How To Find a Job in Canada in 7 Steps (Plus FAQs)

Updated February 16, 2023

If you're interested in moving to Canada, you may be curious about the immigration process or want to learn more about searching for a job. There are a variety of factors you can consider before deciding to apply for a position in another country, and you may benefit from reviewing the types of positions that are available. Understanding the application process can help you feel confident and prepared. In this article, we review what kinds of jobs are available in Canada, highlight the benefits of working there, describe how to find a job and discuss FAQs about immigration to Canada.

Related: How To Get a Job in Another Country

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What kinds of jobs are available in Canada?

There are a variety of jobs available in Canada, and the positions you qualify for can depend on your academic credentials and professional background. Depending on the role you're interested in, you may be able to find a position in sales, health care, IT, finance and a variety of other industries. Here's a list of roles you can consider that may be available in Canada:

  • Administrative assistant

  • IT specialist

  • Web developer

  • Cybersecurity specialist

  • Early education professionals

  • Transportation managers

  • Health care and support workers

  • Human resources manager

  • Welder

  • Developer

  • Financial adviser

Related: How To Prepare for a Job Interview in Canada

Benefits of working in Canada

There are several benefits professionals may notice if they decide to pursue a career in Canada. Individuals may look for a job there due to the mandatory employee benefits in various regions and provinces throughout the country, which include legislated parental leave, paid time off, pension, eye exams and employment insurance. Canadian employers may also provide staff members with a variety of supplemental benefits, such as health care spending accounts, retirement plans, gym and workplace canteens, digital wellness platforms and health coaching. Individuals may also prefer employment in Canada because it can help them earn permanent residency.

Related: Common Overseas Jobs for Americans

How to find a job in Canada

Here's a list of steps that can help you find a job in Canada:

1. Search for open positions and recruitment companies online

If you're interested in pursuing a position in Canada, you can begin to look for job postings without traveling or moving there beforehand by searching online. Consider using job sites, forums or social media to learn about open positions and review their qualifications. Online resources can help you narrow your search according to your industry, region and salary expectations. If you find an organization you're interested in, consider reaching out to some of their current employees to conduct informal interviews and learn more about the company culture, benefits and standards.

2. Network with professionals who immigrated to Canada

One way to learn more about the application process is to network with other professionals who have similar goals and experiences as you, including individuals who immigrated to Canada and now have positions in your prospective field or industry. Consider visiting professional networking sites to connect with former colleagues, peers, professors and other industry experts.

You can learn about their experiences, and these professionals may offer you advice that can help you save time and money. This can make the job searching process easier and more enjoyable. These individuals may also let you know if the company they work for is currently hiring or contact you if they learn about any opportunities you can pursue.

3. Ensure you meet linguistic proficiency standards

Depending on the province where you're interested in living, employers may require candidates to speak English, French or both languages proficiently. This means that it's important to review the job description and understand the regional norms to ensure that you meet the linguistic qualifications. If you're unsure whether you meet your prospective employer's expectations, you can take a fluency test or enroll in a language course in person or online. This can also help you ensure that you're prepared to communicate with your colleagues, supervisors and clients.

4. Consider visiting employers in-person

While online applications can be a great resource if you're currently living in the United States, you can also consider traveling to Canada to meet your prospective employer in person. This can help you make a lasting, positive impression, while also giving you the opportunity to explore the region, office space or storefront. Meeting your prospective manager can also help you address any of their questions regarding your application and show them you're committed to the role. You can also demonstrate or discuss your previous professional experience and describe how you're the right candidate for the position.

5. Gain professional experience by volunteering

Employers may require candidates to have previous work experience in Canada, so consider volunteering to fulfill this expectation and prepare for your prospective role. You can use a variety of Canadian volunteer forums and resources to find opportunities in various professional sectors. This can also help you meet other professionals and begin to develop your professional network. Volunteering may also help you explore the province or region where your prospective employer is located and familiarize yourself with the area. This can also help you make friends and meet established professionals who can recommend you for various open positions.

6. Format your resume correctly

When applying for a position in Canada, you may make alterations to your current resume to meet the country's resume format standards. A Canadian resume may include the following elements, many of which you may take from your existing document:

  • Header: Similar to a resume in the U.S., a Canadian resume begins with a header that includes your full name, your email and your phone number. If you're applying for a creative role, you can also attach a professional website or online portfolio to provide your prospective employer with examples of your work.

  • Professional summary: Consider using information from your U.S. resume objective and cover letter to write a two-paragraph professional summary. Ensure that this section is in paragraph format and contains clearly written full sentences that highlight your professional experience and relevant skills.

  • Skills and competencies: This section allows you to highlight your areas of professional expertise and the skills and competencies you can bring to your prospective employer. Make sure that this portion of the document discusses your specific abilities that relate to the position you're applying for and demonstrates that you're prepared for the responsibilities of that role.

  • Professional accomplishments: Rather than listing most of your work experience as you may on a U.S. resume, only add professional experience related to the position you're applying for and highlight your accomplishments or achievements you earned with each role. This means that this section may only contain one or two of your previous positions.

  • **Academic achievements:** When using a Canadian resume format, include any important academic achievements, such as the completion of a thesis, honors you received or academic groups you led. Make sure to add this information in reverse chronological order, featuring your most recent accomplishments at the top of the list.

Related: Tips for Writing a Resume in a Canadian Format

7. Submit your application documents

Once you've finalized your resume, complete a cover letter if applicable and submit your application documents. Stay positive and highlight your enthusiasm for the role and excitement about relocating to Canada. Consider applying for a variety of positions to increase the likelihood that you capture a hiring manager's attention and receive an interview. Once you've applied, stay in contact with your prospective employers and consider politely following up if you haven't heard from them within a week.

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FAQs about immigration to Canada

Here are some frequently asked questions about immigration to Canada:

Is there a language barrier?

There may or may not be a language barrier when working in Canada depending on the province where you're employed and the languages you currently speak. English and French are the two national languages, although professionals in Quebec may use French more often than individuals in other locations.

When looking for a position, read the job description closely to learn about their expectations and the linguistic proficiency they require for the role. If you're fluent in both English and French, you can add this to your resume and it may increase the likelihood that you qualify for a position and receive an interview.

Are immigrants required to fill out a lot of paperwork?

The amount of paperwork involved in this process typically depends on the time you hope to spend in Canada and your professional goals. If you're interested in finding a job in Canada and you're not a permanent resident, apply for a temporary work permit after receiving an offer letter from your prospective employer.

If you're interested in staying in Canada long term, you can also apply for a skilled worker permit. The province or territory you're interested in may also extend an invitation to you through the Provincial Nomination Program. This opportunity is typically for professionals with a specific skill set or area of expertise and may require you to discuss or prove your credentials.

Are references required?

While reference requirements can vary depending on the location, employer and position, you may benefit from adding them to your resume. Because many employers may prefer candidates with Canadian work experience, having Canadian references listed on your application documents can help you prove that you're familiar with the country's professional standards, benefits and languages. Even if you don't have a paid or full-time Canadian position listed on your resume, consider adding an executive or adviser of a volunteer organization as a reference.

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