Are you planning on moving to Canada, and wondering how to get a job offer in advance?
I received a nice letter some time ago which reflects a question we get asked a lot:
Is it possible to secure a job offer before moving to Canada? I am seeking to obtain an employer offer before I relocate. Please advise.
I moved to Canada with my family in 2015 after having been in a secure job in Dubai for 12 years, so I understand how stressful it is.
While it’s not always easy to land a job before you arrive, there are definitely some steps you can take to move forward and improve your chances of getting one as soon as possible.
Follow the Regular Immigration Process
First off, make sure you are following the Government of Canada website for the correct immigration procedures and information about working in Canada.
Workers who can meet certain skills and language requirements may be able to fast track the immigration and employment process via the Express Entry program.
The Express Entry system is a points-based, “contest” type of setup, however, and it’s crucial that, even if you think you might qualify, you carefully follow the regular immigration steps just to make sure you have everything in order.
Unless you have a particularly specialized set of skills that is in demand in Canada or are able to get a transfer via your current company, it is not likely that you’ll land a job before arriving.
But you can search job boards to get a feel for what types of opportunities are available in Canada and start pinpointing some companies you’d like to target.
Here are some more job search tips for new immigrants.
Do this research early, and often, but don’t count on these job boards as the be-all and end-all!
Why Job Boards Won’t Work
If you’re thinking about how to get a job offer, and you’re passively browsing through job search sites like Indeed, take heed — here’s why:
- Unless an organization is specifically hiring remote workers, the system may automatically filter out people who aren’t local.
- Hiring managers may automatically rule out certain applications for the same reason
- Much of the job market is hidden and works through referrals and internal hires
- Hiring managers may have an unconscious bias against people who appear to be non-native English speakers
Instead of a passive job search, it’s crucial that you get talking to people so that you can explain to them that you are in the process of moving, and then have a detailed conversation about your qualifications and skills
Set Up Your LinkedIn and Resume Properly
It seems like an obvious step to set up your resume so that it conveys the most updated information.
But you’ll also want to update your resume for the format, style, grammar, and SEO per Canadian (North American) expectations and standards.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is also updated with the most current information, that you have a quality profile photo, and you’ve updated the location there to Canada.
Here are some tips for updating your LinkedIn profile.
Actively Connect With People in Your Industry
Thinking about how to get a job offer before you arrive or shortly thereafter, you’ll want to get as close to face-to-face interaction as possible with people in your field.
Why? Because you’ll be more memorable if people meet you and get to know you a little.
Fortunately today it’s easier than ever to connect with people online, and networking is always a good practice, even if you pivot your priority or career path later.
Here are a few ideas for this:
- Do a shout-out on social media to look for friends of people you already know
- Focus on getting the attention of CEOs and managers in your field
- Google some industry associations and communities that you can join
- Attend events both in-person and online
- Search educational institutes for related certification and training
- Get people you know to offer references, referrals, and endorsements
- Seek companies focused on diversity
- Find a mentor and do an informational interview
- Find a local or provincial immigrant employment service center
When you move into your job search in a targeted way, with your ultimate goal being a Skype informational interview or even a discovery call, you’ll start making some good headway before you land.
Bridging Programs & Accreditations
Governments and educational institutions usually are set up to help you understand how to get a job offer in your field.
Bridging programs can help you understand if and how to update your certifications to be on par with Canadians in your province.
Colleges and universities offer other information for new immigrants as well, so it’s usually a good idea to reach out to them, even if you don’t think you need to take formal courses.
In addition, make sure you understand the policies and regulations in various industries per Canadian policy and law
Review the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) for more information.
Keep Building and Engaging Connections
In today’s world, understanding how to get a job offer involves much more than a simple resume and cover letter.
If you are innovative, bold, and creative with your networking, you’ll be able to build a list of contacts easily through a variety of means as mentioned above.
But remember that a job search is a job, and some of the people you’ll meet on arrival to Canada, especially ones in your field, will be invaluable resources, and hopefully friendships.
The last thing you want to do is ask for jobs or harass high-level CEOs. If you are polite, show genuine interest and ask plenty of questions, you’ll be bound to create strong connections.
Always be sure to discuss your job search in such a way that demonstrates what you have to offer, not what you are looking for.
Check out our online course, Building Your Professional Network: For Job Seekers
And best of luck with your search!
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This article was originally published in 2019, but has been updated in 2020 just for you!