Canada CV Format | How to Write a Canadian Style Resume & Cover Letter

Canada CV Format: In this guide, you will learn how you should write your Canadian CV for job application. As you may know, the format for CV in Canada may be slightly different compared to what you may have seen in your home country.

This guide is going to be really helpful to you if you’re thinking about moving to Canada, either through immigration or even a work permit. And even if you’re already working in Canada, or if you’re a student about to begin working in Canada.

Canada CV Format

In this guide, you will learn:

  • How you can optimize your resume for Canadian employers with details like how many pages your resume should be
  • What you should definitely include in your resume and what should be left out.

Thing that you should not do or include in your CV

  1. Don’t attach photos to your CV

One very mistake you will make is by attaching a photo to your CV, unless your job profile is that of an actor, a model, or any related field, you definitely should not attach your photo to your CV.

Apart from looking really unprofessional, in an effort to ensure they’re not being unbiased or discriminating hiring policies based on appearance, some recruiters/companies will not consider resume/CV with pictures.

For the same reasons, some HR departments have policies/softwares in place that prohibits resumes with pictures from even being considered. The only information you need on your CV is what is relevant to the jobs that you’ll be applying for.

  1. Don’t provide unwanted, unrelated information

You do not need to include most personal information on your CV at this point, the only personal information the employer or recruiter needs is your name and how to contact you. They don’t need to know your social handles except your LinkedIn profile.

They don’t need to know what country you are from, your race, your religion, your marital status, or anything about your family. In fact, if any of these questions are asked in an interview, it might even be considered to be illegal under Canada’s human rights laws.

Your CV is also not a place to disclose your social insurance number or your sin number. Employers do not need that until you’re already hired for the job. Your SIM card is a sensitive document, and you should only share it when it’s legally required.

All you need to include in your CV is your relevant skills, your experience, and basic contact details like your name, phone number, and email.

A mailing address is not always necessary, especially if you’re searching for a job in a different city, and also especially if you’re searching for a job from a different country.

  1. Don’t make your CV too long

You should not do is make your CV too long, like three to four pages and so on. When it comes to the number of pages, one page is most ideal, but having two pages is fine.

You want the person reviewing the application to see only your best, most relevant and recent experience. If you’re just starting your career and you don’t have a lot of experience, you can include items that may be a little less relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Recruiters / HR managers should be able to get an idea of your experience and its relevance to the position that you’re applying for.

  1. Don’t add unfamiliar references

Don’t put someone who is not familiar with your work as a reference in your CV. Whoever you select to be a reference for your previous job or jobs has to be somebody who has either worked with you or has observed you at work for at least two years. You can choose somebody from your home country because chances are that you’ll have more people there than in Canada.

Something even more important is that the individuals you list have to be available for when your Canadian employer calls or emails them to verify your information, experience and credentials. They need to be comfortable in answering the reference check questions, so it’s much better if you select somebody you trust and with whom you have a good working relationship.

  1. Don’t use an old (unprofessional) email address.

This is another huge mistake people often make, by using their old email address, which maybe has a funny name or a sarcastic meaning. Examples like,, it’s really unprofessional in the long run.

Recruiters do pay attention to these details, and they might judge you based on whatever email address you thought was funny in high school. Using an email address that contains your name/surname, however, does not signal any red flags, and you can do that now.

Things you should do to make a great Canadian CV

Below are very important things which you should do to boost your chances of getting called in for interview rounds.

  • Tailor your CV for the particular job posting that you’re applying for

What many people do is they create one single universal CV, which they use for all the jobs that they apply for now. Although this isn’t wrong by itself, it kind of limits your chances

Tweaking your resume to highlights your skills and experience relevant to the job position available will boost your profit to a great extent. This is because most recruitment firms and the companies that you will be applying to, already have software in place to detect a few keywords from your CV that are relevant to open job positions.

Most of the other CV that list a few matching keywords or no matching keywords at all, are directly discarded and ignored.

So it may be a little extra work to tailor your CV for every position you apply to, but this may get you much better results in the long run.

  • Quantify your achievements

Try to quantify your achievements with numbers if you can. For example,

If you were a manager:

– Mention how many people you were responsible for overseeing or

– Mention how many executives made your team

If you worked in sales:

– Mention how many products you sold in a month

If you worked in Advertisement:

– Mention how many ad campaigns you were in charge of or you ran

– Mention how much profit you brought in every month

Listing specific achievements like these in numbers that an employer can understand will highlight your skills better than a generic statement, like just saying that you have a good work ethic or he or she bears a good moral character, etc. All of this means nothing in Canada.

Demonstrating that you grew traffic to your company’s website by 20% over a year, for example, shows a recruiter that you know exactly what you’re doing and you’re accountable for your growth.

  • Write in the third person.

This would mean avoiding using “I”, “me” or “my” in your CV; keep your sentences short and clear.

For work experience:

– Include the name and location of your company

– List a few of your responsibilities.

– Include the years you worked at the company or the number of months, if you worked for less than a year.

– Don’t include gaps in employment. There’s no need to explain gaps in employment on your resume. It will come up in the interview if the recruiter really wants to know this.

For your education:

– List the school or University

– Study program

– Credentials

– Dates (Commencement/Completion).

– Depending on the position you’re applying for, you can include your GPA as well, but it’s usually not necessary.

– You can include your awards here or in a separate awards section if you have space to fill up.

  • Add unpaid/volunteering experience

Adding an unpaid work experience or volunteering experience in your CV goes a really long way in Canada. Canadian companies prefer people who take the effort for unpaid work for charity or volunteering events, especially if it’s aligned with the open job position that you’re applying for.

Remember to include a cover letter to your CV, even if you’re not asked for it. Even if employers or recruiters are going to skip through it and head straight for your CV. It’s always good to include a cover letter.

A cover letter is meant to enhance your CV, and to show the recruiter or employers why you are the best fit for their job opening. Your cover letter should contain the company’s contact information as well as your contact information. It should be no more than a couple of paragraphs and it should not take up a whole page.

The first paragraph should introduce who you are and why you want this job. Be sure to name the position you’re applying for.

In the subsequent paragraphs, you’ll want to demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the position referring to your previous relevant experience. You can go above and beyond by showing them how your involvement will solve their problems and make them a better company.

Conclude by thanking them for their time and letting them know that you’ll be following up.

I wish you the best of luck for your application.

by Scholars Hub

Scholars Hub is a site created for Scholars, to guide you write professional CV, professional Resume, Biodata, Common Interview Questions and Answers. is NOT awarding scholarships, is NOT an employment site, NOT recruiter or agency or third party, and is NOT directly or indirectly involve in any stage of recruitment or employment. We don’t charge anything for any information shared in this site.

The aim of setting up this interesting site is to help Scholars/Students, mostly from developing countries, by sharing and giving you some guidelines to write professional CV, Professional Resume for Job application, including some Common Interview Questions and Answers.

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