Canada has a low unemployment rate and job opportunities where skilled immigrants like you can find professional success and can advance in your career. Explore the job market in Ontario and learn about the types of jobs you can find in different parts of the country. It is challenging to find work, especially when you are new to Canada. Learn what to expect, where to find information about jobs in Ontario, and who to talk to if you want help.
Finding Work Before you Arrive
You’ve obtained your permanent residence status but haven’t landed yet and you are eager to find work once you arrive in Canada. Finding work in Ontario is not easy, especially if you are looking for a job prospect before you arrive. The job search process of preparing your resume, applying, networking and interviewing for the roles you want is a full-time job that often requires you to be here in person. Here are some tips to help you do that.
- Have a Canadian- Style Resume and Cover Letter
A Canadian-style resume is recommended to be no more than 2 pages. Resumes should include the most relevant work experience that relates to the job you are applying that dates back no more than 10 years. Never list your salary, a picture, or other personal details like your marital status and family information. The human rights code in Canada protects employees from having to disclose any of those personal details so that you won’t be discriminated against based on those details.
- Refine Your LinkedIn Account
If you’ve already told your work and networks in your country of origin that you will be moving to Canada, then change your location on your LinkedIn profile to a Canadian one instead of your country of origin. Recruiters looking for candidates on LinkedIn will favor local candidates over those who are overseas.
Also, make sure your LinkedIn account is up to date with the most current information, and that your grammar is perfect. Poor grammar or careless mistakes can make you appear like your English level is not up to standard. Recruiters need to see that you have a professional level of communication before they can consider you for a job.
- Join a Professional Immigrant Network (PIN)
There are many professional associations for immigrants led by immigrants across Ontario. For example, TRIEC’s Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) program is made up of a network of over 70 associations in a variety of fields including accounting and finance, law, engineering, media, etc. Search and join an association within PINs to share learning, leverage skills, and make strong connections to find meaningful employment.
- Determine What Canadian Accreditations You Will Need
Research what extra accreditation or education you may need to successfully transition into your career field in Canada. Canada has a labour force with workers from all over the world with different types of learning credentials. You may need to take extra courses or write an exam to validate the credentials of your country of origin. Do not let unrecognized international credentials prevent you from attaining the job that matches your full experience and expertise. The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) helps you determine what credentials you will need to practice your occupation in Canada.
- Register for Free Pre-Arrival Government Programs
The government offers free programs to help you find work faster. You can register online for pre-arrival employment services like JVS’, CanPrep program or NextStopCanada, before you get here. CanPrep connects skilled newcomer professionals from all around the world to an Employment Specialist who will support them in navigating the Canadian job market. Orientation to Ontario also offers free webinars and workshops you can take online.
- Consider Volunteer Work
Don’t rule out volunteer opportunities as an immediate way to gain experience when you first get here. Pick volunteer opportunities that are relevant to your skill set and career. You don’t need to dedicate the entire work week to doing volunteer work, as you will need to apply your time towards your job-search. But dedicating a few hours a week of volunteer experience can help you understand the Canadian work culture, and practice your technical skills and communication skills (perfect your English). It’s also a good opportunity to get Canadian references.
Finding job listing websites
Here are just a few websites that list jobs in Ontario or Canada. You can also ask friends, family, employment counselors, settlement workers, or others who work in your profession or trade to recommend useful job listing websites.
- Eluta – A job search engine that specializes in finding new jobs directly from employer websites. You can search by region and keywords.
- Indeed.ca – Search by job title and location. Postings come from hundreds of job boards, newspaper classifieds, and company websites. It also includes internships. It is available in French.
- Job Bank – Offers users free career information such as job postings, educational requirements, trends, and more. From the Government of Canada.
- JobGurus – An aggregator of job listings from across Canada. Features include email alerts, RSS feeds and mobile apps.
- Jobillico – A website with job listings and a matching function.
- Monster.ca – A very popular job site for professionals in Canada. There are many helpful features on this site as well.
- Neuvoo – This Canada-wide site publishes job postings taken from the careers website of employers. You can search by region and keywords.
- Rulla – An aggregator of job listings from different sites.
- Workopolis.com – This very popular site has job listings from the Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.
- WowJobs.ca – Searches many of the top job sites and lists them in one place.
- Canada Job Directory – Has many links to general and occupation-specific job posting sites. It also lists placement agencies located in Ontario. You may also want to check industry-specific job websites.
Finding information about Ontario companies
It’s not easy to find work in Canada that corresponds with your skills and experience. You need to find out what employers expect, in your specific occupation or industry, in the city where you plan to settle. The government does not arrange a job for you. They have programs that will help you to find a job, but these programs will not get a job for you. Anyone who tells you that they can guarantee a job is probably selling something and you will find yourself out of money, and still without a job.
There are many parts of the job search that might be different than what you’re used to. In fact, the very idea of having to search for a job may be very foreign to you. Some professions and trades are regulated by provincial professional regulatory bodies. This means you need a license. It can take some time to get a license if you were trained outside of Canada. Regulatory bodies might not accept the qualifications you earned outside of Canada, or you might need to get further training or education, or take exams.
You might want to work in a non-regulated job in your field first. This can be a good way to use your skills and get Canadian work experience.
If you thought immigrating to a new country and starting your life over again was going to be easy, think again. The immigration experience can be very fulfilling for you and your family. There are many examples of successful immigrants in Canada. In fact, many of the most successful companies in this country were started by immigrants. But, it is not an easy process, especially in the first few years.
Know what you are getting yourself into. Have a plan of action for your arrival. Prepare, be prepared and know what to expect. Only then can your immigration experience start with a positive first step when you land.
Finding work if you don’t speak English well
It can be difficult to find a job as a newcomer. It can be even more difficult if you don’t speak English well. Even if you have the skills and qualifications to do a job, language barriers might make it harder for you to get hired. These programs in Ontario can help you improve your language skills, meet people in your profession, and prepare you for the job market:
Occupation-Specific Language Training (OSLT)
Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT) provides language training courses specific to your occupation. They also provide help with career planning, and can connect you with local employers and industries. OSLT has courses for:
Enhanced Language Training (ELT)
ELT programs can give you language training to help you find a job that matches your skills and qualifications. Many ELT programs also offer mentorship and work placements. Work placements can help you network, and give you Canadian-experience to put on your resume. To find a local ELT program, go to Services Near Me and search for “ELT” in your area.
Bridge Training Programs
If you have international training or experience in a profession or trade, Bridge Training Programs can help you get licensed or certified in Ontario. Bridging programs:
Connect you with language training for your profession or trade
Prepare you for licensing or certification exams, and introduce you to employers
May be run by universities or colleges and might charge tuition
What if you need a job right away?
You can still apply for jobs while you are improving your language skills. You can speak to an employment counsellor to find out about job opportunities. Employment counsellors can also help you create a resume, write a cover letter, or practice for job interviews. You can request an appointment with an employment counsellor through Employment Ontario.
Settlement agencies also have workers that can help you with looking for a job. Settlement agencies provide services to newcomers including workshops or one-on-one counselling on how to look for jobs. Find a settlement agency in your area and contact them for more information.
For More Information
Prepare to Work in Canada – A guide to working in Canada, with information on how to get your credentials assessed, improve your English and French, and get help finding a job. Information from the Government of Canada.
What employment services are available in my community? – A list of services you may be able to find in your community in order to help you find a job. Information from Settlement.Org.
English as a Second Language (ESL) – Resources and information to help you learn English as a second language as a newcomer to Ontario. Information from Settlement.Org.