • Be honest with the content of your resume

 Resume Templates

Following are the sample templates that may help you when writing your resume based from Canada Services for Youth website:

Template of a functional résumé

 Your Name

Home Address
City, Province Postal Code
555-555-5555
your.name@email.ca

Skills and abilities

Summary

  • Use this space to give your prospective employer a brief summary of key skills and professional characteristics
  • Add some notable value-added skills, such as a second language, licences, or certifications

Skill #1

  • Use these bullets to highlight key accomplishments or further define your skill to provide the employer with a deeper sense of your skills and abilities

Skill #2

  • When describing your skills, do not just list them—showcase how you used those skills and describe the results

Skill #3

  • Select the skills you are showcasing based on the requirements of the job you’re applying for
  • Each résumé should be tailored to a different job
  • If the job you’re applying for requires someone who is good with numbers, include your skills that involve accounting or budgeting

Experience

Job title                                                                                                                              Year–year
Company name, City, Province or Territory

Job title                                                                                                                              Year–year
Company name, City, Province or Territory

Volunteer experience

  • Use these bullets to list a few places you volunteered to gain and develop your transferrable skills

Education and training

College or University – Major                                                                                  Year–year
City, Province or Territory

High school                                                                                                               Year–year

City, Province or Territory

 

Template of a chronological résumé

 

Your Name
Home Address
City, Province Postal Code
555-555-5555
your.name@email.ca

Education and training

College or University – Major                                                                                Year–year
City, Province or Territory

High school                                                                                                             Year–year

City, Province or Territory

Experience

Job titleYear–year
Company name, City, Province or Territory

  • Describe tasks you would perform in this role and your overall accomplishments
  • Be sure to highlight the skills you learned that could transfer to the new position you’re interested in

Job title                                                                                                                         Year–year
Company name, City, Province or Territory

  • Highlight any significant responsibilities you may have held in your previous position
  • Describe how your responsibilities specifically helped the organization

Job title                                                                                                                        Year–year
Company name, City, Province or Territory

  • Experience is the most important thing to communicate in this résumé
  • Be sure to provide a variety of tasks, skills, and responsibilities when discussing each of your previous jobs

Volunteer experience

  • Use these bullets to list a few places where you have volunteered
  • Be sure to describe how you developed specific transferrable skills

Accomplishments

  • Sports achievements
  • Academic awards from school
  • Other certificates or awards

 

Template of a hybrid résumé

 

 

Your Name
Home Address
City, Province Postal Code
555-555-5555
your.name@email.ca

Education and training

College or University – Major                                                                                Year–year
City, Province or Territory

High school                                                                                                             Year–year

City, Province or Territory

Skills

Summary

  • Use this space to give your prospective employer a brief summary of key skills and professional characteristics
  • Add some notable value-added skills, such as a second language, licences, or certifications

Skill #1

  • Be sure to discuss a transferrable skill that is useful in any job, like “leadership” or “teamwork”
  • Pick specific examples where your skills helped you work effectively

Skill #2

  • Showing your transferrable skills through accomplishments is important
  • Describe particular successes you’ve had in the workplace and how your skills have helped you achieve those successes

Skill #3

  • Consider including a skill that is job-specific, such as “Kitchen skills” or “Administrative skills”
  • Describe how these specific skills have helped you in the past, and how they will help you in your new position

Experience

Job title                                                                                                                       Year–year
Company name, City, Province or Territory

Job title                                                                                                                       Year–year
Company name, City, Province or Territory

Job title                                                                                                                       Year–year
Company name, City, Province or Territory

Volunteer experience

  • Volunteer organization                                                                                        Year–year
  • Volunteer organization                                                                                        Year–year
  • Volunteer organization                                                                                        Year–year

Accomplishments

  • Sports achievements
  • Other certificates or awards
  • Academic awards from school