Tips for a polished Resume

A polished Resume is the first step to a successful Canadian job search.

by Juliana de Souza, CCDP


It is with great pleasure that I am starting this new column to help Brazilian Wave’s readers with their job search in Canada. I am a Brazilian immigrant myself, and I now have over eight years’ experience as an employment counselor in British Columbia assisting a wide range of clients, including those new to Canada, to achieve their employment goals.

A successful journey to a new career in the True North starts with a well-written Resume that will help you secure a job interview. This document is the summary of your work and education history, with a focus on your achievements rather than on job duties. It can also include your volunteer experience and any other information such as memberships and certifications appropriate for the position you are applying for.

Being relevant is crucial, especially when it comes to providing details about your background and expertise. Your Resume should only display pertinent information related to the job you are seeking. Furthermore, it should target the position and the company; the idea of having one Resume and using it to apply for different jobs doesn’t work in the Canadian labour market.

I cannot stress enough, the importance of being relevant on your application. For instance, if someone has a PhD and is currently applying for a job as a cashier,* the Resume should not include this person’s higher education, as a PhD is not relevant for a cashier position. The rule of thumb is to provide employers with only significant information that makes you the best candidate for the position they are trying to fill.

To help you organize your experience in a way that best displays your expertise, there are three types of Resumes: reverse chronological (focus on your work history), functional (focus on your transferable skills) and combination (combines, as the name suggests, both reverse chronological and functional formats). Each style of Resume works best according to your own work history.

Reverse chronological is the favourite style among Human Resource professionals, as it easily shows one’s work history. But unfortunately, it won’t help a job seeker with employment gaps, or who is in the midst of a career change, or a senior professional applying for an entry-level job. In this case, a functional Resume works best. A combination style of Resume is best to use when you have unrelated work experience and would like to place emphasis on your skills rather than your work history.

As a marketing tool, your Resume should have an impeccable design to attract an employer’s positive attention. Ensure your document has lots of white spaces and the use of fonts, size, bullets and margins is consistent. You should not include any personal information such as SIN number, marital status, age, gender or a picture. Spelling mistakes and typos are sure to get your Resume in the reject pile, so ask someone you trust to proofread your document.  Lastly, if you have a LinkedIn profile, it should be consistent with your Resume. Some employers have disqualified candidates based on discrepancies found between them.

See you in the next issue! Meanwhile, you can send me topic suggestions for my next articles by email.

*We all need to pay our bills, and I won’t discuss here the reasons why someone with a PhD would be applying for a job as cashier; it is a separate topic.

Juliana de Souza is a certified career development practitioner and Resume writer in BC. She has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from PUC-Campinas, Brazil, and eight years of working experience in the employment field. Through her work, she has helped new Canadians and other professionals achieve their employment goals. The best ways to contact Juliana are by email at: [email protected] or by her LinkedIn profile: