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How to write your job résumé

Get a job you like

The job search process in Canada is probably a little different from what you are used to. One of the important elements to get right is the résumé. This is your advert and the first tool in your job search toolkit.

Résumé writing tips

Here are tips to turn your cv into the sort of résumé that Canadians expect.

General points

The sections you should include are:

  1. Contact information
  2. Job objectives
  3. Education
  4. Experience
  5. Activities

Contact information

Make sure your name, telephone number, address and e-mail are correct and clearly laid out. Do not include information on your age, sex, race, religion, marital status, health or physical appearance as employers cannot ask for such information and don’t expect to see it.

Job objectives

Some people feel that this is not needed and is best placed in a covering letter. Wherever it is placed, it is your chance to let your potential employer know what you want from the job. You can show that your ambitions will fit into their organization.

Education

This is where you put all relevant post-secondary education. This should include details:

Experience

You can present your experience in one of two ways:

  1. Chronologically
    Starting with your current position and working back. List your responsibilities (most important first - remember they are skimming!)
  2. Functional
    This can be a useful way of presenting your experience and tailoring what you write to the post you are seeking. Group together your experience under any headings you choose to emphasize.

Activities

This is an optional section but Canadians value community spirit and volunteerism. Putting in professional memberships, positions of responsibility or experience which is relevant to the job can be useful. Don't include things which are not remotely relevant to the job.

Covering letter

It is the usual practice in Canada to send a covering letter. This one page letter summarizes why your experience and education can help the company - sell the benefits that you bring to the company.

It is also very usual for people to drop off their résumés in person. Find out the name of the recruiter if you do not already know. Have your letter addressed to them in person. When you drop off the résumé you can simply ask if you can see the recruiter to hand in the résumé. You will then establish a personal connection with your new employer!

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