Useful Tips for Newcomers on Finding Their First Job in Canada

Useful Tips for Newcomers on Finding Their First Job in Canada

Ninan Lawrence Published:
July 22, 2023

It is not uncommon that without proper guidance, newcomers find it difficult to know where to start. Especially, in a landscape where the hiring culture is different from their home country. If you are our client, you can explore Owlspriority Immigration’s Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc. In this article, we intend to cover some of the areas that will help you be prepared.


Build a resume that adheres to the Canadian format

An essential aspect of securing a job in Canada revolves around creating a resume that conforms to the Canadian style. Canadian resumes typically emphasize pertinent skills, education, and work experience. It’s crucial to tailor your resume for each job application, ensuring its relevance to the position you’re applying for. Emphasize your accomplishments and qualifications that align with the job requirements, while also highlighting transferable skills. Additionally, ensure that your resume is written in a clear and easily readable format. By familiarizing yourself with job seeker best practices and employer expectations in Canada, you can increase your likelihood of securing a job interview and ultimately getting hired.

To capture a recruiter’s attention and increase your chances of landing an interview, your resume must be clear, concise, and strategically showcase your qualifications. It should effectively communicate your skills, work experience, and strengths, highlighting what you can bring to an employer. A well-crafted resume demonstrates your professional accomplishments and showcases how you can contribute to a company. As job opportunities can arise unexpectedly, having an updated and modern resume is crucial for a successful job search. To guide you, here are some essential do’s and don’ts to consider while writing a strong resume and determining what to include.

Resume Writing Do’s

  • Ensure your resume is both clear and concise

Employers typically spend around 30 seconds skimming through a resume. It is essential to make an immediate impression that highlights your qualifications for the position.

  • Carefully review your resume multiple times

Ensure there are no spelling or grammar errors by carefully reviewing your resume and consider having someone else check it as well. Even a minor spelling mistake can create a negative impression on the employer and may hinder your chances of getting the job.

  • Constrain your resume to a maximum of two pages

Give prominence to your most recent experience in your resume. Older jobs and experiences that are over 15 years old should be either removed or minimized. This approach allows the employer to focus on the most relevant and recent information.

  • Adapt your resume to align with the requirements of the job you are applying for

Highlight work experience and accomplishments that directly relate to the position you are applying for. Review the job description or the employer’s website to identify the specific skills and qualifications they are seeking, and tailor your resume accordingly.

  • Emphasize what you have accomplished

Identify the most impactful instances where you demonstrated your skills effectively. These examples should highlight your achievements in your previous roles and showcase the type of employee you are. It is advisable to incorporate this information within the “Work experience” section of your resume.

  • Always maintain honesty

Misrepresenting information on your resume is never advisable. Avoid exaggerating your skills or achievements, as it can mislead the employer. Instead, have confidence in your genuine qualifications and what you have to offer.

  • Include quantifiable information to describe your achievements

Incorporate concrete figures that employers can comprehend and find impressive. For instance, include details such as the number of people you supervised, the quantity of products you sold, the percentage by which you increased sales, and so on.

  • Prefer using uncomplicated words and action-oriented verbs

Keep in mind that the individual reviewing your resume may not always be the employer. It could be recruiters or Human Resources specialists who may not be familiar with your particular field. Use clear and straightforward language, but also incorporate persuasive verbs such as handled, managed, led, developed, increased, accomplished, leveraged, and so on.

  • Incorporate unpaid work experiences that demonstrate your skills

If you have volunteered with a prominent organization or contributed to a significant cause, make sure to include these experiences on your resume. You can list them under either the “Work experience” or the “Volunteer work” section, particularly if they are relevant to the position you are applying for.

  • Thoroughly verify and include your contact details

Your resume must contain your name, address, email, and phone number, placed at the top of the first page. Additionally, ensure that this information is accurate, as it is essential for the employer to be able to contact you.


Resume Writing Don’ts

  • Avoid using an inappropriate email address

Ensure your email address is professional, clear, and easy to type. Opt for an address based on your name, excluding nicknames, numbers, or special characters, to maintain a polished and non-offensive impression.

  • Avoid including irrelevant personal details

To prevent potential bias, refrain from including personal details like age, weight, height, marital status, religious preference, political views, or any other controversial attributes in your resume. Most importantly, never include your Social Insurance Number on your resume.

