To get noticed by leading tech startups and enterprises, you have to highlight your skills in your resume and online profiles. In British Columbia and Vancouver in particular, tech resume has a lot that’s common with other parts of the world, but it also has its own unique standards that you have to be aware of.
1. As a Rule, Keep it Short
We live in a fast-paced world where everyone has grown accustomed to instant gratification. So keep that in mind when you start working on your resume.
Most resumes in Canada are short and get right to the point so you will rarely see one that is more than two pages long. Monster Canada has a great example of a web developer’s resume that gets right to the point here.
2. One Size Does Not Fit All
If you’re really interested in getting hired quickly, you have to customize your resume to fit each job. This is especially important in the beginning of the resume.
Generic resume no longer cut it in the Canadian job market, so it’s worth the time and effort to adapt it to the job you’re interested in. This can be as simple as highlighting the specific skills that are required by the company.
Further, you can also draw attention to what you have accomplished by using those specific skills.
3. Keep Social Media Profiles Up to Date
While you’re working on your resume, make sure that you also update your LinkedIn profile. Most employers are known to cross-reference your resume, so having an updated active presence on platforms like LinkedIn can make the difference.
It’s important to note that a potential employer might be looking at your online presence on other social media platforms (like Facebook or Instagram). So if you don’t want them to see something, make your profile private or don’t put online at all. At the end of the day, FB and Instagram aren't meant for professional use and candidate screening as much as LinkedIn, so if you post too much personal stuff there, don't show it to any recruiters and you'll be good! LinkedIn alone would suffice but make sure you record each achieved milestone and keep updating it with relevant information about your professional development to be more attractive to recruiters.
4. Keep it Tidy and Make a Good First Impression
It’s critical that you format your resume to look neat, organized, and consisted. You should also demonstrate attention to detail, so make sure that you look over your resume to ensure that it reflects your professional intentions.
The information in your resume can be organized under the following headings:
- Highlights of qualifications
- Professional experience
You can make important information stand out by using formatting tools like bold fonts and bullets. Further, it’s also important to add keywords to your resume. It’s important because busy HR departments can skim through your skills and qualification looking for keywords that relate to the post.
If you look at this example of a resume adapted for a mid-level QA software tester job, you’ll find all the keywords related to the job sprinkled all over the resume. But as a rule, don’t make up experiences, just use the keywords that are an honest reflection of your skills.
Further, you can also include volunteer experience in this section as it won’t hurt and can offer another dimension to your character.
Make a habit of looking over your resume a few times before sending it out. Also, to be sure that all the information in it is accurate, read through it all over again. Further, even you’re sending it via a digital channel, print it out first to see how it looks on paper.
You should also avoid using words like “creative” or “motivated” as they don’t really add any value to your resume. Instead, give real world examples about how your creativity or motivation played a role in your career or solved problems on the job.
Finally, always research the company before you submit an application. This is the digital age after all, so there’s absolutely no reason for you to not do this ahead of time.
If all the boxes are checked, you will probably stand a good chance of getting noticed by the tech industry in Canada. But of course, it will always be relative to your skills, professional experience, and the company that’s looking to hire you.