Thursday, March 21, 2019

Newcomer's Biggest Concern: Finding Job in Canada

In recent times Canada’s Job market has been a hot topic for new immigrants as well for local Canadians. Employment industry of Canada is quite different from most of the Asian and East European countries. Majority of New immigrants in Canada are from India, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia and other Asian countries. To find your desired job profile is a tough nut to crack, considering the first and the foremost struggle for every newcomer is to find a white-collar job in first place. Canada’s recruitment structure is completely different, besides the work culture which is far more different. Let’s look at the broad process to be followed to get into your desired job in Canada.

There is a saying in this part of the continent, that there is no guarantee of 2 ‘W’s, ‘Work’ and ‘Weather’. When I first arrived in Toronto, my friends advised me the one thing to do each morning after I wake up is to check the temperature and weather conditions, and hence be prepared for the day. Similarly in Canadian job market you are always standing on the edge and you never know when your employer surprises rather shocks you with bad news! Even in such state of affairs, if one is determined to work, he/she will never be jobless, so don’t worry and keep doing some value addition in terms of certifications, take memberships of associations of your field, do volunteer work whenever you can, harbor better relations with peers and boss, develop your LinkedIn profile, the central idea of these activities is to invest your time in ‘Networking’.

1 Identify Industry:

I always advise my friends that, one should always do the type of work that they know how to do but it doesn’t mean you cannot change your industry. You can, but for that you should pursue some education, certifications, licensing etc. to support your transferability of skills as well to be able to fight competition.
First thing first, identify your industry and visualize your future in next 5 years in it. Consider below points to decide onto the industry you want to be in:
  • Stability
  • Future prospects
  • Pay Scale at each level
  • Industry hub location (e.g. Toronto is hub for Finance while for oil & gas Alberta can be good place)
  • Competition
  • Major companies in that industry in Canada
2 Identify Roles/designations:

My personal advice is to decide early and be very clear at initial stage of your Canadian career about the industry you want to work in, the one that you feel you have better knowledge and an edge over others. What recruiters here care the most about is “what you as a candidate bring to the table”, no one here really will train you on the job and to be able to do that, the hiring managers make sure that best candidate is the one who knows his work already and has the necessary skill set, the one who is productive from day one. It’s very important to be a specialist of one particular area, where gradually you can become an expert.
One might hold past experience in multiple areas viz. sales, operations, production, human resources etc. but you have to be focused on your core competency. Patience and perseverance are the key here. Don’t be distracted by easy way out. You will get ample job options here which will lead you to nowhere.

3 Find out if your industry is regulated or not? If yes find out what certifications/licenses/Accreditations required to apply for position you are looking for:
It is very important to be aware about regulated industries, government regulations, guidelines to work and necessary federal/provincial licensing requirements. For example, you should have IFIC/CSC to get into front line banking roles such as Financial service Representative/Customer service representative. There are similar licensing requirements for almost all regulated jobs like insurance advisor, security person, police service, paramedics, medical and health industry. So do your home-work wisely, meanwhile I will bring upon industry wise trends and information in my later blogs.

4 Find out companies which may sponsor you to do necessary licensing:
Some companies do sponsor your certifications/licenses considering your past experience while others don’t, Although it is always better to be job ready and have licensing in advance.
Being job ready also means you are prepared to start the very next day in case of urgent openings. Plan in advance, arrange child care if you have children and your partner is also working, location, commute timings and public transport availability nearby your place of stay, and any other obstacles which may come between you and start working.

5 Prepare your Resume & Cover letter well (Resume preferably One Page):
This is the most crucial part of getting response to your job application. I came across many friends, who have applied for more than 500 vacancies and never got a single reply on email or call! Reason being, used one standard resume to apply for every job. Start preparing unique resume for each job you apply to because recruiters here look for specific words/skills in your resume that if matches with the job requirement, you might stand a chance to go to the next stage of recruitment.
So it’s all about quality and not quantity, doesn’t matter for how many jobs you applied. You have to devote at least 20-30 minutes for each job application, read job requirement first, and if you think you qualify the go ahead read the job description carefully and do necessary changes accordingly on your resume and cover letter.
Preferably resume should be one page because for any given job there are hundreds of applications and hiring managers cannot be expected to go through lengthy 2-3 page resumes.

6 prepare for your interview, questions which interviewer can ask you:
Most of the Canadian interview questions are behavioural as employers here want two important skills in their employees which are, ‘Team Player’ and ‘Problem Solver’.
You might have to justify your answers with past work experience and cite examples of how you handled a particular situation at work. STAR format can be used for your answers given as under:

  • Situation: An event, project, or challenge faced
  • Task: Your responsibilities and assignments for the situation
  • Action: Steps or procedure taken to relieve or rectify situation
  • Result: Results of actions taken.
Most important out of all 4 is Action because this is where you will emphasize on what you did in that situation that highlights your qualities/skills.

7 Follow up & Communication:
And last but not the least, communication is the “KEY”. You don’t want to lose the battle after coming this long and after putting so many efforts. Checklist at this point:
  • Always ask few relevant questions to interviewer at end of the interview.
  • Also be thankful and ask for next process in selection.
  • Ask interviewer if it’s ok to follow up with him/her over email or phone and when to do that.
  • Do prior research on pay expectations and always give your range with $5k difference (e.g. $55K-60K).
  • Send a thank you email after interview and mention one or two good things during interview.
Feel free to ask any questions and will post more detailed information for each topic.

My LinkedIn link:

Wish you all the Best!



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  2. good information sir, i want to come Canada, but i have not graduation, i have diploma in mechanical engineer. is there any chance to come in Canada for me?

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