Canadian Resume & Cowl Letter: Format, Suggestions & Templates




For a lot of newcomers, discovering employment rapidly after transferring to Canada is a high-priority motion merchandise. Whether or not you’re considering a profession swap or trying to get again in your discipline of labor, step one is normally the identical – to have a resume and a canopy letter which you could share with potential employers or networking contacts.    

On this article, we are going to discover the Canadian-style resume intimately, spotlight some key variations between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV), and assist you to determine which resume format could be finest suited to your profession objective. We will even go over some helpful tricks to craft an ATS-friendly resume to make sure you stand out from the competitors and get seen by employers, hiring managers, and recruiters.

Obtain our editable, free Canadian resume and canopy letter templates to craft the right resume to your job search. Whether or not you’re making use of to your first job or showcasing years of expertise, these ready-to-use Canadian resume templates will assist place you as the best candidate. Obtain templates for:

  • Reverse chronological resume
  • Useful resume
  • Mixture or hybrid resume
  • Cowl letter

On this article:

What’s the distinction between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV)?

Usually, there are two methods job seekers can showcase their skilled expertise to an employer: by utilizing a resume or a CV. In Canada, employers want a resume. A CV is especially used just for educational purposes resembling educational jobs, grants, analysis fellowships, and many others. 

To supply extra readability, listed here are some key variations between a resume and a CV:

Resume CV
Size Very temporary – about one or two pages lengthy. Often, two pages or longer; no most restrict on pages.
Content material Features a abstract of labor expertise, training, and expertise related to the position. It is rather detailed and consists of work expertise, training, expertise, publications, awards, honours, analysis, affiliations, and many others. over all the course of your profession.
Objective Job purposes. Tutorial purposes.

Many international locations use a CV as an alternative of a resume, and a few have a mix of each. Some areas use each phrases interchangeably: as an example, in most European international locations in addition to New Zealand, the time period CV is used to explain an equal of a Canadian resume. In Australia and South Africa, “curriculum vitae” and “resume” are synonyms that can be utilized interchangeably. In South Asia, the phrases CV and resume are used interchangeably and discuss with an equal of a conventional CV.  

In some elements of the world, it’s widespread to incorporate private info resembling marital standing, nationality, private pursuits, hobbies, date of delivery, tackle, and {a photograph} on a CV. In Canada, nonetheless, you shouldn’t embody these particulars in your resume as it isn’t required beneath the employment regulation, and it’s also not part of the resume format.

Understanding the varieties of resume codecs utilized in Canada

As a job seeker in Canada, there are three varieties of resume codecs you need to be aware of. Every of those codecs consists of the identical fundamental info in a distinct format. 

1. Reverse chronological resume

Any such resume outlines your skilled expertise in reverse chronological order, beginning with the latest place.

When to make use of a reverse chronological resume?

Should you’re an skilled skilled with not less than some expertise within the workforce, don’t have any main employment gaps, and intend to proceed working in the identical discipline.

Tip: The reverse chronological resume is the most well-liked format within the Canadian job market. Most employers and recruiters are used to and like a resume on this format.

2. Useful resume

The useful resume focuses in your total expertise and {qualifications} as an alternative of particular skilled experiences. The employment historical past continues to be included, however it’s normally listed after expertise and training. 

When to make use of a useful resume?

Should you’re trying to swap roles and/or industries and begin your profession in a brand new discipline. It might even be ultimate for latest faculty graduates.  

3. Mixture or hybrid resume

A mix resume is a mixture of the reverse-chronological format and the useful format and is good for showcasing transferable expertise together with skilled expertise. On this format, work expertise is normally outlined in a reverse chronological format, and the talents part features a abstract of {qualifications} and technical expertise (or core competencies). 

When to make use of a mix or hybrid resume?

It’s generally utilized by a wide range of job seekers starting from skilled employees to latest graduates to these with restricted expertise, a number of short-term work stints, or these having important work gaps. 

Want extra steering on the best way to write a Canadian-style resume?
For a stepwise strategy, take a look at:

Obtain the free Resume and canopy letter templates to craft your Canadian resumeDownload the free Canadian Resume Templates

Suggestions for writing a Canadian-style resume

Mastering the artwork of writing a flawless and impactful Canadian-style resume takes apply and persistence. Listed below are just a few ideas that can assist you enhance your resume-writing expertise. 

1. Adapt your resume to every job itemizing and hold it related

Having a generic resume and sharing it with a number of employers for a wide range of positions/roles might not yield the most effective end result for you. It’s important to customise your resume to every place that you simply’re making use of for. Tailor your work expertise, expertise, and any extra info to the position. Embrace key phrases from the job posting and all the time begin your sentence with related motion verbs like spearheaded, achieved, managed, educated, and many others. Craft a compelling abstract to your resume. Keep away from together with very detailed info for every place you could have held; you’ll be able to share related particulars within the interview as an alternative. 

Job interview sources: 

The interview course of in Canada could seem nerve-wracking. Prepped is a wonderful useful resource so that you can practise your interview expertise and confidently put together for the interview course of. 

Join Prepped to get entry to their resume and canopy letter templates, ATS resume scanner, and AI Interview preparation instrument.

2. Optimize for Applicant Monitoring System (ATS) however write for people

Many corporations use an ATS to pre-screen resumes after which contain recruiters and hiring managers later within the course of. You could hold each in thoughts when writing your resume. 

