Knowing how to format a resume correctly is an essential skill for those on the job hunt in Canada. The advantages and disadvantages of the many different types of resume formats could make the difference between landing your dream job or being forced to settle for less than the best. Every applicant’s abilities and skills are different, so keep in mind that there is no resume template that’s perfect for everyone.
A Resume Summary Statement Should Come First
When you’re first learning how to format a resume, always begin with your name and your contact information. Include your city of residence so employers know that you live nearby. If you have a website or social media page, you can list this first, followed by your city and province, a single phone number and one, professional email address. Consider creating a separate email account for the purposes of contacting prospective employers.
Introduce yourself and list your qualifications with a succinct summary statement. This important part of your resume should be between four to six lines of text, and it should represent a concise synopsis of your skills and abilities. A resume summary statement is the section that’s key to piquing the interest of the hiring manager.
What to Include Next
It’s typically best to begin with a work history section. Often, employers want to see a chronological resume format, in which your previous positions are listed formally in reverse chronological order, beginning with your most recent position and working backwards through time. For each position, include a bulleted list of five to eight points that concisely describe your accomplishments at your past jobs. Avoid phrasing that merely details your day-to-day tasks or job duties. Instead, include concrete examples that can be quantified in terms of how you exceeded expectations or excelled at the tasks you were given. Any accomplishments that demonstrate your leadership capabilities will help to influence your potential employer.
Next, include a section dedicated to your education and training. Here is where you should include any degrees, certifications, training you have received or workshops you may have participated in. Spell out the full name of your degree, and include the name of your institution and your graduation dates, unless you graduated a long time ago. If you are currently in an educational program, include your expected graduation month and year.
General Tips for the Best Resume Format
When you’re learning how to format a resume for a job in Canada, remember to clearly state your unique mix of experience, education, skills and accomplishments. Don’t stretch facts when listing accomplishments, dates of employment or job titles. Remember to quantify your achievements whenever possible.
There are several different methods that describe how to format a resume in Canada. While the most popular is the chronological resume format, the chronological-functional combination resume format is suitable for those who have been out of the workforce for a period of time or for applicants who are recent graduates. Employers prefer the chronological resume format, however, because it clearly displays your job history status and how you have progressed in your career. Unless your job experience is lacking, avoid other resume formats.
Another important thing to consider is spelling. Some employers, especially near the southern borders of Canada, use U.S. spelling. Others, typically further north, use standard Canadian spelling.
Sites such as LiveCareer can help those learning how to format a resume iron out the small details.