Best Canadian Resume Format for International Students

Picture of Canadian resume format

Canadian Resume Format for International Student: Canada is a popular destination for international students seeking to improve their academic performance in a world class educational system. 

There are many reasons why Canada attracts thousands of international students and will soon attract you too. One popular amongst these reasons is the availability of professional skill sets and a workforce with global recognition.

Yes, a professional experience in Canada can change your career for good anywhere in the word, although this is subjective and relatively dependent on the individual. 

To start with these enormous opportunities, you need a well crafted Canada resume format. Yes, your goal is to earn a degree. Who says you can develop your professional outlook while you study? A well written Canadian resume format will give you an edge in the market and place you just in front of your prospective employers.

But what do you need to craft a Canadian resume? What should you add and in what order? Oh well, if you have these questions and more and you are wondering the best Canadian resume format for international students like you are in the right place.

In this article, we will address the basic things you need to know about Canadian Resume Format for International Students. His discussion will cover why you need a Canadian resume, how to write a suitable resume for international students with only international experience. 

What is a resume?

A resume is a document that summarizes your work experience, education, and skills. It is used to apply for jobs and internships. The most common resume format in Canada is the reverse-chronological format, so your most recent work experience is listed first. This format is preferred by employers because it allows them to see your work history and experience level.

When writing a Canadian resume, it is important to use Canadian spelling and grammar. You should also use the metric system and write dates in DD/MM/YYYY format. Your resume should be one to two pages long, and it should be easy to read and scan. We will get more into this in subsequent sections. Now, why do you need a resume as an international student in Canada? Read on for the answer shortly.

Do International Students in Canada Need a Canadian Resume?

Yes, please dont think its a no. As an international student in Canada, you have the privilege of working within specified hours.However, there are some restrictions on how many hours you can work and what type of work you can do. Let’s digress a little and briefly hint on this?

Off-campus work

 International students who are enrolled full-time in a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI) are allowed to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during regular school terms. They can work more than 20 hours per week during scheduled breaks, such as during summer vacation.

Co-op or internship work

International students who are enrolled in a co-op or internship program as part of their studies are allowed to work full-time during the co-op or internship period.

Post-graduation work permit

International students who graduate from a designated learning institution (DLI) with a valid study permit are eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). This allows them to work in Canada for up to three years after they graduate.

Now you see, the international student title in Canada comes with its own benefit too and that includes professional skill acquisition. Now let’s go back to our primary discussion. How do you craft a great CV with no experience or with your international experience? The next section addresses that keenly.

How do you write a Canadian Resume with no experience?

Here’s one disadvantage, so many international students in Canada dread. But, is it really a disadvantage? Well, if you know the resume game and efficiently follow the right procedures, you may have nothing to dread or fear. 

However, It is true that you may not use your international work experience in getting a role in Canada, but there are certain activities you can engage in to help you navigate the process while crafting your resume.

Here are some other experiences you can include in your resume if you are an international student in Canada without Canadian work experience:

Academic experience

Highlight your academic achievements, such as your GPA, honors, and awards. You can also include any relevant coursework or projects you completed.

Volunteer experience  – Canadian Resume Format

Volunteer experience is a great way to gain experience and make a difference in your community. It can also help you stand out in your resume and show employers that you are a motivated and dedicated individual.

When you volunteer, you are ‌working for free. This means that you are not being paid for your time or your skills. However, there are many benefits to volunteering, both for you and for the organization you are volunteering with.

For you, volunteering can help you:

  • Gain experience in a field you are interested in.
  • Develop new skills and knowledge.
  • Meet new people and build relationships.
  • Give back to your community.
  • Learn about different cultures and perspectives.
  • Make a difference in the world.

For the organization you are volunteering with, your volunteer work can help them:

  • Achieve their goals.
  • Provide services to their clients.
  • Build their capacity.
  • Improve their reputation.

When you are highlighting your volunteer experience on your resume, be sure to focus on the skills and experience you developed. For example, if you volunteered at a soup kitchen, you might highlight your skills in customer service, teamwork, and food preparation.

Additionally, You should also be specific about your accomplishments. For example, you might say that you “increased the number of meals served by 10% during your time at the soup kitchen.”

Extracurricular  Activities

Extracurricular activities can show your skills and interests outside of the classroom. Highlight any relevant activities you participated in, such as sports, clubs, or student government. This will help your prospective employer know about your strength and personality

Skills and Abilities

List your skills and abilities, both hard and soft. Hard skills are specific skills that can be measured, such as proficiency in a software program. Soft skills are more general skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.

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What to include in a Canadian Resume Format for International Students

Since we have covered the reason behind you having a resume, I am certain the next question in your mind is, “what should I include in my Canadian resume?” Well, fear no! We won’t leave you  in the dark on this. So, come on, let’s find out.

As an international student, your Canadian resume should be tailored to showcase your unique skills and qualifications. However, ensure that your resume should not be tailored to the one-style-fit-all patterns. 

Hence, when crafting your resume, ensure you give it the attention needed. That said, Here are the key elements to include in your Canadian resume:

1. Your Contact Information – Canadian Resume Format

This goes without mention. You don’t want to spend time writing a resume with the wrong address. Your contact address should include your name, address, phone number, and email address. 

Make sure your email address is professional and that you have a voicemail set up in case the employer needs to leave you a message. Do not use slang or your nickname in place of your name. It’s a formal application and as such, you want to ensure everything appeals to professionals too.

