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Finding Your First Job in Canada

by Yorlenis Proenza
Interview Diversity Handshake
 

Looking for a job in a new country can be challenging. You may feel overwhelmed by information while you’re getting settled and not know where to start. You may have heard of negative experiences or wonder if you need to get a Canadian education to better your chances. Don’t let any of this discourage you. It is possible to secure a job in your desired field if you take the right steps to prepare for it.

Many people want to start by creating a Canadian style resume to send to all the online job postings that remotely match any single qualification or experience they have. While having a good resume is important, setting clear goals and being prepared can shorten the time it takes to secure the right job. Remember it’s not as much about quantity as about quality.

Here are four tips to consider before you start actively job searching:

1) Know Yourself - Reflect on your strengths (what are you good at?) and values (what is important for you in a job?). You will compare this later to the skills in demand for jobs in your field or occupation as it is important that they match.

2) Conduct Research of the Labour Market - Find several similar positions of your interest and analyze the requirements in detail, see if the job titles and responsibilities are the same to what you are familiar with based on your previous experience. This will give you a perspective on similarities, what top skills are in demand, where the jobs are and work conditions. Find companies that hire for these kinds of roles, even if they are not currently advertising positions. This will help you to target the hidden job market and look for networking opportunities or introductions to people who have similar roles to what you are looking for.

3) Make Your Case - After you understand the job requirements in terms of soft and hard skills in demand and work environment, you are in a better position to explain why you are a good match. Take time to prepare your "why you are the best fit" statement. You will have to market yourself effectively to employers and to new people you meet in your field. Considering how competitive it can be, you need more than your education to make you stand out.

4) Make a Realistic Plan to Keep You Accountable - with tasks and timelines for things you have to work on (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, increase connections, etc.). Depending on the kind of job you are looking for, more skilled, professional jobs can take more than 6 months. But keep a positive attitude and every step you take will get you closer to your goal.

With all this in mind, you will be well set to start a more effective job search. If you need more help, reach out to a local employment service provider for assistance with developing plans and supports to help you succeed.