When looking for a job, having a great resume is the starting point. And if you just moved to a new country, you might need to start over. Some might need to go back to school or even change career. Your success will depend on your job search strategies. There are job search strategies for new immigrants that you can implement to improve your chances of career success in Canada. This starts with the things you do before you arrive in Canada.
Before we continue, it is important to note that the road may not be smooth. The truth is that most new immigrants may have a long and difficult time getting established in their chosen occupations. So, you may need to prepare yourself mentality. And this is why you need to be in a city where you have the right support. Your support system will go a long way in helping you on this journey.
Before You Arrive in Canada
As you prepare to arrive in Canada, do the following:
- If English is not your first language, learn and practice English as much as you can. Being fluent in English will allow you to focus on more on the job search instead of spending the time to learn the language while you don’t have an income yet.
- Read books about Canadian resumes, cover letter, how to prepare for a job interview, etc. This can accelerate your job search if you learn more about it before coming here.
- If you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, create one!
- Use keywords in the LinkedIn “Search” bar to find profiles of Canadian professionals with similar expertise, and learn from them how to adjust your profile to look better.
- Search for and join LinkedIn groups in your industry or profession.
- Send invitations to Canadian professionals to connect your LinkedIn profiles. This helps you build your professional network even before coming here.
In addition, there are steps you can take to find meaningful work that is relevant to your experience. These job search strategies for new immigrants will contribute to building your career success..
1. Have a Plan
Have a plan for your career in your new community. This should start from the time you decide on the city you will land. Research the context of your field and occupation based on the reality in Canada. Some professions are regulated and you therefore need to get the required licence to be able to practice. Have a plan of how you are going to get the licence. You also need to have a plan of the alternative jobs you can get while you sort out the required licence for your profession.
If you are not sure of what to do, one of your plans should be to attend a pre-arrival information session. An information interview is a way of seeking advice and information from people about the field you are interested in. You will get information about courses you might need to take, overall trends and how you might get started.
2. Have a Good Resume
One of the things your job search strategies should include us having a good resume. You can start by creating a resume that show all your skills and experience. This will serve as your master resume. Next step is to adjust your resume to show the skills and experience required by the particular job you are applying for. This means that you may end up with more than one resume. You may also need to adjust it regularly to fit each application. We address the steps to creating a good resume in another article.
3. Build Your Brand and Increase Your Visibility
While it is okay to apply to many job postings, it may leave you with little time to search and apply for a job that is a good fit. This is why having a good plan helps. Focus on finding opportunities that fit your experience, education and skills. This will be more sustainable in the long run and can improve your chances of getting a job that fits your experience and skills. Aside having a good plan, building a strong professional identity or brand helps.
Reasons to Increase Your Visibility?
Culture is a big thing to most Canadian employers. For many, culture-fit takes priority over skills. This is why many hire candidates who get along well with their team and organizational culture. Most recruiters pay attention to both the soft skills of a candidate (attitudes, communication etc.) and the hard skills (technical competencies required to perform the tasks.
Below are some reasons why you need to increase your visibility
- No one will knock at your door if they don’t even know you exist.
- A resume doesn’t represent very well who you really are. Increasing your visibility will allow people to learn more about you, your personality and your background.
How To Build Your Brand
Create a Compelling LinkedIn Profile
One way to build your brand is to create a good online presence, including an effective LinkedIn profile. This also includes having clean social media platforms that reflect a professional image.
Make sure you list all of your jobs and include details of your projects and achievements while working for that company. It is easy to say that you deliver great results, but much more powerful to prove it with examples.
Connect With People You Know
Check the LinkedIn “People You May Know” list. You may find people who are ready to help you in your job search. Reach out to them and send them connection request. If they are people that know you well, they, in turn, can introduce you to everyone in their network.
Ask for Recommendations
Many people are happy to give a recommendation when asked especially when the person knows you. Many people have gotten their jobs through recommendation. Before you submit an application to a job posting, check on LinkedIn if you know anyone working in that organizations. You can also also ask your friends and family in case they know anyone in that company.
4. Network To Your Perfect Job
As a newcomer, you may find yourself at a disadvantaged without an already established network. However, there are ways you can develop connections in your new community.
How To Grow Your Network
You can start by joining the following
- community groups,
- professional networks for immigrants,
- other professional associations,
- interest clubs,
- sports teams or
- any other groupings that will put you in contact with people you wouldn’t ordinarily meet.
It is important to attempt to socialize and get to know these people. Some of these groups exist on Whatsapp, Telegram and even Facebook groups. Some also exist on LinkedIn. Most professional networks begin from a social connection. Look for groups related to your target job or industry. Join any local groups and participate in the discussions.
LinkedIn Group activity raises your profile with recruiters and can keep you up-to-date with trends and developments in your industry. Demonstrate your willingness to help others in the group. This can help to proof valuable soft skills which will make you a more attractive hire.
5. Develop your Communication Skills
In addition, focus on developing your overall communication skills. This includes the way you communicate with colleagues and the difference between communicating verbally and in writing. The way you work with others will have a strong impact on your career and job prospects. It is, therefore, important that you improve your interpersonal communication skills.
6. Seek to gain Canadian experience
If you are having difficulty finding a job in your field, consider gaining experience through volunteer work or internship programs. Volunteering in the industry where you want to work will help you get some contacts in the field.
Internship is another way to gain work experience. There are formal internships set up for different career areas. Some of the settlement organizations have programs that can help you secure an internship. So, take advantage of such programs.
In addition to all the steps mentioned above, check out this job search guide for new immigrants which is a good resource.