Scotiabank invests $950,000 in TalentLift’s mission to support displaced talent worldwide

Mohamad and his family arrive from displacement, greeted by the President of Alliance Store Fixtures, a manufacturer in Woodbridge.

A carpenter and his family arrived in Toronto to begin work with a furniture designer and manufacturer last week. They are from Syria and leave years spent living as refugees in Lebanon. This week, an archaeologist displaced from Afghanistan arrived for a research role, one she begins with a top university in Canada. A software developer is on his way to Vancouver next week, also from a refugee situation.

All have skills needed by teams in Canada, and all are able to use their talent to leave displacement and advance their careers in new home communities. 

These life-changing relocations are possible when people living as refugees have a fair shot at opportunity. And these opportunities are set to grow.

Scotiabank will invest $950,000 over three years in support of scaling the TalentLift talent platform to connect displaced job seekers with employers in Canada.

With earlier transformational funding from Scotiabank’s ScotiaRISE initiative, TalentLift launched a talent platform database that enables job seekers in refugee circumstances worldwide to connect with Canadian employers seeking to recruit and relocate talent, as a skills-based solution to their displacement. 

We’re tackling a long-standing, damaging hourglass problem: There are many thousands of talented people in refugee circumstances and many in-demand roles employers would be glad to fill with this talent, but very limited infrastructure has existed to match candidates to opportunities. Our talent platform is critical infrastructure to help connect Canadian employers facing skills shortages with the immense talent and potential within refugee populations. 

Already, people in refugee circumstances living in more than 100 countries have registered their skills on the talent platform. In our start-up year, 31 people secured jobs with the support of TalentLift and our partners. When including spouses and children, this totals 83 people who relocated or were in the process of relocating from refugee circumstances to secure lives in Canada. They arrive for skills-appropriate work with an average salary of $57,000 (and as high as $110,000), with access to public health, schools for their kids, and a pathway to permanent residence and citizenship. 

We are eager to grow our impact quickly from here. 

A grim milestone passed in the last year with more than 100 million people living displaced globally in countries with few options to achieve livelihoods or security. And yet, we know that many thousands of refugees globally have the skills to immediately contribute in new communities across Canada if given the opportunity.

We can’t wait to scale these opportunities – and see the impact these stars have in their new teams and communities. 

Read more about ScotiaRISE, Scotiabank’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups, and about the bank’s commitment to diversity and inclusion

Candidates living in refugee circumstances and seeking a job in Canada can join TalentLift. Employers seeking global talent while engaging their team in something transformative can start hiring.

Skilled visas get more seamless for displaced talent with IRCC’s trusted partner approach

There can be a lot of steps in a skilled visa application, and we’re very happy to announce one less step for our candidates. 

Talented people living in displacement globally qualify for jobs and skilled visas to Canada the same way as others do – but they can also access certain accommodations to overcome displacement-related barriers under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP). These accommodations include use of an expired passport and use of a charitable loan for settlement funds.

A change announced today by IRCC relates to how folks qualify for these EMPP accommodations. 

Before, applicants with job offers in Canada needed to hold a refugee status determination (RSD) or other form of official registration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or its partners, or with a state government. Not everyone can access these options. Obtaining an RSD or an official registration can be a long or impossible process in some countries. Candidates living in refugee circumstances from Lebanon to Pakistan to Kenya have encountered this barrier.

Now, applicants can still apply with either of these options or with the new option of a referral letter from a trusted partner, including TalentLift and a handful of other NGOs. Trusted partners issue referral letters to candidates they’re supporting who have job offers in Canada and who meet Canada’s legal definition of a refugee. No RSD or registration is needed. 

This is great news for talented folks who are in displacement but who may not have access to a timely (or any) RSD or other type of official registration. This is also a win for seamless recruitment from within refugee populations globally. We’re grateful to see this advance towards greater flexibility, and therefore greater scale for this impactful hiring solution.

