How new Canadian Immigrants can easily find a job in Canada

The biggest challenge faced by new immigrants to Canada is finding a suitable employment, ideally related to their previous experience.

I have witnessed several immigrants struggling to find a job, end up with an odd job, or failing to find any job altogether and return to their home country disheartened and disappointed.

I admit, it’s not easy for new immigrants to find a job. Not only they have to settle in a new country with different culture, they also have to understand the requirements of Canadian job market and bridge any gaps in skills that they might have. And they have to do all that while spending their savings. I have been through that. I know it’s not fun.


In my case, I was extremely lucky to land a job related to my skills and experience within 6 weeks of arriving in Canada. I don’t like to brag about it, but it took a lot of preparation and persistence to achieve it. And I was mentally prepared to wait for a long time to find a job. Fortunately I didn’t have to do that.

So now it’s time for me to give back and share some tips and tricks that new immigrants can use to find a job.

In fact, this post can be used as a mini action plan for job hunting.

If I could break it down in steps, I would do it like this:

1. Research the Canadian job market in terms of your skills and experience

You don’t play a game without understanding its rules. Similarly, you must understand the Canadian job market before applying for a job in Canada. Search the Canadian job websites (listed in a next step) for jobs similar to what you have been doing. It is possible that the job title you have now might be called something else in Canada. Likewise, there might be some difference in job descriptions or names of skills that you have. It’s just the difference in terminologies. But it is important for you to know about it so that you are not lost in something totally new when searching for job in Canada. Search for your existing skills and see what kind of jobs are available for those keywords. Compare the job description with your current or previous jobs and see if they match. Then compare the title of the job with your current or previous jobs. Do this for different combination of keywords and soon you will see a pattern of keywords to job titles. Now you can easily tell what kind of jobs you need to look for in Canada.

2. Optimize your resume according to Canadian standards

Now that you know what your target job is called in Canada, adjust your resume accordingly. Change the titles in the previous experience section of your resume to what they are called in Canada. Also change the job description and other keywords to reflect the Canadian standards. This will greatly help you when you send your resume for a job, because the person reviewing it will know exactly what your qualifications, experience, and skills are. Also your resume will be easier to search for by the recruiters who are searching for a specific skill set. Also make sure your resume is according to Canadian resume format. Don’t put any extra information that employers would not be interested in like hobbies or interests or your place of birth.

3. Create an elevator pitch about yourself, your career goals, and your strengths.

This is more important than you think. You must be able to talk about yourself to a potential employer. If you have performed the previous steps well, you will get a random call from a recruiter wanting to talk to you. You don’t want to be caught unprepared at that moment. So prepare a 30-seconds speech about who you are, what your previous experience has been about, what kind of job you are looking for, and what are you really good it. Practice it a few times until you memorize it and are able to make it in your sleep.

4. Update your LinkedIn profile and match it with your resume

LinkedIn is an extremely important tool. It’s is most used tool for job search and if you are not active on LinkedIn then you are at a major disadvantage. If you don’t already have it, create your profile on LinkedIn and match it with your resume. Add all your current and previous colleagues as connections, and all those who went to college with you.

5. Identify at least 20 companies in your target city of region that are hiring for positions similar to your target job

What is the market segment that you want to work in? Is it banking, healthcare, retail, tech, or something else? What are the top companies in those sectors in your target location? What are their current job openings? How many do you think you would qualify for? All of these are very important questions that you need to look up. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of all this. I recommend to list at least 20 companies where you would want to work, and the position would like to target those companies for. Feel free to use LinkedIn (among other websites) for this.

6. Find recruiters and headhunters in your city or region through LinkedIn and connect with them

This is where LinkedIn comes in really handy. Use LinkedIn’s search tool to search for the recruiters and headhunters in your area and connect with them. Introduce yourself, use the elevator pitch that you have prepared, and ask them nicely if you can talk to them. Most likely you will get a positive response. This is what headhunters do. They are always looking for good talent to place in the companies they work with. That’s how they get paid. They would love to talk to you if you show promise. All you need to do is be nice and professional. They will even advice you on how look for relevant job. Any advice coming from someone who is in the job industry is worth a million dollars.

