If you want to succeed in the Canadian job market then the first step is building and writing an irresistible + approved Canadian resume and cover letter.
There is nothing as enjoyable as securing a job in Canada while still in your country. Do you even think this can be possible? Of course, yes. But how will you be interviewed supposing you got a Canadian job while in Nigeria like pecky?
While Technology has done both harm and good, it turns out that the good always outperforms the bad. If you have applied for a Canadian job from Nigeria, if qualified you can easily be interviewed using a tool like Zoom or Skype.
While Zoom is not frequently used for this, the commonest tool Canadian employers’ use is the Skype software.
The question is,
How can you get to the point of a job interview from the application?
Answer: it is based on your qualifications and most importantly the Cover letter and Resume you submitted for consideration.
Now, there are many formants of Cover Letters and Resumes, the unique thing about the Canadians’ is that there is a government-approved Canadian job resume.
What this means is that for your job application to be considered you have to follow the approved Canadian government job resume format.
What’s the good news here?
It is that we won’t just see the essential requirements to writing a great cover letter application, we will go ahead to see a typical Canadian job resume sampling points you can’t do without if you will land your first job in Canada while in Nigeria.
Tired of frustration to relocate to Canada from Nigeria? We do things different with an A-Z Guide . 😎
The 2 Popular Myths About Job Resumes
- Your Resume Is Thorough Work History Document. Wrong!
A lot of people have carried this myth which has affected their job landing because they think writing a resume is about detailing out their work history document.
Want the truth? Here is it.
Your job resume is a tool to secure an interview as fast as you can. What you want to avoid is detailing out unnecessary info that will put off your employers.
Just concentrate on presenting the reader your highlights, not every detail.
You might want to ask, but I have so much to put out? Take this home.
There is an interview session. This will be an opportunity for you to go into all the details (if you want)
2. You Can Use Any Template For Your Resume. Wrong
Have you been in a situation you did the right thing but in a wrong way? If yes, then trying to use any template for your Canadian Job Resume will put you behind those using the right template – even though they are less qualified on paper.
With that being said, what sort of template is approved by the Canadian Government for job applications?
Answer: A professional resume template.
No worries, at the end of this guide you will see how to get a professional resume template for your application.
5 Resume Blunders Beginners Make You need to Avoid
Without doubts, your Resume is that 40-second speech you rattle off to employers/strangers that sums up who you are, what you do and why you are the perfect person for the job.
The effect of this is that whatever you say here will be used as a case study for your application.
If that is the case then what should you do? Make it flawless, concise and, in a word, remarkable.
Let’s see the outlined mistakes.
#1. Listing Your Computer Skills in a Rugged way
Needless to say, in Canada you need basic computer skills. But that is not the problem, the issue is how you will present it so it looks like you know what you are talking about.
Instead of saying, I am an internet savvy or guru with a bunch of skills like Microsoft word, Facebook ads, and so on, do this,
List the specific programs and technical skills you are familiar with, whether they are computer-related or not.
Just Show them and, don’t tell!
If you want to go further and prove your expertise in social media. For example, don’t only list your skills; show that they are part of your everyday life by adding your Twitter handle or blog URL (if you have one).
#2. Not Presenting You as a Brand
All my life I have heard people say, I am “passionate,” “results-oriented” and “hard-working”. We all know you are, but nobody cares about that for now. What your potential employer wants is what you are bringing to the table.
They will weigh you if you are presenting yourself as a brand. By brand I mean, what differentiates you from the others? Think of Apple and Samsung.
What’s your “brand proposition” in a sea of competitors?
Enlist the help of your peers and former coworkers if necessary and ask them for a list of adjectives, to help you develop your brand. This kind of forward-thinking can go a long way in getting noticed and proving you’ve thought about the position you’re applying for.
#3. Submitting a Generic Resume
A generic resume is one you write to submit at any given time when the opportunity shows up, that is, you never spelled out a definite name of the company your resume was addressed to.
Well, I can’t blame you as desperation may lead to this. Now, here is what you want to do.
Present a separate Resume that clearly defines the company you are applying to. Of course, you can’t write more than you know. If you took the time to know a bit about the company it will be seen in your write up, so, always take the time to write a detail description of the job offer.
