This article, originally posted on canadianimmigrant.ca, outlines seven key steps to finding a job.
Many people come to Canada to create a better life for themselves and their families. However, there can often be obstacles in the way such as finding a new job. Although immigrants may be highly qualified in their own country, their credentials may not be recognized in Canada; the fact that they do not have Canadian experience might pose another roadblock.
So what’s a newcomer to do? Some newcomers choose to start sending out resumés the minute they arrive, without really understanding the labour situation in Canada. They often end up frustrated and jobless. Newcomers can increase their chances of job search success by approaching it in a strategic, step-by-step manner.
In the following series, we will focus on each of the seven steps that can help a newcomer get hired.
These steps are:
1. Organize yourself. Ensure you have a phone number with voicemail and access to a computer. If you can’t afford to purchase a computer right away, you can set up a free email account on Hotmail or Yahoo and use an internet café or library to view your messages.
2. Assess your skills. If you have a degree from your country of origin, find out if it is recognized in Canada. There are credential evaluation services available, such as the International Credential Evaluation Service in B.C or World Education Services – Canada in Ontario. There may be a cost attached to this. You may also want to consider obtaining some additional training at a Canadian college or university. If your English needs work, ESL training is a must. You won’t get a job in your field if you can’t speak the language. If you are a doctor, engineer or other professional that is governed by a licensing body, you will have to become licensed before you can work in your field, but such licensing bodies in Canada may not accept credentials from other countries.
3. Research. You will need to learn how to create a resumé, cover letter and so on. Also, where do you start looking for a job? What companies are hiring for what positions? The internet is always a great source of information and there are many programs available to help newcomers learn how to adapt their resumés to Canadian style.
4. Network. Be sure to conduct informational interviews with people in your field — this will give you a personal perspective and some new contacts. Join associations, attend events, meet new people. Introduce yourself and connect with people in your field.
5. Find a mentor. It’s important to find someone who can coach or mentor you and share information about your industry in Canada. Many professional associations offer this type of “buddy” program, where a seasoned member guides a junior member.
6. Volunteer. A great way to get your foot in the door is to volunteer your time. Many organizations such as non-profits rely on volunteers to do many different tasks. Call around and see what’s out there. Check out Volunteer Canada or Volunteer Vancouver, or find available volunteer postings in B.C. and Alberta on http://www.govolunteer.ca. This will give you an opportunity to meet people and start networking, as well as gain Canadian experience.
7. Apply. Send out job applications and resumés to organizations who are hiring in your field. Be sure to include a cover letter indicating why you would be the ideal candidate for the position. Continue networking and booking informational interviews. You are well on your way to finding a new job!
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