Writing an effective resume for job competitions in the Government of Canada is not an easy task. HR managers go through hundreds of resumes daily and apart from the initial scan from a computerized system, an outstanding resume is the key to be screened in for further testing.

Not only is it necessary that your resume is presented without grammatical errors,it must also be done in a manner that is appealing to hiring managers. Below is the winning format for resumes.
Provided that you have the minimum experience required, this format provides key elements that will get your application screened in and has worked for many individuals inside the federal service. Before I continue, I must underline that resumes for job positions in the federal public service must illustrate passion and drive.

Government of Canada hiring managers want employees who are confident of their skill set.

To start, like a regular resume, a personal information section is necessary:

The personal information section should include:

  • Name;
  • Your telephone number; and
  • Your email address

I do not recommend that you put your home address for three reasons:

1) The large majority of government communication is done through email.

2) This information is already in your online profile.

3) It takes up 2-3 lines of precious space on your resume that you need for more important things.

Note: If you have previously worked in the government, you may wish to include your security clearance, your linguistic profile and your personal identifier number in this section.


Keep this brief: name of the university and location, when you graduated and what is your field of study. You may wish to include if your G.P.A. is equivalent to a B+ or higher. Depending on the position, it may give you an upper hand. Some job professionals recommend that you state if you have plans to further your education, I do not recommend this. However, If you are in the process of finishing a degree or certification, you should mention it.


State each relevant work experience that you have had over the past 5 years (you may wish to go further back depending on what the experience is). It is critical to match each work experience to the skills required by the job position. You MUST look at the statement of criteria in the job poster and use the exact words. Remember to always use action verbs and quantify your achievements.

Here is an example of how to do this:

Ex: The Statement of Criteria states that two requirements are interpersonal and leadership skills. Let’s say you have experience as a sales clerk and have also won awards for the best sales clerk of the year based on the number of sales and customer feedback.

In your resume, you will write : Increased sales by x% due to strong interpersonal and organizational skills. Achieved best sales clerk award through exceptional leadership and management abilities. (Note that I put in organizational skills in the sentence even though it was not mentioned because it is an important trait that is usually required.)

Now that you know how to explain what you did based on the Statement of Criteria you will need to:

• Write for each job position that you held,  your position’s title, the employer’s name and location (city and province are sufficient), the period of employment, all promotions and/or increases in responsibilities, as well as if and how many individuals you supervised.

• If you have any experience in the municipal, provincial or federal government, mention it here. Hiring managers like to know if you have worked in the government. Although it is not a requirement for most positions.


If you speak both official languages you will want to include this information here. Also, If you speak one official language and another non-official language fluently you will wish to mention this as well.

If you are unilingual, omit this section.

Abilities and skills

This is the section where you wish to mention all of the skills that you have that do not fall under the experience section. For example: MS Office suite, Adobe Suite, Autocad, Programming languages etc. You may also wish to place career highlights in this section.

Professional associations, awards, volunteer work and hobbies

I recommend this section but with caution, I suggest that you limit what you place in this section to non controversial themes and hobbies. Stick to examples such as:horseback riding, skiing, Member of the Toronto Chamber of Commerce etc. Do not allow yourself to be discriminated or screened out based on something that you do in your free time.

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