"The wise learn from their own experiences but the truly intelligent will learn from someone else's!" - Benjamin Franklin.

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Words of wisdom:
"Remember your weekly mix of activity will vary, depending on how soon you need to be employed, how much time you have to spend on your campaign each week, the economy, the relative difficulty of job finding in your targeted field, and the relative effectiveness of each job search method with regards to your job objective. Good Luck!!!" [source: JobSearch-in-Canada.com]
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20 November 2008

Canadian Resume is Unique: Is this uniqueness hype or hope?

What do you do if you wish to apply for a job in Canada?

For Tips, Sample Resume, Canadian format (aka Canadian style resume, Canadian acceptable standard), Helpful Advice & Related Services contact me  

Canadian oldies are shocked if they hadn't applied for a job in the last ten years or so--they learn that writing a resume is a rocket science. New Canadians learn very soon that they have to be educated: all-about-the-RESUME writing, wording, phrasing and polishing their own expressions.

You may say, need a job, go submit a job application (aka resume, CV, Bio, profile, portfolio, etc.).
But, how different is this Canadian application form, from the rest of the world, and different from the American mosaic?

Recap: Canadian job market looks for a resume's format (word), size (3 pages only, including cover letter), language (Canadian English), style (bulleted, indented, textual), content (objective, education and professional background, skills--soft and hard, etc., etc.), and much more...*

And what are the experiences of the Canadians in this regard? Read the following opinions / statements and leave a comment, so that others know what you think on this subject:

  • "Your value proposition, Graham explains in her book, is made up of three components: your employer's buying motivators (the reasons an employer will want to hire someone), your supporting qualifications (credentials that validate your claim to resolve the employer's buying motivator) and the added value (special talents and contributions) you bring.
    Until very recently, the value proposition was one of the greatest differences between Canadian resumes and American resumes" "Canadian resumes are becoming much more like marketing brochures. People are starting to distinguish themselves from other job seekers and are steering away from the templates you find online or in many books. They're using colour, charts, graphs, pictures, interesting bullets and lines." [Canadian resume book a first of its kind] ...Written by and for Canadians, this book will enable you to: ... Comply with Canadian legislative requirements*** related to résumé writing [Best Canadian Résumés, by Sharon Graham]
  • "The format for the Canadian Resume is similar to the Chronological CV with the length generally being 2 sides of A4. Your name and contact details would be at the top centre followed by your career history and work experience in reverse chronological order with the most recent job detailed first." Note: "There are some differences within Canada itself with regard to job search. In English-speaking Canada you have to actively market yourself but in the French part of Canada it is more formal." [Canadian resume]
  • "Most International Résumés contain private and personal information that goes against Anti-Discrimination laws in both Canada and the United States. If any of the following are included in an existing Résumé, it may be overlooked by the hiring Manager or Human Resource Specialist, losing the opportunity to be selected for an interview." [How to live in Canada]
  • "We send immigrants to workshops on writing Canadian resumes, Canadian interviewing and Canadian workplace communications, and still we watch as they spend months looking for work. Some simply give up." [Mercado de trabalho para imigrantes no Canadá, Najia Alavi]
  • "Our CVs in Venezuela are VERY different to Canadian resumes, we have to have a picture in the CV, our marital status, our age, and every little thing you can think up that Canadian resumes don't have and don't want." [Canadian resume @ A new life in Canada]
  • "German resumes feature some additional information that would be "unwanted" in Canadian resumes. for example, it is expected that the German resume includes a photo of the applicant, his/her date of birth, his/her place of birth, ..." [interesting differences]
  • "One of the most important tools that will help you find a job in Canada is your resume. The way you prepare this relevant document may be a CRUCIAL factor when you look for a job in Canada." [Three Crucial Elements to Prepare a Resume]
  • "Turning your Canadian-style resume into a CV should not be a much-dreaded ordeal."[Turning a Resume into a CV]
  • "employer likes the cover letter they'll move on to the resume, if not both will go to the recycle bin. ..." [Research: Employers, Salaries, Relocation]

  • Its a myth that there's one standard prescribed Canadian format for a resume which will guarantee success. No such thing that I know of. Making a good resume is a continual process of refinement and you'll just know when you have one that works for you.[Canadian Desi: Canadian style CV]

Despite all-of-the-above stated requirements, in reality you may or may not get a job. PERIOD. On this very significant step of applying (with a unique Canadian resume i.e, "A resume fit by the Canadian requirements, complied meticulously by every applicant"), there are no figures to show actual the return-on-investment for an individuals' time, money, energies and other resources.**

Q. All this marathon is hype (with the drafting, compiling, focused, and loaded with Situation, Action, Result Synergies) or hope for a change?
A. No idea. Even if there is an answer, who will bell the cat, and when?
See also:

*Most job seekers are reminded the formula in searching (and the time they must be willing to allocate): full time search for a full time job, part time search for a part time job, and a casual approach to this may result in a casual job.