7. Register at all of the top job hunting websites and keep track of your activities there

There are dozens of job boards for Canada. Do some research in google and pick the top 6 for your industry. Register and create your profile in all of them. Make sure it matches with your resume. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of all the job websites you have registered in. If you make any change in your resume, make sure to make the same change in all those websites. I know it’s a bit tedious task but that’s why job search is full time job.

Below are some of the job websites, but please do your own research and don’t rely only on these.


8. Prepare your cover letter

I used to hate cover letters until came to realize their importance in Canada. First thing recruiters do is read your cover letter. If you fail to impress in your cover letter then they don’t even look at your resume. However, there is a technique to writing the cover letter. You have to tailor it to the job and company you are applying for. There is no such thing as generic cover letter. Just think about it, if you are applying to 50 jobs, how can the same cover letter be applicable to all those jobs. You have to write 50 cover letters. Now obviously you cannot write 50 cover letters without knowing about the job that you are going to use it for. So you write your cover letter after you find a job that you are interested in. And in that cover letter you mention why you are the perfect fit for this job and why you should be hired for this job. For example, if the job requires 5-years experience in project management and satisfy that requirement, then mention in your cover letter that you have 5-years experience in project management. Just reproduce the entire job requirements in your cover letter and say that you match it point by point. There is no way a recruiter would not consider you after reading that.

Next mention in five points why you are the best person for this job. Do this by highlighting your achievements in your previous job. For example, I have a proven track record of completing the project on time. I have achieved high customer satisfaction rate. I am loved by my team members and my managers alike.

So if it is still not clear enough for you, let me elaborate on it further by creating a sample cover letter for you.

Here is a job posting that I picked up randomly from LinkedIn:

Desired Skills and Experience
Understanding of modern web technology–frameworks, app servers, etc.
Experience in one or more languages a plus: PHP, Python, Java, Ruby, .NET, node.js
IT support, networking, or systems administration background is a plus
If you’ve worked previously as a sales engineer or technical account manager, you’ll definitely have a leg up
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Bachelors degree or equivalent job experience

Now suppose you feel that you qualify for this job. The position is Sales Engineer. So here is how the cover letter should look like-

Dear Hiring Manager (better if you know the name of the person),

I am interested in applying for the position of Sales Engineer as advertised on LinekedIn.

I believe I am a perfect match for this job based on following-

Required Qualifications for this job:
Understanding of modern web technology–frameworks, app servers, etc.
->I have been working on modern web technology and frameworks for last 5 years

Experience in one or more languages a plus: PHP, Python, Java, Ruby, .NET, node.js
-> I am an expert in PHP and Java and have developed a number of applications using these languages

IT support, networking, or systems administration background is a plus
-> I have 5 years experience in networking and systems administration

If you’ve worked previously as a sales engineer or technical account manager, you’ll definitely have a leg up
-> I have overall 10+ years of experience as sales engineer

Excellent written and verbal communication skills
-> I have conducted numerous presentations to customers and written whitepapers, proposal documents etc

Bachelors degree or equivalent job experience
-> I have Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering

I believe I am the best person for this job because-

1. I have a proven track record of customer satisfaction
2. I have played a major role in increasing the sales of my previous employers
3. I love working with cutting-edge technologies
4. I have deep understanding of sales process

My resume is included for your reference. My experience and skills are clearly mentioned on my resume.

I am looking forward to hear from you. Please fee free to contact me anytime at or 555-333-2211.

Best regards,

The above is just an example and obviously you will write the cover letter based on your own experience and skills. The point is that the recruiter should read your cover letter and say goddammit! I must hire this person or I will lose out!

