Job Search Mistakes to Avoid as a Canadian Immigrant
Most people who move to Canada want to work right away. Your first few months in Canada can be hard financially if you have to wait to find a job. Also, if you look for a job for a long time, you might have a gap in your resume, which makes it harder to find jobs in your field.
As a newcomer, finding a job in Canada is difficult. You may not know the Canadian job market or hiring process. Without knowing what employers want in candidates, you’ll work in a different culture. This article lists some job search mistakes newcomers to Canada should avoid to find a job and start a new life.
Job Search Mistakes
1. Beginning your job search after arriving in Canada
Starting your job search early is best for newcomers to Canada. To learn what skills and experience Canadian employers value in your industry, start reviewing job descriptions at least a few months before your arrival. This will give you time to learn and get certified.
Most Canadian companies take three to four weeks to hire, so start applying to relevant jobs at least a few weeks before your arrival. Most interviews are remote, so you may get an offer before arriving in Canada.
2. Not using a Canadian resume format
Applying for jobs in Canada with a resume format from home is a common mistake. First, using a non-Canadian resume format makes recruiters think you’re unfamiliar with the Canadian workplace. Second, most employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to shortlist resumes, which cannot read non-standard formats. Employers may reject your resume for these reasons.
Canadian resumes emphasize professional accomplishments rather than job duties.
Canadian employers don’t want personal information like age, gender, photo, and marital status on resumes. Using a Canadian-style resume format, which includes all the information Canadian employers value, can boost your job prospects.
3. Using the same resume for all your job applications
Use job description keywords in your resume. The hiring manager only sees resumes selected by ATS software. Tailoring each resume you send will increase your chances of being called for an interview by the hiring manager.
To help the hiring manager focus on your contributions, avoid including irrelevant skills and experiences in your resume.
4. Lack of focus or clarity in your job search
Be clear about what you want in a job during your search. After a few weeks of job searching, newcomers often feel discouraged. Don’t apply to everything. Instead, prioritize jobs that match your skills and experience. This lets you focus on jobs you want and improves your applications.
If you need a survival job in Canada, it’s an exception. Even in that case, try to find a job that lets you develop or use transferable skills that employers in your primary industry value.
Avoid applying to multiple positions in one company, as recruiters may think you’re unsure of your career goals or desperate for work.
5. Aiming too low or too high
Many newcomers believe that restarting their career in Canada requires a step-down or entry-level position. Not always. Showcase your home country’s work experience.
Apply for jobs that match your experience. You may appear insecure if you seek lower-level jobs. However, applying to jobs far above your previous level may make employers think you’re unqualified. Applicant Tracking Systems match keywords in resumes to job descriptions, so you have a better chance of getting jobs with titles similar to your recent ones.
6. Lying on your job application
Don’t lie on your resume. Most Canadian employers conduct extensive background checks, contacting previous employers, verifying education credentials, and more, so a white lie will likely be caught.
During the interview, you may be asked about your resume and how you used a skill or achieved a result. Most employment contracts allow employers to fire applicants who lied on their applications.
7. Appearing for a job interview unprepared
Interviews in Canada assess technical, soft, culture fit, and role interest. Unprepared interviewees may not be chosen. Research the company and interviewers and practice answering common questions. You should also have examples to support your answers and questions for the interviewer.
Don’t assume an interview means a job. Most Canadian employers interview several candidates before choosing the best. Prepare to impress interviewers.
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