Sales and marketing job requirements usually include a university degree or college diploma in business administration or in a related field. You also require specialization in sales or marketing and experience as a sales, marketing or public relations representative.
Sales and marketing is a non-regulated profession, so you don’t need a license for this occupation. Learn more about job requirements, job search and interview techniques, professional associations and more to help you continue your career in Canada.
Before You Move to Canada
To help you achieve professional success, it’s important to gain a general understanding of the Canadian labour market before you arrive. Here are some steps that you can take before you arrive:
- Attend the Job Search Strategies and Techniques in Canada webinar to learn about the labour market.
- Research and plan your move to Canada at least three months before your arrival. You might even get a job before you arrive if you plan well.
- Contact professional associations in Canada such as the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA)and the Canadian Internet Marketing Association. The CMA is the only marketing association in Canada that embraces Canada’s major business sectors and all marketing disciplines, channels and technologies.
- Assess your language skills by taking an online self-assessment on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website.
- Improve your English or French (depending on your destination province); you may be required to prove your language competency. Even if you speak fluent English or French, it’s helpful to improve your language skills.
- Enroll in language classes while you are in your home country and continue them after you move to Canada.
- Gather and organize your official education, work and identity documents while still in your home country. You may need these papers for employment purposes, or if you are planning to pursue further education in Canada.
- Know other titles for your job in Canada to help you with your job search.
- Find out how to get a driver’s license in Canada and apply for it when you arrive. It will be useful when you get a job, or even to search for a job.
1. Understanding Sales & Marketing Job Requirements
To help you find a job faster when you arrive in Canada, it’s vital to understand sales and marketing job requirements.
Start Researching Sales and Marketing Job Requirements
To start your research, it’s helpful to read the National Occupational Classification (NOC) descriptor for the profession. The NOC provides a standard definition of jobs in Canada and is used by various groups, including job seekers. This will help you to ensure that your skills and experience match the job requirements in Canada.
The 2021 NOC for Advertising, marketing and public relations managers is NOC 10022. You can use this information to understand the job profile and example titles, main duties, and employment requirements. You’ll also find NOC codes for even related occupations including:
- Corporate sales managers (NOC 60010)
- Technical sales specialists (NOC 62100)
- Sales and account representatives (NOC 64101).
2. Employment for Sales & Marketing in Canada
Job prospects for sales and marketing positions vary in Canada. That’s why it’s vital to carefully research provincial and local job prospects and labour markets. With this information, you can identify where your skills and experience are most in-demand across Canada. And, when you identify the best job markets, you can begin to research cities.
Credential Recognition in Canada
Credential recognition is a process to verify and assess a person’s skills, competencies, and credentials in a fair and consistent manner. While sales and marketing are non-regulated professions in Canada, some employers do ask for your credentials’ evaluation. Mostly though, employers will assess your knowledge and experience and contact your professional references. So, before you spend money to get your credentials evaluated, check with the companies that you apply to find out if they require it.
Credentials Assessment Services
Several agencies assess international credentials to help newcomers to Canada access the education and employment they need.
If you are planning to enroll in a college or university program to upgrade your skills, you may require an educational assessment. However, be sure to contact the school that you plan to attend to determine what credential assessment agency to use. Some schools may have a preferred agency.
Make sure to highlight your international education and skills. In doing so, you may be able to get advanced standing, transfer some of your credits, and gain benefits from prior learning assessment options. If you can use your international credentials and experience to gain credit or course exemptions, you can complete your program more quickly. This can save you time and money when you are able to build on the existing education that you already have.
Academic Credential Service Providers
International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) – Alberta
The International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) – British Columbia
To find more academic evaluation services, click here.
How Do Credential Evaluation and Recognition Differ (Infographic)
Best Locations for Sales and Marketing Jobs in Canada
You can find sales and marketing jobs in many Canadian cities. However, you may want to broaden your search area to include smaller cities that are close to your destination city. For example, if you intend to live in Toronto, you might consider working in nearby cities such as Hamilton, or Markham. Both of these cities are within an hour’s driving distance of Toronto and competing for jobs may be easier.
The largest employers for sales and marketing professionals are the telecom companies, such as Rogers, Telus, and Bell. Banks such as Scotiabank, HSBC, RBC, CIBC and TD which all have their own marketing departments are other employers to check out. As a result of the changing media landscape, sales and marketing roles are less traditional and are more digital and data-driven.
You can also visit Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. This special designation recognizes Canada’s best employers for diversity and inclusion.
