Skip to main content

Navigating the Canadian Job Market When You’re New to Canada

By Keph Senett

Published July 14, 2023 • 4 Min Read

Finding work is a top priority when you’re new to Canada, but it can be done. You’ll need to learn about the Canadian job market, prepare your paperwork so you can submit job applications, ensure your credentials are competitive, and find a way to get local experience. These ten steps can help increase your chances of finding a job and introduce you to your new community.

1. Research the Canadian job market

Boost your chances of landing the job you want by researching the Canadian job market. A great place to start is with the Job Bank. Using this tool, you can search by occupation, wage range, or general outlook of the profession. The results page offers deep insight into the demand for occupations and shows pay ranges by province or territory and nationally. You can use this data to help decide where to settle, how to build your household budget, and if you think you should retrain.

2. Polish your resume

In Canada, most employers require a resume, so you should make sure yours is ready to go. If you don’t already have one, try searching online for a “free resume template.” Choose a professional design and insert your employment history. Resumes should be short, so use only your most recent and relevant information. Have a friend proofread it to make sure it’s error-free before you submit it.

Once you’re happy with your resume, you can look for work. Try popular online job portals like Workopolis, Indeed, Monster, and ZipRecruiter. Setting up a LinkedIn profile to connect with prospective employers is also a great idea.

You may have to write a cover letter summarizing your work experience to apply for a job.

  • Read the job description carefully and show how your experience matches their requirements

  • Use the same kinds of words and phrases they use in the posting

  • Make sure your letter is free of spelling or punctuation errors before you send it

3. Obtain Canadian credentials

Some professions require newcomers to upgrade their licensing or credentials before working in Canada. Check with a professional association in your industry for any requirements. If your qualifications need upgrading, look into further education.

4. Brush up on your language skills

If English or French is not your first language, consider taking a class or getting online help to improve your skills. A strong grasp of the language may greatly improve your employment prospects.

5. Visit a settlement agency

Settlement agencies for newcomers offer a variety of events and programs, such as language classes, employment programs, and networking opportunities. It’s a great idea to visit and see what they offer. At the very least, you’ll have a place to ask questions and get information.

6. Join a PIN

Professional immigrant networks (PINs) are groups for newcomers organized around a professional industry, such as education, finance or science. Joining a PIN is a great place to start meeting others in your industry. You can connect with others across Canada through your LinkedIn profile with Immigrant Networks or find a PIN in the Toronto region here.

7. Seek out programs for newcomers

Many Canadian companies have employment programs specifically designed to give newcomers work experience in their industry. RBC, for example, offers the Career Edge program that places workers in paid internships across sectors. These programs offer valuable work experience.

8. Consider temporary or contract work

Sometimes the best way to introduce yourself to a Canadian employer is to start out as a temporary or contract worker. These jobs often last several months, giving you some experience in a Canadian workplace, and may lead to full-time, permanent placement.

9. Volunteer

Many Canadian jobs require Canadian work experience, so newcomers have to be creative. Volunteering is one way to get Canadian experience while meeting new people and connecting to your community.

10. Network

Networking is simply interacting with others, and it’s an excellent way to help find a job and community connections. In addition to joining the groups and associations already mentioned, you can find networking opportunities at industry events, community centres, online groups, and professional meet-ups.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

Share This Article


New to Canada