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Canadian resume guide-what employers look for

>> Sunday, October 12, 2008

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Before you make an application for any position to a Canadian employer, it is important that you write a resume that will sell you, as if you are the product.

A good resume, that will answer what the employers are looking for is an essential tool that will allow you to highlight your credentials that may enhance the possibility to make the employer interested enough to give you a chance for an interview.

This post, "Canadian Resume Guide-What employers are looking for", is an attempt to simplify the various on-line resume builder tips for those who wants to send an application to a Canadian Employer.

To make your Canadian Resume effective, you should treat it as a marketing tool that will aim to sell you.

Based on various studies conducted to determine the behavior of a typical Canadian employer, as well as my first hand observation on how they treat the applicants resume.

Canadian Employers spend no more than 20 seconds in reviewing each resume the receive. That is why, you should present a well written profile of your qualifications, work experience, education, achievements and overall career objectives. Moreover, it is equally important that the information you present is appealing to the eye, consistently formatted, and error-free.

That is why, if you are looking to capture a Canadian employers interest, the current resume that you are currently using, may need to be altered. The following are the kind of information they want to see in a resume:

1. Contact Information

- your name, current home address, telephone numbers including area codes, and your personal email address.

2. Professional/Career Objective

Simply put this is your resume's opening statement or introduction. This is the part of the resume where you let the employer know the position that you are applying for.

Note: Your career objective must be clear, concise, and customized to fit the job you are applying for.

3. Education

This part of your resume should present your academic background beginning with your most recent degree. The standard format lists your college or university followed by your degree, major and graduation date.

4. Experience

Your career/job experience is what most employers really want to see. Applicants who just recently graduated with no working experience should include any part-time employment as well as summer jobs, volunteer work and internships. Make sure that you list all company names, location and employer for whom you have worked in a logical and consistent manner.

To give the employer an idea of what you are doing, you should include a bulleted "job responsibilities list" that outlines your particular job functions and achievements for every job you specify. Do not forget to include the names and locations of organizations for which you have worked, your position/title, and dates.

5. Qualifications or Skills

It is advisable to include a section, which briefly states any additional skill(s) and/or qualification(s) that relates to your professional objective.

Examples include:

* Knowledge of Microsoft office, the Internet and all associated applications.

6. Honors and Activities

If applicable, your resume may also contain a section that summarizes any honors and/or activities that demonstrate strong academic abilities, i.e., honorary societies, scholarships, and/or extra-curricular activities.

Employers pay attention to how a candidate's personality and personal tastes/lifestyle fits in with the company's corporate culture and vision. Any material you include that casts you as a balanced, well-rounded individual may in fact endear you to a potential employer.

7. References

You may choose to include your references or simply state, "References are available upon request" or something to that effect at the bottom of your resume. However, if you do choose to include references be sure that the people you list can still be contacted at the telephone numbers you give. Moreover, if you feel that a potential employer may call your references be sure to advise the people you’ve listed that they may receive a call from a potential employer.

Resume Writing Tips:

- Spell-check your document! Make sure that punctuation, grammar, and spelling are error-free.

- Include a customized cover letter with your resume. A cover letter is your chance to express why you believe you're the best person for the job. You may also use this format to effectively communicate your "professional disposition". Remember to address your cover letter to the employer/manager and include the company name as well.

- Include "action words". Action words are terms that describe your job functions such as:

Achieved, acquired, addressed, analyzed, centralized, coordinated, created, demonstrated, designed, eliminated, enforced, implemented, improved, maintained, managed, organized, oversaw, performed, reorganized, reviewed, selected, supervised, surveyed, trained.

- Avoid using paragraphs or long sentences. The bullet style -- use of an action word followed by an account of the action you performed -- enables you to include a lot of information about your work-related duties, responsibilities and achievements in as condensed a form as possible.

- If posting your resume online, it is generally advisable to do the following:

  • Left justify the entire document
  • Use a standard font, size 10-14 only
  • Avoid boldface, underlined or italicized print
  • Avoid parentheses, graphics, shading, tabs and hard returns

Article reference [canadavisa.com]

According to Martin Buckland, monster.ca's, resume expert in his post titled, "Resume 101" the most widely used format used in North America is the Combination style.

The following is a brief portion of his write up.

The format used most in North America and most liked by decision makers is the combination style. It lists your positions in reverse chronological order coupled with a “pro-Jective” or “skills summary” positioned immediately under the name and address. This is a brief, powerful and impressive synopsis, or a snapshot of you. It separates the hard and soft skills to allow for easier reading, taking up the top 3 to 4 inches.

Accomplishments, accomplishments and more accomplishments is what you need to focus on in the professional experience section. Future employers are hiring performers, not couch potatoes or ride alongs.


To read more about this article you may visit his site by clicking on the link.

Resume 101

Check this Format and Sample Resume.

Resume Format

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