Read more in an IRCC press release in English or French

Candidates living in refugee circumstances and seeking a job in Canada can join TalentLift. Employers seeking global talent while engaging their team in something transformative can start hiring.

Top 3 indicators of immigration fraud

Scam - Free of Charge Creative Commons Wooden Tile image

Canadian immigration fraud is an unfortunately common occurrence. So much so that the Canada government routinely issues warnings and has a whole section on their website on how to avoid fraud. As this is an ongoing issue, we are sharing our top 3 indications that a job or immigration offer may be too good to be true. 

  1. A job offer or a visa application that depends on payment to be successful

Scammers are out to make money. One of the most effective strategies they deploy is to make important milestones depend on you paying money before it can move forward. Often, this is coupled with a tight deadline: “You must pay in 3 days or else you will lose the job offer or the visa application will no longer be valid.” 

Legitimate job offers in Canada never depend on payment. After all, the employer is the one looking to pay you for the skills and experience you bring to the table, not the other way around. It is actually illegal in the Province of Ontario for employers and recruiters to charge the job seeker directly. Furthermore, in Canada employers cannot collect their recruitment fees in connection with hiring international workers from the worker themselves. 

While there are legitimate fees associated with immigration and work permit applications, these are almost always due near the end of the visa application process and not at the beginning. And, if the fees are for someone helping you with your immigration application, you should check if they are a licensed representative authorized to charge such fees before paying them as lawyers and consultants must charge fees that are “fair and reasonable.” 

If the recruiter, employer or representative you’re working with is asking you for money before providing a job offer or going through a visa process – this is a big warning sign that you’re being scammed.

  1. Non-licensed individuals working on visa applications

In Canada, only licensed individuals are able to charge money for providing immigration legal advice. If someone is helping you with Canadian immigration and charging money for it, you should first make sure that they are properly licensed. Luckily, checking licensing is easy. 

If the person states that they are an immigration consultant, immigration agent, or immigration specialist, you should search for their name on this website: https://college-ic.ca/protecting-the-public/find-an-immigration-consultant. A properly licensed immigration consultant will appear on this website. 

If the person states that they are a lawyer, then they should be licensed in their province or territory. All law societies have a lawyers’ directory, where a properly licensed individual will appear:

If the person providing advice for money does not appear on any of these lists, then it’s a high indication that they are acting against the law and may be targeting you in a scam attempt.

  1. Unofficial-looking documents and unreasonable guarantees

Another indication that you may be a subject to a scam is that the documents you receive look unofficial. Your job offer should be on company letterhead and look professional. This means that text should look uniform and use the same font, usually in 11-14 point font size. The letter should be mostly in black and white with colour reserved for the company logo and in the header/footer (links to websites can appear in blue). 

The content of the job offer letter matters, too: If it contains unreasonable guarantees such as “no tax” or “all expenses paid,” it is worth a second look to see if the offer is legitimate. 

Further, there are never guarantees for immigration as the Canadian government is the one to make the final decisions. So, if you are promised a “guaranteed visa” that will be “100%” successful, you should take that as an obvious red flag – especially if it’s connected to a request for payment to secure that guarantee.

What do I do next?

This list is by no means exhaustive. You may be a victim of a scam or fraud even if you do not have any of the concerns listed above.

If you think you may be a target of a scam, here are a few ways to confirm your instincts:

  • Independently verify the job offer or visa details. If your job offer did not come directly from the employer, search for contact information about the employer using Google, and send a simple email asking them to confirm your job offer details.
  • Ask a trusted friend or family member who is familiar with Canadian or North American style recruiting to check your job offer or other documents. 
  • Check a regulatory body. Using the links above, always check if an immigration lawyer or advisor who is charging fees is licensed to do so. 
  • Do a Google search to see if anyone has reported any problems with this company, recruiter or representative.

