In this article, Tham Nguyen shares how she got a job offer in Canada two weeks after she relocated from Vietnam as well as important tips to assist you with your own prospective job offer. When I saw this article she originally shared on LinkedIn, I remember telling myself that I had to follow up with her to reshare this article.
Since I frequently receive messages from new immigrants asking related questions on a job offer in Canada, I knew it would be a great idea to share this piece from a professional recruiter. Read below and learn one or two things you could apply to your job search to land a job offer as a new immigrant.
“Yes, I can and so can you! I am writing this note from my humble experience; hopefully, you will find something helpful to apply to your case.”
Should I apply for jobs and Express Entry at the same time?
“You absolutely can, but it is so stressful, given that you are currently working full-time. I started to look for jobs after I got my PR status. For Canada and the U.S, a Work Permit is quite a straightforward requirement to get hired. In order to save time for you and your recruiters, it is suggested you reveal in your cover letter your current status (Permanent Resident or open Work Permit) & your tentative plan to move to Canada. When you don’t hear back from companies, you can assume that they don’t have the luxury/flexibility to wait until your paperwork is finished, and it has nothing to do with your qualifications!
If you need a job offer to boost your EE score, please do not give up, connect with me to see where I can support you!”
Now that I have got my PR, should I start applying for jobs when I am still in my home country?
“I started applying to jobs in Toronto from Vietnam. I landed a few phone/online interviews (with Shopify, Sun Life Financial, and some staffing agencies) even before I fixed my plan to move to Toronto. What did I learn? Some insights about Candian hiring process. I personally find it is hard to close any deal because I was not in town yet. Many companies do require on-site meetings in their hiring process. This was not something I could guarantee, therefore I found it was a waste of time for my recruiters. Apparently, I only had one chance to have my application recorded in the employee’s database, I just “disqualified” myself due to a personal reason – unfixed relocation plan!
Remember this, job openings are live, they keep changing. The job you applied 2 months ago does not mean it will still be there. My advice is that only start to apply when you are sure about your relocation plan, or best, you are in the city and ready to treat your job search like a full-time job.
That being said, some companies do have the flexibility to hires overseas candidates before they land, depending on their process and their industries. For example, I just hired one candidate from overseas and we are taking care of work visa sponsorship for him. Why? This candidate was very well-prepared for our interviews, he nailed it, he came to our office for an onsite interview and he is able to commit to his relocation plan. Can you do that?”
With my expertise, what city should I land for a job offer?
“Toronto is known as the financial capital of Canada, as well as a tech-hub for start-ups and IT or computer science engineers. Media, hospitality, and tourism are also boasting in this city. Calgary is famous for oil and gas industry. Montreal and Vancouver are best for VFX folks. As you begin your job search, it is wise to take into consideration which city seems to offer more career options for you. In my case, I have been always passionate about recruitment and HR, I could land in any city I wanted :)”
What sites can I look for jobs online?
“I landed my first job via Indeed.com. As far as I know, this site is widely used by all companies. It is very common and easy to use. Simply upload your resume and apply for jobs from there directly.
Other options for you to browse for jobs (don’t be surprised if you see some roles are repeatedly incubated to different sites). Glassdoor.com (this site also allows you to check out company reviews, interview process, etc. Toronto Jobs (check out their career fairs too!) Workopolis is also a job site for you to browse, very friendly user interface. You can also see a great variety of job openings on Careerbuilder. IT and web developers, try AngleList. This is a site that is mainly for starts-up in Tech/Fintech. LinkedIn is always among the top channels for job search.
I also searched for the best companies to work for in Canada. Check the latest 2019 winners here. (Can I tell you that Fiix Software, where I am working now, is ranked 19th in top 20th best places to work for in SME category? =.= )
We’ve created a job site that curates jobs from your favorite job boards online. Check out our Zinny Factor job site.
Connect with staffing agencies
“Why not reach out to some staffing agencies in your field? It is worth-while to check and see if they can introduce dream jobs to you. They offer some good services for resume editing, interviews skills as well. If you are in Finance and Banking, reach out to Robert Half. In IT, I think GuruLink is not a bad option. For HR professionals, try Adecco or Careerbuilder.”
