Resumes are in a writing category all their own. Neither a pure sales pitch nor a historical record of employment, a resume must nonetheless sell you to a potential employer by relating employment facts. The Canadian resume differs slightly from some and distinctly from others. Here are a few tips.
- Spelling. Canadian and American spellings differ here an there. Honour/honor, neighbour/neighbor, counsellor/counselor are examples. You can set your language preference in Word (English/Canadian or English/American), which will make this consideration much easier!
- Confidential Information. Canadian resumes, unlike other countries, do not require marital status, gender, photos, or age, for example. Required are your name and contact information, the names and city locations of past employers, dates of employ, details of your job description/accountabilities, and education summary. Even these are changing as some may elect to list email, telephone number, and a city location only, skipping the actual street address for security reasons.
- Professional Profile or Summary. The introduction to your resume (once held by the Objective Statement, which has largely fallen out of use) is critical. It can grab the recruiter's attention immediately, influencing him or her to add your resume to the short list of resumes to be read over in more detail. It is here that you should distinguish yourself with information that demonstrates your ability to do the specific job to which you are applying. Here are a few ideas for a robus profile:
- Begin with a short sentence that describes your profession or area of work, thus far.
- Add in a statement of wide-ranging or specialized knowledge (whichever makes more sense).
- Continue with something unique – background, skill sets, Fortune 500 experience.
- Add in special or award-winning acocmplishments, promotions, outstanding commendations.
- Finish off with a few provable and relevant personal characteristics.
- Job History. Content is king! Simply stating what your accountabilities were is only a beginning; in order to have influence, the resume must describe how you did your work and especially how well.
- Education, Professional Affiliations, Professional Development. Overwhelmingly these must be related to the job to which you are applying. Holding a certificate in Dance is unlikely to get you the job in I.T. However an interest like this is a nice addition to a Personal Interests heading, especially if you continue to teach, volunteer or if you once made it to a high level of achievement.
Other headings may be appropriate, for example, Speaking Engagements, Reading List, Published Work, Teaching Assignments.
There's no need to add "References available upon request." (Does anyone say "upon" these days?) But if you have exceptional references, you might finish off your resume with "Outstanding references available."
If you are unsure of your resume's effectiveness to attract attention in the Canadian market, you are invited to submit it to Wizof.Biz reviewers for a professional opinion.