In the same vein, it’s wise to narrow your listed years of experience according to the job you’re applying for.
For example, if the job you’re applying for is a senior role that calls for autonomy and someone “driven and self-sufficient,” then it’s a good idea to highlight your many years of experience in a given role. What you want to do is underscore your years of experience with specific metrics and measurable results.
Want another example? See this.
While it’s great to have 15 years of experience at one company, it might also make your skillset seem too niche or specific. You should be proud of your many years of dedication to a role, just try to show that you also have other transferrable skills if the role you’re applying for isn’t exactly in line with your experience.
#4. Revealing Too Much Stuffs
The above may sound weird but truth is, if you’ve been jumping from one job to the other after your high school, what you don’t want to do is listing every job you’ve had most especially if you never held the position up to 365 days.
The consequences of not following this rule is that a (prospective) company’s HR team will be sure to ask why you didn’t stay at your former job for more than 6 months, what went wrong or what you didn’t like about it, etc.
Plus or minus, you might be tempted to say more than you should have, and the result? You lose out.
Instead of beating the bushes, all you need to do is being logical. How? Edit your resume accordingly, even if it means there will be gaps in your resume. You don’t need to list every blip on your resume.
#5. Use a Scale of Preference Syntax
It might be reasonable for you to list out too much you’re supposed to but the persona scanning through your resume, it might be unreasonable. Why?
The personnel scanning the piles of submitted resumes is very busy and you have less than a minute to grab and hold their attention.
Make sure everything in your resume has a purpose. You can even omit the line that says “references available upon request” – it takes up precious real estate on your resume and it’s obvious. Prove that you’re focused, efficient and succinct – which makes you look like a topnotch communicator.
The 5th Estate of a Credible Resume
The 5th Estate of a Credible Resume defines the top-notch parts every viable resume must contain. Of course, Resumes will undoubtedly vary depending on whether you’re a recent graduate, changing careers, or looking to move up in leadership.
The good news is that no matter what your level of experience is—or what industry you’re in—experts say the following are the core parts of a resume.
#5. The Summary
At times this section poses a trait to too many job seekers. If that sounds like you, here is what you want to do. Write your summary as the last after going through all your data.
Scott Vedder, a Fortune 100 recruiter and author of Signs of a Great Resume, says a career summary is the “movie trailer” of a resume: “It’s where you highlight upfront the most important things about you,” he says.
This section should be a brief paragraph (three to five sentences) that shows the value you bring by highlighting your skills and a couple of big career wins. But rather than labeling it a “summary,” use a headline that encapsulates your credentials.
Isaacs offers this example of a useful career summary:
Corporate Real Estate Executive
Increasing Bottom-Line Profitability Through Real Estate Strategies
Accomplished executive with a proven ability to develop and implement real estate strategies that support business and financial objectives. Have led key initiatives that reduced the operating budget by $32 million and contributed to a 550% stock increase. Recognized as an expert in applying financial concepts to asset management decisions.
#4. Your Skills Set
If you are applying to technical jobs, like IT positions, matching your skills section to what appears in the job posting is especially important. Why is that?
The reason is that these job seekers have to show employers they possess the hard skills that are required to perform the job.
According to Isaac, “every resume should have a skills section, which appears beneath your summary, in short, bulleted columns.
It gives employers a way to skim through your resume to see that you have the expertise they’re looking for,” she explains. Still, “it has to be very focused on the job that the person is applying for.”
You’ll want to incorporate the right keywords so that your resume is optimized for applicant tracking systems (ATS), which employers use to screen job applications. “Look at the job posting to see what key skills the employer is looking for,” Isaacs says.
However, you don’t want to overlook your soft skills, that is, critical workplace skills that you can’t measure, such as problem-solving, communication, and leadership.
In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, employers care more about soft skills than they do technical abilities like reading comprehension and mathematics.
Make sure your professional experience section demonstrates that you have these soft skills.
Recruiters and hiring managers shouldn’t have to hunt for your education credentials, says Vedder, so you want to carefully designate a section at the bottom of your resume for this information.
Clearly state out where you went to college and your degree. And, if you graduated with honors, highlight it.
