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Canada Cover Letter Format And Free Samples (2023)

Canada Cover Letter

In Canada, a well-written cover letter can be just as important as a strong resume when it comes to landing your dream job.

While cover letters may seem daunting, they are an essential component of the job application process. A well-crafted cover letter can set you apart from other applicants and demonstrate your professionalism, attention to detail, and passion for the position.

In this article, we’ll provide tips and guidelines to help you create a compelling Canada cover letter that will impress employers and increase your chances of landing an interview.

Canada Cover Letter Font

6. signature, researching the company, proofreading and editing, cover letter sample 3 (fresher), canada cover letter basics.

A cover letter is a document that introduces you to potential employers and highlights your qualifications, skills, and experience. It is your chance to make a great first impression and convince hiring managers that you are the right person for the job.

Canada Cover Letter Format

In Canada, a cover letter should follow a standard format that includes your contact information, the date, and the recipient’s contact information. Begin with your name, address, and contact details, followed by the date and the recipient’s name, and address. Use a clear and organized layout to ensure your cover letter is easily readable.

Canada Cover Letter Length

A Canadian cover letter should be concise and limited to one page in length . This allows you to effectively showcase your qualifications and experiences without overwhelming the reader.

It is crucial to choose a professional-looking font for your cover letter. Common font choices include Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Be consistent with your font selection throughout the cover letter to maintain a polished appearance.

When it comes to font size, aim for a balance between readability and space efficiency. A font size of 10 to 12 points is generally considered appropriate in a Canadian cover letter. This ensures the text is large enough to be easily readable, but not too large that it takes up excessive space on the page.

Canada Cover Letter Structure

The structure of a Canadian cover letter typically consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion .

  • In the introduction , you should introduce yourself and express your interest in the position.
  • In the body , focus on your qualifications, relevant skills, and experiences that make you a valuable candidate for the job.
  • Conclude by thanking the reader for their time and consideration.

Canadian cover letters typically begin with a header containing the applicant’s name, job title, city and province, phone number, and email address.

It’s also essential to include the current date . The header should be consistent with the one used in the applicant’s resume for a cohesive presentation.

2. Greeting

In the greeting section, address the hiring manager by their full name and title. If the name is not available, use a generic salutation such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern.”

Personalization is preferred, so make an effort to find the hiring manager’s name when possible.

The opening paragraph serves as an introduction and an opportunity to grab the hiring manager’s attention. Applicants should briefly mention the job title and company they’re applying to, and express enthusiasm for both the position and the organization.

Including keywords from the job posting and aligning personal skills with the employer’s requirements will make the opening more impactful.

In the body of the cover letter, applicants should elaborate on their relevant skills, experiences, and achievements. It’s necessary to make connections between the job requirements and the applicant’s qualifications.

  • When discussing experiences, be specific and focus on accomplishments rather than just listing responsibilities.
  • Use bullet points or short paragraphs to present the information in a clear and easy-to-read manner.

The body of the letter should effectively convey the applicant’s background and qualifications while demonstrating a genuine interest in the role and the company.

The closing section is the final opportunity to leave a positive impression on the hiring manager. Here, applicants should reiterate their enthusiasm for the position and summarize their qualifications .

It’s also appropriate to politely request an interview and express gratitude for the manager’s time and consideration. End the closing paragraph with a professional and respectful closing such as “Sincerely” or “Best Regards.”

Lastly, include a signature in the cover letter which may consist of the applicant’s full name and any relevant professional designation or certification.

If the cover letter is being sent electronically, either type the full name or use an electronic/digital signature as a more personal touch.

Customizing Your Cover Letter

Tailoring to the job.

When customizing your cover letter, it is essential to tailor it to the specific job you are applying for. Start by carefully reviewing the job description and noting the key requirements, responsibilities, and qualifications mentioned.

Then, in your cover letter, emphasize how your skills and experiences align with these aspects of the job. In doing so, be sure to use relevant keywords and phrases from the job description to demonstrate your understanding of the role.

Split your text into concise paragraphs that focus on different aspects of the job, such as your relevant experience, technical skills, and soft skills. You may also consider using bullet points to highlight specific achievements that directly relate to the position.

In addition to tailoring your cover letter to the job, you should also research the company and demonstrate how your values and goals align with theirs . This shows that you have taken the time to understand the organization’s culture and objectives and that you would be a good fit for the team.

You can find information about a company’s values and goals on its website or through news articles, press releases, and social media accounts.

Remember, customizing your cover letter for each position you apply to and researching the company can make a significant difference in making a positive first impression on a recruiter or hiring manager. By focusing on these aspects, you demonstrate your attention to detail and genuine interest in the job and company, improving your chances of landing an interview.

Writing Tips for a Canadian Cover Letter

Highlighting achievements.

When crafting a Canadian cover letter, it is essential to focus on the tangible accomplishments in your career. Mention specific achievements  that demonstrate your capabilities and experiences relevant to the job you are applying for.

Include quantifiable results, such as increased sales or improved customer satisfaction, to clearly showcase your successes. Use active verbs and concise language to communicate your achievements in a compelling manner.

Focusing on Skills and Qualifications

Employers want to see that you have the necessary skills and qualifications to succeed in the role. Align your skills with the requirements listed in the job description , and provide examples of how you have applied these skills in previous positions. Include both technical and transferable skills that will make you an asset to the company.

Providing specific examples can help create a strong connection between you and the organization, increasing your chances of being invited for an interview.

In addition, mention any relevant education or certifications that demonstrate your qualifications for the position.

Emphasizing Value

An effective cover letter should articulate the  value  you would bring to the company. Explain how your skills, achievements, and experiences will contribute to their success.

Relate your accomplishments to the goals and objectives of the company, and demonstrate your understanding of their priorities and challenges. By doing this, you will show potential employers that you can make a positive impact on their organization.

As a final step before submitting your cover letter, make sure to proofread and edit your work thoroughly. This includes checking for proper grammar, spelling, and formatting.

Ensure that your cover letter is one page long, left-aligned with single spacing , and has one-inch margins .

Use a professional font, such as Arial or Helvetica, at a size between 10 and 12 points. Double-check your work to eliminate any errors, as these may create a negative impression on potential employers.

With a well-written cover letter, applicants can confidently present themselves as an attractive candidate, ultimately improving their chances of career success.

Canada Cover Letter Examples

Cover letter sample 1.

Here’s a sample cover letter for a job in Canada:

Cover Letter Sample 2

Here’s another sample cover letter for a job in Canada:

Here’s another sample cover letter for a job in Canada, more suitable for freshers:

Writing an effective cover letter is a critical component of a successful job search in Canada. A well-written cover letter can demonstrate your interest in the position, showcase your qualifications and skills, and distinguish you from other applicants.

When writing your cover letter, it is essential to customize it for each position, research the company, and carefully proofread it to avoid any errors.

Remember to keep your cover letter concise, relevant, and professional, and highlight your unique skills and experiences that make you the ideal candidate for the position.

With these tips in mind, you can create a compelling cover letter that will capture the attention of potential employers and help you stand out in a competitive job market. Good luck with your job search!

Related Articles

  • How To Create ATS Friendly Resume For Canada
  • How To Write Work Experience On A Canadian Resume
  • Guide To Canadian Resume Format
  • How To Tailor Your Canadian Resume To Job Description
  • How To Write A Summary Statement For A Canadian Resume

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C.V. and Cover Letter

Your C.V. and cover letter are crucial documents in that they usually determine whether or not you will be invited for an interview. As such, they must showcase your most impressive skills and accomplishments. Therefore it is extremely important to tailor your C.V. and cover letter to the position you are targeting so employers know how your skills meet their needs.

C.V. and Cover Letter Review

You may schedule an appointment to have your C.V. or cover letter review by a Career Advisor by emailing careers.caps [at] mcgill.ca or by calling 514-398-3304

Please note that CaPS and McGill do not endorse any particular websites/services; the listing is for your information only.

C.v. and cover letter guides.

Consult the handouts for writing a successful C.V./résumé & cover letter.

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French CV & Cover Letter Samples

  • Modèles de CV (University of Ottawa)
  • Les essentiels: CV et lettres (Université de Montréal)
  • CV template websites

Recommended Books

You can borrow books containing résumé/C.V. and cover letter samples in both English and French from the McGill Library:

  • Cover letter books
  • C.V. and resume books
  • French C.V. and cover letter books

Translation Service

If you need any assistance in translating your C.V. or cover letter from English to French or vice versa, please contact the following agencies.

  • YES Montreal (Note: A fee is required for this service).

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Canadian Resume [Format, Tips & Examples for 2024]

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Canada is a unique country that combines some traits you’ll find in the USA with some you’ll find in Europe.

This goes for resumes, too.

That’s why, when applying for a job in Canada, you have to make sure your resume conforms to Canadian application standards.

Naturally, you might be wondering - what does a Canadian resume even look like?

