Canada expects an average of 160,000 new jobs every year in 42 diverse industries covered by the Canadian Occupational Projection System. And that doesn’t include vacancies created by retirement and turnover.
Despite this huge potential, job seekers are still struggling to land the right opportunity. This is even more true for new Canadians. According to research conducted by a popular job search site, every corporate job posting attracts roughly 250 resumes, out of which only 4-6 are interviewed and 1 person gets a job offer. With the odds against you, it is essential that your resume gets you noticed.
Here are the top 5 Canadian resume tips + a bonus tip that will help you to land your first opportunity in Canada
Make it Short
Contrary to what most people think, shortening your resume does not mean eliminating work experience. What it means is that you must be more concise. Make the job description shorter and easy to read. For instance, using bullet points instead of long sentences helps recruiters to read faster through your resume. Most recruiters recommend a maximum of two pages for experienced candidates and a one-page resume if you just finished school.
One of the most effective ways of beating an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and getting your resume noticed, is tailoring your resume every time you apply for a role. Make sure you mention relevant transferable skills even if you do not have a specific experience. Once you apply online, your resume gets entered in an ATS. From there recruiters use Boolean searches based on keywords to find the resumes that match the search. Optimize your resume by spotting the keywords in your desired job description and make sure to include them.
If you are a new Canadian and looking to get a head start in your job search, start volunteering. Make sure to include your volunteer experience in your resume. Mention the key functions you performed during the volunteer opportunity. You can potentially eliminate the infamous ‘Canadian experience barrier’ if your resume mentions Canadian volunteer experience. Better yet, do an outstanding job and ask your supervisor to be a reference.
It is probably the most essential and yet least spoken part of an ideal resume. Good formatting is not only essential to improving the appearance of your resume but also draws the hiring manager’s attention to your ‘eye for detail’.
Some resume formatting tips:
- Removing extra spaces
- Eliminating typos, one of the most common errors not recognized by ‘Word’, distinguishing- ‘form & from’
- Organize your resume with appropriate and common headlines- Qualifications, Professional Experience, Education, etc.
- Keep the font simple and easily read
Read your resume thoroughly before sending it to a job opening. Make sure that you have covered all your experience, qualifications and have highlighted qualities about yourself that make you a good candidate for the opportunity. Ask a friend to read it as well. Often a second set of eyes will spot things you don’t.
And Now for the Bonus Tip…
While there is no study or evidence that supports the following tip, the prolonged experience and in-depth expertise of our leading recruiters recommend that you apply on business days between 9am-1pm. The best day to apply for a job is the day you spot it but if that is a weekend, make sure to apply on Monday at 9am.
Download our free Ultimate Jobseeker Guide for more information on Canadian Resumes.