How to land the job you want
Published May 5, 2021.
Resumes are not ‘one size fits all’
In Canada, applicants need to customize their resume to each posting. A ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work. You should carefully assess the job description to find the required skills and experience required and tailor your resume to match. Ensure you are emphasizing how your expertise will match a company’s needs and how you can benefit the organization
Be the specialist
As a skilled immigrant, you may come from a workforce culture where you thrived as a generalist. While this may have been a good thing in that it allowed you to master and complete different tasks across different teams, in Canada, this may work to your disadvantage. Canada is a specialist society, meaning employees specialize in a particular area. Look at your past work experience and identify the skills you mastered and sell yourself as a specialist.
It’s important to research the position you’re applying for. You need to understand the job requirements, how the geographical location may impact you or your family, the salary range according to industry standards and how the organizational values align with personal or professional values.
The old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know” remains true. In Canada, professional networking plays a huge part in finding employment. Networking can lead you to people who can share information about hiring opportunities within their organization, trends, labour market information and tips on how you can stand out and be a successful candidate. There are a number of ways to network such as having a mentor, attending job fairs, being active on LinkedIn, joining professional associations and volunteering.
Look at the bigger picture and your career roadmap. How does the position align with your career aspirations? Are you able to identify areas the organization could help you achieve this? For example, there might be a chance for you to do some job shadowing within the organization, which could sharpen some of your skills and provide an opportunity to learn new things or being mentored by some of the leading experts in the organization.
Prepare for interviews
The Canadian recruitment process involves at minimum, two interviews The first is a phone interview with Human Resources, followed by an interview with the hiring manager. Sometimes you will be interviewed by a group panel representing different areas of the organization. Interviewers will ask behavioral questions to gauge how you react to situations, competency questions and questions that will verify your credentials and experience. Make sure you have the right technology and connectivity you need for the interview and test your sound, background and video to prevent technical glitches.
Look sharp and speak clearly. Do an exercise that boosts your confidence before your interview, such as listening to your favorite song, meditating, exercising, affirming yourself in the mirror – whatever makes you feel like you can conquer anything, because no matter the circumstance, you have what it takes to succeed.
Follow-up your interview/s with a thank you email, thanking interviewer/s for their time and summarizing how your skills, education and experience fit into the role.
If you receive a job offer and the proposed salary is under the amount you gave, negotiate. Negotiation is not only an essential skill for those who work in sales. Many immigrants let their excitement of being offered a job in Canada get in the way and often fall into the trap of accepting the very first offer tabled. Utilize research findings to negotiate and make a well-informed decision that will lead to the desired outcome.
For more information on how skilled immigrants can bring their skills to the Canadian labour market and achieve their full career potential, download this free online Skilled Immigrant Career Success Guide.