Starting your job search before you move

While you are still in your home country, there is a lot of research and background work that you can do and thereby starting your job search in Canada before you move.

80% to 90% of jobs in Canada are got through networking.

You may be surprised to hear this, but this is probably the most effective way to get your first job in Canada. Now, the question in your mind will be “how will I do this if I don’t have a network in Canada?”. And that is why you should begin before you come to Canada.

Leveraging your Friends & Family

The importance of networking

You need to publicize your move to Canada to anyone and everyone that wants to listen, and even to people who don’t. You need to build a network of people you know in Canada. That can be anyone, even friends of friends. You need to take the initiative to call and write to people asking for their support and asking them to refer other people they may know. You never know who will lead you to the person that will give you your first job. So don’t hesitate to go to anyone and everyone.

Some effective ways to build your network is to join social media sites like Facebook and Linked In, if you are not already there. Connect with people and share your news with them about moving to Canada. Ask them for help and references. Also, make sure that your profile is professional and formal. And be careful what personal information you share about yourself on these sites. Social media sites are monitored by employers and they don’t look very favourably at people that seem unprofessional.

Prepare your resume for Canada

The resume format in Canada may be very different from your home country. If your resume does not meet the same standards as a Canadian resume, it will get rejected. There are many websites you can visit to learn how to make your Canadian style resume – just search on Google. Online job boards like Monster, Workopolis and CareerBuilder also have advice on how you should make your resume.

Once you make your resume, have someone that understands how Canadian recruitment is done, evaluate your resume. Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP) is a Canadian government funded agency that helps newcomers settle in Canada. And one of their services is to help new immigrants make an effective resume. Please do try and attend their sessions if you have the opportunity, they offer their services in 25 countries around the world.

If you don’t have the option of CIIP, then ask a friend in Canada to help you with your resume. If no one is able to help you, then write to me from the contact page and I will try to help.

Looking for jobs that you would like to do

You will not be able to make a really good resume unless you know what job you want to apply for. This is because a resume in Canada is customized to the job being applied to. So before you start making your resume, first search online job boards for job postings you want to be hired for. You would ideally have 1 or 2 jobs that you are keen on doing once you immigrate to Canada.

Once you have chosen the job(s) that you want to go after, download about 5 postings for the same job from different companies. When you compare the job postings, you will notice commonalities between them – in the job description and the skills / experience required. Now you should make your resume such that you show the skills / experiences specified in the job posting. You should even go as far as using the same words to describe your skills / experience as the job posting. This will help your resume get shortlisted for an interview.

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