Sales and Marketing Resources
The Canadian Marketing Association has a rich resource library where you can find a number of publications, industry reports and newsletters. It’s important to stay current about what’s happening in the industry;
3. Upgrading Your Skills to Meet Sales & Marketing Job Requirements
Canadian employers put a high emphasis on soft skills. These are your personal attributes that enhance your interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike your hard skills, you can apply your soft skills broadly.
Soft skills, such as communication and leadership are important for sales and marketing professionals. That’s why it’s important to identify your strengths or areas that may need improving. If your hard skills will get you an interview, most probably it is your soft skills that will get you the job and contribute to high performance.
Though not a must, upgrading your education and skills can be an important part of your journey to become a successful sales and marketing professional in Canada.
Enhancing Your Language Skills to Meet Sales and Marketing Job Requirements
You may have strong sales and marketing skills, but often that is not enough to get a job or maintain it. You may need more training or skills upgrading, especially related to language skills.
Strong communication skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages, English or French, are important for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English or French will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you live.
You may be eligible for the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable English as a Second Language or French as a Second Language classes through the school boards or settlement agencies.
There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as job-specific language training and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT) in Ontario. And if you already speak one of Canada’s two official languages at a high level, learning the other one is a good option to gain better employment opportunities.
Bridging programs are a helpful way to transition from your international experience and training to the Canadian workplace. While there aren’t many bridging programs specifically related to sales and marketing, you can find continuing education courses that you can enroll in.
Sales and Marketing Connections
The program helps internationally trained sales and marketing professionals find employment in their field in Ontario. The program includes business communications coaching, occupation-specific language training and sector-specific employment services.
Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs)
The program helps IEPs transition into a position that matches their education, credentials and experience. IEPs receive an individual, customized action plan tailored to their goals and career path.
Many immigrants pursue higher education after they arrive in Canada. Some want to change careers or enhance their careers with a Ph.D. or MBA. Read more about the benefits of higher education and Canadian university and college resources.
4. Job Search Techniques for Sales & Marketing
The Canadian job market is competitive and finding a job in Canada may be very different than in your home country. There are many ways that you can search for jobs in the sales and marketing sector. These tips can help you to gain a competitive advantage:
- Join sales and marketing job-finding or networking clubs through immigrant-serving agencies.
- Attend sales and marketing career fairs and regularly check online job boards.
- Seek out a mentor in the sales and marketing field who would give you valuable insights and introduce you to their professional network.
- Have a strong and active presence on social media channels like LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Join sales and marketing LinkedIn groups, where you can contribute content, ask questions, and connect with other professionals in Canada.
- Create a portfolio of your projects, documents, reference letters, testimonials and recommendations. If you have won awards, make sure that you show them off. It might not be accepted in your home country, but in Canada, you need to speak about your awards and achievements.
Take Advantage of Free Immigrant Settlement Services
Many settlement agencies offer services to help you with your Canadian job search. These free services can help you to find job vacancies, update your resume, write a Canadian-style resume and cover letter, and prepare for interviews. Many of these services offer both pre-and post-arrival services, so you can get started even before you arrive in Canada.
Click the link to find immigrant services in your area.
Build Connections through Effective Networking
Networking is an important activity that can help you discover job leads, gain information, and meet others to expand your connections. As many job vacancies are not advertised, your connections can keep you informed about these roles.
Good places to network include conferences, associations, and education events. They are ideal to meet new people, build relationships, and share information.
LinkedIn is another important professional tool for networking. It is great to connect with former colleagues and employers, gather information about companies, search for jobs, and get introductions to other professionals in your field. You can also mingle with people in the sales and marketing sector and join some related professional groups such as CAMP Networking and Multicultural Marketing Society of Canada.
Note that it’s not appropriate to ask a networking contact for a job, but if they know of any job leads, they may share them. Remember, that you have to allow time to cultivate and grow the ties you establish through networking. Nothing will happen overnight and therefore, you need to be patient.
Conduct Informational Interviews
An informational interview is a brief meeting no longer than 30 minutes. Ideally, you schedule the meeting with someone who currently works in sales and marketing so that you can learn more about the profession in Canada.
Your goal should be to learn more about the environment, a position, or industry. Avoid trying to get a job during an informational interview. By conducting an informational interview with a contact from your network you gain solid information about career options, industries, or companies. Your contact can also share their first-hand experience and impressions that can help you make vital career decisions.
Write Your Resume to Show How You Meet Sales and Marketing Job Requirements
Your sales resume has to show your talent for making new contacts, closing orders and generating referral business through effective account management.
If you are a Sales Executive, for example, your resume should include both account management and new business development. Show how you exceeded goals, as well as established, conveyed and implemented vision. Use your resume to demonstrate your experience launching new products and creating name recognition in a highly competitive marketplace.
