Professional / career summary
This is a micro resume that will allow the reader to understand your goals and how you can help their company.
Three or four short sentences will suffice to set the tone for the detail that follows. Outline what makes you different, whether it is personality, technical ability, managerial skills, team building, or some other talents.
Begin by stating your objective clearly. You should list the title of the role you want to target — if you’re responding to a job posting, this role will be the job you’re applying for. Being a “jack of all trades” is not a good thing for an employer. If you want to be a Project Manager, then call yourself a Project Manager. Don’t expect a company to identify what you should be.
If you would like to do two or three different things, then build two or three specific documents, and follow the resume format in Canada in each. Listing “Marketing / Admin / Finance Professional” is not attractive, so have a clear focus for the relevant job application.
- Mention how many years of relevant experience you have, what type of experience this is, and your future ambitions.
- Avoid generic comments (e.g. “honest and hardworking professional”). Instead, give the reader a true insight into your strengths and objectives (e.g. “able to continually identify cost savings and efficiencies, and routinely trusted to manage projects effectively, mentor junior colleagues, and solve problems”). These should be specific to you, and not things that anyone can write on their resume.
- Mention your career aspirations, whether this is professional designations, supervisory work, managerial work, or other work.
Work experience in Canada
Include details of relevant roles. Prospective employers will already be familiar with the duties and responsibilities of these roles, so there’s no need to list them.
Use three or four concise bullet points instead of long lists.
Think about key achievements in each previous role, then build each point by highlighting a specific problem you encountered, actions taken, and results accomplished. Every successful problem solved brings either an increase in revenue or decrease in costs. This is how managers think, so speak their language.
Problem/Situation >> Action taken >> Results/Achievement
Problem/Situation: Every action that you take in a job is for a reason. Who asked you to perform this task? What was the objective? What was the background behind the task or the problem you set out to solve? Identify what the problem or situation was that prompted the action.
Action taken: This is where you incorporate the duties that you took to resolve a problem or situation.
Results/Achievement: Some questions to think about: What would happen if you didn’t perform this task as well? What was the impact of doing the task well? Did you gain recognition for this work? Did it improve efficiency, increase sales, reduce costs, or all of the above? Where possible, try to quantify the result in terms of either a percentage or Canadian dollar value.
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Here’s an example that would meet the resume format in Canada requirements:
Existing phone / communication system was outdated and causing frustration for the staff. Investigated affordable alternatives and project managed the installation of the new system. It increased productivity and efficiency, received widespread positive reaction from staff, and by allowing us to spend more time with customers, generated an estimated $20k in extra sales in six months.
Provide your potential employer with three or four short illustrations of your abilities that showcase what you have achieved in previous roles.
If you’re unsure whether a point you made is useful or not, keep asking yourself “so what?” and try to develop it using the above formula. Explore the impact of your actions and try to bring each point back to a business problem with quantifiable results. Think about the increase in revenues, decrease in costs, or customer satisfaction.
For occupations that are project-driven, outlining your projects in a clear manner is key. Do not make a long list of every project. Focus on outlining a few key projects that demonstrate your skills. Remember, you don’t need to tell them everything you have done — you can do this in the interview. Ensure that you highlight the project name, an outline of the project (e.g. if construction then mention commercial, industrial, residential, etc), project duration, the value of the project in Canadian dollar terms, as well as your role.
Other employment resources in Canada
For vacancies, visit our Moving2Canada Jobs Board. Now that you’ve mastered the resume format in Canada, here are some more resources to help you win interviews and find a job in Canada.
Remember also not all recruitment is done through formal interview processes. Find out how to use an informational interview as a tool to develop your network.
Register for a Moving2Canada account to receive Canadian resume and cover letter templates. You’ll also receive our free Getting Started Guide, which gives exclusive access to our proven techniques for accelerating your job search in Canada.
Happy job hunting!