Canadian Resume [Format, Tips and Examples for 2023] (2023)

Canada is a unique country that combines some characteristics that you find in the United States with some characteristics that you find in Europe.

This also applies to your CV.

When applying for a job in Canada, you must therefore ensure that your CV complies with Canadian application standards.

Of course, you may be wondering - what does a Canadian resume look like anyway?

If you're a foreigner, you're probably wondering what makes a Canadian resume different from a resume from your home country. Even if you're Canadian, you may still need to brush up on your resume writing skills.

Lucky for you, we're here to show you how to write a compelling Canadian resume.

Here's what we'll discuss:

  • Differences between Canadian, American and European CVs
  • Canadian Resume Formatting
  • A step-by-step guide on how to write a Canadian resume

And more! Let's begin!

Example of Canadian resume

Let's look at an example of a Canadian resume:

Canadian Resume [Format, Tips and Examples for 2023] (1)

Here's what this resume does well:

  • Reverse chronological format. This format highlights your most recent work experience first and is the preferred format among recruiters worldwide.
  • Relevant contact information. This sample resume highlights the candidate's name, phone number, email address, location, and LinkedIn URL.
  • An engaging CV summary. The section embedded in the header summarizes the candidate's key skills and achievements.
  • Action word. The candidate uses action verbs and power words to describe work tasks.
  • Balls. A CV uses bullet points to make it look easy to read, structured and readable.
  • Additional sections. Language skills, certifications, awards and interests give you a holistic view of the candidate and add value to your application.

Free Canadian Resume Templates

Creating a resume from scratch is a time-consuming job.

You have to change the margins, keep the fonts consistent, carefully align each added element and make sure it never spills over onto the other page.

But you can skip all this trouble if you use fileCV template.

Novoresume templates are made in collaboration with recruiters and meet all requirements on the labor market.

Each template you use will save you time and write your resume in minutes.

Specifications for a Canadian resume

When creating a Canadian resume, there are a few basic things to keep in mind. Firstly:

Conditionscurriculum vitae and CVcan be used interchangeably in some parts of Canada.For example, in Quebec both terms refer to a one- or two-page summary of a candidate's career tailored to the position being applied for.

However, outside of Quebec, a resume differs from a resume in that it is much more detailed and appropriate for academic positions or specific senior-level applications.

Most job postings require a resume unless specifically stated otherwise.

Some other things to keep in mind with Canadian resumes include:

  • behold dinresume one to two pages.A one-page resume is more than enough if you arenewly graduatedor new to the labor market. Two-page resumes are recommended for experienced professionals, and in some cases three-page resumes may be acceptable.
  • Write your CV in the same language as the job offer.If you are looking for a position in Quebec and the ad is in French, use French. Do not assume that they will accept an English CV unless it is expressly stated in the job posting.
  • Skip personal information and photos.Your CV should never reveal your appearance, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, marital status, number of children or any kind of personal identification numbers.
  • NOpost testimonials in your applicationunless the employer requests it.Presumably you can provide references if asked, so it's a waste of time to sacrifice space on your CV when you're not asked.

CV from Canada and CV from the USA

Both the US and Canada prefer to use resumes over resumes. Actually Canadian andUSA resumesthey are almost identical.

Biggest difference? The language in which the document is written.

You might be thinking - wait, I thought Canada used English?

Only partially.

Canada has two official languages ​​- English and French. Both of these languages ​​have standardized Canadian spelling, which means they are not 100% the same as American English or European French.

Most of the terminology in your Canadian resume will be more or less the same as in its American counterpart. The biggest difference will probably be the added "u" to words like color andfavoriteand the spelling of words like library, center, and check, as opposed to folder, center, and check.

Before you apply, consider using a grammar checker like Grammarly or QuillBot to make sure your resume is up to dateCanadian spelling conventions.

Canadian resume vs. European CV

Typically, in most European countries in the Asia-Pacific region, a CV is called a CV. The term CV in Canada refers to the same document as the CV in Europe.