And, if you are a victim of fraud, you should report this to the authorities: 

At TalentLift, we work with Canadian employers who have genuine interest in hiring talent from within displaced and refugee populations. We do not charge our candidates any fees, and we are a registered Civil Society Organization licensed to provide legal services through the Law Society of Ontario.

Candidates living in refugee circumstances and seeking a job in Canada can join TalentLift. Employers seeking global talent while engaging their team in something transformative can start hiring.

Recruitment Lead

Join our team! TalentLift is a mission-driven, collaborative, and high-impact start-up expanding the job and skilled visa opportunities available to talented candidates living in refugee circumstances globally. We are hiring a full-time Recruitment Lead who will have the opportunity to make a clear impact on individual and systemic levels and to create the scaleable and human-centred processes that power our work. 

The team

TalentLift is a non-profit talent agency. We support Canadian employers to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee populations to fill skills shortages, enabling candidates along with their families to lift to their potential as they advance their careers, secure their futures, and leave displacement behind.

There are more than 27 million people living as refugees worldwide with few options to achieve livelihoods and security. Many thousands have the skills and potential to qualify for jobs and skilled visas in Canada, just like talented people anywhere, but they’ve been historically excluded from recruitment and visa systems. This is changing as TalentLift and our partners drive more equitable access to these transformative opportunities.   

TalentLift offers employers and the displaced candidates they hire in-house services encompassing talent search, visa application, and settlement coordination. We believe that access to opportunities should depend on potential and not the privilege of living without fear. 

The role

Our Recruitment Lead will report to the Managing Director and be responsible for:

  • Outreach and engagement with employers across Canada to recruit from within the refugee talent pool supported by TalentLift
  • Management of a seamless and supportive recruitment experience for employers partnering with TalentLift
  • Championing our talent pool and raising awareness about the skills and potential within displaced populations worldwide
  • Supporting business development and organizational growth 

Must have: 

  • Minimum 3 years of previous experience in a sales or client-facing role
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills, with the ability to manage multiple priorities while maintaining high attention to detail
  • Excellent relationship-building skills 
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Reliability
  • Adaptability and willingness to continuously learn

Nice to have:

  • Post-secondary training in marketing, sales, human resources, business administration, or other related discipline is an asset
  • Experience and knowledge of business-to-business (B2B) sales
  • Experience with international recruitment or human resources processes
  • Experience supporting people living in refugee and displaced situations
  • Experience with project management and database software

What we offer

  • Salary of $72,000
  • Dental and extended healthcare benefits
  • 4 weeks vacation
  • Flexible hours and work from home in Canada
  • Equipment provided
  • A supportive team – ask us more!

TalentLift is committed to equitable hiring. All candidates are welcome to apply and we warmly invite those who have lived experience in refugee or displacement circumstances, Indigenous backgrounds, and different abilities. 

The deadline to apply for this role is November 30, 2022. To apply, please send your CV and a message using this application form.

Candidate Success Officer

Join our team! TalentLift is a mission-driven, collaborative, and high-impact start-up expanding the job and skilled visa opportunities available to talented candidates living in refugee circumstances globally. We are hiring a full-time Candidate Success Officer who will have the opportunity to make a clear impact on individual and systemic levels and to create the scaleable and human-centred processes that power our work. 

The team

TalentLift is a non-profit talent agency. We support Canadian employers to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee populations to fill skills shortages, enabling candidates along with their families to lift to their potential as they advance their careers, secure their futures, and leave displacement behind.

There are more than 27 million people living as refugees worldwide with few options to achieve livelihoods and security. Many thousands have the skills and potential to qualify for jobs and skilled visas in Canada, just like talented people anywhere, but they’ve been historically excluded from recruitment and visa systems. This is changing as TalentLift and our partners drive more equitable access to these transformative opportunities.   

TalentLift offers employers and the displaced candidates they hire in-house services encompassing talent search, visa application, and settlement coordination. We believe that access to opportunities should depend on potential and not the privilege of living without fear. 

