WES Advisor Blog

Trusted Advice for Academic and Professional Success

Four Roadblocks Between You and Your Dream Job in Canada

Friday | August 19, 2016 | by WES Global Talent Bridge

Young businessman talking to his colleague

Landing work in Canada can be a challenge for anyone, and for skilled immigrants trying to get ahead, it can be even harder due to some common pitfalls. You can increase your chances of success by considering and addressing the roadblocks listed below.

Limited English or French Language Skills

In Canada’s diverse workplace, a significant emphasis is placed on communication skills. The official languages in Canada are English and French. French is mostly used in the workplace in Quebec and New Brunswick, and English dominates the workplace in the rest of Canada.

As a newcomer, gaining an understanding of the English or French language, conversation styles, and the nuances of Canadian business communication is required when searching for a job in your profession. Soft skills and communication skills are emphasized in Canada and can often be more important than technical skills or experience when it comes to the interview process or advancement opportunities.

Lack of Canadian Work Experience

Most employers are not familiar with international degrees and equivalents. Providing a short description of companies that you have worked for is helpful in setting the context for your work experience. If possible, set up informational interviews with companies you are interested in working for. This can be extremely helpful for gaining context about Canadian workplaces and learning how best to present your experience.

Uncertainty of How to Start a Job Search in Canada

Connecting to the labour market is all about finding where the jobs are. This may sound like an easy task, but only 20 percent of the jobs that are available are actually advertised externally. There are many job opportunities that are not posted on the Internet. You will often learn about new positions through your immediate contacts or your network. Before arriving, you should do some preliminary research into the local job market.

Lack of a Professional Network in Canada

A referral to a job through a direct connection generates 80 percent more results than a cold call. In other words, the job leads you access through your network are more effective than the leads you get through any other means. But, you can start to build your network before you come to Canada. One approach is to reach out to professionals in your field, use LinkedIn, join groups or associations, and start to virtually meet people in your field in Canada. When you arrive, continue to build your network by reaching out to your immediate community and professionals in your field.

By preparing for the Canadian job market, developing a plan that includes enhancing your English language skills, reviewing your transferable work experience and skills, and building professional networks, you will begin to move those roadblocks out of the way.

Related articles:

Job Hunting with Limited Work Experience

Top Six Tips When Using LinkedIn

How to Make the Most of In-Person Networking Events

WES Global Talent Bridge is a program dedicated to helping skilled immigrants fully utilize their talents and education in the United States and Canada. Global Talent Bridge joins with institutional partners and community organizations to help skilled immigrants leverage their training, achieve their professional goals, and contribute their talents to their full potential.