For example (your soft skills):
For example (your soft skills):
Obafemi Owolowo University— Ife, Nig
B.ENG in Civil Engineering – GPA: 3.9
(Observation #1: For recent college graduates, Isaacs recommends putting your education section before your professional experience.
Observation #2. Use the educational standard for Canada. For instance, if you are mentioning your secondary educational, rather than using “secondary school” –use “High School” instead).
You will get vivid arrangement of the Canadian Soft Skills in the Resume.
#2. Professional Experience
Just as the eye is important as the light of the body, your P.E is equally important as it serves as the light of any resume.
Even with this notion, many job seekers make the mistake of just listing their job duties. “You need to focus on your accomplishments rather than your day-to-day responsibilities,” Svei says. “You don’t want your resume to read like a job posting.”
Vedder says the best way to showcase your achievements is to cite quantifiable results. “It’s all about numbers, dollars, and percentages,” he explains.
COMPANY NAME—Uyo, Akwa Ibom
Data Analyst, 2019
•Data Mining and Modeling: Collected, cleansed, and provided modeling and analyses of structured and unstructured data used for major business initiatives.
#a. Executed 15% reduction in transportation costs, resulting in $1.2M annual savings.
#b. I have improved demand forecasting that reduced backorders to retail partners by 17%.
#c. Completed focus group and BI research that helped boost region sales by 10%.
#1. Contact Details
Do you think it’s okay to list out this point? If not, here is the truth. “It seems so basic and obvious, but I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve received that don’t even have the person’s contact information,” says resume expert Kim Isaacs.
Before you get so excited about landing your job, do this first.
Display your name, city and province, phone number, and email address on your resume.
You can also include social media profile links (as long as you’ve cleaned them up beforehand) and your website or blog, if applicable.
Here is an advise from a resume writer Donna Svei, “Stick your contact info toward the top of your resume,” WHY? “You don’t want hiring managers to have to go searching for it.”
I think I need to mention more options, let’s go to no.6.
#6. Your Add-on Accomplishments
So, let’s say you have some add-on qualities or accolades you might want to add to your Resume. The question is,
How do you go about this? Before you think about it, ask you, will this make me stand out? I mean, will this information make you more attractive to the person hiring for this particular position? If yes, then go ahead and put it out.
Thinking of the add-ons I am talking about? Here is it. Your testimonials, awards, and publications that you appeared in are all worthy of being included on your resume.
#7. Get Your Resume Reviewed
If you’ll follow all we have to discuss here then your resume format should be okay for a Canadian job.
Nonetheless, the best resumes are the ones that not only communicate your skills and experience but also the value you’d bring to a company.
Not sure your resume makes you stand out from the competition? You can give your resume to an expert or someone that knows about writing converting resumes.
General TECHNICAL Points You Should Never Put On Your Resume, by Experts
You might write a good resume and overdo it. Get the drill? Here is it.
What you might not know is that there are a few things that don’t belong on your resume—things that might not tank your chances at a job, but won’t do you any favors, either. Let’s see some of the things you don’t want to put in your resume.
1. A Career Objective
Wendy Enelow, co-author of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired said, a career objective is mostly obsolete. “It tells an employer what you want from them when the focus should be on the employer’s needs.
Furthermore, by including a career objective, “you’re essentially pigeonholing yourself,” says Alyssa Gelbard, president at global career consulting firm Point Road Group.
“If you’re applying for a job that doesn’t exactly meet your objective, you’re effectively telling the employer that this isn’t the right job for you, so it can really limit your opportunities.”
Instead of an objective, Enelow recommends beginning your resume with a career summary, where you highlight what you bring to the table and how you can add value to the company.
2. Your Soft Skills in the Skills Section
Because soft skills are important for a Canadian resume/job consideration, you want to be careful with it. How do I mean?
If you’re going to have the skills section on your resume, it should be focused on hard skills and competencies—not soft skills, says Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, executive resume writer and owner of Dallas-based coaching firm Career Trend.
“Soft skills are important, but I would weave them into the work experience portion,” Barrett-Poindexter says.
The big question is?
So where can you slot in your soft skills? Slap it into your cover letter.
The exception to the above:
For Canada resumes, you will need to CLEARLY state out your soft skills for a government-approved Canada Resume.
