Successfully applying for a job
Once you have identified the job you want to target and made a resume that is matching your master job description, now you are ready to start putting in your applications. The process of applying for jobs is hard work and you need to put in a lot of effort and time into it. You will need to spend more than 8 hours a day searching and applying for jobs continuously for more than 2 months. Then only will you see results of your efforts.
Your first step is to upload your resume to the various job portals. Some of the biggest in Canada are indeed.com, monster.ca, workopolis.com and careerbuilder.ca. They cater to all sorts of job categories. There are others that may specialize to a particular profession or geographical area. I recommend that you start with these 3 and then keep expanding your efforts to these other sites. There is one other website that specializes in profiling newcomers called skillsinternational.ca.
Uploading your resume on a job portals
It is very important that you spend a good amount of time and effort into uploading your profile onto each job portal. Even if you spend one full day working on creating your profile and uploading your resume on one portal, it will be time well spent. Go through the entire process of creating your online profile on the job portal. You will need to answer many questions that helps the portal profile your skills better. This will help your resume become more searchable, and you may get profiled in search results of recruiters looking for potential candidates.
Once you have uploaded your resume on to the job portal, you should immediately set up a daily job alert. You can easily do this by setting up a search with key words for the type of job you are looking for. When you set up this job alert, make sure you don’t make the search very specific. If you do, you may not receive too many job options to apply to daily. With a more general search, you may get notifications of jobs that you may not be interested in, but this is better than missing the jobs that you would like to see.
Manual search of jobs
Besides the job alert, you still should go to the job portal website everyday and manually look for jobs that you may be interested in. This is good practice because you may never be able to capture all the key words when you set up your job alert. Also, there may be jobs that are not an exact match to the one you are looking for, but closely related and suit your skills. By doing manual searches, you will increase the number of jobs you can apply to on a daily basis.
Another great source of jobs is looking at the websites of companies you are targeting. Many companies in Canada have a very robust and active careers section on their corporate website. And companies like it when people apply to them directly as they save on referral fees paid to job portals and consultants. Set up accounts on all the company websites you want to target so that you can not apply for jobs and also set up job alerts. And like the job portals, make it a practice to go to these websites everyday to manually look for jobs also.
Although you may have identified a list of target companies that you want to work for, opportunities in your field of expertise may also be there at other companies that may not be a natural choice for you. For e.g. as an architect you may want to work for a real estate developer or an architectural firm. But a large bank with many branches all over Canada also needs architects to help them manage their bank branches. So look at alternative companies where you can start your career in Canada in your field of expertise.
You can try to approach recruitment consultants to get placed. I am a firm believer in knocking on all doors (you never know what will help you a job). But don’t expect too much from this.
When I first arrived in Canada, I met and spoke to quite a few consultants. I remember one meeting very distinctly because the consultant was very honest about his position. He told me that when he is tasked to find a candidate, the company expects him to get people from other companies that are doing similar jobs. And although my profile was suitable for the job, he cannot send it to the company. The reason was that a newcomer like me is actively looking for a job and has his resume posted on job portals and company websites. The human resources department of the company can find people like me by doing a onlint search themselves. So why would they pay a consultant to do the same job.
This was a very unique insight into why a consultant may not look at a newcomer as a potential candidate. Now, this may just be his perspective, and not true for all consultants. And don’t get me wrong, consultants are a great source of referrals when you want to switch jobs. But, the success you may have to get your first job in Canada may be much lower though a consultant than by applying to a company directly.