How to Write a Resume for Canadian Employers

work-resumeBefore the how-to’s it is important to distinguish between a CV and a resume.  What is the difference?

The main differences between the two are length, layout and purpose.  A resume is usually only one to two pages and is a brief summary of your skills and experiences whereas a CV is detailed and can stretch up to even four or more pages.  If you are inexperienced, a new graduate and looking for your first job in Canada, a resume is what you will be presenting when you apply for employment in Canada.  If you are a PhD graduate, have extensive work experience or are applying for a professional designation, you will most likely present a CV.

If you are an international student studying at one of Canada’s universities or colleges, their Career Services or International Centres often have services that help students prepare a Canada employer friendly resume.  Additionally, the Canadian government has put together some excellent instructions on how to make an employment resume.  Therefore, it seems redundant to rehash what is already so well written; rather I should point you towards the Canadian links and rather point out what should not be included in a resume that you would send to apply for a job in Canada.

Do not include:

  • Personal information such as your religion, your ethnicity or your parents’ name.  For example, you do not need to state that you are the son of, the daughter of, the wife of so and so.  Usually you do not need to include your gender.  Canadian employers must provide equal opportunity employment opportunities.  You can include any language skills that you have.
  • Your national ID number such as a Social Insurance Number or a national ID number from your home country.  Neither should you include your passport number.

International students in Canada can work up to 20 hours per week on or off campus while they are a student and full time when they are having holidays.  There are also excellent post-graduate employment opportunities in Canada.


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