Canada offers a wide range of great immigration programs for individuals from foreign countries. This includes the three Federal programs under the Express Entry system and the dozens of programs under the Provincial Nominee Programs.
Prospective immigrants who want to start a new life in Canada are often surprised to learn how competitive the immigration system is. For example, hundreds of thousands of people apply for Federal immigration programs each year.
Still, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) selects only a few thousand applicants and sends them an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
The good news is that applicants can boost their chances of being selected if they possess a valid job offer from a recognized Canadian employer.
It is not easy at all, but not impossible.
There are multiple factors that can increase your chances of getting a job offer from a Canadian employer. It may be your specialized industry, your exceptional skills, your consistent job vacancy applications, your networking skills, etc.
If you currently reside outside Canada, you may be wondering about the different ways to land a Canadian job offer. This guide will examine some actionable tips to get a job offer from outside Canada.
📝 In this article:
- 😥 Challenges of Getting a Job Offer from Outside Canada
- 💡 Tips to find a Job Offer from Outside Canada
😥 Challenges of Getting a Job Offer from Outside Canada
Before we discuss how to get a job offer from Canada, it is important to understand some of the challenges associated with this process.
The truth is that employers generally prefer hiring Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents for job vacancies. This is due to the following reasons:
1. Completing a Positive LMIA
Canadian employers who wish to hire foreigners to fill job vacancies must complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and demonstrate that no Canadian citizens or permanent residents were available to fill the position.
This LMIA process can be time-consuming, so employers generally prefer to hire local Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Some Canadian employers may be willing to go through the LMIA process if the foreign candidate possesses exceptional skills that make them a much better choice than local Canadian candidates.
2. Familiarity with the Canadian Business Environment
Some employers may avoid hiring foreign workers if they believe they aren’t familiar with Canadian business environments. This issue is more likely to occur for jobs in Human Resources departments that require interpersonal skills and a good understanding of how people conduct business in Canada.
3. Assistance With Getting a Work Permit
Foreign workers who wish to work inside Canada legally are required to acquire a work permit with the help of their employer.
Some employers may want to avoid spending time helping their future employees with this task, so they may prefer to hire a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident instead.
4. Assurance the Employee Will Remain in Canada
Some Canadian employers may choose to hire Canadian citizens and permanent residents over foreigners due to the certainty that they will remain in Canada in the future.
Foreign workers who enter Canada with a temporary work permit are usually required to leave the country when their status expires. This means there is no guarantee they will be able to work for their employer in the long run. This uncertainty discourages many employers from hiring foreign workers.
💡 Tips to find a Job Offer from Outside Canada
Prospective foreign workers can overcome some of the challenges mentioned above by following these tips:
1. Connect With Employers on LinkedIn
Most Canadians apply for jobs online using websites such as Indeed and Glassdoor. Foreign workers can also submit their resumes for job applications on these sites. However, their application is less likely to be considered if hundreds of other candidates have applied to the same position.
👀 One possible workaround for this job hunt issue is to connect with the company’s hiring manager directly on LinkedIn.
This requires you to research the company and learn which employee is in charge of making hiring decisions. You can then locate this hiring manager on LinkedIn, connect with them, and explain why you are a great candidate for the job opening directly.
Some hiring managers are more receptive to this approach as it saves them the trouble of sifting through hundreds of resumes to choose a suitable candidate.
Foreign workers who use this approach should ensure their resume is adapted to the Canadian style and that they pitch their skills to this hiring manager in a convincing manner.
2. Adapt Your Resume to the Canadian Style
We mentioned adapting your resume to the Canadian style in the above tip. This approach helps you get noticed by Canadian employers as it presents your information in a format they are familiar with.
You should ensure your current resume is adapted to the Canadian style before reaching out to Canadian employers.
Some key details to include in your Canadian resume are:
- Your work experience is presented in chronological order (oldest to newest).
- Information related to any past volunteering experience.
