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Start your job search before you arrive in Canada Prepare for Canada

If you’re moving to Canada, you’re likely thinking about job prospects. So, it makes sense to start your job search before you arrive in Canada.

When you start your job search before you arrive, you’ll improve your chances of  landing a job in your chosen field. Here are just a few activities to get you started!

1. Research the Canadian job market for your field of employment

You likely have a great deal of skills, knowledge and experience that Canadian employers will find attractive. But, if there is little labour demand in your field, it may take longer than you expect to find a job that you will find satisfying.

When you conduct labour market research, you’ll learn what  provinces and cities have a greater need for your skills and knowledge. For example, you may find that smaller cities, or northern communities have a greater demand for skilled labour. Larger cities such as Calgary, Toronto, or Vancouver will likely have jobs in your field, but the job market may be more competitive. In addition, smaller cities may offer other benefits such as:

  • Lower cost of living
  • Reduced competition for jobs

When you conduct labour market research, find out about the:

  • workforce overview for your profession
  • labour market trends
  • demographics that may be affecting your industry (for example, more people are leaving the workforce as the population ages, creating a labour demand in many industries).

Some important questions to consider:

  • What trends will impact the industry?
  • What are some areas for new growth within the industry in Canada?
  • What skills, knowledge, or experience do you have that will be highly valued or in demand?
  • What skills and knowledge do you think you may have to acquire or develop?


For more information about finding work in Canada, and  job search strategies, join our free webinar:

Learn all about how to find a job in Canada

2. Take advantage of pre-arrival settlement services

There are many pre-arrival services designed to help immigrants to Canada. Settlement services help newcomers adjust to life in Canada, and this includes help with employment services.

Some examples of pre-arrival services related to working in Canada include:

  • Finding job search tools and resources
  • Preparing your resume for the Canadian workplace
  • Getting your credentials recognized
  • Finding labour market trends for your industry in Canada

You can find information about occupation, or sector-specific organizations that can help you with your job search. For example, the British Columbia Construction Association Integrating Newcomers program matches people with a construction background to jobs across the province, even before you arrive in Canada! There are many free programs like this that are funded by the Canadian government and are free to join.

3. Improve or enhance your language skills

Canada has two official languages: English and French. If you can communicate in either one, or both of these languages, that’s a huge asset. However, you may need to improve or enhance your language skills to be more effective in the workplace.

You may want to take language classes before you leave, and continue after you arrive in Canada. Most professions use jargon that can make it difficult for newcomers in the workplace. When you arrive in Canada, you can take language training that is specific to your job or occupation. Language training is available for different occupations including:

  • Health care
  • Information technology
  • Business
  • And, other occupations

Your language skills will be essential to find work in your field, and to perform well in your role when you find your job.When you complete language training that is specific to your occupation, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with your clients, co-workers, and managers.


Take occupation specific language training prepare for Canada

4. Use LinkedIN to approach recruiters

While it can be a little more difficult to search for a job when you haven’t yet arrived in Canada, it’s still possible to begin the process. One way to begin is to reach out to recruiters on LinkedIN to make initial contact.  To work in Canada, you’ll need a Social Insurance Number and you can only apply for that once you have arrived. If you connect with recruiters in Canada, be clear about:

  • when and where you expect to arrive in Canada
  • what industry and types of jobs you’re searching for
  • your career goals and professional strengths

Recruiters may be willing to work with candidates who have not yet arrived, especially for job fields that are in high demand such as IT and the financial sector. This is where your labour market research comes into play. If you know where labour shortages exist, you can use this to your advantage.

Recruiters may want to conduct an initial screening interview by video conference to assess your:

  • strengths, skills, and knowledge
  • communication skills
  • body language and professional style

As with any job search, it takes time, persistence, and effort. You may find it easier to search for jobs in your field once you have arrived, but at least you can start to make connections.

When you start your job search strategy even before you arrive in Canada, you’ll set yourself up for success!

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