Written by Arcelia Camacho, PMP
5 minutes read
I am preparing to land in Canada soon and using your pre-arrival employment services. When applying for jobs, should I mention that I have Permanent Residence status and add my SIN number to my resume or cover letter?
Dear Puzzled Newcomer:
This is a very relevant question. Let’s start with the SIN number.
SIN stands for Social Insurance Number. You need it to
(1) Work in Canada
(2) Access government programs
(3) Access benefits such as Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan
You can get it after you land in Canada, here is how. Your SIN number identifies you, but it is not the only way you can prove your identity.
Never add your SIN number to your resume or cover letter. Potential employers and recruiters may ask you to include it on your job application; it is not illegal for them to ask. If a potential employer requests this piece of information on an employment application, you can leave the field blank.
After you have accepted a job offer, you are required to show your SIN number to your employer. They use it to verify that you are authorized to work in Canada and to report your paycheck deductions to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Your Social Insurance Number is confidential. Read this article to learn how to protect it.
Permanent Residence Status
Recruiters and employers sometimes receive job applications and requests from people who live overseas and are not eligible to work in Canada. For every job opening they advertise, employers often receive hundreds of applications, and they might discard yours if they think you are not authorized to work in Canada.
You can indicate in your resume or cover letter that you are eligible to work in Canada. It is your decision and it can either work for or against you depending on the potential employer preference and bias. For example, if the potential hiring person prefers someone with local experience, they might overlook your job application. It is up to you to decide how you want to present yourself.
A possible solution to this dilemma is to become a virtual volunteer with a Canadian Organization. Virtual volunteering will add local experience to your resume and will advance your knowledge of the Canadian workplace culture.