“No one can deny the power of networking. People here say that you need some referrals to get a job. It was NOT like that for me. I just applied online and was lucky enough to land my first job.
What are some groups you can join? Search for some professional groups in the city. I am a part of Young Professionals Networking by the Hip Haus and Shuffle Social Mixer in Toronto. You can browse from Meetup site for any type of activities you want to get involved, either for fun activities or for professional networking.
Also, check out the event website such as Eventbrite.com or Local LinkedIn Connect. There are all kinds of events, from job fairs, seminars (paid and unpaid), training, etc. If you can’t afford to go, ask them if they need volunteers!
Don’t forget to reach out to people on LinkedIn, asking for advice or mentoring. As long as you show your genuine need in getting more knowledge or seeking their wisdom on the expertise, I am positive that people will reply to you. Learn a little bit about the person you want to approach; your message to them should show your authenticity and not sound so desperate.”
Any job centers or employment agencies to help you find jobs?
“Yes, for sure, there are plenty of good ones: YCMA, Skills for changes, these are all funded by the government. These organizations have all the information you would need to help you connect with organizations, settle in at your new city and connect you with potential organizations.”
Is your resume up to date?
“Again, each job requires different things, it is worthwhile to invest time on tailoring your resume and cover letter so that it can grasp recruiter’s attention.”
Download: The Comprehensive Resume Checklist for the Immigrant Worker
Make the move – treat your job search as a full-time job!
“Now you are ready to apply for jobs. Tailor your cover letter, study about the company, only apply for jobs you feel relevant. We hire Java Developers, if you are a .NET engineer, I might consider your application, but you are not my top pick if your resume shows no experience in Java!
Track your applications! I used to create a tracking sheet for the jobs I applied and status, with names and contacts to follow up (I applied to almost 80 HR jobs across GTA). It is easier to manage your job search that way, and also to set your targets on leads/number of jobs you apply a day. I treated job searching as a full-time job and I paid myself well with some treats when I landed some interviews.”
Do not take survival jobs if you can
“I heard a lot about the requirements for Canadian experience to be considered for jobs here in Toronto. I don’t doubt that, but I also have full confidence in the transferable skills, the wealth of knowledge as well as international exposure you can bring to your new team. I applied to some retailer jobs when I first came, I am glad it did not work out. Otherwise, I may get too exhausted to treat my job-searching as a full-time one.”
My last note is: manage your expectation and don’t forget to enjoy life!
“Relocation to a new country is a big move in life. With such a bold decision, you have enough stress already. Feeling insecure or uncertain is natural and it is okay, especially when we are not clear about the future. I took the time to apply for jobs, but I also started some routine that I never had a chance to do.
I explored Toronto, went to cute coffee shops, made new friends. I jogged in the morning, went to public libraries, checked out the AGO and museums, started to play badminton. I wrote to my parents (yes, hand-written letters). I tried out new recipes, started my own dairy-free milk at lasoy.ca. I realized that I have missed a lot of simple happiness in life when I worked full-time.
“The problem is not the problem, it is your attitude towards the problem”. Whenever I felt down, I told myself that I am already in a better position than many other people. We have come a long way, there will be something for us here. Love the skies you are under and keep your faiths!
P/s: I just had the longest winter of my life! Now that summer is here, are you free for a drink? Show me your favorite patio in Toronto. Let’s connect!
Thanks, Tham for allowing us to reshare this amazing post on our platform as getting a job offer in a new country can be challenging. However, like we always share, everyone’s story is unique and circumstances differ. Hopefully, these tips will assist you in moving forward.
She runs a business that offers healthy and organic dairy-free milk (both plain and mix) with the highest quality. You can check out www.lasoy.ca and on Instagram: lasoy.pure. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn.
In our previous interview, we featured Tristan Layfield: Career Coach & Quality Assurance Professional and he shared information on career coaching, job offer, and career growth tips! Check it out and share with your folks.
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