Canadian Resume Format for Foreigners [Complete Guide]

April 21, 2022

🕐 6 min read

Canada is one of the top foreign countries where you can do a job as a foreigner. The main reason for this is that Canada is considered as the best country to raise a family as well as a Wonderful Place to Work.

Canada is arguably the best country to work in because of its geographical proximity, cultural values, and generous mandatory holidays and other benefits such as higher salary scale etc. But how do you begin applying for jobs in Canada? How should a Canadian resume be written, and how does it differ from an American resume format?

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the Canadian resume format.

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Canadian resume sample

You must have a Canadian-style resume if you want to get noticed by Canadian recruiters. You can increase your job opportunities in Canada by studying the Canadian resume sample below and adjusting your resume in accordance with the resume tips below.

Canadian resume format

Why do you need a good Canadian resume?

Finding a job in Canada might be one of your dreams since your childhood. The first step in your Canadian job search is to prepare a resume and cover letter to send to potential employers. Resume formats from other countries will not necessarily work for the Canadian job market.

Therefore, if you have a good Canadian resume, you will be able to enjoy the following benefits.

  • Can easily pass the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which are used by many Canadian employers.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the Canadian job market.
  • Highlight your professional accomplishments and strengths that Canadian employers prefer.
  • Make yourself stand out as a top candidate for a Canadian job.

Resume formats to use in Canada

If you are applying for a job in Canada, your resume must be in one of the three formats listed below. These are the only resume formats accepted in Canada.

  1. The traditional reverse chronological resume format (Preferred)
  2. Functional resume format
  3. Hybrid resume format
top resume formats in Canada

The format of your resume will differ depending on the job you are applying for and your level of work experience. However, the reverse chronological resume format is preferred by the majority of Canadian employers.

When to use reverse-chronological resume format in Canada?

When you have experience in multiple organizations or positions, you can use the reverse chronological resume format. Also, this is the best format for most people with work experience in the same field as the position they’re applying for. Recruiters can more easily identify your career progression if you list your experience in reverse chronological order. If you are inexperienced or an entry-level candidate, this is not the ideal resume format for you.

When to use Canadian functional resume format?

This type of resume focuses more on the skills and qualifications of the applicant. This means that the functional resume format focuses on convincing the recruiter of your skills and qualifications rather than your work experience. This is typically used when you have no relevant experience, when you have career gaps, or when you are switching your career. However, this resume format is now considered outdated.

When to use hybrid resume format in Canada?

This is the hybrid version of the chronological and functional resume models. As a result, this is also referred to as the combination resume format. Here, the applicant should focus more on both soft and hard skills. Therefore, these resumes are generally more appropriate for career switchers, recent graduates with limited experience, multiple short-term work contractors, or those who have significant career gaps.

Common resume format for Canada job market

In Canada, the resume format must include the following sections in order:

  1. Resume header (with your contact information)
  2. Professional summary
  3. Relevant work experience
  4. Education qualifications
  5. Skills (technical skills and soft skills)

You may also include your volunteer experience, licenses and certifications, hobbies and interests, where applicable.

Basic information that a Canadian employer looks at on your resume

If you understand what Canadian employers want to see in your resume, you can maximize the probability of getting your dream job. You can stand out from the rest of the candidates by tailoring your Canadian style resume to suit those desires. Here are the things you need to highlight most on your Canada resume:

01. Contact information

One of the mistakes that many people make when listing contact information is to list unwanted information such as date of birth, gender, marital status, religion or parents’ names. It is not required under Canadian employment law and you may also lose your job opportunity by including them in a Canadian resume.

When you apply for a job in Canada, be sure to include a Canadian address and a Canadian mobile number in the contact information. But if you are a foreigner, it is sufficient to indicate your location as the city and the state along with a telephone number where you can be contacted.

Make sure you’ve included a professional email address as well as a link to your LinkedIn profile. This guide will teach you how to successfully insert a LinkedIn profile into your resume.

02. A professional summary

The resume summary is the elevator pitch of your resume. This is an impressive short paragraph that highlights how you fit into the job you are applying for.

Mention the number of years of relevant experience you have, the type of experience you have, and your future goals.

You can get more results by mentioning the most relevant qualifications and certifications you have as well as some of the best soft and hard skills you have.

Try to mention some of the key achievements that are specific to you, which anyone can not write on their resume.

03. Related work experience in Canada

If you’ve worked in Canada before, it’s definitely a plus point for you. If you don’t have any work experience in Canada, try to emphasize any international teamwork experience you have. Alternatively, you can include projects you’ve completed in other countries. Particularly if you’ve previously worked with Canadian teams.

One thing to keep in mind is not to mention the job duties and responsibilities you have under your job title. Because your potential employers from Canada may know them better than you. So if there are any achievements from your previous roles that can impress them, explain them briefly.

04. Education

Include any degrees you have earned, as well as the dates and name of the institution where you studied.

Give your expected graduation date if you haven’t graduated yet. If you have one, include your Grade Point Average (GPA) if and only if it is above 3.0.

05. Your skillset

You already know that resume skills can be divided into hard skills as well as soft skills. The speciality In Canada resume format is that it emphasizes hard skills (often called technical skills). So you need to focus more on listing your technical skills that are required to perform the job.

On the other hand, soft skills or people skills are also important pieces of details that Canadian employers are looking for in your resume. These soft skills may include communication, problem-solving, teamwork, flexibility, ability to learn quickly, work under minimum supervision etc.

06. English language proficiency

English is the most widely used language in Canada except in Quebec and Nunavut. As a result, recruiters are looking for candidates who are fluent in the English language.

To work in Canada, the majority of employers require that you pass the IELTS exam. A score of 7.0 or higher is generally considered to be satisfactory.

If you have a good score like above, mention the IELTS scorecard on your resume. It can add value to your resume by demonstrating that you have a good command of the English language.

07. Professional qualification

Are you qualified enough by the right institution to perform the job you’re applying for? Then mention it on your resume. Canadian employers also appreciate your relevant qualifications, like most other employers around the world. So try to list any relevant professional credentials you have, along with the dates you received them.

General rules of Canadian resume format

  1. It’s critical to ensure that your resume is written in perfect English with correct grammar.
  2. Canada is a country that does not accept photos on resumes. So avoid using your photograph on the resume. It could discriminate against you for different reasons.
  3. Do not include personal information, such as your date of birth, gender, marital status, religion, cultural background etc (other than your name and contact details).
  4. Use a clean and professional resume template that is not difficult on the recruiters’ eye.
  5. Use keywords to tailor your resume. Focus on the words used by the employer in the job posting to describe specific skills, technical abilities, characteristics, or knowledge and try to insert them into your professional summary, work experience, and skills sections.
  6. When listing your accomplishments under the work experience section, try to use small sentences starting with strong resume action verbs.
  7. Do not list references. If you do so, it will waste your valuable resume space. If you need to let them know that you have references, just insert the line “references available upon request.”
  8. Keep your resume to a single page unless you have more than 10 years of related work experience.
  9. Proofread your resume and check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors several times. Because it reflects your communication skills.
  10. Write an impressive cover letter even the company has not requested for it. This can multiply your job winning rate in Canada.

So these are our tips for writing a great Canadian resume format to land a job in Canada. Also remember to read this guide on how to respond to the most common interview questions in Canada.

Good luck on your Canadian job search!