If you’re a foreigner, you’re likely drawing a blank trying to figure out what makes a Canadian resume different from the one in your own country. Even if you’re Canadian, you might still need to brush up on your resume writing skills.

Luckily for you, we’re here to show you how to write a compelling Canadian resume.

Here’s what we’re going to go over:

  • Differences Between Canadian, US, and European Resumes
  • Canadian Resume Formatting
  • A Step-By-Step Breakdown on How To Write A Canadian Resume

And more!  Let’s get started!

Canadian Resume Example

Let’s take a look at a Canadian resume example:

canadian resume format

Here’s what this resume does right:

  • Reverse-chronological format. This format highlights your most recent work experience first and is a recruiter favorite all around the world.
  • Relevant contact details. This resume example highlights the candidate’s first and last name, phone number, email address, location, and LinkedIn URL.
  • Captivating resume summary. The paragraph nested in the header summarizes the candidate’s most essential skills and accomplishments.
  • Action words. The candidate uses action verbs and power words to describe work responsibilities.
  • Bullet points. The resume leverages bullet points to appear easy to read, organized, and reader-friendly.
  • Additional sections. Language proficiency, certifications, awards, and interests all give a holistic view of the candidate and add value to their application.

Free Canadian Resume Templates

Creating a resume from scratch is time-consuming work. 

You need to twitch the margins, keep the fonts uniform, carefully align every element you add, and make sure it never spills over to page two.

But you can skip all that hassle if you use a resume template .

Novoresume’s templates are created in collaboration with recruiters and meet all job market requirements. 

Any template you use can save you time and let you write your resume in minutes.

novoresume templates

Canadian Resume Specifics

There are a few basic things to keep in mind when crafting your Canadian resume. First things first:

The terms resume and CV can be used interchangeably in parts of Canada. In Quebec, for example, both terms refer to a one or two-page-long summary of a candidate’s career that’s tailored to the job they’re applying for.

Outside of Quebec, however, a CV is different from a resume in that it’s far more detailed and appropriate for academic positions or specific senior-level applications. 

Most job postings will ask for a resume unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Some other things to keep in mind about Canadian resumes include:

  • Keep your resume one to two pages . A one-page resume is more than enough if you’re a recent graduate or new to the job market. Two-page resumes are recommended for seasoned professionals, and in certain cases, a three-page resume can be acceptable.
  • Write your resume in the same language as the job offer. If you’re going for a position in Quebec and the advertisement is in French, then use French. Don’t assume they’ll accept a resume in English unless it’s explicitly written so on the job posting.
  • Skip personal information and photos. Your resume should never give away your appearance, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, marital status, number of children, or any personal identification numbers.
  • Don’t list references with your application unless the employer has requested them. Assumably, you can provide references if requested, so dedicating space on your resume when you’re not asked to is a waste.

Canadian Resume vs. US Resume

Both the USA and Canada prefer using resumes over CVs. In fact, Canadian and US resumes are almost identical.

The biggest difference? The language the document is written in.

You might be thinking - wait, I thought Canada used English?

Only partly.

Canada has two official languages - English and French. Both of these languages have standardized Canadian spellings, so that means they are not 100% the same as American English or European French.

Most of the terminology on your Canadian resume will be just about the same as it would be on its US equivalent. The biggest difference will probably be the added “u” to words like colour, and favourite , and the spelling of words like catalogue, centre, and cheque, as opposed to catalog, center, and check.

Before submitting your application, consider using a grammar checker like Grammarly or QuillBot to make sure your resume is up to par with Canadian spelling conventions .

Canadian Resume vs. European Resume

Typically, a resume in most of Europe, Asia, and the Pacific is referred to as a CV. The term resume in Canada refers to the same document that a CV refers to in Europe.

Both documents are meant to be one to two pages long, and list skills and experience relevant to the position you’re applying for. So in this sense, a European CV is actually different from a Canadian CV.

In Canada, a CV is an extensive document and is usually required in academic settings rather than for corporate job applications. The CV can be anywhere from two to ten pages long since it’s meant to list everything - from work experience to projects to publications.

European resumes also tend to be more detailed. For example, they can include details on high school education and grades, even if the candidate has a college degree. In Canada, that’s not the case. Your high school education is irrelevant if you have a higher degree of education.

The biggest difference between Canadian resumes and European ones is the amount of personal information you’re allowed to give away. For example, in Germany including a picture of yourself on your resume is common, but that’s absolutely not the case in Canada. There, your date of birth and nationality are a no-go.

These bits of information can be used to discriminate against you, so you’re supposed to keep them out of your resume as a precaution to give everyone a fair chance. Recruiters often consider resumes that overshare details of the candidate’s life (e.g.: race, age, date of birth, religion, political affiliation, etc.) unprofessional.

Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Your Canadian Resume

You’ve seen what a Canadian resume looks like. Now it’s time to write your own.

If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry -  we’ve here to help you get it right.

Just follow these steps:

#1. Use the Correct Format

The most popular resume format in Canada is the reverse-chronological format (which is also called the chronological format).

It’s so widely used that it’s expected by most recruiters. The chronological format puts your most recent work experiences first and then goes back in time.

Here’s an example of what it looks like:

reverse chronological resume format

One of the other formats is the functional resume format , also known as the skills-based resume format, which focuses on your key strengths and abilities. It’s recommended for career changers or recent graduates with little-to-no experience in the field they’re applying for.

Then, we have the combination resume format . As the name suggests, it mixes elements of both the chronological and functional format. This format gives equal attention to a candidate’s experience and skills. It provides a detailed skill summary and is a good choice for applicants who have a noticeable employment gap but plenty of work experience nonetheless.

#2. Follow These Layout Tips

If your resume looks cluttered and unorganized, the hiring manager is less likely to want to read it.

But paying attention to your resume’s layout can get you a better chance.

Stick to these formatting tips when building your Canadian resume:

  • Have separate sections for all the information you want to add.
  • Use a professional and easily legible resume font . 
  • Let your resume breathe - leave in enough white space so the contents are easier to read, by setting your resume margins to 1” on all sides. 
  • Save your resume in the correct document size. Canadian resumes use a standard North American letter size (8.5 x 11 inches), instead of the A4 size common elsewhere. You can do this easily in the Novoresume editor by choosing “Layout” in the top menu and choosing “US Letter Format”.

#3. List the Right Contact Information

Once you’ve sorted out your resume layout, it’s time to start filling in its content.

The contact information section is the first thing you should list. Here’s what to include:

  • Name and surname
  • Canadian phone number
  • Address (City and Province)
  • Professional email address

Optionally, you can include a link to your LinkedIn profile, a personal website, or an online portfolio. Just make sure they’re updated and relevant to the application.

#4. Write Your Resume Summary

Each resume only has a few seconds to catch a recruiter’s attention, so you have to make yours eye-catching and easy to read.

Here’s where a resume summary comes in. 

Going at the top of your resume, a resume summary is a two or three-sentence-long summary of your career. It includes:

  • Your professional title and years of experience. 
  • Two-three of your biggest achievements.
  • One-two of your top relevant skills for the position.

resume summary formula

If you’re less experienced, you can opt for a resume objective instead. A resume objective focuses on your skills and motivation to grow in your chosen field, rather than on prior experience and professional achievements.

When applying for a remote job for a company based in Canada, mention this in your resume summary. If you’re looking for a company that’s going to relocate you to Canada , make sure to mention that in your resume instead, so you don’t waste time for yourself or the hiring manager.

#5. Include Your Work Experience

Work experience is the most important section on a Canadian resume . 

It lets you expand on your past achievements and responsibilities, proving to the hiring manager you’re the best candidate for the job.

Here’s how you should structure this section:

  • Start with your most recent job and go back in time. That said, don’t go back more than ten or 15 years ago, even if you’re a senior professional. The hiring manager doesn’t care about your job as a server from back in college.
  • Start with your job title. The recruiter will immediately know if you have the necessary experience for the job from reading your job title.
  • Add your company name and location. Sometimes you can even add a brief description of your former employer, particularly if it’s a smaller business that isn’t well-known.
  • Include your dates of employment. There’s no need to be super detailed, so just stick to the mm/yyyy format.
  • List your job responsibilities and achievements. Provide 4-6 bullet points for your most recent position and 2-3 bullets for older jobs.

Structuring your work experience the right way is only half the work. To stand out from the competition, you want this section to be as impressive as possible.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help with that:

  • Reference the job ad, and focus on the top skills and qualifications required from candidates. Tailor your work experience around the skills that you do have to draw attention away from the ones you don’t.
  • Focus more on achievements over day-to-day responsibilities. The hiring manager already has an idea of what your responsibilities for a certain job were. What they’re interested to know is what you achieved while doing it.
  • Quantify your accomplishments as often as possible. Use the Laszlo Bock formula ( “accomplished X as measured by Y by doing Z” ) to provide a timeframe, scale, and results for what you’ve achieved. e,g: “ Increased annual revenue growth from 5% to 10% through the implementation of a financial roadmap. ” 
  • Use powerful words and action verbs . Recruiters hate hearing generic phrases like “responsible for” or “team player,” so using the right vocabulary can help you stick out. 

work experience on a resume

Are you a recent graduate with no work experience on your resume ? Don’t sweat it - we’ve got a guide to help you find your first job .