Here are examples of phrases to consider:
- Researched previous customer advertising and identified viable customers to meet the $100,000 quarterly sales quota.
- Provided leadership and training to newly hired account executives and facilitated creative sales strategies.
- Managed accounts and developed new international business in Korea, China, India, Singapore, and other Asia-Pacific regions.
- Developed a loyal customer base and increased sales volume by 20% through personal attention to customer service.
Your marketing resume should show that you are a focused individual that is known for excellent interpersonal and communication skills. As well, highlight your ability to manage multiple projects with competing deadlines and establish competitive strategies to achieve success. For example, if you work in sports marketing, your resume should show that you can surpass competitors, aggressively increase market share and drive profit margins to higher levels.
Here are some examples of phrases to consider:
- Managed digital advertising campaigns, including concept development, and implementation.
- Designed and managed marketing programs including promotional strategies, brand integrity, and marketing collateral.
- Oversaw all aspects of marketing, including product management, segment and strategic marketing, roadmaps, product definition, R&D, partnerships, M&A valuation, business plans, profitability and growth.
Prepare for the Sales and Marketing Interview
Sales interviews are not interviews, but rather sales calls. Therefore, the first rule of interviewing for sales jobs is that you “don’t go to interview. You “go to sell” yourself.
The best way to prepare for a sales job interview is to practice responses to possible questions that an interviewer may ask you. Here are some questions that you could expect to answer:
- What do you consider the most important skills in sales?
- Is there any aspect of the sales process that you are particularly uncomfortable with?
- Is there anyone you struggle to sell to?
- What are some examples of your sales experience?
- Describe the most difficult sales call you have made and how did you prepare for it?
- Describe what your sales cycle was like in your last job?
- Describe a time that you had to change your sales approach.
- How do you handle the negotiation phase?
- When do you decide that it is time to let a potential client go?
- How do you handle rejection?
As sales is a very specific career field, the above sample questions represent only a small portion of the possible questions you may face. Research the company’s products, its target market, and sales strategy so that you can come up with more questions of your own and practice answering them.
Naturally, marketing job interviews have a lot of marketing-specific questions. When you are called for a job interview, you are going to be tested for your marketing spirit, in addition to your knowledge, your vision, and your ability to make decisions in the field.
Here are some common questions that you can expect during a marketing job interview:
- How do you generate your marketing plans?
- What measures do you use to assess if your marketing plan is working?
- How and when do you evaluate your marketing campaigns?
- Describe a marketing strategy that failed.
- Describe your most successful marketing campaign?
- How would you market our products if you were put on a severely limited budget?
These are only a sample of possible marketing job interview questions. There are thousands of other possible questions based on the type of company, its products and services, and marketing budget. Use the information that you gathered during your research about the company to prepare questions that you would like to learn more about. Ensure that your questions go beyond basic information anyone could find on the company’s website. This will show your genuine interest and knowledge of the company.
5. Sales & Marketing Associations in Canada
The following associations can provide information and offer professional development, education and networking opportunities.
Canadian Marketing Association (CMA)
The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) is the only marketing association in Canada that embraces Canada’s major business sectors and all marketing disciplines, channels, and technologies. Its programs help shape the future of marketing in Canada by building talented marketers and exceptional business leaders and by demonstrating marketing’s strategic role as a key driver of business success.
Canadian Internet Marketing Association (CIMA)
The Canadian Internet Marketing Association (CIMA) was formed by a group of Internet marketing professionals in Montreal and was officially launched in 2011. CIMA covers a number of web marketing avenues, including the following areas of note: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Sponsored Search, Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, and others.
Professional immigrant networks are member-based associations or networks created by and for immigrant professionals to:
- Create a forum to contribute to and enrich their respective communities, and
- Provide opportunities for members to find meaningful employment and achieve their professional goals.
Activities of networks include networking events, mentoring, information sessions, professional development opportunities such as workshops, speaker events, and training and connections to employment opportunities.
isans: Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia: helps newcomer professionals with their full economic and social integration in the province of Nova Scotia.
If you are settling in the Greater Toronto Area, you can also contact CAMP Networking. This is a professional immigrant association for new and established immigrants with a background in communications, advertising or marketing. This group meets regularly to share knowledge and experience. Being part of a similar group can give you valuable leads and connect you to successful members and employers.
CAMP (Communications, Advertising and Marketing Professionals) organizes monthly meetings and events where members build on the intellectual and social capital that can help them get ahead in Canada. CAMP provides a forum for members to network, explore career leads, share experiences, get up tips from industry leaders, volunteer their skills and time and make a difference in a cause they support.
For information, tools, free webinars, and more visit our Finding a Job in Canada resource page. Get the help you need to achieve your career goals in Canada!