So you are new in Canada and have heard from several people that your CV needs to be revamped and tailored to each job posting. More interestingly, you heard that you do not need a CV to apply for a job in Canada but you need a RESUME. Wait, what? You mean I need to unlearn what I already know? Why? What is the difference?
Don’t sweat it! I’d tell you the difference.
A CV is a complete rundown of your achievements and accomplishments while a Resume is a document that shows highlights of your career, experience and accomplishments as it relates to the job you are applying for. As you can already tell, a CV would be a lot longer than a resume and it’s mostly used for academic purposes. It would include your professional summary statement, your achievements, education, work experience, research projects e.t.c. in chronological order. Safe to say it is an account of your entire career so the longer your career, the longer your CV.
A Resume on the other hand will be concise, mostly written in chronological order too but would be short enough to show a recruiter that you are perfect for the job. One key thing to remember is that you must TAILOR your resume to each job you are applying for.
The next question is, what should be on your resume?
- Heading – Your name, address/location, phone number, email address and LinkedIn URL. Please avoid using email addresses like “firstname.lastname@example.org” , stick to professional email addresses, preferably a combination of your name(s).
- Professional Summary – This section could actually also be your career objective depending on where you are in your career. At entry level, you do not have work experience so you state your objective and ensure it is tailored to the job you are applying for. On the other hand, if you do have some work experience already, this part should be used to summarize your key areas of expertise, experience and your value proposition as it relates to the job you are applying for. This can be written in paragraph format or in bullet points.
- Skills Section – Your resume will benefit greatly from a section that highlights all your technical, soft and transferable skills as it relates to the job you are applying for. Make sure to list all the skills required on the job posting as long as you possess them.
- Education and Qualifications – Here you make a list of your education, certifications and qualifications in chronological order. If obtained in a different Country and has been assessed as equivalent to Canadian education, please indicate that.
- Professional Experience – Again this would include your work experience in chronological order i.e. from the most recent to the oldest with each role showing a list of your responsibilities as it relates to the job you are applying for. Try to keep the list concise in order to accommodate at least the last 10 years of your career. Also try to quantify your experience by including some numbers in between your achievements/responsibilities.
- Key Achievements/Accomplishments – This section is optional, if your role requires that you showcase some interesting accomplishments like projects you managed, softwares or programs you developed e.t.c, then this section should be utilized, otherwise you do not need to include this section.
Finally, Please ensure the following are not on your resume:
- References available upon request
- High School Education