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Preparing Your Resume For Work In Canada

In Canada, an acceptable resume (pronounced “rez-u-may”) differs somewhat from those used in other countries.

Do Include:

  • Personal information (including name, address, phone number, email address and languages spoken)
  • Skills/summary of qualifications
  • Education (in generic terms)
  • Work history
  • Volunteer experience
  • Activities and interests
  • A translated French version if you plan to work in Quebec

Don’t include:

Your resume should be:

  • Typed and well-organized.
  • Free of grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Concise (1-2 pages in length).
  • Dynamic! Use active verbs to describe your skills and experience.
  • Formatted in point form and organized in reverse chronological order.
  • Written in the past tense for competed jobs and accomplishments.
  • Formatted and printed on 8.5” x 11” paper which is the standard paper size in Canada.

Writing A Cover Letter

While cover letters aren’t needed for most casual positions, professional or management jobs do require a cover letter in addition to a resume.

When writing your cover letter, stick to four paragraphs:

  1. Express your interest in the job and where you saw the position posted.
  2. Link your experience and/or skills with the stated job requirements.
  3. Refer readers to your resume for further details (i.e. “see enclosed”, “see attached”) and request an interview.
  4. Don’t forget to include your signature!

Be sure to include your contact information, including phone number and email. If you cannot provide a contact number, indicate that you will contact the employer to follow up with them instead. It may be worthwhile to provide a general webmail address that you can check from any public computer. Avoid using an email address that doesn’t look professional.

Download the full Guide For Participants Coming To Canada (PDF* 570 KB) brochure.

For more information about International Experience Canada, please contact us.


* If you require a plug-in or third-party software to view this file, please visit the alternative formats section of our help page.

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Date Modified:
2012-02-16