Updated - September 27, 2022
Canada has welcomed thousands of immigrants from many countries to live and work within its borders. In fact, the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) invests in around $2 billion every year on newcomer services, including job searching. Moreover, IRCC services are free of charge and offer mentorships, interview preparation and resume writing. If your goal is to live and work in Canada temporarily or permanently resettle in Canada, the usual first step is to find a job.
At Insurdinary, we understand that every employee or job candidate is unique. In your search, focus on finding the job that is the right fit for your work and educational experience. Show that you have the qualities a Canadian employer is looking for with a resume that puts you ahead of candidates. There are hundreds of thousands of available jobs in Canada and they need to be filled. Regardless of your experience, industry or profession, the approach you take to land one will be the same. When you are looking for jobs in Canada, follow these important steps.
Step 1: Think About What You Have to Offer Canada
John F. Kennedy famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Bloomberg reports that Canada desperately needs foreign workers. Canada has much to offer newcomers and citizens alike. The education system is world renowned with the highest rate of post-graduation employment. As well, Canada has free trade with both Mexico and the United States, a very generous social assistance program and of course, is home to the nicest people on the planet. When you begin your job search, frame it in terms of how it benefits Canadian employers so that they have a reason to offer you a job opportunity.
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Step 2: Become Eligible to Work in Canada
There are limits to who can work in Canada. Before you can fill a position in Canada, you will need to either have a valid work permit or a Social Insurance Number (SIN). The Canadian government issues temporary SINs to people with temporary work authorization. To find out more about how to apply, renew or replace your SIN, be sure to learn about it here.
Depending on the job you are looking for, you might need a work permit. Familiarize yourself with the work permit requirements and be ready to apply for a work permit before you enter Canada.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada relaxed its requirement that workers obtain a work permit before entering Canada. Check with Canadian immigration authorities that this policy is still in effect before trying to enter Canada and find a job.
Step 3: Get to Know Canada and Its Culture
No matter what career you pursue in Canada, employers will want assurances that you will get along with your Canadian colleagues and not suffer culture shock once you join the team. Therefore, it’s best to:
- Learn about Canadian holidays, popular sports, and entertainment
- Study some French, even if you are not job hunting in Quebec
- Become familiar with the Canadian system of government
- Know the faux pas in Canadian culture, and try to avoid them
- Figure out how you are going to get around in Canada
- Have an overall demographic knowledge of the provinces
General knowledge of Canada and personal experiences that connect you to Canada will go a long way later in your job search.
Step 4: Build Your Job Hunting Network
Before you begin your job search, get to know Canadians in your field. Use online networking platforms like LinkedIn to learn more about employers and reach out to your Canadian peers. They might know employers who are hiring and be able to tell you whether you would be a good fit.
Be respectful when reaching out to colleagues. Contacts in Canada could be useful sources of support when you eventually move to Canada, even if they do not give you a job lead. Their time is valuable, so focus on what you have to offer.
Contact any professional organizations you belong to for any contacts in Canada or insights into finding a job in Canada. If you have a university degree, find out whether any Canadian employers have a history of hiring graduates from your school. The hiring team at these organizations might shortlist your application based on positive experiences with alumni in the past.
Step 5: Use Canada’s Job Bank
Canada’s Job Bank is a resource and searchable database of job postings for prospective workers in Canada. The Job Bank features over 84,000 jobs per month (on average) from over 200,000 registered employers.
Find Job Resources
The Job Bank site links to resources for newcomers to Canada, including information on finding a job in Canada and information for groups with additional needs, such as job seekers from Ukraine.
Create an Account
A Job Bank account allows you to receive alerts when promising job posts become available, create custom job searches, build a resume, and more.
Search the Job Bank
The Job Bank is a convenient source of up-to-date job openings. Use the advanced search option when looking for jobs. The more you focus your job search on the jobs that are perfect matches for you, the better you will measure up against the other applicants.
Step 6: Evaluate Internet Job Postings and Opportunities
Read the job postings carefully. Many employers reject job applications on sight if the applicant lacks qualifications. If you see a job that might be a good fit for you, except for one or two qualifications, prepare to make the case in your cover letter and interview that you can thrive in the job even though you can’t tick off every box in the job description.
Get to know the organization to which you are applying. Check out their website. If possible, read up on the team you might be joining. Ask yourself questions, such as:
- Am I comfortable with the mission of the organization?
- Would I get along with the team?
- Does the position offer opportunities for development and advancement?
- If the job posting includes a salary range, could I live on that sum while in Canada?
Many job postings state that employers will prioritize Canadian applicants for the position. Apply anyway. Positions go unfilled when none of the applicants had the right qualifications or was the right fit for the job, so you may be just who they need.
Step 7: Applying for Jobs
Now that you have a shortlist of postings – or a long list if you have the time – start work on the applications. Pay close attention to each application as you prepare and submit it, and update your resume or curriculum vitae accordingly.
Read the Application Carefully
The requirements of each application will be different. Be sure that you understand the requirements of each position and the application instructions. Create a checklist of the items you need for the application. Note who the application should go to so that you can address your cover letter properly.
Tailor Your Resume to the Position
Many job seekers have one copy of their resume and send it out with every job application. A cookie-cutter resume is less likely to be a perfect fit for the job, and it might give the hiring committee the impression that you have not put thought or effort into your application.
In your list of prior work experience, highlight responsibilities that match what the employer needs. For example, if the job is in sales and your background is in academia, include work you have done in recruiting new students and pitching research proposals. Demonstrate skills like interpersonal communication, collaboration in teams, and leadership.
Write a Compelling Cover Letter
The cover letter is a chance for the hiring committee to get to know you as a person and determine whether you would do well as a new hire. Be honest about your needs but focus on the value you would add as an employee. Address any gaps in your resume constructively and proactively.
Submit Your Application
Return to the checklist you made earlier to make sure you included all materials in your application. Double-check the submission instructions to avoid inadvertently sending the application to the wrong place.
Step 8: Preparing for Interviews
If your applications are successful, you will most likely receive invitations for interviews. Interviews are your first opportunity to win over potential employers through real-time, nonverbal interaction. Keep the following tips in mind as you prepare:
- Dress neatly and professionally, even if the interview is via video conference
- Before a video interview, check your internet connection, camera, and audio equipment
- Be at least ten minutes early for your interview
- If the interview location is in person, allow time for traffic
- If the interview is in a secure location, such as an embassy, allow extra time for security checks
- Review key information about the company and the job posting
- If you have the name of the person who will be interviewing you, remember it during the interview
- Write out a list of questions to ask your potential employer
Relax as much as you can. Demonstrate the qualities the interviewers want in an employee through your demeanour and what you say. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t be afraid to say so, and try your best to be helpful and constructive.
Step 9: Be Ready to Accept Job Offers
It would be a shame to go through all the effort to apply for Canadian jobs only to turn down offers for practical reasons. Be ready to start relocating as soon as you get a job offer.
Look into renting an apartment or finding a house in Canada. Become familiar with the transportation system. If you will need to drive in Canada, make sure that a licence in your home country allows you to drive in Canada or that you can exchange it for a Canadian one.
One aspect of life in Canada that you might not know about is the need for health and dental coverage. People around the world know that Canada has national health care, but job applicants might not know that government benefits do not cover all health costs. Most Canadians have supplemental insurance from private insurance companies. You can find examples of health care rates from Health Rates. Their website has information about other types of insurance you might need while you work in Canada. Include the cost of health and dental insurance in your budget when planning your new life in Canada.
More on Finding a Job in Canada
Here is the ultimate checklist for newcomers to Canada.View Article
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