Archive for December 9th, 2008

Canada job visas

If your goal is to obtain a job offer with employment based sponsorship, followed by permanent residency with a reputable company in your interested field, then here are some career planning strategies that may help: Sponsorship takes time and paperwork.  Each year Canada grants certain amount of work visas.
According Canadian immigration law, international students with unexpired visas are eligible to work sometimes up to three yeasr after they graduate as part of their practical training. Upon completion of the practical training, international students must be sponsored by an employer to continue working in the Canada and to live here. Employers must sponsor international students to obtain work visa, which allows students to work in Canada for one to six months, or up to 3 additional years and then they can apply for residence if they want to and qualified for.
International students planning to work fulltime after graduation in Canada need to begin the job search process two semesters before graduation. You will also need to become familiar with the Canadian job search process. The key to landing a job is diligence and developing an aggressive job search strategy to increase your chances of finding a good job in Canada. International students have some disadvantages when entering the job market.
Language can be a serious obstacle. Social skills can also be a problem. A lack of relevant work experience while in school. These factors make it tough to compete in today’s job market. To increase your chances of finding a good job, consider the following advice. • Improve your language skills. Hire a tutor or take an English course. Take advantage of a mock interview offered by Hineni Media to develop effective interview and communication skills. Verbal and
written English skills are essential to securing employment. • Consider acquiring a major/specialization in demand that will increase chances of employment.  According to Canada Immigration, work based petitions were approved in the following areas: Such fields include Systems Analysis and Programming (47.4%), Electrical/Electronics Engineering (5.4%), Health, Business, College (7,%) ,University Education (4.1%), Trades and Accountants and Related Occupations (3.7%). • Network at job fairs, conferences and recruiting events. Talk with a career counselor, faculty and friends. Develop networks and resources through local communities,  clubs, and classmates, business owners from your home country, your consulate, embassy, social organizations, advocacy groups, and professors from the same home country.

 Subscribe to a job listing services, join professional organizations and associations specific to the type of job you want or related to your field of interest. If you worked professionally in your homeland, network with a Canadian affiliate of that organization. Get  Canadian organizations desiring language skills, diversity, and knowledge of overseas economies.

Networking is a great way to develop social skills. Learn customary professional business and dining etiquette skills. Attend the Professional Etiquette Dinner hosted by Hineni Media offline or online. • Check out other resources  such as recruiting events, career fairs and employer information sessions held throughout the year. • Sell yourself to the employer with an effective resume, cover letter and interviewing skills that  highlight what the employer is looking for. Make sure you know and emphasize your relevant strengths and skills in addition to your qualifications. Show how you can add value and benefit the organization. Develop marketable skills through part-time jobs, internships, graduate assistantships, student organizations and volunteer activities. Highlight those marketable skills on your resume and cover letter. • Obtain an internship to gain experience in the field and a better understanding of your profession. Think about searching for companies from your homeland that have operations in Canada. Learn about Canadian companies where your peers have applied or interviewed, interned or are working full-time. Consider an international internship services. See the Study Abroad Coordinator in the Office of  International Studies and Programs of your local university. Meet with your departmental internship coordinator for opportunities.  Seek out companies that have a history of Canadian work based visa sponsorship. Approximately 50% of interns receive a job offer from the sponsoring Canadian company after they complete an internship. • Subscriber based agencies provide permanent employment opportunities or staffing services offer temporary or contract placement as an option. •  Discussions with your Canadian company about work-visa sponsorship should come later when the employer brings it up or when the applicant is offered employment.

Subscribe to a job listing services and you will uncover those Canadian companies that relate to your field of study and are of interest to you. It will be important to become very familiar with your industry, the companies within the industry, and positions available within those companies. The key is to have your resume with the hiring manager before a job is advertised. Make appropriate follow-ups as needed to confirm your interest. These career planning strategies will help international students better prepare for the job search. After all, your priority is to obtain employment with sponsorship for Work visa, followed by permanent residency with a reputable company in your interested field!

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Important Information for International Students

Taken from York University in Ontario. Writing resumes and looking for a career/internship opportunity is different in Canada  from what you would do back home. So if you are planning on obtaining practical training in Canada, prepare for the differences by using  job fairs, conference, events, on-campus recruiting, job registration services and employer presentations, and meet with a career counselor to develop your job search strategies.

