Detour to Canada

How to Create a Canadian CV Format [Video]

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Are you an aspiring Canadian immigrant looking for an employer who can give you a job offer? Or a newcomer who’s on the look out for your first job in Canada? Then your first step is to create your CV that’s in Canadian format.

Want to know how? Watch this video by Kristine Kasselis of The Maple Diaries where she talks about how to create a Canadian CV format.

Note: This video’s actual transcription slightly varies from the one below.

Hello guys! This is Kristine and welcome to my vlog, ‘The Maple Diaries’. I have been receiving a lot of ideas and suggested topics from you guys, and I really appreciate the help and support you had given me since day one.

So today I would love to share everything I’ve learned in finding a job when I moved here in Canada. I would like to start with the most basic important tool for you guys to be noticed by the employers. So I’m sure you already know what I am talking about! On this episode, I am only discussing my discoveries about the Canadian CV and how to convert your current CV to a Canadian format!

As you all know that the resume format in Canada is quite different from CVs you may be used to writing in other countries. I will be sharing my experience in order for you to adapt the Canadian way of presenting your experience and skills. So let’s get started:

So I’ll start first with the ‘not to do list’. These are the common parts or details in our CVs that we must NOT include while finding a job here in Canada. For example in my case, my old resume has a uniform format from all the countries where I’ve worked before: Philippines, Singapore and the UAE has a similar CV format but when I came here, I was really surprised of the Canadian CV format because it has a huge difference which made me edit or modify my CV a number of times just to meet the standard Canadian CV format.

First rule: Do not include your photo. Yes you heard me right. No photos please! 

Photos in CV is a big no no and the main reason is to avoid discrimination.

In Canada and the Unites States, it is illegal to consider factors such as age, religion, origin, gender, sexual orientation and disabilities if they are not pertinent to the job. And in most cases they aren’t. Having a picture of you on your resume most definitely points to at least some of the details. 

Some companies even have a policy to simply reject any CV received with a picture on it. Simple.

Second rule: Never include personal information such as age, weight, marital status, gender, religion, social insurance number (SIN), political affiliation or immigration status. 

Canadian employers don’t like to see too much of personal information. Keep also in your mind that you also don’t need to be too specific with your home address. You can just simply write the area or province (ex: Ottawa, Canada).

Third rule: Do not include references, hobbies or salary expectations unless the job posting asks you to do so. If asked for references, include them on a separate sheet of paper. If asked for salary expectations, include them in your cover letter.

Try also to avoid using specific dates on your CV (for example: Sept 30, 2002-Feb 4, 2008). Years are enough (2002-2008).

After discussing the ‘not to include’ items on a typical Canadian CV format. We’re now moving forward to the ‘must include items’

  1. Contact information – make sure it’s a Canadian mobile number
  2. Professional / career summary – we usually refer this to the ‘Highlights of Qualifications’
  3. Work experience 

Avoid simply listing your duties in each role. Refer to achievements others wouldn’t be able to put on their resume. Differentiate yourself from the crowd. General or generic resumes do not work in today’s labour market. Try to focus on certain skills and accomplishments.

4. Education / professional development / volunteering

Take-away:

  • The resume format in Canada means your document should typically be a maximum of two pages. If you do not have a lot of experience, then one page should suffice. If you have 10+ years of experience, then three pages is acceptable.
  • Add your LinkedIn profile URL. Create a custom LinkedIn profile URL so that it isn’t as ‘clunky’ as the one that LinkedIn designated for you. You want to make it as easy as possible for the employer to find your profile, particularly when viewing a printed version. Also, ensure it’s up to date and that your profile contains a strong summary.

So there you go, these are the basic ‘not to do’ list and ‘must include items’ on a Canadian style resume. If you have any questions or topic suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment down below. Also make sure to ‘like’ this video and subscribe to my channel for more interesting videos.

Kristine

About Kristine:

Kristine Kasselis is the creator behind The Maple Diaries, a YouTube channel where she shares her newcomer’s journey as an immigrant here in Canada. Watch more of her videos and don’t forget to subscribe.

Do you have questions or feedback about this video? Let us know in the comments!

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