#6. Add Your Education

In Canadian resumes, the education section typically goes right under your work experience.

Here’s how you should format this section:

  • Program Name. E.g: “B.A. in Computer Science”
  • University Name. E.g: “Ohio State University”
  • Years Attended. E.g: “08/2018 - 06/2022”
  • Achievements (optional). E.g. “Minor in Linguistics” 

It should look something like this:

B.A. in Computer Science

Concordia University

08/2019 - 06/2023

  • Summa Cum Laude
  • Minor in Business Analytics

Follow these tips to make this section pop:

  • Don’t describe your high school education if you have a university degree.
  • Mention courses you’ve taken that are relevant to the industry you’re applying to. (E.g: Statistics and Probability for a Data Analyst)
  • Stick to a reverse chronological format when listing your degrees. E.g: A Ph.D. is listed above a Master’s Degree, which is listed above a Bachelor’s degree, etc.
  • If you don’t have work experience, you can emphasize your academic background. Just list your education at the top of your resume instead of the work experience.

#7. Highlight Your Greatest Skills & Strengths

The skill section shows which candidates have the necessary expertise for the job, and no Canadian resume is complete without it.

Skills are typically divided into two categories:

  • Soft skills consist of personality traits and characteristics developed in your personal and professional life. They involve communication skills , people skills, interpersonal skills , etc.
  • Hard skills, or technical abilities, are skills you can gain from experience, training, or education. These can include computer skills or proficiency in the use of specific tools.

The trick here is, don’t list every skill you’ve ever learned, just the ones relevant to the job you’re applying for.

If you’re going to be a graphic designer, your Photoshop skills are more important than your forklift certification. Recruiters want to know which skills make you the right candidate for them, not which skills make you the most well-rounded individual.

Scan the job description and jot down which of your skills the company is looking for. Then add them to your Canadian resume.

Just make sure you don’t focus solely on one type of skill over the other. A good application covers both soft skills and hard skills, depending on the job requirements.

Here’s an example:

skills on resume

#8. Leverage Additional Sections

If you’ve covered all the essential resume sections and have some space left, consider adding some optional resume sections.

These sections aren’t as vital as the ones we’ve covered so far, and they won’t do as much heavy lifting on your resume as your work experience, skills, or education.

However, they can help set you apart from candidates with similar work experience and skills as yours. 

For example, if choosing between two equally qualified professionals, and the position includes collaboration with French-speaking employees or business partners, the hiring manager is likely to choose a candidate who can speak French.

Here are the additional sections you can include on your resume:

  • Languages . Being able to communicate in more than one language gives you an advantage over other candidates.
  • Internships. Adding any relevant internships to your resume shows you have some experience that’s prepared you for the job you’re applying to.
  • Volunteer experience . Any experience volunteering is a great addition to any resume since it shows you’re a caring person who wants to give back to your community.
  • Hobbies and interests . Certain hobbies or interests might give the hiring manager a look into who you are as a person, and work in your favor.
  • Certifications and awards. Any relevant qualifications or awards, such as online classes, can go here.
  • Publications. If you’ve published anything, ranging from magazines to research articles, you can add it to your resume.
  • Projects. Interesting projects you’ve worked on can show the hiring manager your passion and dedication to your field.

#9. Include a cover letter

Cover letters are still an essential companion piece to any resume.

Adding a cover letter to your application shows the hiring manager you’re ready to take all the necessary steps to land the job.

Cover letters also complement resumes by allowing you to elaborate on things you don’t have the space for in your resume, such as certain achievements or employment gaps.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what your cover letter should include:

  • Header. As with your resume, include your updated contact information with your name, surname, Canadian phone number, and professional email address. Be sure to include the employer’s contact information as well.
  • Greeting line. Make sure you address the cover letter correctly with a greeting line like “ Dear John Doe, ” or “ Dear Mr. Doe, ”. If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, just use something like “ Dear [Department] Team. ” 
  • Introduction. Start off with a brief summary of why you’re writing the letter and which position you’re interested in. To grab the hiring manager’s attention, use your opening paragraph to also describe two or three of your top achievements.
  • Qualifications and motivation. The body of your cover letter should emphasize your skills, experience, and enthusiasm for the position. Use it to explain exactly what makes you the right candidate and how you’re the right fit for the company.
  • Closing paragraph . Wrap up your letter with a call to action and an official signature line.

Struggling to write your cover letter? Check out these cover letter examples to get inspired.

FAQs About Canadian Resumes

Do you still have any questions? Check out the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Canadian resumes.

1. How can I create a Canadian resume as an international student?

Whether you’re looking to apply to a university in Canada, secure an internship , or land your first job after your graduation, your main focus should be on your academic achievements.

Education is highly valued in Canada and your credentials and relevant coursework will boost your resume, so long as you keep it relevant to the position you’re applying for.

When describing your education, you can also add the location next to your school or university’s name. E.g.: “Marmara University, Turkey” instead of just “Marmara University”.

2. Should the Canadian resume be in a PDF or Word file format?

Generally speaking, a PDF is the preferred format for resumes since it remains the same regardless of what operating system or device you use to open it. Moreover, it keeps your formatting and illustrations in place, and can’t be edited by accident when a recruiter mislicks.

Most career websites in Canada accept resumes as both PDF and Word files. Nonetheless, we recommend you have your Canadian resume exported to PDF unless the job ad specifically requests Word.

3. Do Canadians say CV or resume?

Depending on what part of Canada you’re in, people might say CV and resume interchangeably. However, outside of Quebec, these are two different documents.

Resumes are typically not longer than two pages and are meant to be tailored to the job you’re applying for. CVs, on the other hand, are far more detailed and appropriate for academic settings or specific senior-level applications.

4. What should you NOT include on a Canadian resume?

As an anti-discrimination measure, pictures of yourself and personal information, are legally prohibited from job applications. This means your nationality, age, gender, religion, immigration status, political affiliation, marital status, and social insurance number, have no place on your resume.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s taboo for applicants to include their salary expectations on a Canadian resume. Salary expectations should only be provided if requested by the employer, and even then, they are best included in a cover letter, never on your resume.

Key Takeaways

And that’s a- boot it for Canadian resumes!

Let’s recap the main things you need to know on the subject:

  • Canadian resumes are essentially the same as US resumes. You won’t have any difficulties applying with a US resume for a position in Canada, but Canadian English is preferred over standardized American English.
  • A Canadian resume is the equivalent of a CV in Europe and most other parts of the world. However, a CV in Canada is a much longer document that’s used mostly to apply for jobs in academia.
  • Keep your formatting clear, and use separate sections and legable fonts when building your resume.
  • When applying to jobs in Canada, you should never include anything that could be used to discriminate against you, such as information about your age, nationality, and immigration status, or pictures of yourself.

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How do you write a cover letter for Canada? We’re here to provide tips on how to write a focused Canadian cover letter and supply you with cover letter examples.

Being able to write a cover letter for Canada is a must for all professional job applications and is crucial to finding work in the country, so let’s get started.

Write the perfect cover letter for Canada’s job market

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to creating the perfect cover letter for Canada is that there’s a three-pronged approach to success.

First of all, you need to introduce yourself and the job you are applying for.

Secondly, make it patently clear that your skill set matches that requirements listed in the job description.

Finally, articulate the reasons why you would be an ideal candidate for an interview but don’t be too pushy.

OK, so let’s look at these three points in closer detail.

  • Always state your relevant skills and reasons why you are right for the role in question as early as possible in your cover letter for Canada. A cover letter in Canada is not all about you. Ensure you spend at least 30 per cent of the document talking about what you know about the company — recent projects, company values, company news. Make the company feel special and they will be more likely to invite you for an interview.
  • Do not simply rehash your resume. Instead you should focus on showing why the skills and experience you have would be a fit for the role in question . It makes sense to address each requirement in turn, doing so shows the hiring manager that you understand the role clearly and could be a great fit for the position.
  • Do your research on the company and demonstrate this in your cover letter to ensure you make a good first impression. Don’t take it as a given. Highlight what you know, but don’t be brash about it.
  • Don’t forget that you will need two documents — a resume and cover letter — for a successful job application in Canada. Keep your resume brief and then craft a cover letter to provide more nuance to the key skills and attributes that you will bring to the role if hired. In brief, make sure that you “tick all the boxes” that are outlined in the job description.
  • Our comprehensive resume guide should help you with the accompanying resume, which is also crucial to landing an interview and ultimately your dream job in Canada.
  • Also, we have listed some common interview questions and how to answer them.

how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

Want to write the best Canadian cover letter possible?

