How to effectively obtain employment in Canada
Marketing yourself effectively in the language and style that employers understand is often the key to an international job seeker’s success in Canada. Many foreign job seekers may not know the best way to market themselves to a typical Canadian employer. Here are five of the top tips to supercharge anyone’s job search in Canada:
Your CV Must Be in “Canadian standard” – Canadian companies expect your Curriculum Vitae to be re-written as a standard “Canada-style” resume. Any other format will be confusing to the employer and could result in your resume being discarded. Canadian resumes should detail your education, employment history and achievements as in your CV, but you need to do that in “Canadian English” spelling and grammar. Job seekers should have a good comand of English or French, both official languages in Canada and if knowing they should try to use the correct Canadian terminologies for their profession as well. Using a distinctly Canadian spell-check program and researching similar Canadian technical terms online will help keep your document understandable. If your CV isn’t Canadian standard, you might as well not even bother applying; the Canadian employer will find a standard CV confusing and may not take the time to read it.
Be Proud Of Your Accomplishments – In a competitive job market, Canadian employers need a really good reason to hire you over a similarly-qualified applicant. You may not be used to boasting about your accomplishments, but in Canada your prior successes really count. Think about the last time you successfully completed a project or helped create a “happy-customer” transaction. Make a list of at least three success stories, and be prepared to tell the Canadian employer about them. Employers in Canada love to see statistics, too. List specific statistics related to your work accomplishments in your resume. This will really boost your resume’s credibility.
Keep Your Resume Concise And To The Point – There is an old Canadian saying too: time is money. This is no truer than when an employer is looking at your resume. A “Canadian Resume” should be no more than two pages long and be easy to read. Above all, do not state the same information twice. If you have performed the same job for a number of employers or if you have tended to work in the same industry job after job, try to rephrase the job descriptions or find new terms to describe your tasks. This keeps the reader interested, and the resume interesting!
Attach A Cover Letter And Make It Great – Cover Letters are a one page “soft” or friendly introduction to your resume in Canada, and the same principles of brevity in a resume must also be applied in a cover letter. Canadian cover letters are not personal letters of introduction, but instead highlight your professional skills and outline how you can contribute to the success of the organization you are applying to. And it isn’t just about being brief; you must be persuasive and to the point in your introduction. A cover letter is a sales tool… for you. Don’t be boring! Employers want dynamic employees, so don’t give them a reason not to interview you. You need to write your cover letter with the goal of enticing the reader – the employer – to find out more about you. A good cover letter will automatically give you a better chance of having your resume read and considered.
Be Yourself – Canadian employers are looking for a person who will be a good fit for the job. When you are applying for a job to Canada and are many miles away, it may be tempting to overstate your skill or expertise level just to tip reader’s interest in your favor. A good resume always clearly states your credentials and expertise for the position – but stays on the safe side of hyperbole. Employers may be able to find 100 job candidates who are suitable for the job but they are also looking for a ‘real’ person who can deliver the skills and talent that their resume promises.
Some of the challenges an international job seeker faces may be readily apparent, understandable, even universal – while others are not quite so obvious. To be successful in Canada you must have the job-search tools and the know-how to compete head-to-head successfully with an Canadian applicant.
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