Searching for and Securing a Job in Canada
If you have a Work Permit and are ready to start searching for work in Canada, here are a few points to help you get started.
Get a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
One of the first things you should do as a permanent resident is to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN). This 9-digit number is used to identify people who earn money through work, pay taxes, contribute to pension plans and use government services. It is illegal for employers to hire a person without a Social Insurance Number. To get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) application form, go to the nearest Service Canada Centre and fill it out in person.
Get Career Counselling
There are many services available for newcomers to Canada. Free career counselling is one of them. Career counsellors can help you decide on a plan whether it be a job to get you started or how to get on a career path using your work experience, education and skills. You will also get help writing your résumé and cover letter, as well as tips on how job interviews are handled in Canada. Try your local Multicultural Society office, government office or University to ask about career counselling services that may be available to you.
Apply to Jobs
You can apply to jobs online. Posted jobs on job websites represent about 20% of the jobs available however, and are by far more competitive than non-posted jobs. Non-posted job opportunities, taking up 80% of available jobs, are known as the hidden job market. The hidden job market includes jobs that the employer is just in the process of developing or jobs that the employer knows he or she will need to fill in the short or mid-term future. The only way to find hidden job opportunities is to network. Since 80% of the jobs will require networking to find and secure, it is often recommended that 80% of your job search efforts be networking as well.
There are some big job posting sites, such as Indeed, Monster and Workopolis and some industry specific posting sites such as eFinancialCareers. Most of these sites allow you to create a profile and set alerts for particular types of job postings.
Don’t think narrowly when you think about networking. Start networking by talking to everyone you know and come into contact with about your job search goal. It’s best if you can tell people exactly which companies you are interested in. Welcome centres, Chamber of Commerce Offices, religious and cultural centres, are all excellent places to meet people in your community and get connected. Remember that you never know where or who you will meet that can connect you to the manager of a company you are interested in working for.
You can also join industry associations as they host events where you can meet people in your field and industry.
The key with networking is to ask key individuals for a chance to have a brief meeting with them. You are not asking for a job directly, but rather to learn about their company and gain some insights from them about the field and industry you are targeting. Informational interviews could be with anyone in an organization that you want to work for. Ultimately you want to meet with the person who is the manager of the area you want to work in, but meeting others in the organization first gives you knowledge about the company and the ability to ask them to connect you to the manager. Study up more about informational interviews and make sure you’re prepared for them.
Resume and Cover Letter
A resume and cover letter is very important in Canada for job seekers. Your resume and cover letter should not contain any errors and should market you strongly for a specific position, while at the same time accurately reflect your skills and experience. Take the time to get professional help with your resume and cover letter. Many employers will not take the time to review a poorly crafted resume or cover letter.
Once you get the job interview, you’ve already come a very long way in the job search process. Although you can’t win every job competition, you want to do your very best in the interview. Prepare thoroughly by researching the company and position thoroughly, talking to people who work in the organization, and preparing your answers for questions you are likely to be asked.
Employers prefer to hire people who have the skills to excel in the job immediately, so try to get yourself up to speed about the job before the interview and imagine yourself as already being on the team. If the interview makes you nervous, remember that interviews are equally as stressful for the employer.
The employer has to make an important hiring decision based on a resume, cover letter and one or two interviews. If you know you will be great for the job and therefore be an asset to the manager, be confident in the interview knowing that it’s a win-win proposition, not just a win for you if you get the job.