- Links to any relevant professional social media profiles such as LinkedIn.
- Keywords adapted for each job application.
👀 Most Canadian resumes are up to two pages in length. You should avoid making your resume longer than this unless you have many decades of work experience and apply for a senior-level position.
In most cases, it is helpful to keep a “master” resume that documents your entire work history. You can then create smaller versions of this resume that contain key work history details that are relevant to the job you are applying to.
3. Use Provincial Job Bank Sites
Foreign workers can also lookup jobs in their chosen province at the Government of Canada Job Bank website. This job website allows you to filter jobs based on occupation type, location, employment conditions, language at work, period of employment, and salary.
For example, if you possess two years of work experience, speak English well, have a University degree, and are seeking a full-time sales position in Vancouver, you can navigate to the Advanced search page and type “Sales” under the Job Title field. You can then select:
- “Day” under Employment Conditions
- “English” under Language at Work
- “Full Time” under Hours of Work
- “British Columbia” and “Vancouver Island and Coast Region” under Princes and territories
- “Sales and service occupations” under Job categories
- “University” under Education or training
- “1 year to less than 3 years” under Years of experience
You can then click the “View Results” button near the top of the page to see the job listings that fit your criteria. Once you have read through a job posting you are interested in, you can click the “Show how to apply” button near the bottom of the page to complete the job application.
4. Apply for Jobs Outside Major Cities
Many foreign workers are eager to get jobs in Canada’s major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal. However, job postings in such cities also attract Canadians from other parts of the country.
👀 A single job posting in Toronto is likely to receive hundreds of applications from prospective job seekers. This reduces your chances of ever receiving an interview for such a posting. The good news is that job postings outside major cities tend to be less competitive.
For example, a job posting in Hamilton, Ontario, may receive a few dozen applicants. Job seekers who apply to positions in smaller cities have a much higher chance of receiving an interview. Hamilton is also only an hour’s drive from Toronto. This means it is possible to live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) while working in a smaller and more affordable city.
5. Apply for In-Demand Jobs
As mentioned earlier, it’s not uncommon for job postings to receive dozens or even hundreds of applications from prospective job seekers. This is due to the supply of job seekers exceeding the demand for workers by a wide margin. Such scenarios are less likely to occur for “in-demand” jobs where there are a high number of positions to fill.
👀 You should note that these “in-demand” jobs vary from province to province. For example, there is a high demand for plumbers in British Columbia in 2022. Similarly, there is a high demand for transport truck drivers in Saskatchewan in 2022.
Prospective foreign workers should look up which occupations are “in-demand” for their chosen provinces before applying for jobs.
6. Learn French
Canada’s two primary official languages are English and French. However, the vast majority of the country speaks English. The country’s Quebec province is the only one where French is widely spoken.
👀 Many job postings in Quebec require applicants to be fluent in French. This discourages most foreign workers and Canadians from other provinces from applying to positions in Quebec. This also gives foreign workers who speak French advantage in applying for jobs in the province.
Foreign workers who would like to boost their chances of getting a Canadian job offer should consider learning French if they have the time and resources. There are many free online resources such as Duolingo and Mondly to help you understand the language and become fluent in reading, speaking, and writing in French within one year.
7. Visit Canada on a Tourist Visa
Prospective foreign job seekers who are having difficulty applying for jobs online may have better luck by visiting Canada on a visitor visa and applying for jobs in person.
Once you have acquired your visitor visa, you can enter Canada and look for job opportunities in person. If you have already compiled a list of possible employers, you can visit their offices and attempt to speak with their hiring managers.
Applying for jobs through this method gives you an advantage over other foreign applicants because you can demonstrate your language skills and understanding of the Canadian business environment in person.
Foreign workers can also spend their visits attending job fairs across the country. There are many general job fairs as well as industry-specific job fairs held throughout the year. Visiting these job fairs allows you to understand better which jobs are in-demand and network with company employees that may be able to help you land job placements.