Are you new to Canada? There are certain things recruiters look for as indicators that you are suitable for the job you’re applying for.
Most recent role – Most recruiters will try to figure out what your employment status is and why you might even be interested in a new role. Were you laid off? Did you get fired? Have you only been in your current role for a few months? Is your most recent experience relevant to the position for which the recruiter is hiring? For recent immigrants or new Canadians – the reason is more obvious. The challenge for you is to relate as much as possible how your most recent role (albeit in a different country) is related as to the job you are applying for. Think about the skills you possess and the tools (e.g. project skills, computer software) you used. Even though the countries may differ some of the tools remain the same!
Company recognition – recruiters can be “company snobs” at times. The largest companies tend to have more name recognition. When your resume has no company recognition because you are a new immigrant – it’s even worst. For employers, it’s purely a matter of how quickly they can assign a frame of reference. This can be the case for anyone who has only worked for small or obscure companies most employers have never heard of. When employers can’t assign company recognition, it just means they have to read the resume a little deeper. For new immigrants with experience in companies from a different country it means relating the experience and company agenda a little more. Think about things like international projects that the company might be involved in North America – are there any projects that you worked on that were global in nature? Does the company have global offices? Did you work with employees with different backgrounds? Were there training opportunities that you were able to take part in that involved Canada? Are there any professional conferences that you attended in North America? All of these become vitally important to your resume now. Use every opportunity to link education, training, professional development courses/opportunities to the Canadian job market.
Overall experience — Recruiters will want to know – is there career progression? Do you have increasing levels of responsibility? Do the titles make sense? Do the responsibilities listed therein match what recruiters are looking for.
Gaps – Most recruiters don’t mind gaps as long as there is sufficient explanation. You recently immigrated to Canada? You took three years off to raise your children? You tried your hand at starting your own company ? Very impressive! Gap sufficiently explained. Whatever it is, just say it. The absence of an explanation will make a recruiter wonder.
Personal web presence — This includes personal domains, Twitter handle, GitHub contributions, dribble account or anything a candidate has chosen to list. 2 out of 3 times, recruiters almost always click through to a candidate’s website or twitter account. It’s now a very common aspect of recruiting.
General logistics — This should be included – Location and eligibility to work in Canada (or the US as the case maybe).
Overall organization — This includes spelling, grammar, ease of use, ability to clearly present ideas.
Present yourself well to make a good first impression! If you haven’t arrived in Canada yet – see previous post “Immigrating to Canada? Make these 6 Career Moves Before You Arrive”.