The role

Our Candidate Success Officer will report to the Managing Director and be responsible for:

  • Managing a supportive, seamless international recruitment and relocation experience for TalentLift candidates, who are living in refugee circumstances globally and who represent diverse professions, English language abilities, and cultural backgrounds
  • Coordinating candidate experiences such as upskilling opportunities through our Talent Platform database
  • Building relationships with partner NGOs and settlement service providers
  • Developing workflow, monitoring, and evaluation processes

Must have: 

  • Post-secondary training in public policy, law, immigration, international affairs, human resources, or other social sciences is an asset
  • 2 years of work experience or volunteerism
  • Excellent communication skills in a cross-cultural environment
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Empathy
  • Reliability
  • Adaptability and willingness to continuously learn

Nice to have:

  • Work experience or volunteerism in cross-cultural contexts
  • Experience supporting people living in refugee and displaced situations
  • Experience with project management and database software

What we offer

  • Salary of $72,000
  • Dental and extended healthcare benefits
  • 4 weeks vacation
  • Flexible hours and work from home in Canada
  • Equipment provided
  • A supportive team – ask us more!

TalentLift is committed to equitable hiring. All candidates are welcome to apply and we warmly invite those who have lived experience in refugee or displacement circumstances, Indigenous backgrounds, and different abilities.

The deadline to apply for this role is November 30, 2022. To apply, please send your CV and a message using this application form.

Communications Lead

Join our team! TalentLift is a mission-driven, collaborative, and high-impact start-up expanding the job and skilled visa opportunities available to talented candidates living in refugee circumstances globally. We are hiring a full-time Communications Lead who will have the opportunity to make a clear impact on individual and systemic levels and to create the scaleable and human-centred processes that power our work. 

The team

TalentLift is a non-profit talent agency. We support Canadian employers to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee populations to fill skills shortages, enabling candidates along with their families to lift to their potential as they advance their careers, secure their futures, and leave displacement behind.

There are more than 27 million people living as refugees worldwide with few options to achieve livelihoods and security. Many thousands have the skills and potential to qualify for jobs and skilled visas in Canada, just like talented people anywhere, but they’ve been historically excluded from recruitment and visa systems. This is changing as TalentLift and our partners drive more equitable access to these transformative opportunities.   

TalentLift offers employers and the displaced candidates they hire in-house services encompassing talent search, visa application, and settlement coordination. We believe that access to opportunities should depend on potential and not the privilege of living without fear. 

The role

Our Communications Lead will report to the Managing Director and be responsible for:

  • Developing, coordinating and implementing effective communication strategies for various platforms to drive awareness and engagement
  • Producing high-quality and impactful content for various communication channels (i.e., blog, online magazine, marketing collateral, website, and social media)
  • Developing and promoting branding initiatives consistent with TalentLift’s mission, goals and objectives
  • Supporting candidate communications and storytelling
  • Optimizing content for search engines and lead generation 
  • Collaborating with leadership to understand and deliver marketing and communication needs
  • Overseeing and managing day-to-day operations of all digital marketing platforms
  • Leveraging various tools and analytics to monitor and assess the effectiveness of all marketing and communications strategies
  • Preparing and delivering monthly reports, and supporting other reporting needs
  • Supporting the organization through other development and communications activities as needed

Must have: 

  • Minimum 2 years of work experience in communications or marketing with a strong digital marketing focus 
  • Post-secondary diploma or degree in communications, marketing or related fields (equivalent work experience will also be considered in lieu of academic qualifications)
  • Excellent writing and editing skills 
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Empathy
  • Reliability
  • Adaptability and willingness to continuously learn

Nice to have:

  • Work experience or volunteerism in cross-cultural contexts
  • Experience supporting people living in refugee and displaced situations

What we offer

  • Salary of $72,000
  • Dental and extended healthcare benefits
  • 4 weeks vacation
  • Flexible hours and work from home in Canada
  • Equipment provided
  • A supportive team – ask us more!

