Jobs In Canada: Resume Writing

How to Create a winning Canadian style- Resume

Employers will scan a resume for about 30 seconds to decide if whether to consider the applicant. Some may use an automated scan instead to short list resumes (see Electronic Résumés). Get your resume in the ‘for consideration’ pile.

A resume is a “snapshot” of you and needs to be:

Part I

Written with the employer’s interests in mind
Professional in appearance
Targeted for a particular job or organization
“Letter-perfect.” Spelling and grammar mistakes can mean an automatic trip to the reject pile
An honest and clear demonstration of your skills, abilities and achievements
A clear indication of what you offer to the employer

Part II

There are three main types of resumes: chronological, functional and combination.

A chronological resume is the most popular format, and one preferred by most employers. This resume is organized by job titles, starting with the most recent position first. It is easy for employers to scan the document quickly and determine whether you meet the qualifications they need.

A disadvantage of this resume type is that most employers will expect a chronological resume and may find it difficult to read through a functional one.

A combination resume is just that — a combination of the chronological and functional resume formats. It highlights the knowledge, skills — especially transferable skills — and abilities achieved through your work experience in the format of a chronological resume.

Whichever type of format you choose, resumes should be typed and written in point form or bullet format, which is easier for employers to scan quickly. Remember that your resume isn’t the only one sitting on the manager’s desk; it is one of hundreds and you have to make it interesting enough to stand out so that employers will take more than a glance at it.

Here are some additional resume tips.

• Start with a profile or purpose statement, summarizing your skills and experience in two or three lines.

• Do not include personal information such as sex, marital status, age, etc. Although this may be prevalent in other countries, in Canada we have the Human Rights Code and the Employment Standards Act, which states what information an employer has the right to ask and what they do not have a right to know.

• List your job experience starting with the last position first.

• Highlight responsibilities of each job, taking care to outline the skills you gained from the position.

• List your education — institutions you’ve attended, credentials obtained and any relevant professional and personal development.

• List voluntary experiences — this includes industry associations to which you belong and voluntary work you’ve done within your community, etc.

• You don’t need to include references in your resume. Employers interested in hiring you will ask you for your references at the interview. And the standard “References available upon request” is a given. You don’t need to state that at the bottom of your resume.

• Keep your resume to a maximum of two pages. Anything longer may detract the employer from reading it.

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