Both documents must be one to two pages long and indicate the skills and experience relevant to the position you are applying for. So in that sense aEuropean CVsactually different than a Canadian resume.

In Canada, a CV is a long document and is usually required in academia rather than in corporate job applications. Resumeit can be from two to ten pagesbecause it is supposed to list everything - from work experience, to projects, to publications.

European CVs are also more detailed. For example, they may include details of high school education and grades, even if the candidate has a college degree. This is not the case in Canada. Your high school education does not matter if you have a university degree.

The main difference between Canadian and European CVs is the amount of personal information you can reveal. In Germany, for example, it is common to put your picture on your resume, but definitely not in Canada. There your date of birth and nationality are not acceptable.

These pieces of information can be used to discriminate against you, so you should keep them off your resume as a precaution to level the playing field. Recruiters often consider resumes that exaggerate details about a candidate's life (eg, race, age, date of birth, religion, political affiliation, etc.) to be unprofessional.

A step-by-step guide to writing a resume in Canada

You have seen what a Canadian resume looks like. Now it's time to write your own.

If you don't know where to start, don't worry - we're here to help you get it right.

Follow these steps:

#1. Use the correct format

Mostlypopular resume formatin Canada it is a reverse chronological format (also called chronological format).

It is so common that most recruiters expect it. Thatchronological formatputs your most recent work experience first and then goes back in time.

Here's an example of what it looks like:

Canadian Resume [Format, Tips and Examples for 2023] (3)

One of the other formats is the so-calledfunctional resume format, also known as a skills-based resume format that focuses on your key strengths and skills. It is recommended forcareer changersor recent graduates with little or no experience in the field they are applying for.

Then we have the so-calledcombined CV format. As the name suggests, it combines elements of a chronological and functional format. This format places equal weight on the candidate's experience and skills. It provides a detailed overview of skills and is a good choice for candidates who have notableemployment gapbut also a lot of work experience.

#2. Follow these layout guidelines

If your resume looks messy and disorganized, the hiring manager is less likely to read it.

But paying attention to the layout of your resume can give you a better chance.

When creating a Canadian resume, follow these formatting guidelines:

  • Have separate sections for all the information you want to add.
  • Take advantage of the professional andeasy to read resume font.
  • Let your resume breathe – leave enough space to make your content easier to read by setting resume margins to 1" on all pages.
  • Save your CV in the correct document size. Canadian resumes use the standard North American size (8.5 x 11 inches) instead of the A4 format common in other countries. You can easily do it ineditor of Novoresumeselect "Layout" from the top menu and select "US Letter Format".

#3. Please enter the correct contact information

Now that you've organized your resume layout, it's time to start filling it out.

Thecontact information sectionis the first thing you should replace. Here's what to include:

  • First name and last name
  • canadian phone number
  • Address (city and province)
  • A professional email address

You can optionally include a link to your LinkedIn profile, personal website or online portfolio. Just make sure they are up to date and relevant to the application.

#4. Write a summary

Every resume has only a few seconds to catch the recruiter's attention, so you need to make your resume eye-catching and easy to read.

This is where the resume summary comes in.

Go to the top of your resume, aSums everything upis a summary of your career in two or three sentences. Includes:

  • Your professional title and many years of experience.
  • Two or three of your greatest achievements.
  • One or two of your most important skills that are relevant to the position.

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If you are less experienced, you can choose the optionresume targetInstead. The purpose of the CV focuses on your skills and motivation to develop in your chosen field, not on previous work experience and achievements.

When applying for a remote job for a company based in Canada, mention it in your CV summary. If you are looking for a company thatmove to Canadainstead, remember to mention it on your CV so you don't waste time on yourself or the hiring manager.

#5. Include your work experience

Work experience is the most important part of a Canadian resume.

It allows you to build on your existing achievements and responsibilities and prove to the hiring manager that you are the best candidate for the position.

