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Resume Writing

Updated: May 2nd, 2023

Getting a job in Canada begins with creating an impressive resume that catches the attention of recruiters and employers. A resume is crucial in showcasing your skills, experience, and qualifications to prospective employers. However, crafting a resume for the Canadian job market can differ from what you are used to in your home country.

Resume writing in Canada is a unique process that requires understanding the local job market, cultural norms, and specific formatting guidelines. By mastering the art of creating a Canadian-style resume, you can significantly increase your chances of getting a job in Canada. So let's dive into the world of resume writing and explore the various elements that make up a winning resume in Canada.

Why You Should Get Your Resume to Canadian Standards

Why You Should Get Your Resume to Canadian Standards

Before crafting your resume, you must understand the Canadian job market and what employers seek in candidates. The Canadian job market is highly competitive, and it can be challenging for newcomers to secure employment, especially in large cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.

However, various sectors, such as information technology, healthcare, finance, and natural resources, always need skilled professionals. To increase your chances of getting a job in Canada, it is crucial to research the specific industry and job roles you are targeting and tailor your resume accordingly. By aligning your skills and experience with the needs of Canadian employers, you will be better prepared to stand out from the crowd and land a job offer from a Canadian employer.

When looking to apply for jobs in Canada, you must also know the country's unique employment laws and regulations. For instance, Canadian employers are prohibited from asking about an applicant's age, marital status, or religion, so you should not include this information on your resume. Familiarize yourself with Canadian labor laws and cultural norms to ensure your resume is legally compliant and culturally appropriate. Here's a breakdown of how to apply for jobs in Canada to give you the full idea.

How To Write a Resume in Canada

How To Write a Resume in Canada

Step 1: Ensure all of the Key Elements are Present and Structured Correctly

There are several essential components that every successful resume in Canada should have. What's just as important is that they're written and structured correctly to ensure the information is complete and brings across the best possible version of you to maximize your chances of getting a job offer from a Canadian employer.

Contact Information

At the top of your resume, include your full name, phone number, and a professional-sounding email address. You can also add your LinkedIn profile URL if you have one.

Professional Summary

This section briefly overviews your career accomplishments and the value you can bring to a potential employer. Keep it concise and focused, highlighting your most relevant skills and experience. An example of a professional summary is as follows: 

Results-driven and highly skilled professional with over ten years of experience in the IT industry, specializing in software development and project management. Demonstrated ability to lead cross-functional teams, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and deliver innovative solutions on time and within budget. Adept at building strong relationships with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders while focusing on quality and continuous improvement. Seeking to leverage my technical expertise and leadership skills in a challenging and rewarding role that promotes professional growth and contributes to the organization's success.

Work Experience

List your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. For each role, include the job title, company name, location, and dates of employment. Focus on quantifiable achievements and use action verbs to describe your responsibilities.


In this section, list your educational qualifications, including the institution's name, degree or diploma obtained, and the year of completion. If you have studied in a non-Canadian institution, you may want to include a brief explanation of the equivalence of your degree in the Canadian education system. To do this, you may need to include an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)


Highlight the hard and soft skills relevant to the job you are applying for. Be specific and use industry-related keywords to increase your chances of being noticed by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

Certifications and Professional Memberships

If you have any professional certifications or memberships, list them in this section, along with the name of the certifying body and the validity dates.

Volunteer Experience

Volunteering is highly valued in Canada and can demonstrate to employers that you are a dedicated and community-minded individual. Including volunteer work on your resume can help you stand out from other candidates, especially if you are new to the country and lack Canadian work experience.

When listing volunteer work on your resume, include the organization's name, role, and a brief description of your responsibilities. Focus on transferable skills you gained through your volunteer work, such as teamwork, communication, or leadership.

Suppose you are new to Canada and seeking to gain local experience. Volunteering can also be an excellent way to network, learn about Canadian workplace culture, and potentially secure job leads or references. Many organizations offer volunteer opportunities that align with different industries and skill sets, so research and find a role that matches your interests and career goals.

