Resume preparation - Not one size fits all

13 December 2019

Moving to a new country can be difficult. Finding a new job shouldn’t be.

Each country has different standards when it comes to resume creation, and Canada is no exception. Through following the steps on this blog post, you will be able to increase your resume quality and better apply yourself to Canadian employers.

Step One: Ditch the photocopier
Although it may be tempting to create one resume and hand it out to all potential employers, this is not effective. As no two companies are the same, each resume should be tailored to the specific job posting. Companies want to know that you have put in the effort to create an application based on their needs as opposed to the general needs of the industry.

Step Two: Connect the dots
On average, during the first round of reviewing resumes, employers will look over each application for
10 seconds. Therefore, it is important that you catch the reviewer’s eye immediately. One of the most effective ways to do this is to include phrases and terms in your resume that are listed on the job posting. This is also beneficial as many companies are including A.I. in their hiring processes which only recommend individuals for interviews that have the stated key terms in their application. In brief, employers should not have to think about how your skills could fit the role; it should be clear.

Step Three: Trim the fat
Do not force a piece into a puzzle that does not fit. If you have information on your resume that is entirely irrelevant to the job posting and the company, remove it. Although it can be tempting to show all your experiences and awards to potential employers, this can lead to a cluttered resume – save this information for the interview!

Step Four: Use the STAR method
One of the most effective and widely used storytelling methods for experiences is the STAR method. STAR stands for situation, task, activity and result. When describing previous experiences, you must describe the situation (your role in the company), the task (a problem or job needed to be completed), the activity (actions taken to solve the problem and/or complete the job), and the result (the outcomes).

Step Five: Add personality
In recent years, many companies have begun hiring individuals for not only their skills, but their ability to fit into the workplace culture. It is important to express your unique personality through your resume because, when you do, hiring managers can ensure you’re a match. There are several different ways that can be used to express your individuality. Depending on which industry you choose to enter, you can incorporate colour, icons, images, your hobbies, as well as a short personal profile that describes your goals and work specialization.

Step 6: Maximize space
For many positions, the ideal resume is between one to two pages. Anything longer may be daunting for the hiring manager. Although it can be difficult to show how you fit the position in just a couple pages, through choosing a resume format that maximizes space, it can be done with ease. There are many online resources that offer free resume templates, and these should be explored. In addition, to save space, remove the references from your resume, and state “References available upon request.” Lastly, refrain from shrinking the font size below an 11 point to fit your content, as this can be hard on the readers’ eyes.

Learn more – visit our Job Application Tips page!