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How to Make a Good Resume in Canada (With Examples)

How to Make a Good Resume in Canada (With Examples)

You’re not alone in thinking writing resumes is hard. But it does become less daunting when you learn how to make a resume with our guide. So what do you say?

If only writing a resume was so easy as falling off a log. Instead, it’s a balancing act between the relevant and interesting.

 

So how to make a resume that encompasses both? Give me 15 minutes to uplevel your game and know how to write a resume with relevant experience interesting enough to make your recruiter’s eyes pop.

 

You’ll learn:

 

  • How to make a resume template better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • What the step-by-step rules are on how to write a resume.
  • Tips and examples of how to make good resume skills and experience sections.
  • How to describe your achievements on a resume to get any job you want.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

Create your resume now

 

resume example
resume example

Sample resume made in our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Want to jump right in and see some real-life examples? Go ahead and find the following resume guides:

 

 

Resume Template

 

Lisa Hanke

Customer Service Representative

250-927-8530

lisahanke@email.com

linkedin.com/in/lisahanke

 

Summary

 

Reliable and empathic customer service representative with 4+ years of experience. Seeking an opportunity as a customer service specialist at Naan Ltd. to empower and thus retain customers. At Simple Solutions, practised active listening skills and expanded product knowledge on an ongoing basis to receive a net promoter score of over 37. 

 

Experience

 

Customer Service Representative

Simple Solutions, Vancouver, BC

January 2017–July 2021

  • Successfully handled 60 customer requests per day, achieving a 97% satisfaction rate.
  • Proactively recommended new offerings thanks to building up the product knowledge, improving customer retention in the end.
  • Maintained accurate customer accounts and records in Salesforce CRM.
  • Produced flow charts for customer service representatives to streamline the response process, reducing the average wait time for the first contact to 6 hours.

Key achievement: Practised empathetic and active listening to receive a net promoter score of over 37.

 

Volunteer

Value Student Club, Vancouver, BC

October 2014–December 2016

  • Led weekly sessions to help fellow students improve their presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Arranged meetings with local advocates and professional speakers for the club at least once a month.

 

Education

 

Bachelor of Project Management (Hons)

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

2014–2016

  • Led a project team shortlisted for the Global Footprint 2022 Award
  • Minor in public speaking

 

Skills

 

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Active listening
  • Detail-oriented
  • Organization
  • Conflict resolution
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Decision making

 

Software Skills

 

  • Salesforce, SAP, MS Office Suite (including Microsoft Outlook, Sharepoint, and Excel spreadsheets)

 

Additional Training

 

  • Building Trust and Influence, 2021
  • Breakthrough Customer Experience, 2019
  • Help Desk for Beginners, 2015

 

Languages

 

  • French—Professional proficiency
  • Japanese—Advanced

 

Jump to chapters with this table of contents for how to write a resume:

 

  1. Create a clean layout
  2. Choose the right resume format
  3. Leave your contact details
  4. Summarize your experience and objectives
  5. Write about your professional achievements
  6. Mention your degree
  7. List relevant skills
  8. Include additional sections
  9. Attach a cover letter

 

Now—

 

How to write a professional resume

 

1. Create a clean layout

 

Poor resume layout can be really bad for you. The i-am-not-going-to-read-your-resume type of bad. Recruiters sniff out laziness very quickly and don’t seem to love it. 

 

Follow those basics to let them smell success early on: 

 

  • Template: Use the one appropriate for the industry you’re trying to get into. But remember—whatever your pick is, it should also be Applicant Tracking Software-friendly to pass the scanning.
  • Spacing: Go for 1-inch margins and 1–1.15 line spacing to create enough whitespace for the recruiter to rest their eyes on.
  • Alignment: Move text to the left.
  • Font: First and foremost, legibility. Arial or Garamond in 12 pts can help you achieve that.
  • Length: Stay on one page, preferably. Two pages are reserved for senior professionals with lots of experience. 
  • File format: Look for instructions in the job description. Use PDF if nothing is referring to the desired file format.
  • Filename: Write position, name, and “Resume” like this: CustomerServiceSpecialist_LisaHanke_Resume.pdf

ProTip: Don’t go overboard with your employment history. Hiring managers won’t have time to go through it all. Write about your experience over the last ten years. That way, you’ll avoid irrelevancy.

2. Choose the right format

 

Because you can’t decide between maple or pancake syrup on pancakes, it doesn’t mean you have to have such a hard time choosing the correct resume format.

