Finding work in Ontario is not easy, especially if you are looking for a job prospect before you arrive. The job search process of preparing your resume, applying, networking and interviewing for the roles you want is a full-time job that often requires you to be here in person.
It is possible to have a job prospect before you land and once you’ve obtained your Permanent Residence status. You can increase your chances of finding work before you arrive by following these tips.
1. Have a Canadian-Style Resume and Cover Letter
Different countries have different requirements when it comes to their workforce and job application process. A Canadian-style resume is recommended to be no more than 2 pages. Resumes should include the most relevant work experience that relates to the job you are applying that dates back no more than 10 years. Never list your salary, a picture, or other personal details like your marital status and family information. The human rights code in Canada protects employees from having to disclose any of those personal details so that you won’t be discriminated against based on those details
2. Refine Your LinkedIn Account
If you’ve already told your work and networks in your country of origin that you will be moving to Canada, then change your location on your LinkedIn profile to a Canadian one instead of your country of origin’s. Recruiters looking for candidates on LinkedIn will favour local candidates over those who are overseas.
Also, make sure your LinkedIn account is up to date with the most current information, and that your grammar is perfect. Poor grammar or careless mistakes can make you appear like your English level is not up to standard. Recruiters need to see that you have a professional level of communication before they can consider you for a job.
3. Join a Professional Immigrant Network (PIN)
You will need to network a lot before you get hired. A good way to do that before you arrive is by joining online local community groups like an immigrant-led professional association in the area you are planning to live. They are formed by employers and other professionals in your field of work. They are just as important as a social network of family and friends. PINs can help you build your career by surrounding you with other professionals who understand your experience, expertise, and the labour market for your profession.
There are many professional associations for immigrants led by immigrants across Ontario. For example, TRIEC’s Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) program is made up of a network of over 70 associations in a variety of fields including accounting and finance, law, engineering, media, etc. Search and join an association within PINs to share learning, leverage skills, and make strong connections to find meaningful employment.
4. Find a Mentoring Program
Mentoring programs match you with an established professional in Canada for a one-on-one, occupation-specific, mentoring relationship. A strong mentoring partnership can help you build vital professional connections, learn about the corporate culture and help you gain labour market insights in your respective field of employment. Research different mentoring programs in and around your destination city to become a “mentee” and find a mentor in your professional field. TRIEC Mentoring Partnership provides a mentorship program in the Greater Toronto Area. According to TRIEC, 77% of mentees find employment in their field or a related field within six months of completing the program.
5. Determine What Canadian Accreditations You Will Need
Research what extra accreditation or education you may need to successfully transition into your career field in Canada. Canada has a labour force with workers from all over the world with different types of learning credentials. You may need to take extra courses or write an exam to validate the credentials of your country of origin. Do not let unrecognized international credentials prevent you from attaining the job that matches your full experience and expertise. The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) helps you determine what credentials you will need to practice your occupation in Canada.
6. Register for Free Pre-Arrival Government Programs
The government offers free programs to help you find work faster. You can register online for pre-arrival employment services like JVS’, CanPrep program or NextStopCanada, before you get here. CanPrep connects skilled newcomer professionals from all around the world to an Employment Specialist who will support them in navigating the Canadian job market.
According to CanPrep’s Employment Specialists, It’s not only important that you access pre-arrival services but you should also be actively networking. You can get much better results when you engage with government-funded support programs and use the information provided by them to implement practical job search strategies. Many of CanPrep participants have found jobs as soon as they arrived, some even before arriving because of good strategies.
Orientation to Ontario also offers free webinars and workshops you can take online.
7. Consider Volunteer Work
Don’t rule out volunteer opportunities as an immediate way to gain experience when you first get here. Pick volunteer opportunities that are relevant to your skill set and career. You don’t need to dedicate the entire work week to doing volunteer work, as you will need to apply your time towards your job-search. But dedicating a few hours a week of volunteer experience can help you understand the Canadian work culture, and practice your technical skills and communication skills (perfect your English). It’s also a good opportunity to get Canadian references.