When you start to decide that you would like to look for a job in Canada, you need to do a pause and understand why it is so hard for foreign people to get a job in the great North. The way of looking for a job in Canada is unusual; you must target the job.

In this article, we will try to explain how the job market works in Canada and we will give some guidelines to build a strategy to succeed in hunting.

Remember, if you're looking forward to migrating as a worker, having a job offer is one of the many things you must do.

Understanding the Canadian Job Market

The Canadian Job market is not like others. There are some cultural factors you should understand in order to succeed in your job hunt:

  • Canadian Employers look for specialists. Employers are very aware of the big competence in the Canadian market, because of that, they look for people that are very specialized in the specific field their business does. Being a generalist usually doesn't work. However, being a generalist with a specific focus may work with small companies (because it cuts cost)
  • A résumé is mostly all you need when hunting for a job. Regardless if you are going through a hiring company or dealing directly with the company owner. (You may also need a Cover Letter or Recommendation letter)
  • Canadian law forbids to make discriminations by your sexuality, age, appearance (only if you are applying for a model position). Therefore, focus your current résumé to get that specific job.
  • The looking for an "anything" job application does not exist.
  • Job payment is done through wage (hourly or salary). Because of this, many employees believe some employers will watch constantly what you are doing during working hours. 
  • The job description is important. Doing favours is okay, but do not expect to get paid if what you are doing is out of your job description.
  • Volunteering is a good thing in Canada.

You will also need to understand that as a foreign worker, you are running in disadvantage against Canadians and permanent residents. The Canadian government has placed a set of rules to protect itself and their people.

Know Yourself! What are You Good at?

So, this is really simple. Canadian employers will not hire you to do a job if you are lacking expertise. With all this said, if you are a specialized cake chef, it is hard you will get a job as a computer technician. Use your skills to look for a a job you have a better chance at achieving. This applies to everything.

The first step is knowing your strengths and your expertise. Ask yourself:

  1. What part of my job am I good at? What skills do I rock at?
  2. What have I been doing for the last year?
  3. Does my area of expertise and education match?
  4. What can I offer that others don't?

Answering those questions will tell you right away what area you will likely succeed in your job search. The more prepared you are, the more likely you will get a job.

Sadly for you, the greatness of this country may backfire you as a future foreign worker. The country conditions don't push all their people to archive post-secondary education such as a university degree, Master's or Ph.D. An individual with just secondary education may get a regular job that pays the bills with a certain good (enough) level of living style. It won't give enough to pay for family vacations, but it will pay enough for rent, food and a modest car.

With all this said, you must be more than regular or average to succeed.

Look for a Job in the Right Places

This is a little tricky. Please try to adjust this to your reality, depending on your skills, the way you look for a job may vary. However, there is one thing in common for almost every Canadian employer who is seeking for an employee: they love the digital era. Which it is good, you can apply wherever you are.

Depending on the nature of the area you work in, you will need to target your job search for big, medium or little cities. With this said, Google Maps could be your best friend. You may target all the business related to an area in a spot. Then, you can visit each website and take note of the jobs in which you fit the best.

You can use Kijiji as well. For those outside of Canada, Kijiji could be the most popular website for classifieds. It has its job offering section and it is always getting new posts.

Do not apply yet to the jobs, just take note of them, where you found them.

Job Bank? No Thanks

jobbank search for job

The government of Canada has a central website where all human resource people (employers or agencies) are able to post their openings. However, the purpose of the Job Bank is not to help foreign workers but rather to help Canadian employers to find Canadian workforce.

If your profession is not an LMIA exception, your future employer will need to get through this process and get an LMIA. In short, the employer must prove to the government that there is no Canadian workforce to fulfill the job position; then a positive LMIA will be given. One of the requisites to get an LMIA is posting the job opening in a website where Canadians can find it. One of those websites must be the Job Bank.

Also, most part of LMIA applications already have a name; there is an option for an anonymous LMIA (where anyone may get the job) but it is more expensive and there are more requirements. So, most part (not all) of the openings in the job bank is already given. Employers are just posting because of the government requirement.

Better look in another place.

Build your Résumé Targeting a Specific Position

"What! Are you nuts?"  You will need to create a specific résumé to target a specific job position. Creating a résumé is your silver bullet; you must dedicate the most part of your effort here. However, there is a way to minimize your effort; you may create a kill-it-all résumé and then you can strip out things that don't fit the targeted position.

resume writing

Happily, for you and for any foreign worker, Katapulta gives an eight steps method about how to create a Canadian résumé.

  1. Clarifying your Job Search Goal
  2. Uncovering your Qualifications
  3. Understanding your Target
  4. Creating your Value Proposition
  5. Understanding the Résumé Structure
  6. Checking for Canadian Spelling and Grammar
  7. Adding Creative Design Elements
  8. Writing Strategically

The key here is just showing information that will help you get the job.

After having your first customized résumé, postulate yourself. Be patient.

Some Insights about Human Resource People in Canada

Human resources people in Canada are like divas and you must understand their strange way of thinking. For example, showing how to do many things that are not related to the same area doesn't show a strength but a weakness as you do not have focus or expertise in a specific field. If you are a shoemaker, be the best shoemaker.

Also, human resource people do not work for you, but for the one who is paying. With this said, they prefer keeping an opening rather than betting for someone that could fit. It is very strange that someone from HR answers you back with feedback, they just drop you.

Because of the last point, many resource human people won't do their best trying to fit you. Instead, you may be discarded for anything, including your spelling and the wrong use of phrases.

We recommend you to read this post blog with many useful tips to get a perfect Canadian résumé.

I found Someone Who is Willing to Hire Me, What is next?

work permit

When you get to this point you will need to read our article about how to get a work permit. And congratulations, if you get the work permit, you are ready to come.

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Katapulta is the project that will help you to visit, study, work or live in Canada.

We share information on many cities in Canada, how to write a proper resume, the process of obtaining or getting certain documents for Canada, myths and facts and much more information coming from experience or common questions.