28 Resume Tips for New Immigrants to Canada from Canadian Recruiters

Posted on Jul 9, by Daisy Wright



New immigrants to Canada face numerous challenges. Offers of advice on how to deal with these challenges as well as how to navigate the Canadian job search landscape have been chronicled in the book, No Canadian Experience, Eh? a career success guide for new immigrants. One of the appendices from the book lists several resume tips from Canadian recruiters and hiring managers. They were asked the following question in a survey: “If you had one piece of résumé advice for someone who is an internationally-educated professional or new immigrant, what would it be?” The 28 answers mentioned below were gleaned from a longer list, but these will put you on the path to understanding what recruiters look for in a Canadian resume. (Any edits to original responses are enclosed in parentheses [ ] ):


  1. Focus on your skills as they relate to the job for which you are applying
  2. Proper spelling and grammar are imperative. Employers want to know that those representing them can maintain their professional image [especially when it relates to written and verbal communication skills].
  3. Provide more detailed information on former employers and the positions held. Provide relevant website addresses for background information.
  4. Highlight Canadian equivalency in your education and use a functional résumé format
  5. Align work experience with the job requirements
  6. Be specific and detailed about job experience and capabilities
  7. Have the résumé professionally done, if necessary
  8. Ensure your education/qualifications have been accredited by a Canadian institution – and not just for ‘immigration’ purposes
  9. Make sure your résumé clearly addresses all the qualifications of the position. Adding a cover letter with a table (Column 1: You asked for; Column 2: I have) is very helpful to a recruiter who has hundreds of résumés to go through
  10. Don’t put personal details, e.g. date of birth, place of birth, marital status, etc.
  11. Try to gain volunteer Canadian experience to boost your chances
  12. Familiarize yourself with best practices of North American résumé writing, i.e., no personal information, picture, etc.
  13. Have the education assessed against Canadian standards. For example, a CA in India is equivalent to Canadian CGA Level 4
  14. Target contract roles to gain Canadian experience
  15. Summarize job related skills in the first paragraph of your résumé
  16. Make it simple and easy to read…not too wordy
  17. Be honest
  18. Link your experience to Canadian needs
  19. Have recommendation letters
  20. Match your past job responsibilities with the appropriate Canadian title. Give details of your work experience and of the education (possible equivalence)
  21. Tailor résumé to position, and research, research, research
  22. Detail as much Canadian experience as possible, even if it’s part-time, volunteer, or short-term work. Also, point out Canadian similarities in any relevant prior experience
  23. Create and grow a network – and don’t ever stop!
  24. Know who you are applying to. Customize the résumé and research the employer
  25. Highlight how you were the top producer, how you solved problems, etc. This would show that you were an above average employee and that’s impressive no matter where you came from
  26. Seek professional assistance developing a résumé suitable for North American roles
  27. List skills and abilities, and what you can bring to the table
  28. Use the combination résumé style and obtain a Canadian certification in the field that you are seeking to pursue before seeking work in Canada


As you will have noticed, some of these tips overlap, but the premise is consistent, and shows each recruiter’s perspective on the subject. Add your comments below.


Additional information on the book can be found at No Canadian Experience, Eh? a career success guide for new immigrants , and a copy of the Resume and Interview Trends Survey can be downloaded at Canadian Resume and Interview Trends Survey.


Category News & Views |

Culture & Communication Series

Posted on Jun 28, by Daisy Wright

If you are interested in reading a frank discussion about learning to speak clearly and communicate in a culturally-appropriate manner, please read a three-part posting on Culture and Communication. This series includes a special focus on the concerns of Chinese clients trying to learn to communicate effectively in Canada.

Heather Chetwynd is a contributor to my book, No Canadian Experience, Eh?

Category News & Views |

Two Lucky Recipients of No Canadian Experience, Eh?

Posted on Mar 30, by Daisy Wright

At a March 23rd event hosted by The Centre for Education and Training, these two lucky individuals each received a copy of No Canadian Experience, Eh? from Coordinator of the event, Kim.


I donated the two books for the event, but unfortunately could not be present. However, the coordinators said, “We were able to give them to two deserving attendees at our “Destination Success” event, which I must say was quite a success.”