The structure of this section should look like this:

  • Start with your last job and go back in time.That said, don't go back more than ten or 15 years ago, even if you're a senior professional. The hiring manager doesn't care about your job as a college clerk.
  • Start with the job title.The recruiter will immediately know if you have the necessary experience for the job based on the job title.
  • Add your business name and location.Sometimes you can even add a brief description of your previous employer, especially if it is a smaller company that is not well known.
  • Enter employment dates.There's no need to be very specific, so just stick to the mm/yyyy format.
  • List your professional responsibilities and achievements.Give 4-6 points for your last topic and 2-3 points for older assignments.

Structuring your work experience in the right way is only half the job. To stand out from the competition, you want this section to be as impressive as possible.

Here are some tips and tricks to help with this:

  • View the job posting and focus on the key skills and qualifications required of candidates.Match your work experience with the skills you have to divert attention from those you don't have.
  • Focus more on performanceover daily duties.The hiring manager already has an idea of ​​what your responsibilities were in the position. They are interested in what you have achieved by doing it.
  • Evaluate your performance as often as possible.Use Laszlo Bock's formula ("achieved X measured by Y by doing Z") to provide the time frame, scope and results of what you have achieved. eg: "Increased annual revenue growth from 5% to 10% by implementing the financial roadmap.
  • Usepowerful words and action verbs.Recruiters hate generic terms like "responsible" or "team player," so using the right vocabulary can help you stand out.

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Are you a recent graduate fromno work experience on the CV? Don't worry - we have itguide to help you find your first job.

#6. Add your education

In Canadian Biographieseducation sectionusually goes hand in hand with your work experience.

How to format this section:

  • Program name. For example: "BA in computer science"
  • Name of the university. Ex: "Ohio State University"
  • Annual attendance. For example: "08/2018 - 06/2022"
  • Achievements (optional). Eg. "Small Linguistics Classes"

It should look like this:

Correct example:


BA in computer science

Concordia University

08.2019 - 06.2023

  • With the highest praise
  • Minor i Business Analytics

Follow these guidelines to make this section appear:

  • Do not describe your secondary education if you have a university degree.
  • Mention any courses you have taken that are relevant to the industry you are applying for. (e.g. statistics and probability for data scientist)
  • Stick to reverse chronological format when listing your degrees. For example: a PhD is listed above a master's degree, which is listed above a bachelor's degree, etc.
  • If you have no work experience, you can highlight your education. Just list your education at the top of your resume instead of work experience.

#7. Highlight your greatest skills and strengths

The skills section shows which candidates have the necessary expertise for the job and no Canadian resume is complete without it.

Skills are generally divided into two categories:

  • Soft skills consist of personality traits and characteristics developed in personal and professional life. embracecommunication skillshuman skills,interpersonal skillsitp.
  • Hard skills or technical skills are skills that can be acquired through experience, training or education. They may includecomputer skillsor skills in the use of specific tools.

The trick is not to list every skill you've ever learned, only those that are relevant to the job you're applying for.

If you're going to be a graphic designer, your Photoshop skills are more important than your forklift certification. Recruiters want to know what skills make you the right candidate for them, not what skills make you the most versatile person.

Scan the job description and note which skills the company is looking for. Then add them to your Canadian resume.

Just make sure you don't just focus on one type of skill over another. A good application covers both partssoft valuesand hard skills, depending on the requirements of the job.

Here is an example:

Canadian Resume [Format, Tips and Examples for 2023] (6)

#8. Use additional sections

If you have included everyonenecessary CV sectionsand you have some free space, consider adding a few optional resume sections.

These sections aren't as important as the ones we've covered so far and won't have as much impact on your CV as work experience, skills or education.

Men deHookswill help you stand out from candidates with similar professional experience and skills to yours.

For example, if you are choosing between two equally qualified professionals and the position involves working with French-speaking employees or business partners, the hiring manager will likely choose a candidate who speaks French.

