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How to get a job in Canada as a newcomer

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In this post, I will summarize 18 tips for finding a job in Canada.

Once you arrive in Canada or plan to come, you would like to understand how getting a job works in Canada.

Here are some tips that have been helpful for us in finding jobs.

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If you are looking for a job or want to look for a job and don't know where to start, I will leave some tips to help you improve your chances of getting a job in Canada.

I will start by explaining what you should do as a minimum if you are starting from scratch, then I will talk about other options you can check out.

We have been through the job search process, and we have seen some practical details, so here are my suggestions:

1. Create accounts on job search sites.

First of all, a high amount of jobs today are posted on the Internet, so for that reason, my first tip is to familiarize yourself with the following sites where job opportunities are posted.

These sites are:

Be sure to create accounts on them (they are free), so you can easily browse all available positions.

2. Create alerts with your keywords

Once you have created your account on each platform, search for how to spell in English your current position or the job you want to get.

Here are some examples of positions:

  • Quality analyst

  • Plumber

  • Warehouse worker

  • Administrative assistant

  • Customer service

On the other hand, you can also use keywords with skills or systems that you manage, for example

  • Excel

  • SAP

  • Trackwise

Once you have identified these keywords, you will search for them on each platform.

When you search for each keyword, you will see that you can save this search so that every day or week (depending on the frequency you require), you will receive alerts directly in your email with the available positions with that keyword you have used.

For example, from Glassdoor, I have created an alert with the word "Warehouse" and Location "Mississauga" the email I receive is like this:

This will help you to receive specific offers so that you don't have to log into the platform every time and search for jobs.

The same is true for Indeed. For example, I searched for "Warehouse" in Mississauga.

Once you see the list of positions, scroll down, and you should find something like this:

Add your email address and click Activate. This way, you will be able to receive alerts in your email.

3. Read job descriptions carefully.

Since you have created your alerts and are starting to receive the posted jobs, you will start reading the job descriptions.

With these job descriptions, you will become familiar with the terms employers use to describe the activities you have to do on the job.

This is going to be helpful to start using these words in your vocabulary because it is very likely that during an interview, you will be confronted with them.

4. Characteristics of a résumé

Just so you know, in Canada, the everyday use for applying for a job is using a résumé.

It is not the standard curriculum vitae with all your work history; it is something shorter and tailored to the position you are applying for.

Here are some of the characteristics of a résumé:

  • Do not contain photos of yourself.

  • Do not include personal information such as religion, gender, marital status, etc.

  • It has to be tailored to the position you are applying for.

5. Characteristics of a cover letter

When you apply for a position, you should accompany your résumé with a cover letter explaining why you want the job and what makes you a good candidate.

These are some characteristics:

  • Addressed to the company or hiring manager

  • Tailored to the position you are applying for

  • Explain your intention to get the job

6. Tailor your résumé and cover letter

This is one of the beginning's most essential and time-consuming parts.

In the past, we used to prepare a single document with all the information about our jobs and send it everywhere. But, unfortunately, it doesn't work like that here.

You have to take your time, choose the position you want to apply for, take the keywords from that job description that match your skills and use those keywords in your résumé.

Take the time to adjust your documents to the job you are applying for. | Media from Wix

Why is that? Because over 90% of companies use applicant tracking systems (ATM). An ATM sort through candidate resumes throughout the early stages of the job application journey by scanning them for key terms and phrases and formatting requirements.

So it's very likely that when you submit your résumé, it won't be read by a human the first time but will be scanned by an ATM looking for keywords that match the job description.

Then, when they have already filtered out resumes that contain relevant keywords, they begin to have candidates for interviews.

Companies use this to streamline the recruiting process as they may receive too many applications.

7. Use tools to check the accuracy of your resume.

One tool I used last time to check what percentage of matches I had with the position was ResumeWorded.

On this site, you upload the text of the job description and your résumé, giving you a score.

There are a couple of free attempts. I only used the free option, so I recommend doing all the keyword tweaking work on your résumé and then, as a final resource, use a tool like the one I mentioned or another.

You can look for another tool on the Internet; for sure, there are many with free attempts.

8. Research the company

It takes time and effort to put together your résumé, so if you choose to apply for a position, it's because you want it.

Be sure to Google the company, find the official site and read about its history, mission, vision and what they do.

You can use this in your cover letter to mention that your mission aligns with their work.

Make sure you check information about the company | Media from Wix

9. Apply for the job

Once you have your resume and cover letter ready, you can apply through one of the platforms I mentioned or if the company has their site, apply through them.

Check the instructions that the platform has. For example, sometimes, the instructions say, "Send resume and cover letter to this email address."

Make sure you check that first and follow the instructions correctly.

10. Wait and follow up

If you are in an active job search and don't want to lose track of every résumé you have sent out, I would suggest creating a tracker.

Also, it may take time for recruiters to review your background.

I would recommend creating an Excel file where you keep track of the following

  • The date you sent the résumé

  • Company name

  • The platform you used to apply for the position

  • Email or website

  • Job position and reference code.

  • Application due date

  • Any other details about the company

You can then go back to that list and follow up if you see that the dates have been completed.

Or if you get a call and someone says, "I'm calling you from company XYZ," you check your list and know why you chose that company to apply to.

Sometimes you will have to wait a long time to receive a call. | Photo by Unsplash

11. Prepare for interviews

Regardless of how you've prepared your résumé and cover letter, you have to be patient because not every company will call you back or let you know if you're continuing the process or not.

But, let's be positive! Let's think that you have been selected for an interview. I suggest you practice with the most common interview questions you can find online.

For example, tell me about yourself, how your experience aligns with the position, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

Another tool we used was to search for tutors on the Italki platform, filtering by interviews so you can practice with someone who knows the subject.

12. Explore internal transfers

You can check out this if you have a job in your home country at an international company. This is how I got my job, so I wanted to include it.

If you have a job with an international company in your country, look into whether any programs are available for employees to do internal transfers.

I came to Canada for a one-year transfer, stayed longer, and got a contract here. It's not the most common way, but it may help if you have a similar situation.

13. Seek support from newcomer services

We have not used these services, but there are agencies in Canada that are designed to help newcomers.

Here is a link with details of institutions that can help you find a job, tailor your résumé, and more.

There are newcomer services that can help you | Photo by Unplash

14. Networking

Try to meet people, and maybe you can meet someone who can recommend you something or who is looking for someone with your skills in their job.

You can try to volunteer in some places or practice a hobby where you can meet more people. You never know when you might find something.

15. Join Facebook groups in Canada.

Sometimes, if you need to get a job quickly, maybe in your language, look for Facebook groups of people from your country in Canada.

Many times people post jobs to help people in their community.

16. Contact companies directly

If you are focused on a specific industry, you can start looking for the companies you are interested in and check their websites.

You may find they have their sites to apply to, or you can write an email to send your résumé.

You can identify employers where you want to work | Photo by Media from Wix

17. Find people who share resources for free

If you use social media, I suggest you look for people who share information on getting a job, putting together your résumé, improving your search, etc.

I'm sure some recruiters share free resources to help you search. Remember to use social media to your advantage and to learn more.

18. Identify if your profession requires a license

Research in advance if your profession or the work you want to practice in Canada is regulated.

I know that pharmacists must be licensed by the regulatory body for the profession in the province.

On this page, you can find the Foreign Credential Recognition in Canada Tool, including your profession and province; they will tell you what is required.


I hope you can get the job of your dreams or get a position close to it so you can start living the life you were looking for when you came to Canada.

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