Three Weeks in Canada!

          Three Months in Canada!

Category News & Views |

Canada to Assess Foreign Education Credentials Before Skilled Workers Arrive

Posted on Mar 30, by Daisy Wright



Canada is proposing a major change to how foreign skilled workers’ education credentials are assessed, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

The proposed new requirement would mean that applicants wanting to immigrate as Federal Skilled Workers would have their foreign education credentials assessed and verified by designated organizations before they arrive in Canada.



Category News & Views |

Help Us Shine a Light on Canadian Skilled-Jobs Gap

Posted on Mar 17, by Daisy Wright


GLOBE AND MAIL: A growing shortage of skilled labour in western Canada is prompting Ottawa and the provinces to cast their eyes toward Canada’s immigration policies.

On the one hand, Ottawa has a huge backlog of immigration applications. On the other hand, the western provinces are desperate to find workers to fill the skilled jobs that will keep their economies growing.

Read more…


Cross-Cultural Communications: Part I – Working Together

Posted on Jan 12, by Daisy Wright

I am pleased to highlight one of Heather Chetwynd’s blog posts to this website. Heather is one of the contributors to my book, No Canadian Experience, Eh? From time to time I will post links that are designed to educate and inform newcomers to Canada.


Cross-Cultural Communications: Part I – Working Together


Communicating in a culturally appropriate manner can be a tricky thing to learn for all of us. Culture, after all, is an elaborate code consisting of thousands of subtle micro-elements. We all would do well to remember that, when someone from a distinct cultural group behaves differently than us within the work environment, it is not necessarily because they have poor soft skills or inappropriate values. Rather, they may very likely have strong soft skills and values that work well and are accepted in their native cultural environment.


Read More…

Category News & Views |

The Economic Costs of Under-Utilizing Skilled Immigrant Workers

Posted on Jan 7, by Daisy Wright

Canada has a history of attracting highly-skilled, talented workers from around the world who end up unemployed or working for minimum wage when they arrive here. According to new research by the Royal Bank of Canada, the economic cost of underutlizing this part of our work force is $30.7-billion, or 2.1 per cent of the country’s GDP.


Read full article…

Category News & Views |

Shortchanging Immigrants Costs Canada

Posted on Jan 7, by Daisy Wright



Click here to find out more!“The first thing they look is for Canadian experience” she says. “If you don’t have that, they don’t call you for an interview. And if you don’t get an interview, it’s hard to show your skills.” ~ Yane Brogiollo


In her home city of São Paulo, Brazil, Yane Brogiollo was a manager at Hewlett-Packard Co., where she oversaw a team of 15 database professionals. She also designed and taught courses for a local university’s MBA program.


They were “wonderful” jobs, and she earned a good salary. São Paolo was crowded, though, and too big. Crime was escalating. So a year and a half ago, she moved to Vancouver, hoping to find a better quality of life.


Read the full article…

Category News & Views |

How an Ethnic-Sounding Name May Affect the Job Hunt

Posted on Dec 13, by Daisy Wright

You may have a string of prestigious degrees and years of experience in Canada, but potential employers may never get that far into your résumé if your name sounds foreign, a new study has found.


An underlying reason appears to be subconscious discrimination, the researchers suggest.


“What we think is happening is recruiters have to go through piles of résumés very quickly. If they see an unfamiliar name, they may get an initial first reaction that they have concerns about whether the person has the social and language skills the job requires,” said Philip Oreopoulos, assistant professor of economics at the University of Toronto and co-author of the study.


Read full article here…


Category News & Views |

Woman Honoured by Alma Mater

Posted on Dec 8, by Daisy Wright

Daisy Wright, a Brampton businesswoman, was recognized with the 2011 Alumni of Distinction award from Conestoga College.


Wright, the founder and chief career strategist at The Wright Career Solution, a career transition firm that helps individuals find jobs and an author, was among eight Conestoga College alumni honoured.


The award is the college’s highest recognition of outstanding graduates who have achieved great success in their careers and made significant contribution to society. Read full press release below:


The Brampton Guardian


Category News & Views |