 

There are three:

  1. Chronological
  2. Functional (also skills-based)
  3. Combination.

 

And going one by one, the chronological resume format is the most common and widely used format by job applicants. The role of that format is to highlight your career progress by putting the experience section in the centre. Recruiters and ATS are familiar with it, so you can be sure it’s a safe bet.

 

The functional resume format focuses on your skillset, and it’s a better choice for career changers or jobs where the portfolio matters most. Beware, though, that recruiters aren’t fans of this format. It’s rare and makes it difficult to spot your professional achievements.

 

The last of the trinity is the hybrid of the two, rightly called the combination format. It’s the rarest and most complicated due to its extensive experience and skills sections. Therefore, use it only if you want to branch out or have a few gaps in your employment history.

 

For the sake of the article, I’ll go with the chronological format.

 

You’re done with the technicalities. Now you can start putting down words.

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

 

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

3. Leave your contact details

 

You should first write your contact details in your resume in the header. They should include:

 

  • Your full name
  • Current job title
  • Phone number
  • Email address.

 

Optionally, you can add your LinkedIn handle and your website address. It’s especially important to attach your electronic portfolio when applying for creative jobs.

 

But there are also things you should forever avoid in your resume, such as:

 

  • Photo
  • Date of birth
  • Age
  • Marital status.

 

See below how a resume heading should look:

 

Resume header example

RIGHT

Lisa Hanke

Customer Service Representative

250-927-8530

lisahanke@email.com

linkedin.com/in/lisahanke

Even though it’s the shortest and easiest section in your resume, double-check your contact details. You don’t want the recruiter to call somebody else, eh?

 

Oh, and forget about an unprofessional name and domain in your email address. That’s off-putting and can cost you an interview.

 

4. Summarize your experience and objectives

 

Motivation comes and goes, but discipline will get you where you want to be. 

 

And where your employer wants you to be. 

 

Show they can count on you by stating clear objectives backed up with a solid plan for reaching them. You can do it two ways: write a career summary or resume objective.

 

How to write a resume summary

 

A career summary is a personal statement summarizing your experience to the hiring manager and explaining why you seek the particular position. 

 

Here’s a template for you to use:

 

[Adjective(s)/strong character trait(s)][your job title][your experience]. Eager to support/help/assist/etc. [company name][what you want to help the employer achieve and how you want to do it]. [your key achievement(s)].

 

Your resume summary has to be powerful. You can achieve that by kicking off with a strong personality trait followed by years of experience. Later, say why you wish to join the company and how you will help it achieve its goals. Close with an achievement confirming your qualifications and skill set in the statement.

 

Now check out the template in practice:

 

How to write a summary for a resume—example
RIGHT

Reliable and empathic customer service representative with 4+ years of experience. Seeking an opportunity as a customer service specialist at Naan Ltd. to empower and thus retain customers. At Simple Solutions, practised active listening skills and expanded product knowledge on an ongoing basis to receive a net promoter score of over 37. 

WRONG

I have experience as a customer service representative that I would love to use for your company. I am an experienced active listener and communicator, and my daily tasks require skills in conflict resolution. The projects I took part in involved ensuring high customer retention.

The major difference is that the right example uses an imaginary “I” (seeking, practised, expanded). The rule is to use the verbs in the first person singular but without “I” to not sound too braggy and take the attention away from what your employer will get from hiring you. 

 

The second rule is to prove you’ll be an asset to the company by using a quantifiable achievement (to receive a net promoter score of over 37). 

 

And the final rule, be concise. You can write a successful summary with only two to three sentences.

 

How to write a resume—objective

 

A resume objective is a short paragraph about your career goals, and it’s dedicated to less experienced or first job applicants. The primary purpose of this statement is to align your objectives with those of your employer. So even though you’re writing about yours, you can’t forget what the company aims for by hiring you.

 

See the below template to grasp the gist:

 

[Your strong trait(s)][position to which you’re applying for]. Seeking to support/gain/etc. [your offer][company name]. [2-3 skills].

 

How you start is also why you’ll be hired. So position yourself as a dedicated employee with qualities desired by your employer. You can find those in the job description. Write why you’re looking to fill the position and offer your skill set as proof of your fit.

 

See how it works in a first job resume example:

 

How to write a good objective on a resume—example
RIGHT

Driven Bachelor in Project Management graduate with proven communication and public speaking skills. Looking for a customer service representative position at Naan Ltd. to utilize active listening and leadership skills to deliver successful results according to the company’s strategy.