A cover letter for canada: always needed.

In some instances — such as if you are lucky enough to be referred by an employee of a company — a cover letter may not be completely necessary. However, it is best to write a Canadian cover letter for each job application as it is a means of demonstrating your understanding of the position and how your skills and experience match the requirements. This is particularly true if you want to land that dream career job.

Take the time to understand the company and elaborate concisely about how you can help them. That’s how to make a strong first impression and write a successful cover letter. Generic cover letters for Canada that state “I have always wanted to work for {insert company name} . . .” don’t cut it, so differentiate yourself by showing the company you are genuinely interested in them.

Don’t forget to download the  Moving2Canada Getting Started Guide today. In this free guide you will find detailed templates for a Canadian-style resume and a Canadian cover letter. The guide will give you exclusive access to our proven cover letter techniques and will help you accelerate your job search in your new home.

how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

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A Canadian cover letter is a short document written in response to a specific job prospect and addressed directly to the hiring manager or individual in charge of hiring for the position. It should add to the information contained in your resume and resent you to the employer as a candidate.

Cover letters are essential in the hiring process as they provide candidates with the opportunity to introduce themselves, demonstrate their qualifications, and show enthusiasm for a specific role and company.

They serve as a personalized communication tool, allowing candidates to make a positive first impression, tailor their message to the job, and address potential concerns or unique situations.

A well-written cover letter enhances a candidate’s chances of standing out and securing an interview in Canada .

The following are general guidelines only. You must tailor your cover letter to suit your own experiences, and to suit the specific position you are applying for.

Before You Begin

Once you find a specific job posting that you want to apply for, you can begin to work on your application cover letter. Following these steps before you begin will help you write the best cover letter possible.

1. Do Your Research

Before you begin to write your cover letter, learn everything that you can about the company or organization you are applying to. Check out their website and social media pages, research their top competitors, and read recent industry news articles. Learn the name(s) of the individual(s) who will be in charge of hiring for the position you want, as well as the head(s) of the company.

Also, keep in mind the job description and requirements for the role. it allows you to create a cover letter that showcases your qualifications, aligns with the company’s needs, and demonstrates your genuine interest in the position. This, in turn, increases your chances of being noticed and considered for the role.

Doing this research will help you decide what you should include. Do your research for every cover letter you write. It may take some time, but you have a much better chance of being granted an interview if you have tailored your cover letter to the individual who will be reading it.

2. Check for Instructions

Some employers include instructions in their job postings. They might ask you to include specific information or answer certain questions, in your cover letter. Check whether the employer has left any specific instructions for your cover letter. If they have, follow them carefully.

3. Save time by using a Master Template:

Creating a separate cover letter for every job application can be exhausting. Instead, develop a comprehensive cover letter template that highlights your key qualifications, skills, and experiences.

Keep a library of snippets or bullet points highlighting your achievements, skills, and relevant experiences. You can easily insert these into your cover letter as needed. This template can serve as a foundation for various job applications, making the process more efficient.

Formatting Guidelines

There is a standard cover letter format that most Canadian employers will expect you to follow. However, depending on your industry and the specific job posting you are responding to, you may have to change the formatting of your cover letter.

1. Length  Your cover letter should be no more than one page in total.

2. Font  Your font should be consistent throughout your cover letter, and you should choose a professional-looking font. Your font size should be big enough that it is easy to read when your cover letter is printed.

3. Spacing  Your cover letter should be appropriately spaced. The main body should be single-spaced, with sufficient space left between each new paragraph and section.

What to Include

There are seven sections in a cover letter.

1. Your Information  Your name and contact information should be at the top of your cover letter. Include your:

  • First and last name
  • Current residential address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

2. Date  Below your information, write the date that you are sending your cover letter.

3. Employer Information  Below the date, include the contact information of the individual, department, or company you are addressing in the cover letter. If you know the name of the individual, include their:

  • Position title
  • Company or organization name
  • Commercial address of the company or organization

If you do not know the name of the individual, include:

  • Department in charge of hiring decisions (if known)
  • Commercial address of company or organization

4. Greeting  Use a formal greeting to open your letter. If you know the name of the individual making hiring decisions, address them directly with their prefix and full name. If you don’t know the name of the individual, use a formal, generic greeting like ‘To whom it may concern,’.

5. Main Text:  There are three parts to the main text of your cover letter: the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Introduction  In the first paragraph of your cover letter, you should introduce yourself as a candidate . Include your first name and the position you are applying for. You can also include your post-relevant qualification and how you found the job posting. If you have a contact at the company who referred you to the job, you may want to mention him or her by name and department. Your introduction should be no more than two to three sentences.

Body  In the next couple of paragraphs, you want to convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the job position. Tell them why they should invest in you. If you’re not sure what to include, try to answer these questions:

  • What projects have you worked on that are relevant to this position? What did you learn from them? Why does this make you a better candidate?
  • What responsibilities have you held that are relevant to this position? What did you learn from them? Why does this make you a better candidate?
  • What do you intend to do if you are hired? What benefit does the employer get if he or she hires you instead of someone else?

The body of your cover letter should be one or two paragraphs.

Conclusion  The conclusion is the final paragraph in the main text of your cover letter. It is your opportunity to tell the employer how you feel about potentially working for the company, thank them for the opportunity to apply, and invite them to respond to your application. It should be no more than three or four sentences.

6. Signature  There are two parts to your cover letter signature: the closing line and your full name.

  • Closing Line  Your cover letter must include an appropriate closing line. This is the line right before your name.
  • Full Name  Your full name follows the closing line. It is not necessary to print and physically sign your cover letter since more job applications are done electronically.

Final Revision

Carefully review your cover letters to make sure you have not made any mistakes.

1. Proofread

Check your cover letter for any spelling or grammar mistakes. If possible, have someone else proofread it for you, or come back to it after a night’s sleep. Be sure that you have not made any mistakes in:

  • Your name and contact information
  • The employer’s name and contact information
  • The name of the company or organization you are applying to

2. Check Instructions

Go over any instructions for your cover letter given by the employer and make sure you have followed them carefully.

Make sure that you have the correct date on your cover letter. The date should be the day that you send your cover letter to the potential employer.

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Resume & Cover Letter Writing: Canadian Formats

Grace Wilson

4 Sep 2021, 9:30 am

The Canadian resume format is a bit different when compared to some resumes and cover letters from other countries.

Keep reading to learn how to prepare the resume and the cover letter that will get you the best jobs in Canada . 

What is a CV Like in Canada? 

The key to finding a job in Canada is your Canadian cover letter. The format is quite straightforward, where you mention the main qualities that an employer is looking for while mentioning it in a specific layout that catches their eyes. 

The Canadian resume format includes:

  • contact information
  • professional skills
  • career summary
  • work experience

Candidates can also add specific skills including technical experience, volunteering, or community involvement.

Precision is key when finding a job in Canada as an immigrant. Make sure that your skillset is clearly listed and matches the job description. 

Why Would You Think about the CV and Job Hunting Before the Immigration?

A long way of successful immigration may start with a great CV and, thus, a job in Canada.

Later, on your immigration path, if you choose to immigrate through the Express Entry , you will be assessed based on the CRS pointing system . The higher you rank, the more chances you’ll have to be granted a permanent residency.

The great news is, the job offer can give you from 50 to 200 CRS points and that will accelerate the immigration process big time by providing you with almost guaranteed success.

To get an idea of your eligibility for immigration you may use this tool:

Note that this too is used to assess initial eligibility for immigration to Canada in general. However, it gives an idea on the CRS points you may get later.

We explain how the assessment systems work here .

Make Your Resume Canadian-Like

In order to get a job in Canada, follow these tips to have your CV up-to-date in the correct Canadian resume format. 

  • Keep your resume precise and to the point. It shouldn’t have unnecessary details, especially if it doesn’t correlate to your current skill levels for a particular job. 
  • Keeping the resume interesting is an art. Recruiters skim through most CVs, so make sure that you have highlighted your expertise and achievements. 
  • Make use of a professional template and avoid excessive writing or unprofessional font style. 
  • Use short and concise sentences, and according to the Canadian resume format, the CV should typically be summarized in two pages. However, for those with 10+ years of experience, three page Canadian cover letter is also acceptable for jobs in Canada for immigrants.
  • Mention everything in Canadian equivalent and terms.
  • Employers gravitate towards resumes tailored to a specific skill rather than generic interests. 
  • Your Canadian resume format shouldn’t include your signature, date or the word ‘CV’ or ‘Resume’ mentioned in it. 

Writing a Cover Letter: Tips for Success

The most important factor when finding a job in Canada as an immigrant [link to the main article] is your cover letter, as it represents your skills and experiences before you are considered for an interview.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for the perfect Canadian cover letter. 

