It’s typical for companies to ask for both a résumé and a cover letter when you’re applying for a job. Your cover letter should, in three to four paragraphs, describe your qualifications for the position and persuade the hiring manager to schedule an interview. These two documents are basically the way to sell yourself to potential employers and recruiters before they see you or hear you speak hence you want to take the effort to stand out, especially since you are likely not to be the only applicant and even if you are, you should through your résumé show your skills and experiences as it applies to the job you are applying for.
- Build your résumé the Canadian way
- Keep the résumé to one or two pages (two pages is the ideal Canadian style) and the cover letter to one page
- Make your résumé fonts and format style consistent. Fonts less than size 10 shouldn’t be used.
- Tailor your résumé to specific jobs and make use of Canadian English terms.
- Lastly, let your résumé follow this format
- Contact information
- Professional / career summary
- Work experience
- Education / professional development
Cover Letter Tips
- Make a custom cover letter for every job application
- Keep it straight to the point and sweet. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an essay as long as it includes details to help you get called for an interview and hopefully the job.
- Rename it in this format “First Name-Last Name-cover-letter” Something like this, “Allison-Williams-cover-letter.”
- Format your cover letter appropriately in this way:
Header:- You may use the company’s full address and yours if submitting a paper copy but if it is online, using your city and state, phone number and email is sufficient.
Salutation:- Steer clear of salutations like “Dear Sir/Madam or To Whom It May Concern” instead address the cover letter with “Dear Hiring Manager”, “Dear Hiring Team” or Dear Dr Stella (If you know their name or title)
Opening paragraph:- Use this paragraph to grab the attention of the hiring manager. Introduce yourself, tell why you are applying for the job (how it suits your career goals etc.)
Middle paragraphs:- Establish your enthusiasm here by describing your most relevant experience, skills and qualifications (work and education history) that prepared you for the open role.
Closing paragraph:- This can be used for call to action i.e. inviting the hiring person to to call you should they have any questions about your resume or cover letter.
Complimentary close and signature:- Always use a formal complimentary close, examples are, Sincerely, Regard, Thank you for your consideration. Close it with your names (first and last name)