Here’s How To Level-Up Your Job Hunt In Canada & Remove ‘Red Flags’ From Your Resume

Are you looking for a job in Canada? Experts say job seekers must be “increasingly strategic” when looking for a career as companies reevaluate their hiring strategies.

Recruitment agency Robert Half has revealed the key “considerations” Canadians should bear in mind when applying for jobs, including the red flags employers are looking for.

The agency surveyed 900 senior executives in Canada to find out what employers are looking for in their hiring today.

Conducted online, the survey included responses from managers at companies with 20 or more employees in Canada.

The results revealed five key points that anyone currently looking for a job should consider.

Proceed with red flags

According to the results, 80% of managers say frequent job hopping is something that gives them pause, with other “red flags” including inadequate skills for the role (80%) and vague descriptions of previous jobs (79%).

Deborah Bottineau, chief executive at Robert Half, tells Narcity that job seekers should include relevant previous positions on their resume to “present all the expertise and experience they can bring to a potential employer.”

If you’ve had several short-tenure jobs that aren’t directly relevant to the position you’re applying for, you should skip those,” she says.

“The best rule of thumb is to include anything that is directly applicable and also be prepared to explain longer employment gaps or frequent short-time work at the interview.”

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To ensure the hiring manager doesn’t think you lack the skills needed for the job, Bottineau says job seekers should “be sure they have the skills and experience [they] with specific requirements in the job description and be clear about previous responsibilities and how they may relate to the role.


According to the survey results, about 9 out of 10 managers are more likely to hire someone who has a referral from a current employee.

If you are unable to obtain these, it is best to use references from current and/or previous employers.

Bottineau shares that the best practice is to include references from employers in particular “for jobs where you held similar responsibilities.”

As for the age-old question of whether you should include references on your resume or provide them when asked, Bottineau says you should pay attention to the job posting.

“Job postings have different requirements when it comes to providing references and following the description is the best way to deliver what the prospective employer is looking for.”


Narrowing down the skills included on your resume can help when looking for a job, according to Robert Half’s survey.

According to the agency, 62% of team leaders said they would rather hire “specialists” with expertise in a particular area of ​​study than “generalists” who have varied skills and knowledge across multiple fields.

Highlighting your key areas of expertise rather than an exhaustive list of various skills could work to your advantage.

remote compensation

According to Robert Half, companies that hire employees who live off-site set pay based on certain factors.

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Around 37% set salary based on employee location, while 36% set it based on company location.

Only 27% base it on a candidate’s experience without considering location. So how is this information useful?

According to Bottineau, “Knowing whether the company you’re applying to takes location into account when setting salaries can help you determine if the position is right for you,” and if not, help you in your search to refine.

Former Employees

In the survey, 65% of managers said they had rehired a former employee who left on “good terms.”

According to Robert Half, 22% of managers said one of the biggest benefits of hiring a former employee is that they bring “in-demand skills, knowledge and experience,” with other benefits such as proven performance (22%) and rapid onboarding (21st %).

If you left a job and regret it, all may not be lost. Bottineau recommends “[putting] “Put out probes on former managers and colleagues” and signal your interest in returning.

“Ask about open positions and highlight the immediate impact you could make based on your familiarity with the company,” she says.

This is how you draw attention to your CV when applying online

There are a few things you can do to make sure your resume is actually seen, Bottineau shares.

“Make sure your resume is tailored to the job and company you’re applying to to increase your chances of being seen,” she says.

“Add keywords from the job description and skills that are directly relevant to the role and highlight quantifiable achievements.”

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Finally, it’s definitely a good idea to proofread everything you send to a potential employer.

“CVs with typos and other errors are often the first to be discarded by employers!”

Good luck job seekers!

The cover image of this article was used for illustration purposes only.

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