2. A link to your LinkedIn profile and/or portfolio

Just below your contact address, Include a link to your LinkedIn profile and/or portfolio in your resume. Ensure the details in your professional platform are up to date and match the description in your resume. Canadian employers often run a quick check on their prospective employees before hiring.

3. Summary or Objective Statement

Your summary or objective statement should be a brief paragraph that highlights your qualifications and skills. It should be tailored to the specific job you’re applying for and should showcase how your skills and experience align with the job requirements.

4. Education

Your educational background should be prominently displayed on your resume, as Canadian employers place a high value on education. Be sure to include your degree, the name of the institution, the location, and the date of graduation. You can also include any relevant coursework, academic awards, and certifications.

5. Work Experience

When listing your work experience, ensure you start with your most recent job. This makes it easier for your prospective employer to track your productivity and engagement. For each job, include the job title, the name of the company, the location, and the dates of employment. Then, provide a brief description of your responsibilities and achievements in that role. Be sure to use action verbs and quantify your achievements wherever possible.

6. List your Skills

Your skills section should highlight the skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. These can include technical skills, soft skills, and language skills. Be sure to include any relevant certifications or licenses you may have. In most cases, to avoid your resume popping into extra pages, while highlighting your experiences you can demonstrate the skills that helped you achieve your said goals.

Tips for Writing a Canadian Resume as an International Student

First thing first, let’s get you started with the right tops to create a standout Canadian resume as an international student. 

Below are the best tips for writing a Canadian Resume Format for International Student

1. Pick the Right Format

The two main resume formats are functional and chronological. The most common format is chronological, which lists your employment history in reverse chronological order. The functional format emphasizes your skills and experience above your employment history. The functional format can be a better choice for you if you have limited professional experience.

Highlight your Successes and Extracurricular Activities

If you are an international student, you may not have the same amount of job experience as Canadian students. However, you can still draw attention to your accomplishments in other areas, such as your extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or academic success. These experiences can demonstrate your skills and abilities, and they can also help you stand out from other applicants.

2. Be Specific in your Descriptions

When describing your work experience or other accomplishments, use numbers, metrics, and details to quantify your impact. This will help employers understand the value of your skills and experience. For example, instead of saying “I was responsible for managing a team of employees,” say “I led a team of 10 employees that increased sales by 15% in the past year.”

3. Use the right Keywords in the Job Description

When you are applying for jobs, take the time to read the job description carefully and identify the key skills and experience that the employer is looking for. Then, ensure you include these keywords in your resume. This will help your resume get noticed by employers.

4. Proofread and Edit thoroughly

Well, humans are prone to make mistakes. We are not programmed. However, you don’t want this excuse to cost you your only chance of getting something tangible for yourself. So, before you hit the end, ensure you double check for errors, both in grammar and sentence structure. You can read your resume aloud or ask someone to help you proofread your work. A well-written and error-free resume will make a good impression on employers.

5. Use Standard Fonts – Canadian Resume Format

When formatting your resume, use standard fonts, such as Times New Roman or Arial. These fonts are easy to read and will make your resume look professional.

Summarize your Qualifications

In the summary section of your resume, briefly summarize your skills and experience. This will give employers a quick overview of your qualifications and why you are a good fit for the job.

6. Keep Your Resume Simple – One Page

Unless you have a lot of Canadian experience, your resume should be one page long. This will make it easier for employers to read and will help you stand out from other applicants.

Start with Relevant work History

If you have any relevant work experience, start your resume with this section. This will show employers that you have the experience they are looking for.

7. Include a Cover Letter

A cover letter is a great way to introduce yourself to employers and explain why you are interested in the job. It is also an excellent opportunity to highlight your skills and experience.

 Although most job postings place this as optional, as an international student, it’s important you attach a cover letter to your application. This serves different purposes. First, a well-written cover letter can better explain your lack of experience due to your current state (International student).


How to write a resume for international students in Canada?

Here are some tips on how to write a resume for international students in Canada:

  • Use a chronological resume format. 
  • Highlight your skills and experience.
  • Use keywords from the job description. 
  • Proofread your resume carefully. 
  • Get someone else to proofread your resume. 

What is Canada’s acceptable resume format?

The chronological resume format is the one that is most frequently used in Canada. In this arrangement, your employment history is listed in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent position.

However, other resume styles, like the functional resume format and the combination resume format, are acceptable in Canada. The combination resume format includes aspects of the chronological and functional resume forms, whereas the functional resume format places an emphasis on your talents and expertise.

How do I make a Canadian resume?

Here are the steps on how to make a Canadian resume:

  1. Choose the right resume format.
  2. Include your contact information.
  3. Write a summary statement.
  4. List your work experience.
  5. List your education.
  6. List your skills.
  7. Proofread your resume carefully.

Is the CV the same as resume Canada?

No, the CV and the resume are not the same thing. A CV is a more comprehensive document that includes your entire work history, education, and publications. A resume is a shorter document that is specifically tailored to a specific job.

In Canada, it is more common to use the term “resume” than “CV.” However, some employers may ask for a CV, so it is important to be familiar with both documents.

Conclusion : Canadian Resume Format

With these tips, you can create an interesting Canadian Resume to give you an edge above other job applications. Do you need help to create yours? Contract today!

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