**Did the resume got a job, or a job came because of the Network? Interestingly, there is another factor to find an opportunity. Ironically, resume --job search engines, job workshops, coop, soft-skills, hard-skills, and if you have paid $250 for a beautifully crafted three pager, etc.--are not the be-all and end-all. The other factor, i.e., NETWORK, is common here: "it's not what you know, but who you know that counts..." Source. Read a testimony on this best practice.


SBA said...

It may be hype or just competition to stand out from the crowd. When people apply for jobs here they use professional photos and or videos. Unfortunately job seekers have to comply with what those doing the hiring might expect.

timethief said...

I was truly pleased to read this well written and comprehensive post. It's a pillar post that provides good value for your readers and I admire the effort you put into it to be not only thorough but also frank. I recognize what a challenge it must be for a person from another country to have to prepare professional photos or videos but that is the status quo as SBA has indicated. The service you are providing through this site is top knotch. Keep up the good work my friend.

Canadian Gypsy said...

Having created quite a few resumes for myself while I was living in Canada I know a thing or two about about writing a resume, as do many, many other people. My comment is merely an example of what worked for me and may work for others.

What I tried to do when writing my resume was to try to keep it brief, usually a page or two plus a cover letter showing my interest in the job and what I thought I could be bring to the job I was applying for.

In a nutshell my resume was merely a semi-formal introduction of myself, and bait to get me a interview.

Creativity goes a long way, but a resume shouldn't be long and drawn out.

I found that providing the qualifications and experience specific to the job I was applying for was sufficient enough to get that first interview where I could provide more details of other qualifications and experience that might be relevant to the job I was applying for. I had many interviews and many successes at getting the job I was applying and my resume played a big part in that, as it should.

For me my resume was a vehicle to getting my foot in the door. After that it was how I presented myself to the interviewer that mattered.

I also did not include references in my submitted resume unless asked to do so. I thought it best to provide the references in person at the interview. Personal choice.

That said, I liked my resume to be straight and to the point, It worked for me, but may not work for everybody.

As an employer I preferred short and effective resumes. I did not like reading four, five or six page resumes if only because it left little to explore with a job seeker in an interview. Again that's just me though.

Resumes are an important first step, but it's what happens at the interview that matters most in my opinion.


Crooked in Canada

RennyBA said...

Very interesting, informative and educative post - thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Since new here: Hello from Norway - wishing you a great end to your week :-)

Anonymous said...

Very well said my friend. This blog is exceptional and a great help to those who are planning to work there. Having a clear picture of the place, culture and other issues will be a big factor and help individuals to be prepared. This will lessen the expectations and frustrations for problems that they may might encounter in Canada.

Keep this blog going. It will surely serve many people :)

Ravi Sharma said...

Excellent addition with good information. Will help many immigrants to Canada. Keep up with your good work and thanks for your contributions.

Anonymous said...

You have highlighted very interesting points in the article. It is very informative and educative not only for a newcomer but those who have resided here for a longtime especially during these difficult economic times. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

pretty melancholy said...

I'm in the process of looking for another job and I'm relieved to know that us Brits do not have to send their photo with their resume unless you're applying for a model job or similar. I have once before sent in a photo with my application when I was looking for a placement during university and had not luck with securing a job so think its rather pointless. Perhaps the best way to get yourself noticed is in the covering letter...

I'm not sure if I would want to work in canada but certainly would love to visit one day!

I will be posting more blogs on resumes hope to see you drop by again:)

Anonymous said...

It just sounds to me like this is the norm for this area. I've been job hunting for years and I've discovered that different employers, cities and/or states want different things and they want it JUST THIS WAY :)
It is wisest to educate yourself. I agree with you.

Sarah said...

It's been awhile since I've submitted a resume but everything that is being suggested is in line with what I'd expect. There are some things that you shouldn't put on your resume to stay in line with the anti-discrimination laws to protect yourself but it seems Canadian and American resumes fall into similar territory.

Anonymous said...

An insightful post on "Canadian Resume is Unique: Is this uniqueness hype or hope?".An important point is a resume and cover letter should be the marketing tools that help candidate to land the position that is perfect for him.


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chandra said...

I don't feel Canadian resume is unique. just the same as British.

Canada Resume Format


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