There are many challenges that one might face when he or she arrives in a new country. We, at Community Tree, are committed to giving you that support by curating events that help you jump-start your new life and career in Canada.
There are an unlimited number of online resources on resume and cover letter writing. However, how do you navigate through the avalanche of information that a simple google search opens you to? On Thursday, May 28th, Community Tree conducted a virtual ‘Resume and Cover Letter Workshop’. Vancouver based Business and Life Mentor, Natasha Karan, shared her experience of recruitment in Canada and gave the audience her professional tips on how to nail resume and cover letter writing.
Here are some noteworthy insights from the session.
Resume Do’s – Make sure your name is big and bold at the top – Add only your phone number and email address – Add a short bio (not more than 3 – 4 lines) – Include only the most recent highlights of your career, up to 5 years old – Mention key achievements (Include numbers where relevant. It’s always good to quantify your achievements) – Mention your key contributions to the projects you worked on
Don’ts – Do not include your picture – Do not include social media profiles except Linkedin – make sure it’s up to date – Don’t add any information which can lead to discrimination such as, age, photo, marital status, gender, etc.
Always Remember that… Hiring managers are looking for experience and consistency. Even when unemployed, look for small projects you can work on and add them to your profile. Pro Tip: If you can’t find a project, create one!
Cover Letter Yes, it’s important to write a cover letter and customize it for every job application; unless you have a recruiting manager representing you! While a resume can be impersonal, a cover letter is where you can be more creative and add your personal flavour. Write as if you are talking to the hiring manager. Go beyond the template. Write about who you are as a person and how you could add value to the company.
Here a simple structure you may follow: It is always safe to start your letter with “To whom it may concern,” – Short Bio. Write about yourself. Keep the tone objective. Not more than 3-4 sentences. – Value Add Research the company’s values and objectives. Write how your values and skills are a good fit for the company. – Skills Mention only those skills related to the job position. Great place to mention your soft skills. For example: communication skills, leadership skills, presentation skills etc
Always Remember! A cover letter should be between half a page to one page in length
Get a Recruiter! It’s always good to have someone in the market vouching for you! – Apply to different agencies and choose wisely – Recruiters represent you for free – They help you present your profile better
Growth vs Fixed Mindset – Instead of volunteering, get a job that pays – Keep an open mind, and build your network of professional people – Get your foot in the door and build your Canadian work experience
Audience Questions: Do I connect with the job poster/hiring manager via LinkedIn or any social media after applying for the job? No. Most people don’t want to be contacted on social media and LinkedIn inmail unless they know you.
Is It important to have a LinkedIn Profile? Though not a must have, it helps you have a digital presence. Keep your profile updated as recruiters will search for you on LinkedIn.
Is it required to have the work permit or visa before I look for a job in Canada? Yes. It is highly preferred if you have a work permit or visa beforehand.
Fun Fact: The word résumé comes from the French word résumé meaning “summary”. Leonardo da Vinci is credited with the first résumé.
We hope this was helpful and we look forward to seeing you all at our next Career E-Hangout.
Stay tuned! Community Tree Team