WRONG

Recent university graduate looking for a customer service position to build my skillset.

Your resume objective is the first thing the recruiter will see and read, so make their and your efforts count. Simple “looking for a position” isn’t a good enough reason to get hired. You’ve got to give them something they can ground their decision on, like skills suitable for the job.

Pro Tip: Write your personal statement last. When you tailor your experience, education, and skill sections, pick up the most significant achievements, and the statement’s ready.

5. Write about your professional experience

 

You'd do a pirouette if you were to prove your ice skating skills. You’d pull all your best resources to prove that you’re the one because actions mean more than words. And in resumes, it’s no different.

 

Recruiters expect you to perform a spectacle showing them you are fit for the job. And you can—with achievement statements instead of a mere list of responsibilities they’re entirely aware of. 

 

So here’s how you spin on in the experience section:

 

  • Read the job description carefully to mark the keywords referring to qualifications your employer is looking for.
  • Make a list of your successes that directly relate to the qualifications you’ve just marked. The irrelevant experience gets ignored and can affect your chances of getting the gig.
  • Create four to five bullet points under each experience entry.
  • Start every statement with an action verb or power word that’ll add dynamism to your application.
  • Quantify your achievements to add impact and show you brought tangible results to the company.
  • Single out one or two key achievements you wish to highlight. 
  • Avoid too much jargon and buzzwords. Keep it simple.

 

Now see how these rules work in practice:

 

Work experience on a resume–example

RIGHT

Customer Service Representative

Simple Solutions, Vancouver, BC

January 2017–July 2021

  • Successfully handled 60 customer requests per day, achieving a 97% satisfaction rate.
  • Proactively recommended new offerings thanks to building up the product knowledge, improving customer retention in the end.
  • Maintained accurate customer accounts and records in Salesforce CRM.
  • Produced flow charts for customer service representatives to streamline the response process, reducing the average wait time for the first contact to 6 hours.

Key achievement: Practised empathetic and active listening to receive a net promoter score of over 37.

Oomph. That’s a ten!

 

The position-company-date format is spot on and accompanies a one-of-a-kind list of accomplishment statements, making the entire entry a perfect flying spin. 

 

Let’s see what’s wrong with the following example:

WRONG

Simple Solutions

01/2017–2021

  • Took care of customer requests.
  • Worked on building my product knowledge.
  • Maintained customer records.
  • Designed flow charts.

Oops. 

 

Regarding technicalities, there’s no position mentioned, and the date format is inconsistent. On top of that, the responsibilities aren’t enough to pique the recruiter’s interest as they say nothing about your abilities.

 

So you see? The difference between responsibilities and achievements is substantial to make your resume stand out.

Pro Tip: If you’re a junior applicant lacking relevant experience, you can add your unpaid gigs, volunteering, and internship placement to your work history.

6. Mention your degree

 

You'd be wrong to think the education section of your resume, just like a large Double-Double at Timmies, is something you can do without.

 

Sometimes your degree is one of the preconditions to having your application read by the recruiter, so make no mistake and list your degree the following way:

 

  • If you’re an experienced candidate with years of work history, mention your degree, school, and dates of attendance. That’s more than enough.
  • If you have little to no experience, sprinkle some relevant coursework or academic achievements, like a minor, making the Dean’s list, projects, awards, or club presidency. 

 

But! Like every other section in your resume, it needs to be relevant to the job you’re pursuing. So the academic achievements should prove the transferable skills you promote with your job application.

 

How to make a resume—education example

RIGHT

Bachelor of Project Management (Hons)

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

2014–2016

  • Led a project team shortlisted for the Global Footprint 2022 Award
  • Minor in public speaking

That’s precisely how you should do it. 

Pro Tip: If your education section is the most prominent part of the resume, move it right under the resume objective. Let the recruiter know this is what you want to highlight at this stage.

7. List relevant skills

 

“How do I know what skills to write about?” 

 

The job description is the answer. Look for keywords that refer to qualities and qualifications your employer is expecting. They’ll probably section out a specific part of their job ad to skills.