  • First step is introducing yourself in a way that’s concise but catches the eye. This can be done by being specific about your expertise to grab the attention of the recruiter. The Canadian cover letter isn’t all about the candidate. A part of it should cover the information you know about the company, so that they know that you’ve done your homework. 
  • Make sure that your skills match the requirements of the job. Instead of mentioning your set of skills, be assertive about how those skills fit the job description well and will benefit the employer in long term. Doing so will assure the recruiter that you understand the demands of the job. 
  • Enlist the reasons that make you a well suited candidate for the given position.
  • Make sure that you have all the necessary information about the company, including its background and highlights.

How to Use LinkedIn for Job Hunting 

LinkedIn is a powerful online tool for finding a job in Canada as an immigrant. This is because it allows foreigners to look for international jobs and find employers who are looking for the same skill sets and expertise that the applicant has.

LinkedIn also gives you a platform to build contacts and resources that greatly help speed up your career by specifically targeting the companies and people you need. 

Do You Prefer Communication and Creativity to Standard Interviews?

Then you may get the most from LinkedIn. A lot of potential employers use it for networking and could be willing to discuss opportunities for you.

And what makes LinkedIn even more amazing – you can find connections using it beforehand, when you are outside of Canada!

Of course, you don’t want to be too persistent. But trying to reach out to people from the companies in Canada could be worth a try.

Sometimes it takes just one text to catch the attention of someone who can change your life. Just stay polite and be creative!

We’ve created a checklist on how to prepare for a job-hunting with the use of LinkedIn:

  • create and maintain a detailed profile
  • use the professional profile image
  • post relevant articles
  • join LinkedIn groups that tailor to your sector, industry, and professional organization
  • be positive in your communication and engagement
  • when reaching out to people, keep a professional yet friendly tone
  • don’t send bulk messages – try to show why you are interested in a specific job opportunity and why you are the one right for i

Finally, we all spend lots of time browsing Social Media. So, why not use it to find opportunities for a job?

Video Resume

Finding a job isn’t easy. It requires patience, commitment, and determination.

However, there are many ways to speed up the process and bring your profile to the top. Video resumes are quite common these days, and it not only reflects on your skills and experience but also your personality and communication skills.

All of these factors can help make your resume stand out and leave a lasting impression. 

Finding a job in Canada could be challenging. We hope that this post has helped you to learn more about how to prepare a CV and cover letter for a Canadian employer.

We have gathered more information about job hunting for immigrants in this article .

To make sure you prepared all documents accordingly we recommend to consult a professional – an RCIC . With consultants, chances for successful job hunting are definitely higher!

Grace was born in Birmingham, England, and moved to Canada with her family when she was five. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2015 and since then she has been working as a recruitment consultant for 10+ companies. In her spare time, Grace writes about her professional experience with winning job offers for immigrants. She also shares tips about employment that could be useful for both immigrants and local job seekers.

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A Canadian cover letter acts as an introduction to your resume and is tailoured to a particular role you wish to apply in Canada. A cover letter's primary purpose is to introduce you to the Canadian employer and urge them to read your resume. It should demonstrate that you are the ideal candidate for their firm. Your cover letter should highlight your relevant qualifications, experience, and favourable work characteristics. Also, if you don't have a Canadian Resume, you can create one below. FREE Canadian Resume Builder Download your Free Canadian Cover Letter Sample and Template below on your laptop/desktop.

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As you pursue career opportunities in the Great White North, mastering the art of composing a compelling cover letter becomes paramount. This blog serves as your roadmap, unraveling the nuances of creating a cover letter tailored specifically for Canadian jobs.

From addressing linguistic requirements to aligning with the unique expectations of employers in the Canadian job market, we delve into every aspect that transforms your cover letter from a mere formality to a powerful introduction.

Unlock the secrets to crafting an attention-grabbing Canadian cover letter that showcases your skills and experiences, setting you apart in the job application process!

What is a Cover Letter?

what is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a one-page document accompanying a job application, usually alongside a resume. Its purpose is to introduce the applicant to the employer and provide additional information about their qualifications, character, and interest in the job. A good cover letter should be concise, typically 250-400 words, and should convince the hiring manager of the applicant's competence and suitability for the job.

It should also grab the hiring manager's attention and make them want to read the applicant's resume. A cover letter can explain anything not addressed in the resume, such as a gap in employment history or a desire to change careers.

Your cover letter serves as the bridge between your skills and the employer's needs. It's your opportunity to showcase your personality, enthusiasm, and unique qualifications in a way that a resume alone can't achieve.

What Should I Include In My Cover Letter?

what should i include in my cover letter?

Crafting an impactful cover letter for your Canadian job application involves more than just words – it's about strategically presenting yourself. Here's a breakdown of essential elements to include:

Reference Number

Understanding its significance.

In Canadian job applications, the Reference Number serves as a beacon of specificity. It's not merely a set of digits; it's your ticket to ensuring your application lands on the right hiring desk. Imagine a hiring manager sifting through a sea of applications – the Reference Number is the compass guiding them to your uniquely identified candidacy.

Reflecting Attention to Detail

Incorporating the Reference Number is a subtle yet impactful way to showcase your attention to detail. It indicates that you've thoroughly read the job posting and understand the intricacies of the application process. Hiring managers appreciate candidates who go the extra mile, including the Reference Number, your initial step.

Tailoring Your Application

One size does not fit all, especially in cover letters. Including the Reference Number is a tailor-made approach, demonstrating your interest in the advertised position. It's akin to addressing someone by name, showing that your application is purposeful, not generic.

Position Title

Recognizing its importance.

The Position Title is the linchpin of your cover letter – a central element that grounds your application for the specific job you're pursuing. Acknowledging the Position Title goes beyond mere formality; it's a strategic move that aligns your narrative with the employer's needs, showcasing a tailored approach.

Demonstrating Clarity and Purpose

From the employer's perspective, a cover letter addressing the Position Title reflects clarity and purpose. It signals that you're not employing a generic, one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, you are intentional about your application, making it easier for the hiring manager to understand your goals and aspirations within the context of the advertised position.

Personalizing Your Introduction

Integrating the Position Title into your introduction creates an immediate connection. It lets the hiring manager know that your cover letter is a routine submission and a personalized narrative crafted with the specific job in mind. This personalization sets a positive tone for the rest of your cover letter, capturing attention from the beginning.

Unveiling Your Personality

Your cover letter is a professional introduction, but it's not merely a sterile document outlining your qualifications. It's an opportunity to infuse personality into your application. Including your interests allows the hiring manager to see beyond the professional facade, providing a glimpse into the person behind the qualifications.

Establishing Cultural Fit

Companies aren't just looking for skills; they seek individuals who align with their values and culture. Your interests can be a powerful indicator of your compatibility with the company's ethos. Sharing relevant interests demonstrates that you're not just looking for any job but one that resonates with your passions and values.

Creating a Memorable Impression

Imagine a hiring manager sifting through a stack of cover letters. Amidst the sea of similar qualifications, a cover letter that reveals genuine interests stands out. It adds a unique flavor to your application, making it more memorable. In a competitive job market, being remembered is a significant advantage.

Language, Education, and Experience Requirements

Language proficiency.

In an increasingly globalized world, language proficiency is crucial beyond mere communication. It reflects your adaptability, cross-cultural competence, and, in some cases, regulatory compliance. Addressing language requirements in your cover letter showcases your ability to navigate a diverse workplace and communicate effectively, a trait highly valued by employers.

Find out how to improve your language skills with our IELTS Preparation Course .

Educational Background

Your education is a cornerstone of your professional identity. Addressing educational requirements in your cover letter is not just a formality; it's an opportunity to showcase how your academic background aligns with the job's demands. It provides the hiring manager with insights into your foundational knowledge and expertise.

Learn more about how to validate your educational credentials in Canada .

Work Experience

Your professional journey, as reflected in your work experience, is a testament to your abilities, skills, and accomplishments. Addressing experience requirements in your cover letter goes beyond listing job titles; it's about weaving a narrative that highlights your contributions and aligns with the expectations of the prospective role.

Find out how to work in Canada without work experience .

Compliments and Call to Action

Building rapport.

Expressing compliments in your cover letter goes beyond mere formalities; it's about building rapport. You demonstrate your knowledge and genuine interest by acknowledging the company's achievements, values, or initiatives. This personal touch can resonate with hiring managers, signaling that you've done your homework and are not just seeking any job but envisioning yourself as part of a successful and admired team.

Integrating a Call to Action Into Your Cover Letter

The following is an example of how you can integrate a call to action in the conclusion of your cover letter.

“In conclusion, I am excited about the prospect of bringing my language proficiency, educational background, and extensive experience to the (Position Title) at (Company Name). I look forward to discussing how my unique skills and qualifications align with the role's requirements. Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the potential to bring my passion for (mention an interest) to the vibrant culture at (Company Name). I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my candidacy further in an interview. Please contact me at (your phone number) or (your email address). Thank you once again for your time and consideration.”

