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How to Apply for a Job in Canada

If you want to live and work in Canada, you’re going to have to apply for a job. That can be daunting, especially if you are just getting used to the culture and the language. This guide will help you with the basics so you can improve your chances.

Step 1: Make Yourself Competitive

Before you start applying, make sure you have a valid work permit or the visa or immigration status to work legally in Canada. Employers will look at your experience and qualifications so you may want to:

  • Get your certificates, degrees, and other qualifications translated and certified in Canada.
  • Consider volunteer work to improve your Canadian experience.
  • Work on your English or French language skills.
  • Consider taking French or English classes and tests to show employers your language skills are good.
  • Read job postings to find out what employers in your industry are looking for and make sure you have that knowledge. For example, if most ads in your field mention a specific software, learn that software.

Step 2: Network

In Canada, many employers hire not just through job ads, but also by talking to people they know. You will have better success if you get to know people in your field. There are lots of ways to do this:

  • Volunteer in your field
  • Join networking groups or attend networking events related to your industry
  • Join a mentoring program
  • Put on a professional outfit and go to job fairs or events related to job searches
  • Talk to as many people as you can about your career plans
  • Join a professional association in your field and go to events

Step 3: Get your Application Ready

In Canada, you apply for many jobs by submitting a resume and a cover letter. There are many examples online and your local public library will also have books showing you how you can put together this application.

Your resume should include your contact information, including your phone number, and lists of your education and your work experience and career accomplishments. Your resume should show employers why you are qualified for a specific job.

Your cover letter is an introduction to a recruiter or employer, outlining the experience and background which make you qualified. You should change your cover letter and even resume slightly for each job application, so it addresses the qualities each specific employer is looking for. Avoid sending the same form resume and cover letter to every job.

Both your resume and cover letter need to be written well. You may want to work with an English- or French-speaking friend or hire an editor to look over your application. Don’t forget free government services for newcomers, which also offer resume help and job search help.

Step 4: Look and Apply for Work

There are many places you can look for work:

  • Online job search sites, such as indeed.
  • Job fairs in your city.
  • The websites of specific companies you’re interested in working for. Many company sites have a “careers” page, listing job openings.
  • Recruiters.
  • Temp agencies.
  • Canada Job Bank, a site run by the government of Canada. You can even sign up for alerts so you will be told when a job meets your requirements.

When you see a job posting that applies to you, get your resume and cover letter ready. Always read the job posting in full and apply in the way the employer requests. Remember that no legitimate employer asks you to pay money to apply for a job.

If you need to get permanent residence status or immigration status which allows you to work legally in Canada, check out Immigration Direct. We have resources to help you apply as well as a free Knowledge Base, filled with information about immigration in Canada.

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