Talent & CultureTrends & InsightsResume Building Tips for Success in Canada

Resume Building Tips for Success in Canada

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Your resume is critical for getting a job. It gives employers their first impression of you, so you need a resume that is professional and targeted to get noticed.

Many strategies can improve your resume. This guide gives in-depth tips on making a great resume. It covers length, formatting, content, and optimizing for applicant tracking systems. Following this advice will help you stand out.

You must customize your resume for each job. The right approach will impress hiring managers. It will increase your chances of getting interviews. Let’s create a resume that shows your value and advances your career!

Crafting Your Success Story: The Ultimate Guide to Resume Building Tips IDC
Crafting Your Success Story: The Ultimate Guide to Resume Building Tips

What are the Most Important Resume Building Tips to Know?

Your job resume design and content will form an immediate impression on any hiring manager. To develop an effective and professional job resume, there are fundamental guidelines you should adhere to:

How long should your job resume be?

In the past, job resume experts recommended limiting job resumes to one page. However, with increased career spans, job resumes up to two pages are now more widely accepted. The ideal job resume length depends on your professional experience level:

  • Recent graduates: 1 page is standard
  • 5+ years of experience: At least two pages
  • 10+ years of experience: 2-3 pages

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2023/09/15/how-long-should-a-rsum-be/?sh=705c7f52777f

The critical aspect is keeping your job resume focused and relevant while including essential details on your background. Keep any job resume under three pages. If you have extensive experience, incorporate it into a supplemental job resume page to submit along with a tightly edited two-page job resume.

Here are tips on what to include based on experience level:

For Recent Graduates:

  • Education
  • Relevant coursework
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work and extracurriculars
  • Skills

For 5+ Years of Experience:

  • Professional Summary
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Achievements and awards

For 10+ Years of Experience:

  • Professional Summary
  • Relevant work experience
  • Education
  • Technical skills and certifications
  • Leadership achievements
  • Awards and honors
  • Optional supplemental experience page

How should you format your job resume?

Proper formatting improves readability and provides structure for your content. Apply these formatting best practices:

  • Use standard job resume fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri in 11 or 12-point size. Avoid stylized fonts.
  • Ensure adequate white space by keeping margins between 0.5 to 1 inch.
  • Use consistent formatting with section headings in bold or slightly larger font sizes.
  • Place your name and contact information in a header at the top for easy access.
  • Organize your job resume sections in reverse chronological order.
  • Use bullet points to call out responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Avoid dense blocks of text and paragraphs.
  • Ensure consistent verb tense and proper grammar throughout.

Additionally, here are key job resume sections to incorporate:

  • Professional Summary: Summary statement of your value proposition.
  • Work Experience: Detailed list of relevant work history and achievements.
  • Education: Schools attended, degrees achieved, courses completed.
  • Skills: Technical skills and soft skills relevant to the role.
  • Certifications & Awards: Highlights of credentials and honours received.

What kind of language should you use in a job resume

Unlock Opportunities: A Comprehensive Handbook for Successful Resume Building. IDC
Comprehensive Handbook for Successful Resume Building.

The language utilized in your job resume must be professional, straightforward, and concise:

  • Maintain a formal tone, avoiding slang, idioms, or unnecessary words.
  • Use active verbs to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments vividly.
  • Quantify achievements with facts and data to demonstrate results.
  • Ensure there are no spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.
  • Only include information directly relevant to your career field and target role.
  • Avoid repetitive language and vary your verbs and adjective vocabulary.

Some impactful action verbs to incorporate:

  • Accomplished, expanded, led, optimized, streamlined, transformed
  • Administered, devised, motivated, planned, trained, unified
  • Catalyzed, engineered, navigated, revitalized, won

What Sections Should You Include in Your job resume?

Content choices highlight your most significant assets to produce a well-rounded job resume. Here are key sections to incorporate:

Is an objective statement still relevant on a job resume?

The era of flowery objective statements has ended. Instead, open your job resume with a concise and focused professional summary. State your most pertinent skills and value proposition as it relates directly to the target role in approximately 2-4 lines.

For example:

Energetic accountant with over five years of experience leveraging Excel and financial systems to optimize revenue growth and seeking a senior financial analyst role at a technology company

How to effectively list your work experience

In the work experience section, list positions in reverse chronological order, beginning with your current or most recent role. For each position, include the employer name, official job title, employment dates, and 2-5 concise bullet points describing your responsibilities and stand-out accomplishments.

Use facts, figures, and quantifiable data to demonstrate key achievements and convey your capabilities rather than merely listing general duties. Emphasize transferable skills that align with your future career goals.

For Example:

Digital Advertising Company, New York, NY
Social Media Manager, March 2017 – Present

  • Manage social media presence across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to engage 30,000+ followers
  • Create viral social campaigns that increase lead conversion rates by 35% YOY
  • Oversee content calendar and generate 400+ pieces of original content annually
  • Collaborate with creative teams to amplify brand awareness and campaign messaging
  • Analyze campaign KPIs and prepare reports tracking social ROI and growth

Should you include skills and achievements?

Yes, it is vital to feature sections on relevant skills and achievements. This is an opportunity to exhibit both the hard and soft skills that make you a strong match for the position you are pursuing.

List 5-8 relevant skill sets in a dedicated skills section that align with the target role. This can include technical skills, computer software, systems, and any industry or role-specific abilities.

For example: Skills

  • Financial analysis: budgeting, project costing, forecasting, modelling
  • Data analytics: MS Excel, pivot tables, data visualization
  • ERP systems: SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics
  • Communication: client presentations, proposal writing, relationship building

You can also include a section for notable achievements, awards, certifications and honours that validate your capabilities. Tailor these to match up with the target job opportunity.

