Applying for a Job
This section includes tips and advice on resume writing, cover letter writing, and communicating with the potential employer. Go to the end of the introduction to see links to related articles.
Why do you need to read about resume and cover letter writing at all? Here is what Anne Brunelle, one of our volunteer employment counselors, says:
When you first come to Ontario, you may have trouble finding a job. This is partly because the job search skills you developed back home may be different from what you need in Canada.
One of the major differences is that Canadian culture, including business culture, is much less formal than business cultures in most other countries. Résumés and cover letters need to be formal in Canadian terms but that may seem very casual by other countries' standards.
Most employers expect the first contact with a job seeker to be through a résumé. The purpose of a résumé is to get you an interview. The résumé should include your name, address, phone number, e-mail address (if you have one) and your skills and work history. It should not include any reference to your age, gender, race, religion or marital status. Canadian employers expect to see point-form lists in résumés, rather than carefully written paragraphs. Résumés are rarely more than 2 pages long.
Cover letters should be one page, and addressed to a specific person, if at all possible. It is best if you can find out the appropriate person's name (for example, Ms. Susan Smith) rather than use a generic title. If you cannot find the name of the person responsible for hiring, address the cover letter to "Hiring Manager" or "Employer" rather than "To Whom it May Concern".
It is important that all correspondence you send out looks professional. Use good quality white or ivory paper (colours, even pale grey and blue, can look distorted when FAXed.)
If you are sending your résumé by e-mail, check to see if the company you are sending it to will accept attachments - many do not, due to the risk of computer viruses. If they do not accept attachments, you will need to create an ASCII text résumé and send that in the body of your e-mail message.
Job search skills in Canada may seem strange, but all that it requires are skills which you can learn.
· Resume Basics: Content and Design
· Writing a Resume that Works
· Getting the Most from Informational Interviews
· Writing a Compelling Cover Letter
· Dos and Don'ts of Job Search Etiquette
· Resume Writing
· Resume Formats for the Electronic Age
· Glossary of Job Search Terms