Canadian Resume Format: Tips for Foreign Students in Canada

Obtaining a Canadian Experience can be a vital part for foreign students, especially if you are considering living in Canada after graduation.   

As a foreign student in Canada, your first priority is education. Building the network, information, and abilities that will serve as the foundation of your profession is one of the main objectives of studying in Canada. Post-graduation work visa will help you to progress professionally in Canada. There are plenty of skilled career prospects in Canada, regardless of your field of study. To begin your career in your new country, you must first comprehend how the Canadian labour market operates.

A Canadian-style resume is the most important thing that you need when you are seeking a job in Canada. As you sit down to write your resume, you may have a number of questions on your mind. What information may you put on your resume? Does it matter if you’ve travelled abroad? 

How can you prove you are qualified for the post if you haven’t worked in Canada? In this article, we offer pointers and suggestions for creating the ideal CV as an international student to study in Canada.

Why do you require a resume as a foreign student in Canada?

Many foreign students have a question in their minds, “Do they even need a resume?” Yes, a resume is important if you intend to work in Canada during or after completing your education in the country.

As a foreign national you can do a part-time job while studying to cover your living expenses in Canada. Alternatively, your study program may include a compulsory internship or a cooperative time frame to apply to these job openings, whether you decide to work as an intern or cooperative student on-campus, off-campus, or in a business setting, you must create a resume in the Canadian format.

Many foreign students who come to Canada to study opt to remain and work for a while after they graduate. To work full-time in Canada after completing your degree, you must apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) or an employer-specific work permit. After completing your graduation, when you start looking for a full-time job then your resume will become a valuable tool. 

The first chance you have to make a good impression on potential employers is frequently through your CV. It also affects how your future manager will view your value. Your individual abilities and skills that can help you succeed at work can be highlighted in an excellent Canadian-style resume, which will make you stand out among your colleagues.

Ways to write a resume as a foreign student without having Canadian Experience

Your Canadian kin can likely help you in the job search process as you get ready to enter the Canadian labor market. Some of them may have held seasonal or part-time jobs since finishing high school, and since they were locals, they already possessed advantageous industry ties. For them to be on the same level as you when you start looking for a job, you might need to catch up with them in a few crucial areas.

So how can a foreign student make their curriculum vitae appealing? Ever at the start of your study program, you can begin the preparation work for your resume before you even put pen to paper. You should pay particular attention to the following points:

Volunteer Work can be added to the Canadian Experience

Where applicable, you should include volunteer experience on your resume since it is regarded as work experience in Canada. Giving back to the community is ingrained in Canadian culture and can provide your insight into the working world here. In addition, it is a fantastic chance to expand your professional network, learn new skills, and put your academic knowledge into practice. It will harm your community if you don’t mention it.

Build your portfolio

Employers are mostly interested in knowing that you are capable of doing the work if you are hired. Your technical and creative abilities are demonstrated through a strong portfolio. The format of your portfolio can be a blog, a design portfolio, or other examples of your prior work. 

As a good foreign student what should you add to your resume? 

You should tailor your resume to each organization and the position you are applying for as each one looks for a distinct set of abilities and experiences. The following are typical components that a top-notch Canadian resume ought to have:

  • Include your name and contact info: Ensure that your email address is formal and that you routinely check it.
  • Include a link to your LinkedIn profile: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and displays your most recent success. Before employing you, the majority of Canadian companies will review your social media sites, including your LinkedIn profile, so make sure they are professional and job search-friendly.
  • A goal for the workplace: In this section, you should briefly discuss your accomplishments and talents to demonstrate why you are a strong candidate for the job.
  • Skills or professional experience: Work experience can come from internships, co-ops, part-time jobs, school projects, and volunteering. Including prior employment from your country of origin is permitted if it is pertinent. 
  • Your schooling and academic accomplishments: Even if your course of study has no direct bearing on the position, your academic credentials might demonstrate that you are a conscientious and quick learner.

Some Resume writing tips for foreign students in Canada

Tip 1: Select the right format of the resume:  

Reverse chronological, hybrid and functional resumes are the three main types of resumes used in Canada. The most efficient format for a student’s resume is a functional one. How to bring attention to a Canadian student’s lack of work experience is one of the most frequent concerns that overseas students have while drafting their resumes. This issue is addressed by the functional resume structure, which emphasizes your accomplishments and talents over your experience.

Tip 2: Represent your skills and non-professional experience

Analyze the position for which you are applying to identify the abilities the employer is looking for. Your CV should highlight your accomplishments from both professional and non-professional activities as well as the applicable talents you bring to the table. Any pertinent projects you have performed both inside and outside of school, as well as voluntary work, might be considered non-professional experience. Use the C-A-R (Challenge-Action-Result) method to measure your accomplishments and show the influence you have had.

Tip 3: include the job description’s keywords

By incorporating keywords from the job description into your CV, you’ll have a better chance of standing out from the competition in the applicant tracking system. This automated method rates and ranks your CV according to how well it corresponds to the job description. Many Canadian businesses, both big and small, utilize ATS to screen resumes so that only the best ones go to the recruiter or hiring manager.

Tip 4: Include technical skills  

Have you successfully led a small group of people to achieve a project or task? Your resume should highlight the soft talents that employers in Canada are looking for, such leadership and communication. 

Tip 5: Add your foreign qualification  

The job market in Canada may still benefit from the degree or experience you have from your home country. Often, the names given to educational credentials vary throughout nations. Get your qualifications from abroad appraised if you can, then add the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) equivalents on your resume. This will improve how an employer perceives your qualifications. Additionally, it will raise your resume’s match score when it goes via ATS.

Tip 6: Make a short resume

When applying for entry-level positions as an international student, your resume shouldn’t be more than one page. A short CV encourages you to focus on the qualities that are most crucial to your candidacy. If you’re applying for a mid- to senior-level post and have several years of professional experience (both nationally and overseas), a two-page resume is appropriate.

Tip 7: Avoid design elements and use standard fonts

Many job seekers make the error of adding flashy graphics and vivid colors to their resumes in an effort to make them stand out. However, tables, design components, and other non-textual materials can lessen the likelihood that the ATS would reject your resume. Nice fonts or design features can detract from the truthful content that employers want to see on your resume. Keep your employment search straightforward, at least throughout this phase. Use conventional fonts and refrain from utilizing images. To make your curriculum vitae more apparent, always make sure to leave enough white space between sentences.

Tip 8: Add a cover letter

Whether or not a cover letter is requested in the job postings, you should always send one with your CV. You have the chance to be a little more personal in the cover letter by explaining why the position in question is important to you and why you would be a good fit. 

Before you begin looking for your first job following an internship, part-time employment, or even graduation as an international student in Canada, you should become comfortable with a Canadian-style CV. Your chances of getting the desired job in Canada despite not having any relevant Canadian work experience are not always diminished. As long as you are able to concentrate on your strengths, emphasise pertinent accomplishments and talents, and make a compelling argument for why the firm should hire you, should be able to employ you, and you ought to be able to successfully start a career in Canada.

Matt Williams is the founder and CEO of Add USA Story - A platform for global startup, looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, health, technology, business and more.

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