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Q & A: Resumé Content

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Q. Do you think there is a ‘Canadian Preferred’ type of resume? What kinds of strengths should new immigrants emphasize? Do you think that non-Canadian experience is regarded as valid by Canadian HR people?

Answer: I can’t say that there is a Canadian preferred resume. What I can say is that the resume covers the most important parts by priority. It should start with Experience, followed by Education (and additional training if applicable) and then Skills (i.e: computer languages, systems, etc). Lastly, make sure to include at the end any personal information that is relevant (languages, hobbies, activities, etc). It is always important to include activities outside the office since this lets the employer understand the type of character the candidate has. For example, someone that lists cycling, reading, skiing as passtimes demonstrates being more individualistic as compared to someone who lists team sports and activities. It’s always better to have a healthy balance of both since most positions require a mix of autonomy and team work.

In regards to the second part of the question, most companies in Canada look for some type of North American experience and not necessarily “Canadian” experience. I can say however, that I have hired many people without North American experience and they have done fantastically here. It all depends on the company and past experiences they have had with hiring form abroad. Sometimes it takes one bad experience to make things more difficult in getting in. My advice is to apply to whatever pleases you and follow up so that your candidature gets noticed. The key to getting a job here is demonstrating your willingness to work here.