What’s an ATS?

An ATS is a software program that scans resumes to find out if it’s a good match for a selected job itemizing. Parameters resembling work expertise, expertise, and training are normally thought-about in the course of the ATS screening course of. Resumes that match the pre-defined standards are forwarded to hiring managers or recruiters, whereas human eyes by no means see these rejected by the system. Due to this fact, regardless that you could be certified for the place, in case your resume isn’t optimized for an ATS, it could find yourself being rejected. An ATS is broadly utilized by organizations, recruiters, and job placement companies in Canada. 

Tips on how to optimize a resume for ATS

  • Use customary formatting and don’t embody pictures, designs, charts, and tables. 
  • Use appropriate headers and embody key phrases that match the job description and desired core competencies and expertise.
  • Ship your resume as a Microsoft Phrase (.doc or .docx) doc. Most ATS programs are inclined to course of Phrase information higher than PDF. 
  • Spell out abbreviations not less than as soon as in your resume. 
  • Embrace expertise, expertise, and {qualifications} related to the place.
  • Keep away from lengthy paragraphs and font dimension lower than dimension 10. 
  • Convert technical phrases, grades, and scores to their Canadian equivalents. 

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

It’s all the time a good suggestion to proofread your resume and examine grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence formation, particularly if English isn’t your first language or mom tongue. There are lots of free instruments that may assist you to with proofreading: Grammarly in addition to the in-built grammar and spelling instrument in Microsoft Phrase, are good beginning factors. You can even ask a local English speaker to overview your resume for language fluency.  

That will help you finesse your English language expertise and get extra ideas and recommendation from an skilled instructor, Karen Thomson, learn Tips on how to enhance your English and adapt to Canadian tradition.

4. Quantify your accomplishments

Many job seekers make the error of outlining roles and obligations as an alternative of achievements. Recruiters and hiring managers want seeing quantified accomplishments on resumes. The ‘CAR’ strategy is an efficient means that can assist you construction particular person sentences: 

C = what was the Problem,
A = what Motion did you are taking, and
R = what was the End result.

Some examples to think about:

  • “Reached eBay Energy Vendor standing inside one yr by auctioning over 400 gadgets monthly, an distinctive accomplishment reached by solely 4 per cent of the 29 million eBay sellers at the moment.” 
  • “Designed and constructed statistical evaluation fashions on massive knowledge units (e.g. Aster, Teradata) that helped enhance on-line gross sales (as much as 15 per cent per product) and lowered cart-abandonment price by 23 per cent.” 

5. Embrace a canopy letter

A canopy letter is a proper one-page doc that accompanies a resume. It’s not a rephrased or concise model of your resume, however it’s primarily supposed to speak about the way you match the position you’re making use of for and why the group ought to rent you. The duvet letter can also be a great way to justify any gaps in your resume or present any more information that your resume can’t.

Be aware {that a} cowl letter doesn’t must be a separate doc however will also be included within the physique of an electronic mail when making use of for a job. Including a customized, well-written cowl letter to your resume could make you stand out from the group, thus enhancing your probabilities of being approached for an interview. 

Suggestions for writing a formidable Canadian-style cowl letter

  • Restrict the size to 1 web page.
  • Tailor your cowl letter to swimsuit every job software.
  • Proofread your cowl letter; examine for grammar, punctuation, and spelling, particularly because it serves as a mirrored image of your communication expertise.
  • Use a normal font dimension (10 or 12 factors, in a font fashion resembling Instances New Roman, Arial, or Calibri). Keep away from utilizing particular results (daring/underline/italics, totally different fonts, and color).
  • Weave in info you realize in regards to the firm, their latest initiatives, or organizational tradition and values.

In search of extra steering on cowl letters?
Learn Tips on how to write an efficient cowl letter for recommendation and insights from recruiters.

6. Exhibit your expertise with unpaid or native volunteer work

This can be a great way for newcomers to point out Canadian expertise on their resume. In case your volunteer work requires you to make use of expertise that will even be valued within the place that you’re making use of for, including the volunteer expertise to your resume may fit to your benefit.

Tip: Volunteering may help you construct your community and earn Canadian expertise. To find the significance of volunteering in Canada, and learn to discover volunteering alternatives, learn The advantages of volunteering as a newcomer in Canada.

7. Double examine your contact info

Newcomers generally have short-term cellphone numbers and addresses throughout their preliminary months in Canada and infrequently neglect to replace their contact once they get a everlasting one. Earlier than submitting your resume to an employer or a recruiter, do examine all of your contact info, together with social media hyperlinks, to make sure they’re up-to-date.

Tip: LinkedIn is extensively utilized in Canada by recruiters and job seekers, making it a superb instrument to get began in your job search journey. Learn Prime 10 tricks to optimize your LinkedIn profile for a job search in Canada for easy-to-follow recommendation to optimize your LinkedIn profile and construct your skilled community strategically.

Navigating the Canadian job market will be overwhelming. Arrive guides on Discovering Your Profession in Canada and the Canadian Job Market clarify all of the need-to-know info and motion gadgets you’ll be able to take to arrange your self for locating and touchdown a job alternative in Canada. Obtain your copies now and fast-track your skilled success!

A well-crafted resume and canopy letter are robust advertising instruments that can assist you get the job you need. Being aware of the most effective practices and employer expectations in Canada will higher your probabilities of securing an interview and touchdown a proposal.  

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