8 NECESSARY STEPS TO FINDING YOUR DREAM JOB IN CANADA
Below are the 8 important steps to finding a job in Canada:
1. Realize that your career is your responsibility.
Canada is an individualistic country and ‘rules of the game’ may be different here. There is help available but it’s on YOU to find your job. Take massive action: you need to apply all the steps 2 – 7 in order to be successful in your job search.
2. Find a mentor – somebody who ALREADY has the job you want – and then ask them a lot of questions.
You may be surprised how different the same job can be in different countries. A mentor can give you a lot of information about the duties, responsibilities, work environment and expectations on the job. If you don’t have any offline connections, the best place to look for a mentor is LinkedIn.
Please see more information on starting a mentor-mentee relationship below.
3. Get a Canadian style resume(s) and cover letter(s).
Resume doesn’t get you a job – it gets you a job interview. If you are applying to several different jobs, you must learn to change your resume (and your cover letter) to match every job you’re applying.
4. Learn how to network in Canada.
Networking is two things: actions and communication. Both are highly cultural, so learn how to do it ‘Canadian style’.
5. Get Canadian experience.
Start volunteering as soon as you arrive or get a survival job where you will have an opportunity to practice your English. Even if you volunteer just one day a week, you will be acquiring Canadian experience that you can put on your resume.
6. Learn which skills are important and valued in Canadian workplace.
Many immigrants make a mistake of thinking that if ‘hardworking and honest’ are the top skills in their first country, it’s the same in Canada. It is not. Communication and interpersonal skills are at the top of the list here.
7. Develop a strategy for a Job Interview.
Learn how to prepare for a job interview. The goal of an interview is to find out if your skills (your education and your personality) match those required for the job.
8. Avoid common mistakes immigrants make.
Accepting a factory type survival job, not investing time into learning English, assuming that Canadian culture is the same as their first country’s culture are just some of the typical mistakes immigrants make.
More on How to Find a Mentor
You have two options when looking for a mentor: to find somebody ‘in real life’ or to find somebody online.
The golden rule is to approach a person asking for knowledge but never for a job. When you directly ask somebody for a job, that usually sends them running in the opposite direction.
LinkedIn is a good place to look for a mentor if you don’t have any offline connections. The best way is to join the groups and see who other members are. You can also check the connections of your connections and see if there is anyone doing the job you want to do. Prior to reaching out to a potential mentor, make your own profile look complete – people will study it when deciding whether to respond to you and to accept or not. Study their profile carefully to make sure this person is actually on the career path you want to get on to.
While an ideal mentor is somebody who is already working in the professional field you want to get into, anyone with more experience and knowledge can be a good mentor. If you are already working, look around and see if anyone’s knowledge is greater than yours. If you admire them in some way, don’t hesitate to approach them.
Once you’ve identified a person (or perhaps persons) whom you would like to become your mentor, approach them politely. In your message, whether on LinkedIn or in person, explain to the person that you admire who they are professionally and what they have been able to accomplish. Briefly, describe your own career path and state clearly how you think they would be able to help you.
An important part of your message should be that are not going to take up much of their time. It helps if right from the start you both agree on the length/period and the frequency of the commitment. For example, if meeting in person, it could be an hour a week for 6 months, or if online, one email message per week to start. Most people would rather answer one specific question from you from time to time. If a mentor sees your potential, they might increase the frequency of interaction but it has to be on their terms. If there is anything at all you could offer your mentor in exchange for them sharing their knowledge – any sort of help for example – be sure to offer it. These relationship work best when there’s a give and take on both sides. But remember, that for any mentor, the best reward is to hear or see how you are applying the advice they gave you. Share that with them to foster a long lasting, meaningful relationship.
Another important thing to say when you approach a person is that it is totally fine if they currently don’t have time to do it. This allows the person not to feel awkward if they have to refuse. If they do refuse, it’s a good idea to ask them if perhaps they could recommend someone else who could be a good mentor for you.