Uriel has recently moved to Canada and is pleased to share her experience with prospective and new migrants.
How Easy Is It To Get a Job in Canada?
In October 2019, I migrated to Canada via the Express Entry - Federal Skilled Workers Program. Before moving, I was a barrister and solicitor in my home country, with a few years of experience in the field. During the process, I did some research on how to integrate into the legal profession in Canada and found out that becoming licensed to practice law there would take some time, energy, and money. Therefore my near-term plan was to get a job that would help me adequately prepare to practice law in Canada.
I landed my first job as a warehouse associate about two weeks after I arrived in Toronto, Ontario. The "peak season"—the end of November to mid-January—was drawing near, so many warehouses were recruiting as many candidates as possible to cover the anticipated workload. I worked a couple of weeks in two companies on a seasonal contract. Afterward, I got a job as a bilingual call center agent, a role I have played for a few months now for two employers so far.
Using my job search experience, I will highlight the following points about getting a job in Canada:
1. What to expect from the job market
2. What tools will you need to effectively search for a job
3. What you need to do before you can get a job in a certain field
Understanding the Job Market
Getting to know the job market will help you determine in which province your skills may be more in demand, or going about it the other way round, it may help you to acquire or develop skills that are sought after in the province you have chosen to settle in. How do you come to understand the labor market?
1. Do Some Research
My husband often jokes about me being a search wizard, because whenever I purpose to learn about something, I will look for every type of information existing on the topic! My advice is: type the most "stupid" questions that can ever come through your mind in the search bar, join forums, and read articles to gather as much information as you can regarding a particular trade or profession.
2. What Should You Search for?
If you already have some experience in a field, you could begin by searching how your profession is regulated in each province of Canada.
Then, you could look up for related careers that may be easier to integrate into. If you have some experience in banking, for instance, it will not harm to check whether it would be advantageous to work in mortgage brokerage.
On the other hand, if you are open to all possibilities, consider choosing a career you are passionate about where you are ready to start from the bottom. The good thing about Canada is that it is never too late to start afresh.
3. The Job Metrics
No matter what your choice is, these three elements must be part of your choice:
What do you need to work in that field?
If your international credentials are not enough, you need to be sure of the number of months and the amount of money it can take you to become licensed in your chosen profession, and prepare accordingly.
What is the average pay? What is the pay structure?
Many job sites provide information on the average hourly or annual salary per province for specific professions. Note that in some fields, commissions are an essential element of the pay; therefore, it would be wise to be aware of how much work you might need to put in to get your expected pay.
What is the employability rate?
This is arguably the most essential element. This simply means: how many persons who are trained for this job are actually employed in it? A low employability rate may either indicate that the job is not in high demand or that the profession is a closed circle.
Some Canada Occupations In Demand
|Occupation||Average Hourly Pay in CAD|
Tools for an Effective Job Search
What tools should you consider while searching for a job in Canada?
1. Your Resume
In most cases, an employer will decide to interview and possibly retain you based on your resume/CV. Thus, if your resume is poorly written, there is a high probability for you to never hear from an employer. The first step in your job search is, therefore, to work on having a one or two-page targeted and skills-based resume, accompanied by a well-written letter of motivation.
2. Employment Agencies
It will be safe to say that in your journey to get employed in Canada, you are not alone. Employment agencies are found almost everywhere in the country and though their methods of operation may vary, their main goal is to help you achieve your career objectives. In my experience, my employment consultant advised me about getting a job as a bilingual customer service representative and helped me rewrite a targeted resume with the skills I had acquired from my previous positions.
3. Your Connections
Whether it is the people who welcome you as a newcomer to Canada or those you will meet in the community you choose to identify with, there are tens and hundreds of people who migrated to Canada before you and would be ready to give you a tip or two. Besides, you need to actively search for networking events or ask your contacts how to meet people in your field. Networking is essential in Canada because most available jobs never get advertised publicly.
Many employers will ask you about your previous positions, so you must be ready to provide one or two employment references from your previous employers.
5. Job Sites
Job sites are a useful tool, provided you know how to use them. Take it from me, it is not about the number of applications you send out on job sites, but the quality of your application. When I newly came, I sent more applications than I could count on countless job sites and for most of them, either I did not get a reply from the employer, or I got a "Sorry" email.
Why? First, my resume was not properly written—which I did not know at the time. Second, I was sending the same resume and cover letter to all those companies without personalizing them. After learning from my mistakes, my strategy changed and my job search proved a bit more successful.
6. Cold Calling/Emailing
Remember I said job sites are useful in their way? If not for anything else, they sometimes provide you with the phone number and physical/email address of the company recruiting, which you can use to contact them directly. Even though some employers do not respond to direct approaches, many can offer you an appointment or even a job interview.
Getting a Job In a Desired Field
One may consider the following points when looking for a job in their desired field:
1. Get Licensed
Many professions require your foreign qualifications to be accredited at a federal or provincial level. Lawyers, medical doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, and so many other professionals must go through the accreditation process in their respective fields.
2. Further Your Education
It is not uncommon for new immigrants to complete courses at a higher institution or even get a degree to achieve their career goals.
3. Upgrade Your Skills
You may not be concerned by the first two points, but it is still not a bad idea to upgrade your skills to match up to Canadian standards, either through internships or short courses.
The Advantages of Migrating to Canada
Whilst considering migrating to Canada, keep in mind that:
- Canada is actively seeking skilled immigrants: their prospect in 2019 was to welcome around six hundred thousand (600,000) economic immigrants by 2021.
- The Government of Canada prides itself in not just welcoming, but also effectively supporting newcomers in their establishment in Canada.
- If you are seeking a high-paying job, Canadian certificates and work experience in Canada usually weigh a lot more than international certficates and experience.
More About Migrating to Canada
- I Migrated to Canada! My Experience With the Express Entry
About six months ago, I became a Permanent Resident of Canada via the Express Entry Program. From the moment I made up my mind to immigrate to Canada to the time it happened, it took about a year. But how did it all happen?
- How the Canadian Express Entry Worked for Me
To make an informed decision, it is best to have all the possibilities of choice! I gathered the experience of a good friend of mine with the Canadian Express to give you a different perspective of the program.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Uriel Eliane
Uriel Eliane (author) from Toronto on June 15, 2020:
Thanks for your comment Nikhil! I'm happy to share my experience.
Nikhil Sharma from India on June 15, 2020:
I was simply exploring when the title of this article strikes my mind. You've explained almost everything one needs to have while searching for suitable jobs or developing skills in Canada. It will really help people who are planning to shift to Canada for employment opportunities. Thank you for writing this amazing hub, Uriel. Let's connect on HubPages.
Uriel Eliane (author) from Toronto on June 14, 2020:
Thank you for your comment Liz! It's always a pleasure to share a bit of my experience.
Liz Westwood from UK on June 14, 2020:
Thanks for drawing on your experience to help others. This article hives a valuable insight into how best to approach relocation and job hunting in Canada.