Next Question: How do I write a Canadian Approved Cover Letter?
Check out: writing an approved Canadian Cover Letter
It’s funny but the truth is, hiring managers know you have references and will ask for them at the appropriate time. What does that mean?
Don’t waste real estate by writing implied information on your resume such as contact info for references, or “references available upon request,” says Scott Vedder, a Fortune 100 recruiter and author of Signs of a Great Resume.
“You don’t write ‘interviews available upon request,’ so why would you write ‘references upon request’?”
💡 More Reads
4. Stylized fonts
If this were to be a blog post requirement then I would fail because I am a lover of great fonts.
On the other hand, since this is a resume, it’s okay to say that it has nothing too personal to do with what you like or detest.
Appearance counts, but so does the readability.
What you want to do is Skip any fancy or ultra-stylized fonts and instead choose a font that is both professional and clean-looking. As for the fonts, one of the best is Calibri.
BUT what type and size of fonts should you use for a typical Canadian Resume?
For details see Skyscraper Rules to Writing/Achieving a Canadian Resume Sample.
5. High School Education
We already established the fact that you should use the Canadian Approved education standard, that is, use High School instead of Secondary School.
So, your resume’s education section doesn’t need to reach too far back. For example, “if you have a college degree, it’s inferred that you graduated from high school,” Vedder says.
However, there are exceptions as to when you’d want to highlight something from your high school years. “Some job seekers had truly significant work experiences in high school,” says Marinelli.
“If you started a business when you were in high school, that’s something you could put in the work experience section.”
How To Beat Job Scanning Bots against your Resume
No one knows as it is possible that your resume might be scanned by a bot. And if this is true then it is bad news if you ignored using the related terms and requirements.
Let’s see some standalone factors you must consider in your job resume.
What are keywords?
They are the technical, look-for terms for the required job at hand.
Why is this important?
Scanners make lousy BFF’s. They like showing themselves (lol) by heartlessly searching for specific terms that relate to the advertised job
And how do you get the right keywords for the job? Simply read or study the job description ads.
#2. Rephrase Terms Relatively
You will hate this if you liked copying and pasting in school.
Now when describing your experience and achievements, pure plagiarism’s for chumps. Do it discreetly.
What you want to do is read the role’s duties and responsibilities. It might say “This position will provide marketing support to the business development team.”
Try to reword a bit and put it in the right section. In a Professional Summary, it could read “Creative marketing support specialist who works great with sales teams.”
As an accomplishment in your current or previous job, you might put “Provided timely marketing support to the business development team, resulting in reduced delays.”
When to copy and paste legally
You can steal the exact terms from the job ad which is okay for some resume section.
A job ad might ask for a specific post-secondary degree, license, or software skill. Make sure to include whichever one(s) you’ve got just as they appear in the ad.
When to use Relative Keywords
There is what we call LSI in blogging or writing, now, in your resume, Keyword variations count as well.
If the ad states, MS Office is a must, put it in. Then add Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook (only if you use them, of course). For logistics, say analysis, integration and supply chain.
Pecky got a job in Canada with an interview while in Nigeria. We’ll show you how.
See how to Get Canadian Type-A “Resume & Cover Letter” 💡
Writing a government approved Canadian job resume can be daunting, at the same time you’ve had us to break down the protocols to a standard you can assimilate and take action.
That being said,
Someone once complained about one of my articles that it was too detailed and long.
I don’t want you to tell me same that is why I have broken down the other parts into the skyscraper method, the part 2 will show you NOT a general tip but a typical job offer Resume as required by Canadian Employers.
If you feel overwhelmed with the whole process, see the Skyscraper Rules to Writing/Achieving a Canadian Resume Sample.
What we will cover in PART 2
➡ The Document Size for Canadian Job Resume
➡ The Steps to Writing an Approved Resume Format in Canada
➡ The 3 frequently used Fonts.
➡ Tools to use and format your Resume
➡ A sample of an approved Canadian job resume – PDF
➡ Preparing for the resume format in Canada, and etc.
Over to you
Ever applied for a Canadian job offer, if yes, what tips did you use to match your resume?
Images : Canva.com