10 steps to a Canadian-style resume

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What are the qualities of a Canadian-style resume?

  • It is short and concise.
  • No grammar and spelling errors.
  • It is professional and organized.
  • Uses fonts like Times New Roman, Arial or Garamond at 11-12 points.
  • It is targeted. Shows the most relevant job experience.
  • No personal data (gender, age, religion, race, etc.).

10 steps to making a Canadian-style resume:

  1. Make a Master Resume

    • Create a file with all your jobs, qualifications, education, and trainings listed by year.
    • Go to this file every time you apply for a job. Change it based on the job ad.
    • Use “save as” each time you make a new one.
  2. Customize it

    • Read the job ad.
    • Underline the job responsibilities and skills needed.
    • See if they fit with your experience, skills and qualifications.
    • Decide what type of resume you will use.
      • Use a functional resume if you do not have a lot of work experience.
      • Focus on your transferable skills (skills that you learned that you can use in your new job. Example: decision-making or communication skills)
      • Use a chronological (arranged by year) resume if you have a lot of work experience.
      • List your jobs starting with the most recent one.
      • A hybrid resume combines a functional and chronological resume.

  3. Start with Contact Details

    Write your:

    • name (first, middle (optional) and last name)
    • address
    • telephone number
    • email address
    • website address or LinkedIn address (if you have)

    Place this at the top of the page. Don’t include a picture of yourself (unless it is required).

  4. The Profile Section:

    • Describe your strengths in two to three sentences.
      Example: “Dynamic and highly organized sales specialist with eight years of experience in direct sales”.
    • Add your top skills in the next sentence.
      Example: “Experienced in interacting and communicating with people from other cultural backgrounds”.
  5. Relevant experience section:

    • Start with the job title, company, years of service, and location. For example:
      “Project coordinator, ABC Company, May 2014- May 2016, Manila, Philippines”.
    • Describe what you did using “Action – benefit or result”. Example:
      “Organized sales campaigns (action) helping company hit $$$ million in sales” (result).
    • Always include figures when you are talking about sales or targets.
    • Limit it to jobs you’ve had in the last 10 years.
  6. List your other job experiences

    • Put other job experiences in a separate section.
    • This explains gaps in your career history. It also shows additional skills.
    • Add volunteer work or internships.
  7. Education

    • List down your educational background.
    • Include trainings and seminars.
  8. Awards and achievements

    • Mention awards or achievements in the profile section.
  9. Don’t list down your references right away

    • Wait to be asked for a list after the interview.
    • Make a list on a separate sheet of paper.
    • Ask your references before giving their name.
  10. Get someone to read it

    • Ask a friend to read your resume to check errors.
    • Read and check again before sending to the employer.

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Community Resources

Resume writing is part of Manitoba Start’s skills workshops.

The Young Canadians site (formerly Youth.gc site) has plenty of resources that you can use to help you find work.

If you need more help, contact a Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre nearest you.

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