 

Here’s an example of a job description outlining the skills required for a job:

 

  • Minimum 5 years of experience with Salesforce and SAP preferred
  • Spreadsheet and database skills required
  • Detail-oriented
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills required
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills

 

If you are interested in applying for that position, you should include the following in your skills section:

 

How to write the skills section of a resume—example

RIGHT

Skills

 

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Active listening
  • Detail-oriented
  • Organization
  • Conflict resolution
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Decision making

 

Software Skills

 

  • Salesforce, SAP, MS Office Suite (including Microsoft Outlook, Sharepoint, and Excel spreadsheets)

The best thing to get noticed by both recruiters and ATS is to include a mix of soft and hard skills. 

Pro Tip: ATS is an acronym for Applicant Tracking Software, used by 3 out of 4 companies. Its job is to scan your application to see how well it aligns with the company’s requirements.

Soft skills are your personal attributes that you’ve shown on and off the job, like being attentive to details and having good adaptability or organizational skills.

 

Hard skills are the skills you’ve learned to perform better, for example, python or R programming language or data structures. These tend to have a separate section in your resume called “software,” “hard,” or “technical” skills.

 

Now, see how to write a job-winning skills section in your resume:

 

  • Read the job description and mark the keywords referring to specific abilities your employer requires from a candidate.
  • Create your master skills list.
  • Match the ones that appear on both and include them in your resume.
  • Ensure the wording remains consistent with the job advertisement.
  • Pepper your skills all over the resume—in the skills, work experience, and career objective or resume summary sections.

 

There’s yet another opportunity to demonstrate your unique skill set.

 

8. Include additional sections

 

Now I’ll ask you to add extra information to your already heavy-packed resume with the must-haves. Why? Because, first, you should take every opportunity to include even more keywords, and, second, nobody ever won a job hunt with observation and patience. You do need to pull that trigger and fire.

 

So these are the additional sections I’m talking about:

 

  • Volunteering
  • Internships
  • Awards
  • Additional training
  • Certifications and licenses
  • Languages
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Projects
  • Publications.

 

Each of the above-listed sections serves a particular purpose. It can add to your already established skill set or introduce a new ability. No matter which one it is, you’d better make sure the information you wish to elaborate on is still relevant.

 

Now check how you can add those sections to your resume:

 

How to make a resume—additional sections example

RIGHT

Experience

 

Volunteer

Value Student Club, Vancouver, BC

October 2014–December 2016

  • Led weekly sessions to help fellow students improve their presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Arranged meetings with local advocates and professional speakers for the club at least once a month.
RIGHT

Additional Training

 

  • Building Trust and Influence, 2021
  • Breakthrough Customer Experience, 2019
  • Help Desk for Beginners, 2015

 

Languages

 

  • French—Professional proficiency
  • Japanese—Advanced

9. Attach a cover letter

 

If you want your application to be a Ryan Gosling among candidates, you’ve got to attach a cover letter to it. That’s out of the question. It’s the first thing hiring managers and recruiters read before moving on to your resume, so you need to put in some work.

 

And this is what you need to do to write a perfect cover letter:

 

How to write a cover letter for a resume

 

  1. Read the job description to find the keywords you’ll match with your cover letter.
  2. Leave the header you created for your resume and mark your writing date.
  3. Personalize your letter and address it directly to the recruiter or hiring manager, depending on who’s leading the recruitment process. 
  4. Open with a relevant achievement to keep the reader instantly excited about your application.
  5. List your relevant experience and accomplishments to prove your qualifications and qualities needed for the job.
  6. Close with a call to action, inviting the recruiter to contact you.
  7. Add a postscript if you have a smashing achievement up your sleeve.

 

And if you’re wondering how long your cover letter should be, just stick to one page.

 

A great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

 

Find out about how to make a resume in a nutshell:

 

  • Use a template and design a clear layout so recruiters can scan it in seconds.
  • Choose the correct resume format that aligns with your job-seeking goals.
  • Create a header with no mistakes in your contact information.
  • Include only relevant achievements in your work experience section.
  • State your degree and add relevant academic successes.
  • List the skills that match the job requirements and nice-to-haves.
  • Add extra information to your resume, such as volunteering experience, certifications, or awards.
  • Write the resume summary or objective last.
  • Enrich your application with a cover letter.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my article!

 

Do you have questions about how to write a resume? Did we miss any resume writing tips? What do you think of attaching a cover letter to your job application?

 

Give us a shout in the comments! Let’s get the conversation rolling.

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Katarzyna Furman
Katarzyna is an empathetic career expert dedicated to encouraging growth in job hunters through building perfect resumes, CVs, and cover letters. At Zety, she gives her Certified Professional Resume Writer advice to make you realize you have a successful track record that only needs to see the daylight.

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