Here are some tips:

  • Apply only to those jobs that relate to your field of study and are of interest to you
  • You are only eligible for positions that do not require a Canadian  national security clearance
  • Comply with Canada regulations


  • Do not misrepresent your status for employment in Canada, practical training is NOT work authorization. 
  • Once an offer has been accepted you are committed to the organization so withdraw from interviewing.
  • You are responsible for knowing Canada expectations and appropriate behaviors.

Who Will Hire Me In Canada?

•Canadian government positions that require national security clearance are not open to international students; areas of study that relate to those fields may restrict your possibilities in Canada. •Generally, majors in the technical and some business areas offer more potential for practical training in Canada; however, your marketability depends on you and your accomplishments, including academic, participation in organizations, workexperience and other related factors •More than one-third of Canadian employers hire international students •Small, medium and large companies with special needs for highly developed skills and do not have enough Canadian citizens to fill positions •Canadians firms operating in foreign countries and foreign firms operating in Canada; For see resources subscribe to Hineni services.

What Do Employers Want?

•Highly developed English communication skills, including reading, writing, speaking and interpersonal •Honesty, integrity, commitment. Once you have accepted a position you must quit the job search and follow through on your acceptance. Do not misrepresent your work status: practical training is NOT work authorization •Self-initiative; being able to see what needs to be done and willing to go beyond the job description •Being on time and mentally present; not down-loading music, talking on a cell phone and emailing family and friends while supposedly working.

 How Do I Prepare?•Concentrate on developing your communication skills in English •Take a University writing course •Attend workshops on resume writing, networking, business etiquette, interviewing and others •Attend job fairs, events and employer information sessions by Hineni offline and online •Practice answering behavioral interview questions•Start your job search two semesters before graduating .
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Getting a Work Permit Before a Job Offer in Canada?

Could you apply and obtain a work permit without a job offer? Or do you have to have a job sponsoryou  for the visa after they’ve made an offer?

No. You need a Job offer first. Your work permit is to an employer. If you don’t have an employer they don’t know who to issue it for. In the case of  students pursuing higher studies in Canada, internatinal students will now be able to obtain a work permit without producing a job offer letter. 

Canada has announced changes to work permits for international students who graduate from eligible programs at certain Canadian post-secondary institutes. International students would be able to obtain open work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program with no restrictions on the type of employment and no requirement for a job offer.

“Open and longer work permits provide international students with more opportunities for Canadian work experience and skills development,” Mr Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was quoted as saying in a statement.

The increased flexibility offered by the expanded programme will benefit graduates and employers alike as the programme will help international students get important work experience while responding to Canada’s labour market needs, the statement issued by the Canadian High Commission said.

How to get a job offer to start your career in Canada

Every additional credential helps somewhat, but the absence of any on-the-job experience can be difficult to overcome. You might also want to think about volunteering to assist on your field projects at local schools, charities, or religious institutions, and find a extra job and keep careful track of everything you learn and know how to do. You may also want to consider taking up temporary IT positions as a way of getting the proverbial foot in the door, and this would hopefully lead to more long-term employment. The important thing is to keep at it. perseverance is the key.

Evaluating a job offer

Job / Position. How does this job fit into your long term career plans? Is this job offer for a job or a career? In my opinion, a job is usually a short term means to an end; a task you perform in exchange for money. A career is a chosen profession that often takes development and planning. Other factors to consider: job title, responsibility level, number of people you manage, reporting structure, etc.

Opportunity. Do you have the chance to grow as a professional and individual? Will you have a chance to make decisions, lead or manage groups, is there promotion opportunity, and can you learn skills that are easily transferable?

Company health. How healthy is the company giving you the job offer? Do they have long term contracts or long standing relationships with their customers? Are they having financial difficulties? You will probably already know some of this from your research prior to your interview, but if you have multiple job offers, you can compare the companies to each other.

Work / Life Balance. Quality of life is one of the most important things to me and to a lot of other people. Will you need to carry a pager or cell phone over the weekend? Do you have rigid work hours, or can you work flex time? Can you work from home part of the time? Will you be required to work night shifts, or weekends and holidays?

