All around the world resumes are written differently. What is acceptable in one region may be completely inappropriate in another. Thus, we are here to elucidate what is NOT appropriate in British Columbia. There are a couple of obvious examples which include inappropriate email addresses, writing your resume in High Valyrian, printing your resume on bright green paper because of St. Patrick’s Day, or adding fragrance to your document like Elle Woods. But then, there are some examples that we continue to see every now and again.

In some countries, it is perfectly acceptable to include your picture on your resume. Please do not do this in Canada, unless you are aspiring to be a model or an actor. In British Columbia, employers pride themselves on being fair, equal opportunity employers. It is illegal to not hire someone based upon factors like age, race, and gender; so, some companies will simply reject resumes with photographs as to avoid any future discrimination claims. As an addendum, and for the same reasons, leave your marital information, religion, height, and sexual orientation off your resume.

Do not put your Social Insurance Number (SIN) on your resume. Your SIN is not required at the time of application and it is a security risk. Ever heard of identity theft? Only provide your SIN once you have accepted the position.

Finally, save your references for the interview. If you want to put References Available Upon Request at the bottom of your resume, go ahead; but note that it is a given, and not necessary to put on your resume. But, definitely leave your references off your documentation. By adding your references, you are giving the employer the opportunity to call your references before they have even had a chance to meet you in person. If anything questionable comes out of one of your references, you will have already lost the opportunity for an interview.