Build the Career You Want | How to get your resumé noticed by a Canadian employer

By Shivani Arora and Don Duthie, Employment Specialists, DIVERSEcity Employment Programs

Resumés are one of the most important tools in landing a job. But, how do you build a resumé that will get you noticed by an employer?

Did you know that employers can sometimes receive more than 1,000 resumés for a job posting? That’s a lot of applications to review! With this put in perspective, a typical employer takes only a mere seven seconds to decide if you’re the right fit for a job.

So, if you are not hearing back from employers, don’t feel discouraged. We can help. Read on for three resumé writing strategies to build a resumé that will get you noticed by employers!

1. Customize your application to the job description

Generic resumés don’t work in today’s job market. Even though it’s an “employee’s market” right now, there is still a lot of competition out there for the top jobs. When you send your application off to an employer, chances are they use tools, such as an application tracking system (ATS), to screen your resumé. These technology tools look for matches between the language found in the job description with the language used in your resumé. Therefore, be sure to include specific keywords and phrases from the job posting into your resumé so your skills align with what they are looking for!

Want to know more about ATS? Stay tuned for our upcoming articles in our series, Build the Career You Want.

So, how do you decided what to include and leave out in your resumé?

2. Know what employers are looking for

Pay attention to the language that is used in the job description. Follow these practical steps to determine what information to include and exclude in your resumé:

1.     Go through the job description and circle everything the employer is looking for.

2.     The circled items are the things that are most important to the employer.

3.     Make note of things that the employer mentions more than once. These may be skills or experience that you want to emphasize in the “Highlight of Qualifications” section on your resumé.

4.     Make a ✓ or ✗ beside each circle according to your skills and abilities.

5.     The items with a ✓ should be included on your resumé.

6.     The items with an ✗ will need further examination. Ask yourself,

  • Is there a similar skill that I can list?
  • Is there something that I can do to develop this skill?

Remember, a successful candidate doesn’t always meet every requirement. But you want to show that you are a good match with transferrable skills and a willingness to develop your skills.

If you are looking to upgrade your skills, DIVERSEcity Skills Training Centre offers one-to-five-day courses on job-ready skills such as computer and customer service skills to help you enter the workforce.

3. Quantify your achievements

Using numbers in your resumé is another opportunity for you to impress the employer. Let the numbers speak for themselves! For example, stating how many products you sold, or the percentage you increased sales by, allows an employer to understand your accomplishments and the depth of your success. Which of these two statements sound more impressive?

  • Maintained customer satisfaction as a customer service representative
  • Maintained a 97 per cent customer satisfaction rate over a 12-month period as a customer service representative

Need more help writing your resumé? Check out this workshop on strategic resumé writing delivered we delivered at the 2021 Virtual Canadian Immigrant Fair. View the recording here.

Have more questions? Want to gain skills that will prepare you for the workforce? DIVERSEcity offers different programs to help you build the career you want. Visit