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Why you Should Canadianize your Resume and Cover Letter

Settling in Canada can be a challenge, but the job search can be even harder. Each country has its own set of rules and standards so it’s no surprise that the job market operates in particular ways. While it may depend on your field, experience and goals, the Canadian job market can be a different beast than what most newcomers are accustomed to.

This blog will dive into a concept that may be foreign to you, but it is a consideration when you’re applying to jobs. We will discuss the importance of Canadianizing your documents. Yes, this is not technically a word, but you should be tailoring your resume and cover letter to meet the expectation of Canadian society when it comes to work so that you can increase your chances of getting that job that you are aiming for!

What your Resume Says About You
Why would you want to change your resume or cover letter to fit Canadian standards? While it may depend on where you originally came from, there may be information in your resume that are going to work against you.

For example, in some countries, it is encouraged to include more personal data in their resume. This can include a photo of themselves, their date of birth, marital status, religion, weight, or height. While you are free to include what you want in your CV, things are different here in Canada. People are dissuaded to put such personal details as it will lead to human rights issues and ultimately HR (Human Resource) concerns.

While candidates are individuals with their own unique features, ultimately, Canadians believe that people should be judged based on their skills and experience. Having a resume with your appearance can allow for unconscious bias when recruiters are looking at applicants. The best way to negate this is by keeping your documents neutral and focused on your qualifications.

Furthermore, the resume and the cover letter are only the first step of the job search process. You will be judged based on just these written documents and whether you could be the right person for the job.

Recruiters and employers will first look at resumes and then offer interviews for those that they are interested in. Interviews are when you can make contact and show them who you are.

If a particular job has hundreds of applicants, you are competing with so many other people and your resume must be strong from the start to even have a chance to get an interview offer.

It is integral that your resume can meet Canadian standards, so you are taken seriously as a potential job candidate. Too many personal details might be seen as “fluff” and not relevant to the job.

Canadianizing your CV
Having a Canadianized CV/resume and cover letter are key for getting quality job prospects. You want to spend considerable time and energy on putting these documents together if you're looking for work. There are several, different ways to do this.

Cover Letter
The cover letter is a basic introduction of you, your resume and why you want to apply for the position. This will be the first document and will accompany the resume for your job application. Cover letters can vary in content, but the formatting is similar across most letters.

If you have the name or contact of who is hiring at the company, then you can address them at top of the letter. If you don’t, you can keep it general, by stating “To whom it may concern.”

The first part is your introduction and what job you are applying for. Then you can give a brief explanation as to why you are interested in the position and how you are qualified or have the related skills/experience for the job. Lastly, you can end it with asking for an interview and thanking them for taking the time to read the letter and your resume.

There are several cover letter templates you can search for online, such as on Monster, and get ideas from.

Similar to a cover letter, your resume will have varying content based on the type of job and experience you have. Depending on your field, you can adapt and tailor your resume to each job you can apply for.

As noted, above, it is best to avoid adding personal details about yourself such as age, religion, weight, sexuality or anything too intimate.

Resumes usually start with your complete name and contact information at the top, which can include your email, phone number (s) and address, if you wish. Make sure to include an email and phone number that you regularly check and respond to if employers contact you.

Then you will need to provide your experience, education, skills, and achievements. Your experience should be relevant and pertain to the job you are applying for.

Some might put their whole job history in chronological order but if the position isn’t relevant to the job, then you might want to think about how you display your experience.

There are resume templates you can search for online and even resume builders, such as on the Job Bank.

Resume Services
If you need help with putting together your resume or want advice on how to maximize your resume information, you can contact a settlement organization. They help and provide these services as it's part of the government objective to assist newcomers with settling in Canada. Newcomers can arrive in Canada, find jobs, work, pay taxes and be productive members of Canadian society.  

While it is good to help with settlement agencies, I would suggest being mindful with some services. Some might not have the best services such as charging fees to put together a resume, which may not be beneficial. There are many fee-based services as well like Upwork or Fiverr with people that could write a resume for you, especially if it’s an industry specific resume needed.

Final Thoughts
Whether you seek advice or put together your resume yourself, this is your brand and your introduction to your next potential employer. You are trying to sell yourself to appeal to employers on why you are the right fit for the job. As a newcomer in Canada, it will be competitive in the job market, but you can grow to be more familiar with what's acceptable within the industry that you're looking to break into.

Once you’ve secured some job prospects, you can focus more on getting settled and looking into a proper future in Canada.

At Second Passport, we aim to help with your immigration goals and plans and have courses to not only help with your immigration to Canada but also your settlement so that you can get your life off to a great start.

Ready to get started? Here are three ways we can help: 
1. Join our Facebook Community to connect with an amazing group of Second Passporters... This is a space where the community can share information, updates, and connect as a group of people with all the same goals!

2. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to help you prepare for your new journey of immigrating and settling in Canada!

3. Ready to begin your journey? Get your Immigration Blueprint! By the end of the program, you will have an Immigration Blueprint™ outlining your pathway to Canada.


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