Resume & Cover Letter Writing: Canadian Formats

Finding a job in Canada as an immigrant can be challenging, but with a properly prepared resume, you can land a good opportunity in no time.

4 Sep 2021, 9:30 am


min read

canadian resume format and canadian cover letter

The Canadian resume format is a bit different when compared to some resumes and cover letters from other countries.

Keep reading to learn how to prepare the resume and the cover letter that will get you the best jobs in Canada

What is a CV Like in Canada? 

The key to finding a job in Canada is your Canadian cover letter. The format is quite straightforward, where you mention the main qualities that an employer is looking for while mentioning it in a specific layout that catches their eyes. 

The Canadian resume format includes:

  • contact information
  • professional skills
  • career summary
  • work experience
  • education
canadian resume format and canadian cover letter

Candidates can also add specific skills including technical experience, volunteering, or community involvement.

Precision is key when finding a job in Canada as an immigrant. Make sure that your skillset is clearly listed and matches the job description. 

Why Would You Think about the CV and Job Hunting Before the Immigration?

A long way of successful immigration may start with a great CV and, thus, a job in Canada.

Later, on your immigration path, if you choose to immigrate through the Express Entry, you will be assessed based on the CRS pointing system. The higher you rank, the more chances you’ll have to be granted a permanent residency.

The great news is, the job offer can give you from 50 to 200 CRS points and that will accelerate the immigration process big time by providing you with almost guaranteed success.

To get an idea of your eligibility for immigration you may use this tool:

Note that this too is used to assess initial eligibility for immigration to Canada in general. However, it gives an idea on the CRS points you may get later.

We explain how the assessment systems work here.

Make Your Resume Canadian-Like

In order to get a job in Canada, follow these tips to have your CV up-to-date in the correct Canadian resume format. 

  • Keep your resume precise and to the point. It shouldn’t have unnecessary details, especially if it doesn’t correlate to your current skill levels for a particular job. 

  • Keeping the resume interesting is an art. Recruiters skim through most CVs, so make sure that you have highlighted your expertise and achievements. 

  • Make use of a professional template and avoid excessive writing or unprofessional font style. 

  • Use short and concise sentences, and according to the Canadian resume format, the CV should typically be summarized in two pages. However, for those with 10+ years of experience, three page Canadian cover letter is also acceptable for jobs in Canada for immigrants.

  • Mention everything in Canadian equivalent and terms.

  • Employers gravitate towards resumes tailored to a specific skill rather than generic interests. 

  • Your Canadian resume format shouldn’t include your signature, date or the word ‘CV’ or ‘Resume’ mentioned in it. 
canadian resume format and canadian cover letter

Writing a Cover Letter: Tips for Success

The most important factor when finding a job in Canada as an immigrant [link to the main article] is your cover letter, as it represents your skills and experiences before you are considered for an interview.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for the perfect Canadian cover letter. 

  • First step is introducing yourself in a way that’s concise but catches the eye. This can be done by being specific about your expertise to grab the attention of the recruiter. The Canadian cover letter isn’t all about the candidate. A part of it should cover the information you know about the company, so that they know that you’ve done your homework. 

  • Make sure that your skills match the requirements of the job. Instead of mentioning your set of skills, be assertive about how those skills fit the job description well and will benefit the employer in long term. Doing so will assure the recruiter that you understand the demands of the job. 

  • Enlist the reasons that make you a well suited candidate for the given position.

  • Make sure that you have all the necessary information about the company, including its background and highlights.

How to Use LinkedIn for Job Hunting 

LinkedIn is a powerful online tool for finding a job in Canada as an immigrant. This is because it allows foreigners to look for international jobs and find employers who are looking for the same skill sets and expertise that the applicant has.

LinkedIn also gives you a platform to build contacts and resources that greatly help speed up your career by specifically targeting the companies and people you need. 

Do You Prefer Communication and Creativity to Standard Interviews?

Then you may get the most from LinkedIn. A lot of potential employers use it for networking and could be willing to discuss opportunities for you.

And what makes LinkedIn even more amazing – you can find connections using it beforehand, when you are outside of Canada!

Of course, you don’t want to be too persistent. But trying to reach out to people from the companies in Canada could be worth a try.

Sometimes it takes just one text to catch the attention of someone who can change your life. Just stay polite and be creative!

canadian resume format and canadian cover letter

We’ve created a checklist on how to prepare for a job-hunting with the use of LinkedIn:

  • create and maintain a detailed profile
  • use the professional profile image
  • post relevant articles
  • join LinkedIn groups that tailor to your sector, industry, and professional organization
  • be positive in your communication and engagement
  • when reaching out to people, keep a professional yet friendly tone
  • don’t send bulk messages – try to show why you are interested in a specific job opportunity and why you are the one right for i

Finally, we all spend lots of time browsing Social Media. So, why not use it to find opportunities for a job?

Video Resume

Finding a job isn’t easy. It requires patience, commitment, and determination.

However, there are many ways to speed up the process and bring your profile to the top. Video resumes are quite common these days, and it not only reflects on your skills and experience but also your personality and communication skills.

All of these factors can help make your resume stand out and leave a lasting impression. 

Summing Up

Finding a job in Canada could be challenging. We hope that this post has helped you to learn more about how to prepare a CV and cover letter for a Canadian employer.

We have gathered more information about job hunting for immigrants in this article.

To make sure you prepared all documents accordingly we recommend to consult a professional – an RCIC. With consultants, chances for successful job hunting are definitely higher!

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Grace was born in Birmingham, England, and moved to Canada with her family when she was five. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2015 and since then she has been working as a recruitment consultant for 10+ companies. In her spare time, Grace writes about her professional experience with winning job offers for immigrants. She also shares tips about employment that could be useful for both immigrants and local job seekers.

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