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Preparing for Canadian Work

Resume and Cover Letter

To apply for a job in Canada, you will likely be required to submit a cover letter and a resume to the employer.

A resume is a carefully typed one or two page document that describes your skills, work-related experience(s), education and other training that make you a strong candidate for the position.  A resume may also be called a curriculum vitae, or CV.

Staff at Employment Ontario - Employment Service locations are available to help individuals create, or  update, a resume.

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If you are applying for more than one type of job, you should create different resumes to highlight specific skills and experiences.

For example, a job-seeker may choose to have an individual  resume that highlights financial, office administration, and retails skills. 

 

Depending on the job, the employer may also ask you for a portfolio or sample of your work. Your cover letter and resume are very important because they create the employer's first impression of you. The main purpose of your resume and cover letter is to get you a job interview.

Canadian resumes and cover letters might be different from resumes in other countries. You need to create your resume/cover letter in a way that is familiar to Canadian employers.

It is a good idea to have someone else look over your resume and cover letter before you apply. You will want to be sure the person reviewing your resume/CV and cover letter is familiar with Canadian-styled applications.  Many community agencies, such as Ontario Employment Services, can help you with your resume and cover letter.

For more information about Canadian-style resumes, visit Settlement.org.

InMyLanguage.ca has more information about help with cover letters and resumes available in multiple languages.

Job Interviews

Job interviews are very important. In an interview, the employer tries to decide if you have the skills and attitude they're looking for, and if you will work well with other employees. It is also a chance for you to find out if the company is a place where you would like to work.

Each interview you go to may be a bit different. For example:

  • Some interviews are formal and follow a specific format, while others are more casual and may appear like a conversation
  • You may be required to perform a skill or take a test
  • You may be interviewed by one person or several people at once
  • What you are expected to bring with you (ex. sample of your work)

It is a good idea to practice your interview techniques before you go to an interview. Canadian interview practices and expectations may be different than practices in your country of origin. Employment Ontario Employment Services agencies can provide you with guidance on your job interview skills.

For more information about Job Interviews, visit Settlement.org.

What Canadian Employers Want

Generally, Canadian employers want you to have both soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are sometimes called employability skills. They include decision making, effective communication, positive attitude, teamwork and commitment to the job. Hard skills are the technical skills you need to do a certain job. For example, using computer programs, ability to speak a particular language, administrative skills, operating machines, and analyzing data. The hard skills needed for a job vary based on occupation type and employer needs.