Canada is a diverse and multicultural country that offers many opportunities for foreign workers. Whether you want to work temporarily or permanently in Canada, you will need to follow some steps to apply for a job and get a work permit. Here are some tips on how to apply for a job in Canada.
Organize your paperwork
Before you start looking for jobs, you need to make sure you have the right documents to enter and work in Canada. Depending on your nationality and the type of job you want, you may need:
- A valid passport or travel document
- A work permit or visa
- A Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- A resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
- A cover letter
- References or certificates
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you will need to apply for a work permit or visa to work legally in Canada. There are different types of work permits and visas, depending on your situation and the job you want. Some jobs do not require a work permit, such as foreign government officials, performance artists, athletic team members, and emergency service providers².
To apply for a work permit or visa, you will need to visit the official government immigration website at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/work.asp and follow the instructions. You will need to have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, such as your passport, as well as a valid credit card to pay the fee.
If you are already in Canada as a student or visitor, you may be able to extend or change your status to work temporarily or permanently. You can check your eligibility and apply online at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/apply-who.asp.
A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada and access government programs and benefits. If you were born in Canada, you probably already have an SIN. If you were not born in Canada, you will need to apply for an SIN when you arrive in the country. To apply for an SIN, you will need to visit the official government SIN website at https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/sin.html and provide proof of your identity and status in Canada.
A resume or CV is a one-page summary of your education, work experience, skills, and achievements. It is required by most employers in Canada. You should tailor your resume or CV to each job you apply for, highlighting the most relevant information and using keywords from the job description. You should also include your contact information at the top of the page.
A cover letter is a one-page document that introduces yourself and explains why you are interested in and qualified for the job. It should complement your resume or CV and show your personality and enthusiasm. You should also tailor your cover letter to each job you apply for, addressing it to the hiring manager if possible and using a formal tone.
References are people who can vouch for your work performance and character. They can be former employers, supervisors, colleagues, clients, or teachers. You should have at least three references ready when you apply for a job in Canada. You should ask their permission before using them as references and provide their names, titles, organizations, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Certificates are documents that prove your education, training, skills, or qualifications. They can be diplomas, degrees, transcripts, licenses, certificates of completion, etc. You should have copies of your certificates ready when you apply for a job in Canada. You may also need to have them translated into English or French if they are in another language.
Search for jobs
There are many ways to find jobs in Canada, such as:
- Online job boards and websites
- Newspapers and magazines
- Networking and referrals
- Recruitment agencies
- Job fairs and events
Online job boards and websites are platforms where employers post job openings and candidates can search and apply for them. Some examples of online job boards and websites are:
- Job Bank: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home
- Indeed: https://ca.indeed.com/
- Monster: https://www.monster.ca/
- Workopolis: https://www.workopolis.com/en/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/
You can use these websites to create a profile, upload your resume or CV, browse jobs by location, industry, salary, etc., set up alerts for new postings, and apply directly online.
Newspapers and magazines are publications that often have sections dedicated to job listings. Some examples of newspapers and magazines that have job listings are:
- The Globe and Mail: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/
- National Post: https://nationalpost.com/
- Toronto Star: https://www.thestar.com/
- Maclean’s: https://www.macleans.ca/
- Canadian Business: https://www.canadianbusiness.com/
You can buy these publications at newsstands, bookstores, or online, or access them at libraries or online. You can look for jobs in the classifieds section or in the specific sections related to your field of interest.
Networking and referrals are ways of connecting with people who can help you find a job or introduce you to potential employers. Some examples of people you can network with are:
- Family and friends
- Former employers, colleagues, or clients
- Alumni or classmates
- Professional associations or groups
- Community organizations or volunteers
You can network with these people by attending events, joining online forums, sending emails, making phone calls, asking for informational interviews, etc. You can also ask them to refer you to employers who are hiring or to give you recommendations.
Recruitment agencies are companies that help employers find suitable candidates for their vacancies. Some examples of recruitment agencies are:
- Adecco: https://www.adecco.ca/en-ca/
- Randstad: https://www.randstad.ca/
- Manpower: https://www.manpower.ca/wps/portal/ManpowerCanada/home
- Hays: https://www.hays.ca/
- Robert Half: https://www.roberthalf.ca/en
You can register with these agencies by submitting your resume or CV, filling out an application form, taking some tests, or having an interview. They will then match you with jobs that fit your profile and skills and help you with the application process.
Job fairs and events are opportunities to meet employers face-to-face and learn about their organizations and job openings. Some examples of job fairs and events are:
- Canada Job Expo: https://canadajobexpo.com/
- National Job Fair: https://www.nationaljobfairmontreal.com/en/
- Career Fair Canada: https://careerfaircanada.ca/
- TorontoJobs.ca Career Fairs: https://www.torontojobs.ca/career-fairs
- Vancouver Job Fair: https://www.vancouverjobfair.ca/
You can find these events online or in local newspapers or magazines. You should prepare your resume or CV, dress professionally, bring copies of your certificates, and practice your elevator pitch before attending these events.
Apply and interview
Once you have found a job that interests you, you will need to apply for it and go through the hiring process. This may vary depending on the employer and the job, but it usually involves:
- Submitting your application
- Taking an assessment test
- Having a phone or video interview
- Having an in-person interview
- Receiving an offer or a rejection
Submitting your application is the first step to show your interest and qualifications for the job. You will need to follow the instructions given by the employer on how to apply, which may include:
- Sending your resume or CV and cover letter by email or mail
- Filling out an online application form
- Creating an account on the employer’s website or platform
- Uploading your resume or CV and cover letter on the employer’s website or platform
You should always customize your resume or CV and cover letter to each job you apply for, using keywords from the job description and highlighting your relevant skills and achievements. You should also proofread your documents for spelling and grammar errors and use a clear and professional format.
Taking an assessment test is a way for employers to evaluate your skills, knowledge, personality, or fit for the job. You may be asked to take an assessment test before or after your interview, depending on the employer and the job. Some examples of assessment tests are:
- Aptitude tests: measure your logical reasoning, numerical ability, verbal ability, etc.
- Skills tests: measure your specific skills related to the job, such as typing speed, software proficiency, language proficiency, etc.
- Personality tests: measure your traits, preferences, values, motivations, etc.
- Situational judgment tests: measure how you would handle different scenarios related to the job.
You should prepare for these tests by reviewing the job description, researching the employer, practicing sample questions, and following the instructions carefully.
Having a phone or video interview is a way for employers to screen candidates and get to know them better before inviting them for an in-person interview. You may be contacted by phone or email to schedule a phone or video interview, depending on the employer and the job. Some tips for having a successful phone or video interview are:
- Choose a quiet and comfortable place with good lighting and sound quality
- Dress professionally and appropriately for the job
- Have your resume or CV, cover letter, certificates, notes, and questions ready
- Test your phone or computer equipment before the interview