5 Tips to Find Your First Canadian Job Faster

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New Canadians oftentimes find difficulty in adjusting to life in Canada.

It’s particularly challenging to find a job that is on par with their education and training the moment they arrive in the country. These are jobs that offer the same employment and income levels as their local counterparts.

This experience is mostly due to limited networks, local experience, and Canadian knowledge. It’s a paradox that many newcomers find puzzling: they need Canadian work experience as a qualification for the job.

Eventually, as a job seeker, you’ll land your first employer.

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Table of Contents

Why it’s hard to find your first Canadian job?

Let’s answer this 60 million dollar question, especially among those who moved to Canada recently.

You don’t have Canadian work experience

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Everyone who has moved to Canada must have encountered this phrase in their job hunting: you lack relevant Canadian work experience. It might sound self-explanatory that as a newcomer you don’t have Canadian job experience, but believe me, Canadian employers are aware of it.

By saying you don’t have Canadian work experience, they don’t necessarily mean you have no experience working in Canada. Rather, they likely meant you don’t have yet the experience and knowledge about Canadian work culture. This might include your ability to communicate or the lack thereof, your skills and attitude don’t fit the job, or your soft skills are below the employer’s expectations.

You lean too much on online resources

You may be spending too much time on LinkedIn or any other job portal to submit your application but fail to reach out to your new neighbors, folks you meet in church, or the supermarket. Who knows they may share the same interest as you, or even know someone who can refer you to an employer.

More importantly, you must also exhibit genuine interest in landing your first Canadian job. This might include visiting the job site and meeting your potential workmates. There’s that power of your presence that might earn an edge over those who only rely on online job applications.

So, how to land your first Canadian job faster?

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The answer depends on what kind of job your skills are aligned with, where in Canada you’ve settled, or how long your stack of alternative careers should your ideal job be unavailable at the moment. But to lead to a quicker job offer, here is what most experts would say.

Evaluate your qualifications.

Lay out your model career map. This is very useful to help you achieve your educational and career goals. There are many tools, apps, and resources available to help newcomers explore and learn about the different career options and the roles, opportunities, and credentials that are related to them.

Expand your existing credentials. Canadian employers want professionals who are from diverse backgrounds so that they may be able to adapt quickly to the multicultural community and global marketplace. Market your educational and professional experience from your home country. Learn the Canadian way. Seek out skills in the Canadian context.

You may apply for internship programs or specialized training courses to bridge knowledge and experience gaps or certificate-level credentials to develop a specialist skill set.

Make your resumé stand out

Your resumé is the reflection of your past achievements and future goals. It should be defined and articulate, concise, and compelling to the point.

Promote your strongest skills and your qualifications. Project professionalism and have somebody look at it over for typos, grammatical errors, and inconsistencies. Do a gap analysis of your skills. Compare the qualifications you have to those required in the job posting.

To be qualified you must have the qualifications, but to be hired you must stand out. Plan to get Canadian credentials that you think would help you achieve the job you want. Update your resumé. Every milestone that could help you increase your value proposition should be recorded on your resumé. Customize it according to the requirements of each position you are applying for.

Build your network.

Find the niche of hidden employers in want of good employees; they probably are hiding in your contacts’ contacts.

Try to join as many clubs, groups, associations, etc. to widen the door to future opportunities. Do this with strategy in mind, incorporating your job-seeking into small talk. Make friends and learn about the job market and work environment. You might realize that the job you’ll fall in love with is not the same as the employment you are applying for.

Be of help to somebody who needs it. Chances are, they would do the same to you. If they don’t know somebody who needs an employee, they might know somebody who knows somebody, and so on and so forth.

Do call your dream employers. Make a list of future employers you would like to work for and determine which positions you would like to attain. Email those who are responsible for hiring, most likely the human resource manager, and ask for an information interview about the position you’re interested in. It is also recommended you incorporate a short speech about you, your abilities, and your goals, weaving it into your talk.

You can also get in touch with employment agencies and consultants who do the initial screening for jobs. In many cases, employers seek their endorsed candidates instead of accepting applicants directly. So it pays to know someone who is headhunting for particular skills or what kind of jobs are in demand in the market.

Get help from somebody who has experience.

Chances are, they have already gone through the same challenges you are currently facing and may have some tips to help you succeed. You’ll be surprised at the number of those willing to mentor a newbie, after all, who doesn’t like the light feeling of helping somebody by giving back to their profession and community?

Consult your mentor about all your plans, whether it’s long-term or immediate, get their feedback and apply their advice where it is applicable. There are also formal and informal mentorship programs offered in Canada that targets new Canadians. They focus on giving insight into current industry and job market trends as well as the Canadian workplace.

Get your Canadian credentials

Do your research and you will find out that some positions will require specific proficiency standards and licenses. Some fields have that benchmark credential, which is an important credential that could open doors to more careers in the specific field of practice.

Do the extra credit. The Canadian economy and job market are highly competitive and as mentioned already to be qualified, you only need the qualifications to be hired you must stand out from the rest, and what better way to stand out than by having more specialized knowledge and skills? Choose the right credentials.

It doesn’t matter how many credentials you have or how long your resumé is if what is listed is in no way relatable to the position you are applying for. Have a clear focus and quality course content, relevant work experience, and assessments written in your letters to add to your credibility.


Your first Canadian job will come sooner if not later. It might depend on the demand and competition for the job. But it may also depend on how flexible you are when embarking on your first Canadian job exposure.

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