Learn more about what to include in your cover letter with the visual below:

Anatomy of a Cover Letter

What Are The Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Canadian Cover Letter?

What are the common mistakes made for cover letters

Among the most common mistakes to avoid when composing your cover letter includes:

Generic and Non-Tailored Content

A generic cover letter that could be applied to any job dilutes your candidacy. Tailor your content for each application, addressing the specific requirements and showcasing your genuine interest in the particular position and company.

Lack of Research about the Company

Failing to demonstrate knowledge about the company signals a lack of genuine interest. Conduct comprehensive research about the company's values, goals, and recent achievements.

Overemphasis on Personal Information

While a cover letter allows some personalization, avoid including irrelevant personal details. Concentrate on aspects that are professionally relevant, such as skills, experiences, and achievements.

Repetition of Resume Content

Your cover letter should complement your resume, not repeat it. Avoid duplicating information already present in your resume.

Find out more about resume writing in Canada .

Ignoring the Job Description

Tailor your cover letter to address the job description explicitly. Highlight how your skills and experiences align with the specific requirements outlined in the posting.

Failure to Address Employment Gaps or Career Changes

If you have employment gaps or career changes, address them proactively. Use your cover letter to provide a brief explanation, emphasizing how these experiences have contributed to your skills and adaptability.

Now that you have a more informed understanding of what to include in your Cover letter for jobs in Canada, you begin writing your own with the assistance of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

How Important is a Cover Letter in The Hiring Process?

Cover letters are essential in hiring, allowing candidates to demonstrate their qualifications and enthusiasm for a specific role and company. A well-written cover letter enhances a candidate's chances of standing out and securing an interview.

How to write a cover letter as an international student in Canada

For most international students studying in Canada , the ultimate objective of gaining a world-class education is to set themselves up for a successful career. The knowledge, skills, and work experience you acquire during your studies, and the professional network you establish will help prepare you for the Canadian job market .

Whether you’re applying for part-time jobs while in university or college or looking for your first full-time job after graduation, you’ll need a well-written Canadian-style cover letter to accompany your resume . As you prepare to craft and customize your cover letter, you may have many questions. What does a good cover letter look like? What should you include in your cover letter if you don’t have Canadian work experience ? And is a cover letter even necessary? In this article, we provide tips and advice on how to write an impressive cover letter as an international student looking for a job in Canada.

In this article:

What is a cover letter?

Why do international students need cover letters, how should a canadian-style cover letter be structured, tips to write an impressive cover letter as an international student.

Finding Your Career in Canada

Looking for your first job after graduation? Download our guide on finding your career in Canada for tips and resources on crafting an impressive resume and cover letter, preparing for interviews, and landing a job.

A cover letter is a document you submit along with your resume as part of a job application in Canada. It allows you to introduce yourself to the hiring manager and briefly summarizes your professional qualifications and achievements. A well-written cover letter also makes a case for why you’re the right fit for the position and can convince the hiring manager to select you for an interview .

Each job is different, not just in terms of the skills and experience it requires, but also in the personality traits needed to perform it effectively. Your cover letter is your chance to show off a little personality and give the employer a glimpse into the human behind the resume.

As an international student, one of the most important things you can do to improve your employability is gather work experience while you study. If your study permit allows you to work while studying , getting a part-time job, internship, or co-op can add value to your resume. If you’re not permitted to work part-time, volunteering is another way to gain Canadian work experience.

Before you apply for part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities, you will need to craft a customized resume and cover letter. A cover letter is not a nice-to-have; it’s just as important as your resume. Although some job postings in Canada don’t specifically ask for a cover letter, including one will demonstrate your interest in the role and can help position you as a strong candidate .

After you graduate, you may be competing for full-time jobs with your Canadian counterparts who’ve likely had summer jobs since high school and have more Canadian experience to show. In such a situation, a strong cover letter can help you amplify the experience you do have and draw attention to your achievements and strengths to level the playing field.

Unlike a resume which follows a standard format and offers limited scope to tell your story, a cover letter allows you to cite examples of your academic or professional accomplishments, explain gaps in your application, and convince an employer to pick you over other candidates with similar qualifications and possibly, more Canadian experience.

A good cover letter has three key components: an opening paragraph, the body, and a closing statement. Although there are no hard rules about what each section should include, following the below guidelines will help ensure your cover letter flows smoothly and naturally.

The opening paragraph of a cover letter

The opening paragraph is where you should briefly introduce yourself and tell the employer what position you’re interested in and why. Explain why you’re enthusiastic about working with this organization or why this particular role is important to you. 

If you were referred to the role, mention your connection’s name to establish the recruiter’s trust. Your opening statement should also highlight some key skills, qualifications, or experiences that make you a good candidate for the role.

The body copy of a cover letter

The body of your cover letter showcases what you bring to the table for the employer. Use these paragraphs to dive deeper into the qualifications, skills, and experiences you mentioned in your opening paragraph. Highlight one or two noteworthy accomplishments from your part-time experience, academic projects, or volunteer experience that align with what the company is looking for. Be sure to do this in a manner that helps the recruiter visualize how your skills and past experience will translate into practice in this particular role.

Ideally, the cover letter body should include no more than three or four brief paragraphs, each focusing on one achievement or skill that’s relevant to the position.

The closing paragraph of a cover letter

You should conclude your cover letter by thanking the recruiter for considering you for the role. Your closing statement should also reinforce your interest in the position and your confidence that you’re a good candidate. Use a formal sign-off, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” and include your contact information at the end.

You can also use Arrive’s resume and cover letter templates to craft an impressive job application that’s in line with what Canadian employers look for.

Canadian Resume Templates

The value of a well-drafted, customized cover letter is often underestimated by international students. A cover letter that tells your story and conveys your passion can help you stand out among equally qualified candidates and land a job. Here are some tips to help you craft an effective cover letter that will resonate with Canadian employers:

Follow a formal business letter format

Using an appropriate cover letter format will help ensure that the first impression you make on the hiring manager is a professional one. A formal business letter format includes the recipient’s name, company address, subject line, date, and a formal greeting and closing. A Canadian-style cover letter should include a call to action, such as inviting the hiring manager to contact you for more information or discuss your candidature further over an interview. 

Personalize your cover letter

You should address your cover letter to the hiring manager or recruiter (you can usually find their name in the job posting or on LinkedIn ). Avoid opening your cover letter with a generic salutation like “To whom it may concern” or “Dear sir or madam.” Addressing it to an actual person shows you’ve done your research and helps build that initial connection.

Don’t rewrite information already in your resume  

Think of your cover letter as precious extra space you can use to draw attention to skills, strengths, and qualifications that make you a good candidate for the job. Instead of reiterating what’s already in your resume, highlight one or two specific accomplishments that relate to the role you’re applying for. 

As an international student, you can also elaborate on how the learnings from your study program will help you in this role. Having recently completed your education can work to your advantage if you can demonstrate that your up-to-date technical skills can help a team or company evolve and keep up with market trends.

Customize your cover letter to the role

While your cover letter is your chance to tell your unique story, it’s best not to stray from what the employer seeks. Many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) also scan cover letters, so your cover letter should include relevant keywords from the job description. Essentially, an employer wants to know if you are a good fit for the role, so make sure your highlighted strengths align with the role.

Focus on relevant transferable skills

As an international student, your relevant Canadian work experience may be limited. However, you may have acquired several transferable skills during the course of your studies and non-professional experience that can’t be adequately explained on your resume. Use your cover letter to draw connections between your transferable skills and how they’ll help you add value to this role.

For example, if you worked part-time as a barista or server, you may have picked up valuable customer service and time management skills. If you were the president of a student club, your leadership skills may give you an edge over other applicants for the job.

Highlight what makes you unique

The main objective of your cover letter is to help you stand out from the crowd. As an international student, the experience, education, and exposure you received in your home country may help you bring a fresh perspective to a Canadian organization. 

For instance, you may be knowledgeable about the work culture in other markets outside Canada, more adaptable to cultural diversity, or fluent in multiple languages. If you were part of your family business at home or worked for a few years before moving to Canada to study, you may have developed people management skills, relevant technical skills or an entrepreneurial spirit that’ll be useful in the role you’re targeting.

Focus on why you want to work for a specific company 

It’s important to articulate why you want to work for a particular company . Where possible, try to weave the information you know about the company and their work in your cover letter. This shows the hiring manager that you’re familiar with the company’s business and are invested in its success. Perhaps the organization is known for its technical expertise. Maybe you’ve used (and love) their products or find the company’s vision inspiring. Use your cover letter to express why you are passionate about the organization and role. 

Don’t list your references or share personal information

Although most Canadian employers conduct reference checks before hiring an employee, you should not include the names and contact information of your references in a Canadian-style cover letter or resume . If needed, the employer will ask you for this information after they’ve selected you for the position. You are also not supposed to include a photograph or personal information, such as your gender, sexual orientation, race, or marital status in your cover letter.

