A record-high number of available jobs and a low, low Canadian unemployment rate are both good news for foreign nationals hoping to immigrate to Canada under economic immigration programs and clinching that dream job is as easy as following these five steps.
In March, there were 1,012,900 vacant jobs in Canada, a record high, and there were more paid jobs in all but two of Canada’s 10 provinces that month than there were before the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada figures reveal.
“All provinces, with the exception of Alberta, which saw a drop of 12,700 paid jobs, and Newfoundland and Labrador, which saw a decline of 1,700, had, in March, surpassed their payroll employment level in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic,” notes Statistics Canada in its Payroll Employment, Earnings and Hours, and Job Vacancies report for March 2022.
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Here are five steps a foreign national can take to land one of those more than a million vacant jobs in Canada.
Step 1: Ensure Employers Can Contact You Easily By Phone Or Email
When an employer comes knocking with a job offer – or, at least, a request for an interview – it is absolutely critical for him or her to be able to reach the applicant easily and quickly, even if only to leave a message.
“You must have a phone number with a professional voice mail system in place and have a professional voice-mail message in place,” says Amerta Roopani, an industrial engineer in Canada who offers job hunting advice on YouTube. “It doesn’t matter if it is a cell phone or land line … but ensure you are easily reachable to employers.”
She advises foreign nationals looking for work in Canada to write themselves a script for their voicemail message and record it. By listening to that message later and knowing which company called, an applicant can do background research and be prepared before calling back.
Step 2: Create an Express Entry Profile to Attract Job Offers
In order to create that Express Entry profile, applicants must:
- take a language test to demonstrate their proficiency in the least one of Canada’s official languages, English or French;
- get their foreign education credentials assessed if planning to come to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker program;
- determine the National Occupation Classification (NOC) code of the job they are hoping to get in Canada;
- determine their eligibility for Express Entry immigration by consulting Canada’s online tool;
- building their Express Entry profile by providing the following information:
- identity and age;
- contact information;
- a detailed account of their educational history;
- a detailed account of their work experience;
- language proficiency;
- factors that facilitate their adaptability to life in Canada;
- family composition, and;
- information on their spouse or common-law partner, if applicable.
Step 3. Start a Job Search Right Away, Before Immigrating
Once the basics have been squared away, it’s time for a foreign national hoping to immigrate to Canada under an economic program to start job-hunting. Right away. Before even setting foot on Canadian soil.
It’s helpful to create a LinkedIn profile for this job search because a reported 87 per cent of recruiters use this social media platform when scouting new talent for their companies. LinkedIn gives the applicant a professional appearance online, adding credibility and making them appear as a trustworthy potential employee.
It also helps to be ready for online interviews, a practice that has become even more commonplace since the pandemic. Many employers conduct job interviews via Zoom or other teleconferencing software.
Step 4: Identify Niche Markets Best Suited to Particular Skills
Niche markets offer up opportunities for foreign nationals with skills that are in hot demand but not readily available among those workers already in Canada.
Indeed.ca, the job website, listed 3,400 jobs requiring Mandarin and 2,347 requiring Spanish in early June. There were another 172 jobs for those who spoke Tagalog.
Foreign nationals often bring with them in-demand language skills and a wealth of knowledge of their home country’s culture and ways of doing business. This can be invaluable for a Canadian company looking to expand internationally or catering to an ethnic customer base in Canada.
In some cases, a niche can be a particular area of expertise within a larger field.
Information technology professionals are often hired to develop apps, set up and repair networks and develop computer games or other programs. But one niche that’s hot in Canada at the moment is cybersecurity where companies hire IT professionals to think like criminals and try to ethically hack their systems to uncover vulnerabilities. That’s a niche – and a job that could be very interesting for the right applicant.
Step 5: Expand the Range of Potential Employers Through Diversification
Employers in the post-COVID-19 job market in Canada are looking for candidates with skills which can be easily transferred to different roles, often beyond the historical job titles a potential employee has held.
Expanding on the description in a profile on LinkedIn or other social media platforms can often pique a potential employer’s curiosity and lead to a job offer.
“Job markets are always evolving, but the COVID-19 pandemic pressed the gas pedal on many of those changes,” notes human resources giant Randstad.
“As a result, employers are looking for candidates with skills that weren’t as relevant prior to 2020. But the coronavirus isn’t the only change agent impacting employer priorities. Economic pressures, evolving customer preferences, highly competitive markets and regulatory requirements also play a core role in the shift we’re seeing.”
Among the top job skills sought by employers are:
- customer service;
- project management;
- quality control;
- administrative support, and;
When an applicant has a background in another skill, it helps to put it right up at the top of the resume.
A curriculum vitae for a professor, for example, might become a CV for a professor-project manager. Or a plumber’s resume can easily become a CV for a plumber-bookkeeper-team leader if he or she has previous experience running a small business.