  • Avoid adding a personal photograph

While including a photo may be acceptable in some countries, it is not a common practice in Canada. In fact, adding a photo to your resume could potentially reduce your chances of securing a position and shift the focus away from your skills and experience. It is crucial to allow employers to concentrate on your qualifications rather than your appearance.

  • Avoid excessive bullet points

Ensure your resume is reader-friendly by restricting each section or subsection to 5-7 bullet points. This approach makes it easier for employers to scan your resume and recognize your potential. Use each bullet point thoughtfully, keeping the information relevant and concise.

  • Avoid the use of personal pronouns

Exclude “I,” “my,” or “me” from your resume. Instead, write it in the third person perspective, as if someone else is composing it.

  • Avoid merely listing job duties

Your job responsibilities are already implied by your job title. Instead, focus on highlighting your achievements by adding a personal touch to your duties and providing specific examples.

  • Avoid using vague or general statements

Avoid ambiguous statements that fail to emphasize your specific contributions. For instance, phrases like “Responsible for improving efficiencies and making cost savings” lack relevant details for employers. Personalize your experience by providing concrete and specific examples of your achievements.

  • Refrain from including explanations for leaving previous positions

The primary objective of your resume is to showcase your skills, experience, and accomplishments in a positive light. Thus, it should not include reasons for leaving previous positions, as this information does not contribute positively to your candidacy.

  • Exclude references from your resume

Employers typically request references when they are seriously considering hiring you. To keep your resume concise, maintain a separate sheet for references and provide them only when specifically asked to do so.

  • Omit hobbies or interests

Mentioning hobbies in your resume is discouraged due to the potential for employers to make judgments. However, if your hobbies are relevant to the position, you may include them as they can showcase why you are a suitable candidate for the job.


Maximize the use of employment services, job sites, and job fairs

Leverage the abundant resources accessible to job seekers in Canada. Explore Owlspriority Immigration’s plethora of Settlement Articles in this regard. Consider registering for and utilizing the complimentary employment services offered by the Government of Canada. These services facilitate connections with employers and offer extensive listings of job opportunities nationwide. Additionally, explore well-known job sites where employers actively seek candidates. Don’t forget to participate in job fairs, whether virtually or in person, to directly engage with employers and discover potential job openings. These platforms can significantly broaden your job search and enhance your likelihood of finding suitable employment.


Ensure that your credentials are assessed

As a newcomer to Canada, it’s essential to verify the recognition of your qualifications and credentials to increase your chances of being hired for a job. Make sure to inquire about the recognition of your professional qualifications through institutions like the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC).


Strengthen your resume through accreditation and volunteering

Boosting your career prospects involves acquiring a Canadian certification relevant to your chosen field. Pursuing additional courses or certifications that align with the Canadian job market will effectively showcase your skills, knowledge, and experience to potential employers in Canada. This demonstrates your dedication to continuous learning and substantially improves your chances of securing desirable employment opportunities.

Another effective way to gain Canadian work experience and grow your professional network is by participating in volunteering activities. Numerous organizations highly value the skills and commitment newcomers bring as volunteers. Engaging in volunteer work not only showcases your abilities but also demonstrates your commitment to making a positive impact in the community. By getting involved in relevant volunteer opportunities, you can acquire valuable experience and obtain references that will strengthen your resume and increase your employability.

Seek out a mentor

Acquiring a mentor can greatly expedite your career advancement. Seek out individuals with expertise in your industry who are willing to offer guidance and support throughout your professional journey. A mentor can provide valuable insights, offer career advice, and assist you in navigating the intricacies of the Canadian job market. By sharing their own experiences, they can help you set realistic goals and expectations. Establishing a strong mentee-mentor relationship can be instrumental in overcoming challenges and accessing new opportunities.

By applying these suggestions, you can enhance your likelihood of initiating your career in Canada. It’s essential to stay persistent, adapt to the local job market, and maintain a positive attitude during your job search journey. As a newcomer, your unique skills, diverse perspectives, and strong work ethic can be valuable assets to Canadian employers. With the appropriate approach and a confident mindset, you’ll be on the path to achieving professional success in Canada.


Contact us if to know if you qualify to migrate to Canada. Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc.

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