Keep your cover letter to one page 

Similar to your resume, it’s best to keep your cover letter short and to the point. Feel free to show off more of your personality, but within the confines of what we covered above.

Proofread your cover letter

Always proofread your cover letter before submitting it. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can draw the recruiter’s attention away from your achievements and cast doubts on your attention to detail and language skills. It’s also a good idea to have a friend or mentor review your cover letter to make sure it conveys the intended message in a crisp, logical, and impressive way. Also double-check the hiring manager’s name, the company details, as well as your contact information, so the employer can easily reach you if you’re shortlisted for an interview.

As an international student looking for part-time or full-time jobs in Canada, you should familiarize yourself with a Canadian-style cover letter before your job search. A customized cover letter gives you an opportunity to highlight your strengths and achievements and make a strong case for why the organization should hire you.

Things our lawyers want you to know

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

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how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

I ’ve read thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of cover letters in my career. If you’re thinking that sounds like really boring reading, you’re right. What I can tell you from enduring that experience is that most cover letters are terrible — and not only that, but squandered opportunities. When a cover letter is done well, it can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview, but the vast majority fail that test.

So let’s talk about how to do cover letters right.

First, understand the point of a cover letter.

The whole idea of a cover letter is that it can help the employer see you as more than just your résumé. Managers generally aren’t hiring based solely on your work history; your experience is crucial, yes, but they’re also looking for someone who will be easy to work with, shows good judgment, communicates well, possesses strong critical thinking skills and a drive to get things done, complements their current team, and all the other things you yourself probably want from your co-workers. It’s tough to learn much about those things from job history alone, and that’s where your cover letter comes in.

Because of that …

Whatever you do, don’t just summarize your résumé.

The No. 1 mistake people make with cover letters is that they simply use them to summarize their résumé. This makes no sense — hiring managers don’t need a summary of your résumé! It’s on the very next page! They’re about to see it as soon as they scroll down. And if you think about it, your entire application is only a few pages (in most cases, a one- or two-page résumé and a one-page cover letter) — why would you squander one of those pages by repeating the content of the others? And yet, probably 95 percent of the cover letters I see don’t add anything new beyond the résumé itself (and that’s a conservative estimate).

Instead, your cover letter should go beyond your work history to talk about things that make you especially well-suited for the job. For example, if you’re applying for an assistant job that requires being highly organized and you neurotically track your household finances in a detailed, color-coded spreadsheet, most hiring managers would love to know that because it says something about the kind of attention to detail you’d bring to the job. That’s not something you could put on your résumé, but it can go in your cover letter.

Or maybe your last boss told you that you were the most accurate data processor she’d ever seen, or came to rely on you as her go-to person whenever a lightning-fast rewrite was needed. Maybe your co-workers called you “the client whisperer” because of your skill in calming upset clients. Maybe you’re regularly sought out by more senior staff to help problem-solve, or you find immense satisfaction in bringing order to chaos. Those sorts of details illustrate what you bring to the job in a different way than your résumé does, and they belong in your cover letter.

If you’re still stumped, pretend you’re writing an email to a friend about why you’d be great at the job. You probably wouldn’t do that by stiffly reciting your work history, right? You’d talk about what you’re good at and how you’d approach the work. That’s what you want here.

You don’t need a creative opening line.

If you think you need to open the letter with something creative or catchy, I am here to tell you that you don’t. Just be simple and straightforward:

• “I’m writing to apply for your X position.”

• “I’d love to be considered for your X position.”

• “I’m interested in your X position because …”

• “I’m excited to apply for your X position.”

That’s it! Straightforward is fine — better, even, if the alternative is sounding like an aggressive salesperson.

Show, don’t tell.

A lot of cover letters assert that the person who wrote it would excel at the job or announce that the applicant is a skillful engineer or a great communicator or all sorts of other subjective superlatives. That’s wasted space — the hiring manager has no reason to believe it, and so many candidates claim those things about themselves that most managers ignore that sort of self-assessment entirely. So instead of simply declaring that you’re great at X (whatever X is), your letter should demonstrate that. And the way you do that is by describing accomplishments and experiences that illustrate it.

Here’s a concrete example taken from one extraordinarily effective cover-letter makeover that I saw. The candidate had originally written, “I offer exceptional attention to detail, highly developed communication skills, and a talent for managing complex projects with a demonstrated ability to prioritize and multitask.” That’s pretty boring and not especially convincing, right? (This is also exactly how most people’s cover letters read.)

In her revised version, she wrote this instead:

“In addition to being flexible and responsive, I’m also a fanatic for details — particularly when it comes to presentation. One of my recent projects involved coordinating a 200-page grant proposal: I proofed and edited the narratives provided by the division head, formatted spreadsheets, and generally made sure that every line was letter-perfect and that the entire finished product conformed to the specific guidelines of the RFP. (The result? A five-year, $1.5 million grant award.) I believe in applying this same level of attention to detail to tasks as visible as prepping the materials for a top-level meeting and as mundane as making sure the copier never runs out of paper.”

That second version is so much more compelling and interesting — and makes me believe that she really is great with details.

If there’s anything unusual or confusing about your candidacy, address it in the letter.

Your cover letter is your chance to provide context for things that otherwise might seem confusing or less than ideal to a hiring manager. For example, if you’re overqualified for the position but are excited about it anyway, or if you’re a bit underqualified but have reason to think you could excel at the job, address that up front. Or if your background is in a different field but you’re actively working to move into this one, say so, talk about why, and explain how your experience will translate. Or if you’re applying for a job across the country from where you live because you’re hoping to relocate to be closer to your family, let them know that.

If you don’t provide that kind of context, it’s too easy for a hiring manager to decide you’re the wrong fit or applying to everything you see or don’t understand the job description and put you in the “no” pile. A cover letter gives you a chance to say, “No, wait — here’s why this could be a good match.”

Keep the tone warm and conversational.

While there are some industries that prize formal-sounding cover letters — like law — in most fields, yours will stand out if it’s warm and conversational. Aim for the tone you’d use if you were writing to a co-worker whom you liked a lot but didn’t know especially well. It’s okay to show some personality or even use humor; as long as you don’t go overboard, your letter will be stronger for it.

Don’t use a form letter.

You don’t need to write every cover letter completely from scratch, but if you’re not customizing it to each job, you’re doing it wrong. Form letters tend to read like form letters, and they waste the chance to speak to the specifics of what this employer is looking for and what it will take to thrive in this particular job.

If you’re applying for a lot of similar jobs, of course you’ll end up reusing language from one letter to the next. But you shouldn’t have a single cover letter that you wrote once and then use every time you apply; whatever you send should sound like you wrote it with the nuances of this one job in mind.

A good litmus test is this: Could you imagine other applicants for this job sending in the same letter? If so, that’s a sign that you haven’t made it individualized enough to you and are probably leaning too heavily on reciting your work history.

No, you don’t need to hunt down the hiring manager’s name.

If you read much job-search advice, at some point you’ll come across the idea that you need to do Woodward and Bernstein–level research to hunt down the hiring manager’s name in order to open your letter with “Dear Matilda Jones.” You don’t need to do this; no reasonable hiring manager will care. If the name is easily available, by all means, feel free to use it, but otherwise “Dear Hiring Manager” is absolutely fine. Take the hour you just freed up and do something more enjoyable with it.

Keep it under one page.

If your cover letters are longer than a page, you’re writing too much, and you risk annoying hiring managers who are likely sifting through hundreds of applications and don’t have time to read lengthy tomes. On the other hand, if you only write one paragraph, it’s unlikely that you’re making a compelling case for yourself as a candidate — not impossible, but unlikely. For most people, something close to a page is about right.

Don’t agonize over the small details.

What matters most about your cover letter is its content. You should of course ensure that it’s well-written and thoroughly proofread, but many job seekers agonize over elements of the letter that really don’t matter. I get tons of  questions from job seekers  about whether they should attach their cover letter or put it in the body of the email (answer: No one cares, but attaching it makes it easier to share and will preserve your formatting), or what to name the file (again, no one really cares as long as it’s reasonably professional, but when people are dealing with hundreds of files named “resume,” it’s courteous to name it with your full name).

Approaching your cover letter like this can make a huge difference in your job search. It can be the thing that moves your application from the “maybe” pile (or even the “no” pile) to the “yes” pile. Of course, writing cover letters like this will take more time than sending out the same templated letter summarizing your résumé — but 10 personalized, compelling cover letters are likely to get you more  interview invitations  than 50 generic ones will.