Awards and Achievements

Mention any awards, recognitions, or achievements demonstrating your abilities and contributions to your field.


If you are fluent in multiple languages, mention them here, as bilingualism is highly valued in the Canadian job market. You may need to include your Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) language test results. Here's a breakdown of the Canadian language tests to help you start.


You can either include a statement that "References are available upon request" or provide a separate reference list with contact information for your professional references.

When all is said and done, your Resume should look something like this:

Canadian Resume

Step 2: Use NOC Codes

The Canadian government uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system to classify jobs based on the type of work performed and the required skill level. Including the NOC code for your past occupations on your resume can help Canadian employers better understand your work experience and qualifications.

Additionally, NOC codes are often used by immigration authorities to determine eligibility for various immigration programs. When you apply for jobs in Canada as an immigrant, including NOC codes on your resume can demonstrate that you have the skills and experience required for the job and may improve your chances of obtaining a job offer from a Canadian employer.

You can use the NOC search tool the Government of Canada provides to find the appropriate NOC code for your past occupations.

Step 3: Utilize Keywords to Your Advantage

Many Canadian employers use ATS software to screen resumes and identify qualified candidates. ATS scans resumes for specific keywords and phrases related to the job description. If your resume does not contain the right keywords, it may not make it past the ATS and into the hands of a human recruiter.

To increase your chances of getting noticed by an ATS, it is essential to incorporate relevant keywords and phrases throughout your resume. Start by analyzing the job posting and identifying the key skills, qualifications, and responsibilities mentioned. Then, incorporate these keywords into your resume, using them in context and not just listing them randomly.

Besides job-specific keywords, include industry-specific terms and acronyms commonly used in your field. Optimizing your resume for ATS can significantly improve your chances of making it to the next stage of the hiring process.

Step 4: Address Gaps and Challenges in Your Employment History

If you have, gaps in your employment history can concern Canadian employers, as they may question your commitment and employability. However, there are various ways to address these gaps and challenges on your resume:

  1. Use a functional resume format, which focuses on your skills and achievements rather than your chronological work history.

  2. If you have short gaps between jobs, consider listing your work experience by year rather than month and year, which can help minimize the appearance of gaps.

  3. If you have taken time off for personal reasons, such as raising a family or traveling, include a brief explanation in your cover letter or during the interview.

  4. If you have faced challenges in your employment history due to immigration or a lack of Canadian work experience, focus on showcasing your transferable skills and how they can benefit the employer.

Honesty is the best policy when addressing gaps and challenges in your employment history. Be prepared to discuss these issues during the interview and demonstrate how you have overcome them and grown professionally.

Step 5: Focus on Formatting

Regarding formatting your resume in Canada, simplicity and clarity are crucial. Here is how you can create a visually appealing and easy-to-read resume:


Use a clean and professional-looking font, such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, in 11 or 12-point size.

Be Consistent

Stick to a consistent format throughout your resume, using bold and italic text to emphasize important information and improve readability.

Keep it Easy-to-Read

Use bullet points to break up long paragraphs and make your resume easier to skim.

Keep it Short

No prospective employer wants to read over two resume pages, so keep it simple and reduce the extra details.

Ensure it's Correct

Proofread your resume multiple times to ensure no spelling or grammatical errors.

Make it a PDF

Save your resume as a PDF file to ensure proper formatting on different devices and platforms.

Step 6: Use the Best Resume Writing Services Canada Offers

Creating a winning resume can be daunting, especially if you are new to the Canadian job market. Resume writing services in Canada can provide valuable assistance in crafting a professional, well-structured, and ATS-friendly resume that showcases your skills and experience to Canadian employers.

Resume writing professionals are well-versed in the intricacies of the Canadian job market and can help you tailor your resume to the specific needs of your target industry. Investing in a professionally written resume can save time, reduce stress, and increase your chances of landing that dream job in Canada.