Here are some additional sections you can include in your resume:

  • Language.The ability to communicate in more than one language gives you an advantage over other candidates.
  • Internships.Adding relevant internships to your resume shows that you have some experience that has prepared you for the job you're applying for.
  • Voluntary experience.Any volunteer experience is a great addition to any resume as it shows that you are a caring person who wants to give back to your community.
  • Hobbies and interests.Some hobbies or interests can give the hiring manager insight into who you are as a person and work to your advantage.
  • Certificates and awards.Any relevant qualifications or awards such as online classes can be found here.
  • Publications.If you have published anything, from journals to research papers, you can add it to your CV.
  • Projects.Interesting projects you've worked on can show the hiring manager your passion and commitment to your field.

#9. Attach cover letter

Cover lettersis still an essential element that accompanies any CV.

Adding a cover letter to your application shows the hiring manager that you are ready to take all the necessary steps to get the job.

Cover letters also supplement your resume, allowing you to elaborate on things that have no place on a resume, such as certain accomplishments or job gaps.

Here is a brief description of what a cover letter should contain:

  • Heading.As with your resume, please include updated contact information such as your first name, last name, Canadian phone number and work email address. Also, be sure to include your employer's contact information.
  • Welcome line.make sure thataddress a cover lettercorrect with a greeting like "Drogi Johnie Doe,"The"Dear Mr. Doe,". If you can't find the hiring manager's name, just use something like "Dear [department] team.
  • Entrance.Start with a brief summary of why you are writing the letter and the position you are interested in. To catch your supervisor's attention, also mention two or three of your most important accomplishments in the first paragraph.
  • Qualifications and motivation.The body of your cover letter should highlight your skills, experience and enthusiasm for the position. Use it to explain exactly what makes you the right candidate and how you fit into the company.
  • End of a section.End your letter with a call to action and an official signature.

Having trouble writing a cover letter? Check these outexamples of cover lettersbe inspired.

Frequently Asked Questions About Canadian Resume

Still have questions? Check out the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Canadian resumes.


1. How can I create a Canadian resume as an international student?

If you want toapply to universitysafe in Canadapracticeor get your first job after graduation, you should focus primarily on academic performance.

Education is highly valued in Canada and your references and relevant classes will enhance your resume as long as you keep it relevant to the position you are applying for.

When describing your education, you can also add a place next to the name of your school or college. For example: "Marmara University, Türkiye" instead of "Marmara University".


2. Should a Canadian resume be in PDF or Word format?

Overall, PDF is the preferred resume format because it remains the same regardless of the operating system or device used to open it. Plus, it keeps the formatting and illustrations in place and can't be accidentally edited when the recruiter makes a mistake.

Most career websites in Canada accept resumes in both PDF and Word format. Nevertheless, we recommend that you export your Canadian resume to PDF unless the job ad specifically requires Word.


3. Do Canadians say resume or CV?

Depending on which part of Canada you are in, people may say resume and resume interchangeably. But outside of Quebec, they are two different documents.

CVs are usually no longer than two pages and are intended to be relevant to the position you are applying for. CVs, on the other hand, are much more detailed and suitable for academia or specific applications for senior positions.


4. What SHOULD NOT be included in a Canadian resume?

As an anti-discrimination measure, it is prohibited by law to include photos and personal information in job applications. This means that your nationality, age, gender, religion, immigration status, political affiliation, marital status and social security number have no place on your CV.

Another thing to keep in mind is that candidates put their salary expectations on a Canadian resume taboo. Salary expectations should only be provided at the employer's request, and even then it's best to include them in your cover letter, never on your resume.

Key takeaways

And this is-Startthis is for canadian resumes!

Let's summarize the main things you need to know about it:

  • Canadian resumes are basically the same as American resumes. You will have no problem applying for a job in Canada with an American resume, but Canadian English is preferable to standard American English.
  • A Canadian resume is equivalent to a resume in Europe and most other parts of the world. However, a CV in Canada is a much longer document that is mainly used to apply for jobs in academia.
  • Keep your formatting clean and use separate sections and readable fonts when creating your resume.
  • When applying for a job in Canada, you should never provide anything that could be used to discriminate, such as age, nationality and immigration information or photos.
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