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by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

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  1. HOW TO MAKE A CANADIAN RESUME FORMAT And COVER LETTER

    how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

  2. Learn to create a CANADIAN STYLE RESUME

    how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

  3. Best Resume Example Ideas

    how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

  4. Cover Letter Canada Resume Format Pdf / Canadian Resume Cover Letter Format Tips Templates

    how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

  5. Cover letter canada examples

    how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

  6. 33+ Resume Cover Letter Sample Canada

    how do i write a canadian cv and cover letter

VIDEO

  1. COVER LETTER for CVs and RESUMES #shorts

  2. Canadian CV format, Cover letter format, Full Guidance to make CV

  3. Canadian CV, Cover Letter, Soft Skills for Job Offer, Work Permit, Visit Visa

  4. How to Write your Cover Letter

  5. How to write a Canadian style Resume & Cover Letter

  6. How to Build A Canadian-Style Resume/CV

COMMENTS

  1. Perfect Sample Cover Letters

    Take the Hassle Out of Writing Your Cover Letter. View Professional Examples Online. Create the Perfect Job-Worthy Cover Letter to Attract More Attention. Get Started Now!

  2. Free Resume & Cover Letter

    Stop Struggling With Word! Our Automatic Process Creates The Perfect Resume Everytime. Take the Hassle Out Of Writing Your Resume. Avg. Completion Time: 15 minutes. Start Now!

  3. Canadian Resume & Cover Letter: Format, Tips & Templates

    Download the free Resume and cover letter templates to craft your Canadian resume Tips for writing a Canadian-style resume. Mastering the art of writing a flawless and impactful Canadian-style resume takes practice and patience. Here are a few tips to help you improve your resume-writing skills. 1.

  4. Canada Cover Letter Format And Free Samples (2023)

    1. Header. Canadian cover letters typically begin with a header containing the applicant's name, job title, city and province, phone number, and email address. It's also essential to include the current date. The header should be consistent with the one used in the applicant's resume for a cohesive presentation. 2.

  5. How To Write a Resume in a Canadian Format (With Example)

    2. Complete a resume header. Creating a resume header in a Canadian format is similar to the format for a U.S. resume header. Include your name, your phone number, your email address and your location, including your city and state, province or territory.

  6. How to Make a Canadian Resume (Format & Examples)

    Here's an example of an applicant's resume header: 2. Write a compelling resume objective. Your resume objective (or career objective) is an important section that comes up after your resume header and is your opportunity to explain why you're a top candidate for your target role.

  7. What Is the Standard Canadian Resume Format? (With 7 Tips)

    7 tips for formatting a Canadian-style resume. Here are seven tips for formatting a Canadian-style resume: 1. Keep it simple. You use a resume to secure an interview with the company or organization looking for employees. Including your entire work history is unnecessary. Going into extensive detail about your skills, expertise, and knowledge ...

  8. C.V. and Cover Letter

    C.V. and Cover Letter Review. You may schedule an appointment to have your C.V. or cover letter review by a Career Advisor by emailing [email protected] or by calling 514-398-3304. Please note that CaPS and McGill do not endorse any particular websites/services; the listing is for your information only.

  9. Canadian Resume [Format, Tips & Examples for 2024]

    Save your resume in the correct document size. Canadian resumes use a standard North American letter size (8.5 x 11 inches), instead of the A4 size common elsewhere. You can do this easily in the Novoresume editor by choosing "Layout" in the top menu and choosing "US Letter Format". #3.

  10. How to Write a Canadian Resume (Format & Examples)

    Tips to write a Canadian resume. Choose a resume format according to your career stage. Use standard formatting for a professional resume: 1.5-inch margins, 10-12 font size for your content and 12-14 font size for your heading. Use the job description as a guide to customize the information on your resume.

  11. Cover letter for Canada: tips and advice

    A cover letter in Canada is not all about you. Ensure you spend at least 30 per cent of the document talking about what you know about the company — recent projects, company values, company news. Make the company feel special and they will be more likely to invite you for an interview. Do not simply rehash your resume.

  12. Canadian Cover Letter Format and Template (2024)

    Here are some tips to help you write an effective cover letter: 1. Be concise and to the point: Canadian recruiters have limited time, so it's important to get straight to the relevant details. Keep your cover letter concise and focused, highlighting your most compelling qualifications and experiences. 2.

  13. Cover Letter for Canada

    First and last name. Current residential address. Phone number. Email address. 2. Date Below your information, write the date that you are sending your cover letter. 3. Employer Information Below the date, include the contact information of the individual, department, or company you are addressing in the cover letter.

  14. Resume & Cover Letter Writing: Canadian Formats

    Your Canadian resume format shouldn't include your signature, date or the word 'CV' or 'Resume' mentioned in it. Writing a Cover Letter: Tips for Success The most important factor when finding a job in Canada as an immigrant [link to the main article] is your cover letter, as it represents your skills and experiences before you are ...

  15. How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (With an Example)

    Follow these nine steps to write, revise, format, and submit the perfect cover letter: 1. Include your contact information. Start your cover letter by listing your contact information. Include, at a minimum, your first and last names, phone number, e-mail address, and the current date.

  16. THE RIGHT CANADIAN STYLE RESUME AND COVER LETTER FOR DIRECT ...

    this is how to write the correct canadian style resume and cover letter that you can use in applying for canada jobs direct to employers. i will show you her...

  17. How to Write the Perfect CV for Work in Canada

    Step 7 - Update Your Work Experience. Remember, the whole point of a CV is to provide a summary of your work experience. Make sure you add your most recent work experience at the top of your list. Then move on to the least recent jobs. This is to keep the attention of your potential employer.

  18. How to Write a Cover Letter (With Tips)

    1. Note the date. Document the date you are sending the letter. The date line is usually in between your address and the address to which you are sending the letter. 2. Include your name and address. It is standard practice to begin with your name and address at the top of your cover letter.

  19. How to Format a Cover Letter

    If you're sending a paper copy of your cover letter, include the following on the top left-hand side: Date Your name. Address. Phone number. Email address Hiring manager's name. Company name. Company address If you're submitting a digital copy online, feel free to only use your city and state, phone number and email.

  20. FREE Canadian Cover Letter Template

    A Canadian cover letter acts as an introduction to your resume and is tailoured to a particular role you wish to apply in Canada. A cover letter's primary purpose is to introduce you to the Canadian employer and urge them to read your resume. It should demonstrate that you are the ideal candidate for their firm.

  21. CANADIAN RESUME FORMAT

    CANADIAN RESUME FORMAT | How to make Canadian CV and COVER LETTER (With real examples!)Resumé forms vary from nation to country as you may be aware, therefor...

  22. How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

    Middle paragraph (s) Closing paragraph. Letter ending and signature. Your cover letter should be one page long and use a simple, professional font, such as Arial or Helvetica, 10 to 12 points in size. Your letter should be left-aligned with single spacing and one-inch margins. Show Transcript.

  23. Should I mention Canadian PR status in my CV?

    12. Yes, of course you should (when applying for jobs in Canada). This is a pertinent fact and increases your chances of being interviewed and offered the job. For instance, I mention that I am security cleared when applying for defence work, as it can take a few months to obtain clearance.

  24. Cover Letter

    A cover letter is a one-page document accompanying a job application, usually alongside a resume. Its purpose is to introduce the applicant to the employer and provide additional information about their qualifications, character, and interest in the job. A good cover letter should be concise, typically 250-400 words, and should convince the ...

  25. Cover Letter Tips for International Students in Canada

    Highlight what makes you unique. The main objective of your cover letter is to help you stand out from the crowd. As an international student, the experience, education, and exposure you received in your home country may help you bring a fresh perspective to a Canadian organization. For instance, you may be knowledgeable about the work culture ...

  26. How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) for a Job in 2024

    Decide on a CV format and style. Before you start writing your CV, you need to format it properly. Open a new document in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and use the following settings: Set ½ - 1" margins on each side. Use a font size between 10 and 12 points. Select a professional font such as Times New Roman or Arial.

  27. How to Write a Cover Letter (Template and Example)

    The following steps can help you prepare the best cover letter: 1. Establish formatting. Following a few guidelines can help you write an effective cover letter. It's common for a cover letter to use left-aligned paragraphs with equal breaks between them and double spacing between the paragraphs.

  28. Essential advice for landing your dream job

    Step 4: Create a set of bullet points under each job. All should all begin with strong verbs ("led," "built," "earned," "exceeded") and include specific numbers that show your ...

  29. The 18 Do's and Don'ts of Cover Letters Every Job Seeker ...

    Like your resume, your cover letter is your chance to brag (professionally) about why they should hire you. Be proud of your skills and accomplishments, and use them to explain why you are the ...

  30. Are Cover Letters Necessary?

    In most cases, yes—you should submit a cover letter with your resume. While the cover letter has increasingly become a divisive topic among recruiters and job seekers, it's still often listed as ...

  31. How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

    If you think you need to open the letter with something creative or catchy, I am here to tell you that you don't. Just be simple and straightforward: • "I'm writing to apply for your X ...

  32. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out ...