9. Apply for jobs that match your profile with customized resume and cover letter for every job.

It’s show time. Spend at least 30-40 minutes every day on LinkedIn and other job websites and look for new jobs posted that match your profile. Prepare the cover letter as I explained in the previous section, and send it along with your resume. But wait a minute. You can’t just send your resume like that. You have to customize your resume also according to the job description. So for example, if the job description says you should have experience of managing a team of 5+ people, and you know that you have that experience but it is not mentioned your resume, then you change your resume to mention it. Each and every requirement in the job description should be mentioned in your resume. It should be a perfect match. If for certain requirement you don’t match 100% but have a pretty good idea about it, just mention it anyway. The point is not to get rejected because you don’t match one requirement. They might not even ask about it in the interview. But they will use it to screen people out.

So from the example in the cover letter section, if you are applying for this job then make all the required qualifications are mentioned in your resume, including the technologies and languages etc.

Use this technique to apply to at least 10 jobs every day. If you apply for the job the way I have described here, it would easily take you 15-20 minutes to apply for one job. So in one hour you can apply for 3-4 jobs only. You just cannot apply for hundreds of jobs in 5 minutes. It doesn’t work. You have to take your time to customize your resume and cover letter for every job. Think like an HR manager. Would you consider a resume or cover letter if it doesn’t match with the job? HR managers go through hundreds of resumes every day. How would you get their attention? Your resume and cover letter should yell HIRE ME to get their attention.

10. Find networking groups in your area through and LinkedIn and meet with lots of people

Networking is key. The more people you meet the better your chances of getting a job. is a great place to find special interest groups in your city. Join some groups and go to the meetups. Introduce yourself. Also join special interest groups in LinkedIn and actively participate in the discussions. The purpose is to spread the word that you are in town and looking for a job. Trust me magic will happen as more and more people will get to know about you.

11. Attend trade shows and job fairs in your area and meet with lots of people

Again, go out and explore the city. Look up if there is any trade show and job fair happening related to your industry. Trade shows may or may not directly help you in your job search but you will come across interesting companies and people. It’s a good idea to look up the companies participating in the trade show and see if you are familiar with any of them or if they interest you in any way. Job fairs, on the other hand, are a must. You meet with the recruiters directly and explore what kind of skills and experience are in demand. You will also get a chance to practice your elevator pitch. Just don’t forget to wear a suit.

Here is the google search for trade shows in Toronto, and job fairs in Toronto. Go there and meet with people.

12. Get in touch with your close and not-so-close contacts in Canada and ask if they can connect you with someone who can help you with your job hunt

People who already know you are your biggest assets. Talk to each and every one of them and ask them if they can help push your resume somewhere or it they know someone who can push your resume.

13. Take any bridging or skill development courses that you think will help you improve. Make friends with everyone there.

It is entirely possible that you might need extra courses to fill up any gaps in your qualifications or skills required to get a job in your target industry. Get your credentials evaluated and if it turns out that you need bridging courses, take them. Not only you will learn new stuff, you will also meet with people (hint, hint).

14. Take language courses if you feel you need to improve your language skills.

Of course if you cannot speak the local language very well then you need to work on this. I know brilliant people struggle in Canada only because their English is not very good. Don’t be that person and make sure language is not a barrier. You can take language assessments and based on results take the required language courses. Libraries offer them for free. Local community colleges offer them for very little money. But trust me it’s worth spending a few bucks to improve your language skills and eventually land a job.

So there you go. These are all the things I recommend new immigrants to do in order to greatly increase their chances of getting a job in Canada. You know they say, finding a full time job is a full time job. It’s obvious that you need 6-8 hours every day to do nothing else but work on the steps I have given in this post.

I hope this post would help those are looking for a job in Canada. Good luck!

3 thoughts on “How new Canadian Immigrants can easily find a job in Canada

  • December 28, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Useful tips, would be great if you could also write a couple of posts on how to navigate the immigration process

    • December 29, 2015 at 3:04 am

      Hi Akbar, thanks for your comment. To answer your question, I am not an expert in immigration process and also the current process is totally different from what it was when I applied. So I suggest anyone who is interested in Canadian immigration to look up the current requirements at CIC website:

  • January 10, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Nice and informative post. I am a new immigrant in Canada having .Net/C#/ASP.Net/SharePoint expertise. I am trying to follow the above mentioned success rules in order to get the job. Lets hope for the best!

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