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How to write an interview-winning resume.

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

First impressions are lasting, and a recruiter's first impression of you is no different. Your resume provides the perfect opportunity for you to showcase your uniqueness through your academic and professional qualifications, skills and mindset that convinces the employer that you are the best fit for the job. Here are a few key guidelines to consider when writing or updating your resume, the Canadian way.

10 Do's and Dont's of the Canadian style resume



Be clear and concise. Recruiters take on average 30 seconds to review a resume, use key words aligned with the job post to pull recruiters in.

Don't include a picture of yourself. You want the employer to focus on your skills and experience and not your looks. Including your photo on your resume may actually work against you, hence Canadian employers advise against this practice.

Keep it short and relevant. Limit your resume to no more than 2 pages. Keep the focus on your most recent experiences. Work experience over 15 years should be eliminated or removed.

Don't use too many bullet points. Limit each resume section or sub section to 5-7 bullet points to make it easier for recruiters to review your resume and identify key skillsets and experience relevant to the role. Use each bullet point by keeping the information relevant and concise.

Tailor to fit. Ensure your resume is updated to reflect your experiences and accomplishments that are related to the position you are applying for. Be sure to review the job description in detail.

Don't include unnecessary personal information. Exclude personal details such as age, height, marital status, religious and political affiliations which may introduce potential bias. Never include your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Be confident. Don't hold back on highlighting achievements and awards earned in each role. This allows your expertise and work ethic to stand out to prospective employers.

Don't simply list job responsibilities. Instead of merely listing job duties, highlight your job achievements by providing specific examples to demonstrate the duties your performed.

​Quantify your achievements. Use numerical data to support your achievements. This paints a vivid picture about the extent of your achievements (e.g exceeded annual sales goal in excess of 25% for 3 consecutive years).

Don't make general statements. Avoid using vague statements that do not paint a clear picture to the recruiter of your actual accomplishments or contribution. Make it personal!

Honesty is the best policy. Never misrepresent or exaggerate your skills or work experience. Misrepresentation is likely to create issues later in the employment process and may be unearthed during the interview process, background check or from unmet expectations on the job.

Don't include reasons for leaving previous job. The purpose of your resume is to promote you, your skills, experience and achievements. It should maintain a positive tone throughout. Hence, there is no perceived value in stating the reasons for leaving past jobs.

Include voluntary experience. If you have volunteered with a well-known organization or toward an important cause, be sure to add these experiences to your resume, especially where they relate to the position you are applying for.

Don't include hobbies or interests. Avoid stating hobbies and interest, unless they are aligned with the position you are applying for. This may lead to judgement and unconscious bias being formed by the prospective employer.

Use simple and convincing language. Avoid using technical jargons and informal language. Use standard English and formal language as best as possible. Also use convincing terms such as "effectively managed", "increased", "spearheaded" etc.

Don't use personal pronouns. Avoid using "I," "my," or "me". Instead, write your resume in the third person, as if it were written by someone else.

Include and review your contact details. Be sure to include your name, telephone number, address and email address where the employer can reach you. All double check to ensure the information is correct.

Don't use an inappropriate email address. Generally, your email address should be based on your name, easy to read, easy to type, professional and non-offensive. Avoid using nicknames, numbers, or special characters. You may create an email address for professional use if your current email does not meet these criteria.

Proofread. Be sure to check for spelling, grammatical and typographical errors before submitting your resume. Also ask someone else or engage the services of a professional to review and provide feedback.

Don't include references. References are only required once the employer decides to hire you. These may be stated on a separate page and provided upon request.

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