Moving to a new country is a life-altering event, and looking for a new job can be a source of anxiety. We constantly hear reports of highly-skilled immigrants struggling to find jobs, even as immigration levels continue to increase. In this article, we want to encourage economic newcomers to be confident and equipped to handle their search for work.
Being prepared, informed and supported is key to the success and management of the transition newcomers to Canada embrace. There is a solution to assist with your pre-arrival employment needs so that you can avoid ever encountering these five challenges you wish you had known about before deciding to move to Canada:
1. Consider alternative career options.
An alternative job is a position in the same or a related field to your original occupation. Finding work in your field or profession may take several months. Online assessment tools such as Career Cruising can help you map out new career directions. It also connects you with several online providers of pre-arrival employment services.
Reviewing your options is an important starting point on your career journey to making your dreams toward a new life in Canada and career fulfillment.
2. Build professional connections via social media to establish a network with local professionals.
LinkedIn, in particular, allows you to broaden your professional connections, and increase your self-promotion and online marketing to key employers in your industry. Local employers and recruiters are checking out your online presence, and it is important to keep your profile updated and active.
3. Don’t focus your search solely on advertised job postings, as the most effective strategy is networking into a company to land your ideal job.
Use a systematic strategy to pursue companies. The most effective job search is through all sorts of networking, so build connections with friends, associates, classmates, professionals, association members, employment consultants, and children’s teachers and coaches. When you first arrive, it may take some time to establish these connections. Nevertheless, as you develop new relationships, stay connected to your new contacts and build more — think of everyone you meet as a potential contact. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to be aware of:
- Try to get as much as you get from your network.
- Keep contacts informed of your job search progress.
- Follow up on leads or names you have been given.
- Be professional in your approach and behaviour.
- Continue to expand your contacts.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or assistance.
- Don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t have time for you.
- Don’t be shy; speak out and be assertive.
4. Mentoring services and bridging training programs are designed to help you pursue a career in your sector and navigate the preference of employers for Canadian work experience.
To achieve career success, it helps to have expert guidance and mentorship. Bridging programs are carefully designed training programs that prepare you for licensing or certification in regulated and non-regulated professions. In some cases, there may even be financial assistance available to help you cover costs while you pursue these programs.
Mentoring programs can connect you to experts and established professionals in your industry who are committed to helping you fulfill your potential. Mentors can offer career advice and resources to get you there faster. Check out The Mentoring Partnership to learn more about mentoring partnerships and how the program works.
5. Increase your chances of getting interviewed: analyze a job posting and customize your resume according to employer expectations.
Creating a winning cover letter that highlights the qualifications the company is looking for is crucial to the job application process. Take a close look at the top job requirements in the posting. Then take stock of your transferrable skills, education, and experience as they directly relate to the needs outlined by the employer in the posting. Sometimes it’s helpful to highlight key points or make a list of your qualifications that match the employer’s needs. Essentially, tell them why they should hire you. Learn more about writing a strong resume and cover letter.
If you want to be “in the know” and prepare for your job search ahead of time, NIC Online has your back. We want you to be ready with resources that are specifically tailored to your employment goals. We offer free online employment services for newcomers in Ontario. Services range from one-on-one virtual consultations to live and on-demand webinars covering all aspects of the job search, including employer events and how to compete for jobs. Our professional team is dedicated to executing a client-focused approach to support you, the job seeker, as you face challenges in adapting to the Canadian economy and way of life.
Register today to speak with an Employment Consultant, and gain access to online assessment tools and expert guidance in achieving your career goals. Email us at email@example.com to book your first session with a live consultant!
Originally written by Heather Brothers and updated in December 2020