The goal of every individual coming as an immigrant to Canada is to have a better life and enjoy all the benefits and opportunities that Canada has to offer. One of the essential activities when you arrive Canada, is getting a source of income. As an immigrant, getting your first job is crucial.
Just to clarify; An immigrant is a person who leaves his or her country to settle permanently in another country and possibly strive to become a citizen of the new country after meeting the eligibility requirements.
Immigrating to Canada implies that you are starting a new life in an entirely different territory with different customs, law, and possibly language, compared to what you have been familiar with, in your country. Considering that bills come in hard and fast in Canada as with most developed countries, you need a job to sustain your new life and help you settle with ease.
Working in Canada for Immigrants
Getting a job in Canada is not as pleasant as getting your preferred job. You don’t want just to find any job, but a job in a career field with great potentials for growth and job security. There are many career opportunities in Canada with high wages. However, employers are looking to attract and retain only the best workers due to anticipated shortages in the labor market.
Therefore, to work in Canada, you’d need the required skills for a job. Skills and quality is non-negotiable with Canadian employers.
Steps and tips to get a job in Canada as a new immigrant
As an immigrant in Canada, you do not want to get caught up in a situation of joblessness, and the effect of having several bills to offset. The first thing to get done is to understand the labor situation in Canada to avoid being frustrated in your job search.
There are strategic steps to follow so as not to fall into the trap of just sending and submitting resumes without any getting positive feedback. You need to understand what employees in Canada want and how to position yourself for the right job.
Here are some of the steps to follow on getting your dream job:
1. Start small and grow your Canada experience
Securing a job in Canada requires some level of experience in your field. Most immigrants came to Canada with years of vast experience in their portfolio, but which sadly, often isn’t recognized by employers in Canada.
The Canadian labor culture, most times, require an applicant to have experience working in Canada. So you must be prepared to begin building your Canadian career by starting afresh and gradually amass the needed experience in Canada. With focus, self-motivation, and determination, you will be able to eventually land your dream job.
2. Skills and credentials assessment
You may be astonished that your certificates or degree might be considered lesser in comparison to a similar Canadian degree or certificate. A little brush-up course or examination might be all you need. Depending on your profession, you might equally be required to get licensed before you can practice in Canada.
The issue, however, is that some of these licensing bodies have to assess your certificate and other credentials to determine if you will be issued a license or undergo retraining. Licensing authorities govern some professions like teaching, nursing, social work, finance, medicine, and engineering and others.
3. Build and revamp your Resume to meet Canadian Standards
In Canada, the business and labor market often refers to the CV as a resume. The Canadian style resume is a bit different from what you might have been familiar with. It will be useful for you to remodel your CV to a Canadian resume format to give you a better chance with Canadian employees. In Canada, there are two resume formats:
- Chronological resume: This format is arranged in order of time of the different positions you have held, with the most recent coming at the top. This resume style is suited for people with lots of work experience.
- Functional resume: This format on the other hand, is based on the skills you possess or garnered from your previous job experience. It outlines and portrays your expertise in your resume. Students, fresh graduates, and those looking to change careers will find this resume format appealing.
In compiling your resume, ensure to
- Keep it short and straightforward between one to two pages. Remember that recruiters and HR personnel, review many resumes for one position.
- Organize it with clear and consistent formatting and grammar.
- Outline your qualifications, experience, and certificate.
- Do not include any photo in your resume. It may be acceptable in some countries but not in Canada.
4. Register with a recruitment agency
Canadian employers are big on recruitment/staffing agencies. You can enlist the services of a recruiter to help you secure a job. Ensure you sign up with a recruitment agency that specializes in your industry. Not all employment recruitment agencies can efficiently offer what you want; therefore, you have to carry out proper research on recruitment agencies and choose one that best suits your job needs.
Get a recruitment agency that has first-hand information about the Canadian labor market and has access to hidden job CV vacancies. An example of a popular recruiter for new immigrants in Canada is Access employment. There are also the provincial directories of authorized recruitment agencies like Adecco, About Staffing, Drake International, Equation Staffing Solutions, Executrade, Randstad, Apexlife Sciences, the Judge Group, Procom, Aquent, the Select Group, etc.