Commute. How long is the commute? Long commutes can have a negative impact on both your health and your cash flow – especially with these rising gas prices. A long commute also cuts into your quality of life because it takes you away from your family longer every day. In my opinion, the shorter the commute the better!

Company culture. Is the company culture stiff and uptight, jeans and a t-shirt, or somewhere in between? Do people hang out together after work, have frequent happy hours, or participate in intramural sports teams, or is it primarily a culture of “go to work, go home, repeat?” Other factors to consider: company organization, corporate structure, dress code (I know people who refuse to wear a suit and tie everyday!), etc.

Travel. Are you required or expected to travel? How far and how often? Personally, I don’t mind the occasional business trip, but I wouldn’t like being on the road every other week, or for an extended period of time.

Benefits and perks. I will separate benefits from salary, even though they are closely related. One of the most important factors to consider is whether the health care package meets your needs. Other important benefits: 401(k) plan, pension plan, vacation time, sick time, disability, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, sponsored day care, etc.

Salary / Compensation. Compensation covers a lot of factors; the salary you earn as direct compensation is only part of it. You also need to consider factors such as a commissions, bonuses, stock options, and projected salary increases.

Choose what is best for your situation. Accepting a job offer is about more than just accepting a salary. There are many other factors that are just as important, if not more important, than the final number on your paycheck. In the end, you have to do what is best for you and your situation – even if that means leaving salary or other compensation on the table. If you dread going to work each day, you will be miserable, and that isn’t worth any price.

What is the process of accepting a job offer?

It’s a great feeling to land the job, but there’s still a lot to tie-up before signing on the dotted line. Be ready to ask yourself a few important questions, and get the answers you’re looking for before you accept.

Among the most obvious are “Do I like the people?” and “Am I’m getting the right salary for the position?”

You don’t need to be best friends with your boss – in fact, it’s usually better if you aren’t – but you mustn’t take an instant dislike to each other either. If you sense you aren’t going to get on, for whatever reason, take it very seriously and consider declining the offer on that basis alone. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with each other, after all.

Managers very often recruit people similar to them so you should also have a good idea what your new co-workers will be like. Ask the interviewer what the team is like – their answer probably won’t be very detailed but may give you some insight.

While you can’t expect to get the exact details of other employees’ earnings, you should be able to discover whether you are at the top, bottom or middle of the scale, and why. In big companies with multiple sites, it’s usual for there to be regional ‘weighting’ to take into account higher living costs. Use a salary checker to gain more information on whether the offer is fair.

Making negotiations on salary can be a tricky business, but if you think you’re worth a couple of extra thousand on the salary being offered, there’s no harm in asking.

How does it feel?
Chances are you will have had a glimpse around your future workplace and possibly been introduced to some potential colleagues. What was your impression? What was the atmosphere like? Did you warm to the place? Again, trust your instincts, since there’s nothing else to go on at this stage. Serious reservations need to be listened to.

It’s your dream job, but its two hours and a steep uphill walk away, via the Canada’s worst performing train line. If relocating isn’t an option, will you honestly be able to handle that every day?

How about the social aspects of the job? Is there a decent selection of places from where you can get a good coffee? Are there a few nice places to get a drink in after work? Can you spend your lunch hour shopping? Is there a park nearby to enjoy when the weather permits it? If these are important factors to you, take a good look around the area before accepting.

Have a think about your other options. If you’re waiting for an offer from elsewhere, try to delay accepting for a few days. Don’t leave it too long though otherwise you’re likely to annoy the employer and risk seeing the offer withdrawn.

How to say ‘yes’
How you accept a job offer depends on how it was made to you. If you were offered it verbally, face-to-face, then you should accept it in the same way or over the phone. However, always back this up with a letter of acceptance, and expect a letter of appointment in return. If this process has been handled by email, feel free to use email yourself. Make sure you get formal confirmation of your new position, including start date and time and any forms you may need to supply or complete.

As soon as you accept a new job, you’re morally obliged to take yourself off all job sites and notify any agencies who may have been acting on your behalf. If you are on any other shortlists or have any other applications out there, inform the companies concerned.

It goes without saying that you also need to let your current employer know you’re resigning. Check the terms of your contract with them and make sure you give them adequate notice. This could also have a bearing on when you can start your new job.

Make sure any references you’re using are aware of the situation, and make sure their going to give you a glowing review!