When selecting a resume writing service, look for one specializing in Canadian resumes with a proven track record of success. Some of Canada's best resume writing services offer additional services such as LinkedIn profile optimization, interview coaching, and job search support, which can further enhance your job search efforts. One of Canada's best resume writing services is one that understands your needs as a worker and an immigrant. This is why we offer a professional immigrant-focused resume curating service as part of our full eligibility evaluation to help you get your resume to Canadian standards without you having to lift a finger. This means you can both ensure you're eligible to come to Canada to work and simultaneously maximize your chances of getting a job in Canada. Contact one of our agents today to see how you can get started. 


How Do I Prepare for a Canadian Job Interview?

Preparing for a job interview in Canada is similar to any other country, but there are a few key differences to remember. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a Canadian job interview:

Research the Company

Before the interview, research the company and its culture, mission, and values. This will help you tailor your responses to the company's needs and demonstrate your interest in the role.

Practice Common Interview Questions

Prepare responses to common questions such as "Tell me about yourself" and "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" Practice your responses with a friend or family member to improve your confidence and delivery.

Dress Professionally

To make a good first impression, dress professionally, such as a suit and tie.

Arrive Early

Plan to arrive at least 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview to allow for any unexpected delays.

Bring Copies of Your Resume and References

Bring copies and a list of professional references if the interviewer requests.

Be Prepared to Discuss Your Qualifications and Experience

During the interview, be ready to discuss your qualifications and experience in detail and provide specific examples of how you have applied your skills in previous roles.

Ask Questions

At the end of the interview, ask thoughtful questions about the company, role, and work environment to demonstrate your interest and engagement.

Remember to be courteous, professional, and confident during the interview, and always follow up with a thank-you note or email to the interviewer afterward. Learn more about how to prepare for your job interview in Canada here.

How Do I Know If My Job Offer Is Real or Not?

Unfortunately, job scams and fraudulent job offers are prevalent in Canada, especially for newcomers and international job seekers. Being vigilant and aware of the red flags of a fake job offer is essential. Here are some signs that a job offer may be fake:

  1. The employer asks for sensitive personal information, such as your Social Insurance Number, passport details, or bank account information, before you have been officially hired.
  2. The employer offers a job without conducting an interview or verifying your qualifications.
  3. The job offer includes a request for payment or investment on your part, such as training fees, equipment costs, or travel expenses.
  4. The employer insists on communicating only via email or refuses to provide a physical address or phone number.

Do not respond or provide personal information if you receive a suspicious job offer. Instead, research the company and the job offer online, and contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or local law enforcement if you suspect fraud. 

Take Your First Step in Getting a Job in Canada

Take Your First Step in Getting a Job in Canada

Writing a winning resume is just one step in securing a job in Canada. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can increase your chances of creating a resume that catches the attention of Canadian employers and sets you apart from the competition.

Remember to tailor your resume to the specific needs of the Canadian job market, including NOC codes, relevant keywords, and volunteer experience. Investing in a professionally written resume and preparing for interviews can further enhance your job search efforts and increase your chances of success. However, once you get a job offer from a Canadian employer, you still need a work permit to work in Canada. One of the best ways to ensure you do this without any problems is to have a certified immigration professional like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) help you through the work permit application process. 

RCICs are authorized and certified to represent and guide applicants through their application for permanent residence in Canada. They have an intimate working knowledge of Canada's immigration system and available visas and keep up to date with the latest policy changes and ongoing professional licensing requirements.

Working with an RCIC can save applicants time and effort by allowing the RCIC to liaise with the Canadian Immigration Authorities and the employer on their behalf. RCICs ensure that the application meets the requirements of the Canadian Immigration Authorities, increasing the chances of approval. They can also provide information that applicants may not have considered, broadening their immigration opportunities to Canada.

Good luck in your Canadian job search journey, and remember to stay positive, persistent, and proactive in finding your dream job in this beautiful country.

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