TalentLift is committed to equitable hiring. All candidates are welcome to apply and we warmly invite those who have lived experience in refugee or displacement circumstances, Indigenous backgrounds, and different abilities.

The deadline to apply for this role is February 6, 2023. To apply, please send your CV and a message using this 3application form.

Canadian hiring teams can “take a leap” in East Africa and beyond

There are more than 27 million people living in refugee situations worldwide, and one third are living in countries in Africa. 

We got a chance to hear from a few people in the East Africa region about their experience getting a job offer in Canada. Our team was in Nairobi at a meeting organized by the regional UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) team to raise awareness and share good practice on supporting talented folks to access job opportunities in Canada and beyond as a solution to their displacement.

Bahati is a nurse who was living in Kenya as a refugee before our partners at RefugePoint and the Shapiro Foundation supported her to connect with the Glen Haven Manor team in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, where she’s living and working today. She was back in Nairobi too reflecting on her experience. Bahati recalled that for so long, “you’re living day to day, you don’t know what the future is going to be.” She also felt the weight of her identify as a refugee – which changed when she got to Canada. “The minute you step off the plane, you’re not a refugee anymore.”

“I expected to be identified as a refugee. It becomes who you are.” Instead, she found a team who saw her as a colleague first. 

The Bahati I got to know is a nursing professional, a mom, a partner, a leading voice advocating for open skilled visas for displaced talent, warm, funny, and an eager friend to anyone.

Tekle also shared his experience getting a job offer in Canada. He too is a nurse and got a job offer with Chancellor Park in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, another part of the country facing a critical shortage of healthcare staff. TalentLift met Tekle through our partners at UNHCR in the East Africa region and connected him to the Chancellor Park team. His visa process is underway. 

It’s remarkable to hear as part of someone’s personal story the urgent question about everyone else. Tekle said he’s the only one he knows so far who got an opportunity to meet a Canadian hiring team, but “there are thousands of others with skills.” Not only nurses, but countless professionals.

Bahati spoke directly to scaling our work too. To governments, she urged: “Barriers that can be removed, should be removed.” People who are in refugee situations are an equity-deserving group, and we can level the field for them in Canadian skilled immigration by overcoming disadvantages they face that have nothing to do with skills or potential.

“They have been through so much, and they shouldn’t be taken through other things that are unnecessary,” she said. “If there’s any policy we see we can influence to make it easier for them and their families, we should.”

The Canadian Government is listening. It recently announced forthcoming changes to the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) aimed at greater access. But better is always possible – and TalentLift will keep advocating for ways to deepen equity and scale opportunities. 

We’re also deeping our partnerships in East Africa as we work to ensure people living in all geographies can be visible to Canadian hiring teams. We’re working with partners in Ethiopia and Rwanda now and we invite candidates anywhere to register on our talent platform. 

Candidates register on the talent platform in the UNHCR office in Jijiga, Ethiopia.

We need hiring teams right beside us. We need the leadership of Canadian companies to welcome many more talented job-seekers like Bahati and Tekle – to join your team and leave displacement behind.

As Doug Stephens, General Manager Operations, of the MacLeod Group said, “take a leap.” Andrew Walsh, the former CEO of Iress, knows that the ripple effects throughout the business will be “immeasurable.”

 

Join a community of pioneering hiring teams across Canada. Start hiring with TalentLift.

From CUAET and other temporary status to permanence: Pathways to Canadian permanent residence

A groundbreaking visa to respond to the displacement caused by war in Ukraine saw Canada welcome engineers, developers, sales professionals, graphic designers, truck drivers, parents, elderly parents, kids, and pets. Our team has been lucky enough to know some of them as they build their careers and community in Canada.   

On March 17, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) which enables Ukrainian nationals and their families to come to Canada as quickly as possible, while also providing them with the ability to work or study while in Canada. This is a special, accelerated temporary pathway and currently does not provide permanent residence. Since its release and at the time of writing, IRCC has approved over 302,000 CUAET applications. 

