Building your first Canadian resumé

I recently spoke to a large group of newcomers from Ukraine at Seven Oaks Immigrant Services and shared my insights as a recruiter and overview of the technology sector in Manitoba. While many in the group were new and looking to pivot into the tech sector, a large part of the discussion was how to get started with having a resume and using the power of LinkedIn for your career search.

Let’s start with a resume. Writing a resume can be daunting at the best of times and there are so many online resources to review. Developing a resume that stands out to Canadian employers is an important step in getting hired. Let me share my tips and tricks to crafting a resume.

Keep personal info off your resume:
Employers do not need to know your age, marital status, race, religion, address and social insurance number. This also includes names and contact information of potential references. That information can be provided later in the hiring process when needed.

Make sure your contact info is up-to-date:
Make sure your name and contact information (email, phone, LinkedIn profile.) on your resume is up-to-date and accurate so employers can get in touch with you easily. You’d be surprised how many candidates forget a phone number and only include an email. For privacy and security reasons, I recommend leaving out your address details and simply include city and province you’re located in.

Tailor your resume for the job:
Before submitting your resume, make sure it has been tailored to the job you’re applying for. Highlight skills, qualifications and experiences that are relevant to the position you’re applying for in order to show off your qualifications more clearly.

Focus on transferable skills:
Instead of listing all your experience back home, focus on skillsets and experiences that are equivalent or transferrable into Canadian roles instead – this can give potential employers an idea of how well you could fit into their role even if they haven’t heard of the job title before.

Use action words:
Focus on using action words such as ‘achieved’, ‘managed’ , ‘developed’ etc when describing what you have done in the past which shows prospective employers that you have taken initiative rather than just being part of a team doing something great for the employer.

Keep it concise:
Canadian employers and recruiters prefer resumes between 1-2 pages long. Make sure yours stays concise by focusing only on what is essential as opposed to including everything from back home. Keep career experience to the last 10 years, especially in the rapidly evolving technology sector.

Ultimately, having a well-crafted resume that caters specifically towards Canadian employers will set you up for success and help them quickly understand why they should hire you! Best of luck!