Besides, you can get help from government employment agencies to aid your job search. Examples include Employment and Social Department Canada (ESDC), Employment Ontario, Public Service Commission of Canada and Service Canada, the government of Canada job bank.
Networking is a superb method to connect and get to know other professionals in your field. The relationship you build with your colleagues could help you to land a job faster. There might be an opening you are not aware of or one that isn’t made public, and the people in your network might just hint you or act as a referral for you with the employer.
Referral is an excellent way to get employment in Canada. Networking can be done formally or informally. You can attend business meetings and events to gain essential contacts in the social and professional circles. Let your contacts and associates know that you are looking for a job and strive to build and expand your contacts frequently.
Here are some steps to help you with networking:
- Practice your speech: this is a short speech about you, your experience and skills, that is, what you can do and what you can offer.
- Find a professional group to join.
- Inquire and attend events, conferences, and exhibitions in your field or industry.
- Attend job fairs. You can get a job quickly right there.
- Bring your business card to events if you have any, and you can also ask for the person’s own
- Dress to impress, but don’t overdo it.
- Be courteous, mingle, and smile.
- Know when it is time to leave.
6. Job fairs
Another unique way to get a job in Canada is to attend job fairs in your city or province. Attending job fairs will give you the opportunity to connect with employers and help you get firsthand information about available positions. You are likely to get hired for a job at a job fair if you are well prepared. Do proper research about the companies coming to the job fair, and their available positions. The next thing is to tailor your resume towards what these companies want, and get to know about them very well. You can never tell when and how your job interview will come up.
Jobs are also gotten through connections known as volunteering. This is another way to widen your horizon and broaden your network of contacts. Volunteering can expose you to other professionals across all sectors. Ideally, you should volunteer the skills you use in your career. Volunteering is mostly done for non-profit organizations. With this, you can gain some experience, get to know more about Canada and build new contacts, and you can find volunteer tasks on govolunteer.ca, volunteercanada.ca, volunteeringvancouver.ca, etc.
8. Online search
One popular way to also get a job quickly is to do your job search online. Online search on job platforms in Canada will give you an insight into the types of employment opportunities available for hire. Job search platforms include linkedin.com, indeed.ca, jobbank.gc.ca, canadianimmigrants.ca, monster.ca, canadajob.com, charity village, workopolic.com, eluta.ca, jobapplicants.ca, roberthalf.ca, job boom, career builder, simple hired, etc.
9. Cold calling
This method is for the bold at heart or desperate. One way of securing a job opportunity in Canada is by making cold calls. This could be in the form of a telephone call or email to a company to inquire about job availability. To engage the cold calling tactics, ensure that you the company’s info and their hiring manager. You can also walk in and ask to speak with top level executives or departmental heads. A lot of employers might not like this, but it has worked for some. If you’re sure of the value you have to offer, it really won’t cost anything, except your pride, to cold call. Remember not to over-do it.
10. Start your own business
Many immigrants become so focused on getting a job that they forgo other income earning alternatives! New immigrants in Canada have the potential and the wherewithal to start their own businesses. In Canada, starting a business is an opportunity to earn a profitable income and contribute your quota to the country’s development. Here are some self-employed jobs you may consider in Canada:
- Uber driver
- Charter bus driver
- Private tutor
- Makeup artist
- Graphics and web designing
- App development
- Photographer and videographer
- Event planner
- Personal coach and trainer
- Interior designer
- Repair works
- Grocery shopping and deliveries
- Independent sales rep
- Tile setters
- Industrial painter
- Pet groomer
See more income earning opportunities in Canada.
In applying for any job of your choice, you must equip yourself with information about the job and the organization. Whether you are applying online or not, the process of an interview is pretty much the same. Besides, you must be organized and composed. Tailor your cover letter to suit each of your job applications.