Our team supports TalentLift candidates who arrive on temporary visas like CUAET to navigate their pathway to permanent residence. We’re sharing this overview for the many more folks across Canada exploring their options. 

If you have applied for the CUAET or have arrived in Canada under another temporary pathway and you wish to remain in Canada and apply for permanent residence, there are a number of different pathway options that may be available to you and are outlined below. Please note that the correct pathway for you is best determined by an immigration professional after an individual assessment has been made. The below options are intended for information purposes only. 

Express Entry 

Express Entry is an online Canadian immigration selection system for skilled workers. It is completely electronic and applicants are chosen to become permanent residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and take part in the Canadian economy. It is not an immigration program in itself, but a method for selecting the best candidates from one of the following existing skilled worker immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and/or Canadian Experience Class. Some Provincial Nomination Programs, which will be explained in further detail below, have an option of applying through Express Entry, as well. 

Provincial Nominee Programs

Most provinces and territories in Canada can nominate foreign nationals through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Applicants must have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of that province or territory, and must want to live there. Most PNP programs require a job offer from an eligible employer before being eligible to apply.

After receiving a nomination, you can apply to the Canadian government for permanent residence which will process the application in around 16 months. Some provinces allow you to apply for a nomination through the Express Entry system. This usually involves creating an Express Entry profile first, submitting a nomination application to a province or territory, then once you receive your nomination certificate, you add it to your Express Entry profile to receive additional points. 

Each province and territory has its own “streams” (immigration programs that target certain groups) and criteria for their PNP. The following provinces and territories have provincial nomination programs, and links to their websites are included below:

The Atlantic Immigration Program 

The Atlantic Immigration Program is a pathway to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador. The program helps employers hire qualified candidates for jobs they haven’t been able to fill locally. 

To apply through this program, you will need a job offer from a designated Atlantic employer. More information on the program including eligibility requirements can be found here.

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a community-driven program. It’s designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in one of the 11 participating communities located across Canada. 

To apply through this program, you will need a job offer from an employer in one of the RNIP communities. More information on the program including eligibility requirements can be found here.

Other skilled worker programs

Additional skilled worker programs are available that allow temporary residents to become permanent that are more specialized. These include:

  • Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot
  • Agri-Food Immigration Pilot
  • Business Immigration
  • Quebec Immigration

Permanent Residence pathways not based on skilled work 

There are other pathways to permanent residence that are not based on an applicant’s skilled work experience. These include:

  • Expedited Family Sponsorship for Ukrainians
  • Humanitarian and compassionate grounds

TalentLift continues to work in partnership with hiring teams across the country, alongside IRCC, provinces, territories and supporting NGOs and advocates for the improvement and expansion of pathways from temporary to permanent residence. 

CUAET represents a fantastic Canadian response to a displacement crisis. It has allowed swift, large scale relocation to Canada of talented people and their extended families who will contribute to this country for generations. It gives us a model for what’s possible in responding to refugee crises around the world, and TalentLift continues our advocacy to replicate CUAET innovations for all displaced talent.

Candidates living in refugee circumstances and seeking a job in Canada can join TalentLift. Employers seeking global talent while engaging their team in something transformative can start hiring.

A practical guide to building your strongest CV: Tips for displaced job seekers

Building a strong CV is an essential part of putting your best foot forward to potential employers. It is a key way for you to clearly articulate how your skills and experience align with the employer’s requirements, allowing employers to easily visualize you in the role.

It’s an opportunity to outline relevant experience, skills and achievements, while also telling employers a little bit about yourself and your personality.

Using the following suggestions, we recommend building a standard CV that you can use widely but that you can also tailor for each employment opportunity that you apply for so that it is as relevant to the opportunity as possible.

