As you immigrate to a new country, you bring a wealth of international experience and a global perspective with you. At most companies, your diversity will be embraced and valued. However, you may face some barriers to entering the job market because employers may not initially recognize your international education. Employers are often unfamiliar with international education institutions and how they compare to the Canadian or U.S. educational systems. As a result, employers may pass on opportunities to hire skilled immigrants and miss out on hiring from a skilled talent pool.
As a job seeker, you can take a proactive approach to marketing your international education to help mitigate those lost opportunities. It is essential that employers understand how international education can add value to their business. You can advocate for and market your international education in a way that appeals to an employer’s desire to bring on a candidate with the talent and skills to meet their business needs. Marketing your education can make a significant impact on launching a successful career in Canada by addressing a common barrier: lack of recognition of international education.
Many newcomers bring with them a vast skill set and education from their home country. This can be viewed as an asset, particularly for employers who are looking for skilled talent to grow their business. The first step you can take to help employers understand your international education is to get a credential evaluation.
A credential evaluation is a useful tool that you can present to employers. The report compares your academic accomplishments to standards in the U.S. or Canada. A credential evaluation helps institutions like schools, employers, licensing boards, and immigration authorities better understand your educational background. In completing a credential evaluation, you are providing employers with a familiar point of reference: local degrees they know and commonly see on résumés. If you do not have a credential evaluation, consider getting one to help employers recognize your education.
Marketing Your Education
If you already have a credential evaluation, you are off to a great start! This means you can begin to market your education to employers. Under the education section of your résumé, state that your credentials were evaluated and put the equivalency of your education, as indicated on your credential evaluation report.
For example, if your education was evaluated and your results reveal you have the equivalence of a four-year Canadian bachelor’s degree, you can add the following tagline to your résumé under your degree:
Evaluated by World Education Services (WES), as equivalent to a four-year Canadian bachelor’s degree.
Adding this tagline to your résumé helps provide employers with the information they need to clarify your education level. Some employers may request a credential evaluation to verify the job candidates’ international education. When applying for positions, ensure you are prepared; read the company’s website to understand the employer’s expectations and requirements, including whether or not you need a credential assessment to apply for the role.
In addition to adding a tagline about the equivalency of your education to your résumé, be sure to attach a copy of your credential evaluation report to your employment application; include it when you attach your cover letter and résumé. This also gives employers an in-depth breakdown of your education and its equivalency. This takes away the guesswork for employers and helps them better understand your education.
Marketing via Social Media
Employers often use LinkedIn to recruit potential job candidates and screen job applicants for a specific role. They will look at your profile to determine if you may be the right fit for the position they are trying to fill.
You can use LinkedIn to market your international education. When creating your profile on LinkedIn, under the education section, find your school’s official name and logo. Add this to your profile. When employers look at your education section they can simply click on your school name to find more information. Additionally, use the description box under each program to state the equivalency of the degree. If you haven’t had a formal evaluation completed, you can include course names to demonstrate relevancy and similarities to Canadian or U.S. programs.
Related Article: Top Six Tips When Using LinkedIn
Marketing While Networking
When speaking with a recruiter or an employer, articulate the value of your international education and experience, and how it will benefit their team. Do your research when approaching employers so you can get to know their needs and offer an insightful perspective on what you can bring with your international education. For example, do you have previous training in an area of technology that has not yet been introduced in Canada or the U.S.? Offering international expertise can help you gain a competitive edge. Doing your research and providing solutions to employers based on your international education is a great way to market your skills.
Tool to Use
If you have not had your credentials evaluated or are in the process of getting them evaluated, you can still help employers understand your international education. The Degree Equivalency Tool is an additional tool you can use to help employers recognize your education. Although not an official credential evaluation, this tool gives an initial preview into how your international credentials compare to the Canadian standards. You simply enter your educational information and it will produce the results instantly. Once you understand how your education compares in Canada, you can start to articulate this to employers.
By helping employers understand your international education, you can improve your employment prospects. Marketing your education can make a difference in whether you make it through the initial screening process. Employers typically take less than 20 seconds to review your application for employment. Make the decision to hire you as easy as possible by incorporating information with a point of reference that is familiar to hiring managers.
Continue to be proactive about marketing your international education and develop a marketing strategy that is right for you. Employers need to understand your education to hire you.
Thinking about getting your academic credentials evaluated? Learn about what a credential evaluation can do for you and the different credential evaluations we offer here.