For example: Accomplishments

  • Awarded 2017 Top Performer distinction for exceeding $5M in new business revenue
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) accreditation received in 2015
  • Increased department productivity by 25% through the implementation of a new tracking system

What Information Should You Avoid Putting on a job resume?

Your Gateway to Success: Mastering Resume Building with Ultimate Tips. IDC
Your Gateway to Success: Mastering Resume Building with Ultimate Tips.

While you want to put your best foot forward, some information is better left off your job resume. Here are details to avoid:

Why you should leave out irrelevant work experience

Keep your job resume targeted and avoid cluttering it with experience unrelated to your desired role. Instead, focus on featuring the positions where you’ve gained the most applicable hard and soft skills.

For example, if you are applying for an engineering position later on, leave off serving jobs held during college. You can briefly list these ancillary jobs without details under an “Other Work Experience” section.

When to exclude outdated contact information

Always verify your contact information is current before sending your job resume to opportunities. Don’t let an outdated phone number or email prevent you from getting contacted.

Reasons to avoid including hobbies and interests

Keep hobbies and interests off your job resume unless directly relevant to the target role. This extra information can make your job resume shorter or leave it open to potential discrimination if interests are controversial.

Why listing references is not advised

You no longer need to list “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom of your job resume. Employers expect you to have references and will request them later in the interview process as needed.

Personal details to exclude

Do not include your age, marital status, or other protected class information on your job resume unless specifically relevant. This includes:

  • Age or date of birth
  • Sex, gender, or sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Number of children
  • Religious affiliation
  • Political affiliation
  • Nationality or citizenship status
  • Disability or medical conditions
  • Photos or visual representations

Read more: Disability Inclusion in the Canadian Workplace

How Can You Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems?

You want your resume to pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) to ensure it gets seen by human recruiters and hiring managers. Incorporate these tips:

Using relevant keywords and phrases

Tailor your resume with precise keywords and phrases from the target job description into your experience descriptions and skills sections naturally. Avoid awkward overuse of keywords.

Adjusting formatting for ATS optimization

Use a clean and consistent layout with standard fonts like Arial, sans-serif, or Calibri. Avoid using text boxes, multiple columns, tables or other complex formatting which may not scan well. Simpler is better for ATS readability.

Tips for customizing your resume for each application

Do not send the same generic resume for every application. Research the company and role to customize your resume based on the requirements. Update your professional summary and skills sections to be an exact match for each job opportunity.

Some additional tips for optimizing your resume format for ATS:

  • Name your resume file using the keywords: “FirstName_LastName_Resume.”
  • Send your resume as a .DOC or PDF rather than in unfamiliar formats
  • Use consistent headings and structure throughout
  • Ensure adequate white space by avoiding dense blocks of text
  • Use standard 14-16pt font for section headings and 11-12pt for body text
  • Save your resume with simple version control: ResumeV1, ResumeV2

What Are Some Key Things to Remember When Updating Your Resume?

Your resume needs to evolve as you gain more career experience and skills. Follow these tips whenever you update your resume:

Tailoring your resume for each job application

Carefully review the target job description and identify the core skills, requirements and keywords. Update your resume to emphasize how your background is a precise match for the specific needs of that role.

Checking for spelling and grammar errors

Thoroughly proofread every version of your resume before submitting it to employers. One tiny typo can remove you from consideration. Ask a friend or family member to review it for a second set of eyes.

Ensuring you have accurate contact details

Double check that your contact information contains all the correct information. Also, test that your voicemail greeting sounds professional if you list a phone number.

Updating fonts and formatting

Revisit your fonts, margins, indentations, bullet points and headers to ensure they are optimized for ATS and applicant tracking systems. Tweak any formatting issues.

Adding new skills and certifications

Have you gained new skills or completed new training or certifications? Add them to your resume skills section. This shows you are actively maintaining and growing your skills.

Conclusion

Resumes That Shine: A Deep Dive into Success with the Ultimate Guide. IDC
Resumes That Shine: A Deep Dive into Success with the Ultimate Guide.

Your resume must grab attention and show you’re a great fit for the job. Customize it for each application to get noticed.

Use the strategies in this guide when you update your resume. Highlight your value with a polished, professional resume focused on your most relevant qualifications.

Follow best practices for resume length, error-free content, and customization for each job. These tips will help you create a strategic resume that markets your top skills and accomplishments. This will impress hiring managers and boost your chances in today’s competitive job market. A tactical, targeted resume can propel your career forward!

Article Sources

At Ebsource, our mission is to provide Canadians with comprehensive and honest information to help them make informed decisions about employee benefits and human resources topics. We tap into the expertise of experienced financial professionals to ensure our advice aligns with industry best practices. The statistics we cite come from reputable government and industry sources like Statistics Canada and the CLHIA to ensure accuracy.

Our recommendations are based on exhaustive, unbiased research of the major employee benefits providers in Canada. This allows us to offer suggestions tailored to individuals’ specific budgets and needs. Ebsource upholds high standards of objectivity, transparency, and independence in all of our content. We take pride in producing advice readers can trust by referencing credible sources and adhering to editorial principles. As Canada’s most trusted source for employee benefits news and HR insights, we are dedicated to empowering Canadians to make the best benefits decisions for their situations.

Build a professional resume – jobbank.gc.ca
Top 5 Online Resume Builders In Canada – caringsupport.com
TOP 10 TIPS FOR A CANADIAN RESUME – workingholidayincanada.com
Top 7 Canada Resume Tips to Increase Your Chances by 10X – linkedin.com

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