Many of these tips come from talent acquisition professionals Rabia Moaz, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition – Tangerine and Sean Araujo, Head of Talent, Klarna Canada, who shared their expertise in a CV workshop for displaced job seekers. This workshop can be viewed in English and Spanish

Basics of a strong CV

Name and contact information: If you have a preferred name that differs from your legal name, you can use your preferred name in your CV. As for contact details, we recommend including your email address and, if applicable, a link to your LinkedIn profile or other professional page, such as GitHub. There is no need to include a phone number or home address.

Summary: This is an opportunity to summarize your strongest qualifications for an employer such as length of work experience and highest education. You can list core technical skills here. You can also include a career goal, though this is optional. An ideal length would be 2-4 sentences.

Education: List all your post-secondary education. You may include your grade point average (GPA) or designation (i.e. ‘honours’) if it’s a strength you would like to highlight. Only include your high school if it is the highest level of education obtained. If you would like to include incomplete education, you can do so. You can clarify that this was incomplete with a note, such as: “Incomplete due to displacement.”

Work experience: A good rule of thumb is to start by including all your work experience in the past 10 years, all of which should be listed in reverse chronological order (from most recent to oldest). You can also include earlier work experience, depending on how relevant this older work experience remains. Very short-term jobs don’t need to be included, but avoid creating many gaps in your work experience history.

Under each job, we recommend including a few points to describe your responsibilities and any major achievements or key performance indicators (KPIs). Hiring managers often have many CVs to review and have only a short amount of time to dedicate to each CV they receive – being as specific as you can be in your job descriptions while keeping it short and concise allows them to learn as much about you as possible in their limited time.

You may also choose to include unpaid internships and volunteer experience to strengthen this section if you don’t have a lot of relevant work experience. If you have a long gap in your work experience, you may choose to explain it. You can add a note, for example: “Unable to work due to relocation” or “Unable to work while providing care for children and family” or “Worked in several short-term jobs while settling into a new country.”

Projects, certificates, or volunteerism: This is a great opportunity to include items that make you stand out. This may include personal or educational projects outside work, continuous learning certificates, and volunteer experience. Include items that might show you’re creative, curious and dedicated. You may also include links to personal projects, publications, or portfolios here. 

Skills (optional): You may want to have a skills section if you think you have specialized or job-related knowledge and abilities, such as software programs or tools. If you do opt to include a skills section, try to focus on your core technical skills. 

You may also include ‘soft’ skills or strengths that make you a good colleague. Think of items like communication, attention to detail, reliability, creativity, etc. You may include one or two hobbies outside work that help show you as a fuller person (optional).

Languages: List the languages you know and your level of proficiency. You can include adjectives such as “fluent” or “intermediate” or “beginner” and test scores if you have them.

With this basic structure in place, here are some general dos and don’ts to think about throughout your CV writing process.

Dos:

  • Do aim for 1-2 pages in length.
  • Do use consistent fonts and spacing, leave enough white space for comfortable reading, and ensure clear organization of information.
  • Do check your spelling and grammar, and once you’ve done that, have a friend check your spelling and grammar to ensure nothing was missed.
  • Do keep your CV updated and make sure TalentLift has the most recent version.
  • Do, if possible, add photos of your work at the end of your CV, using an extra page or two, if relevant. For example, carpenters or roofers may wish to add photos of their work. Alternatively, a link to a portfolio may be included. 

Don’ts:

  • Don’t include your photo. 
  • Don’t include private biographical information such as gender, age, or marital status.
  • Don’t include references, but you may say: References available upon request. 
  • Don’t include a cover letter unless asked. 

With all this information in hand, we are confident that you will be able to build a strong CV, allowing you to put your best foot forward to potential employers. 

We also encourage you to reach out to TalentLift through the live chat on our site or talent platform with any questions you may have. We are here to support you along your journey and hope that you found this guide helpful.

Further resources: 

Join a community of pioneering hiring teams across Canada. Start hiring with TalentLift.