Generic placeholder imageApplying to Jobs

Applying to jobs in Canada may be different than applying to jobs in your home country. In some cases, you may hear about a job opening through friends or family. In other cases, you may have to get out there and start applying on your own. This is why it is important to have a résumé and cover letter ready to distribute. These 2 documents are crucial in conveying to employers how your skills, experience and knowledge meet the job requirements. You have to ‘sell’ yourself to the employer, and stand out from the crowd. Do not be afraid to ‘flaunt’ your skills or experience. This is expected in a résumé and cover letter. Details matter! Something as minor as an unprofessional email address can be a deciding factor for an employer. The following information will be useful for you to know as you start applying to jobs in Canada.
 

The Résumé

■ Canadian–style résumés might be different from résumés in your home country. Canadian résumés come in various formats, but there are specific rules that they all share. In most cases, hiring managers expect a chronological résumé (which is more time-based) rather than a functional résumé (which is more skill-based).
 
■ You can have a few different résumés for the different jobs that you apply for. It should be point-form and short (maximum 2 pages). On average, employers will spend 8 seconds reading a résumé. Thus, if you can’t capture their attention in those 8 seconds, you may have lost your chance of getting an interview.

Here are the key components to a typical résumé:

Great Résumé Tips!

 
· Research the company and position you are applying for.
 
· Google search your name to see what employers may read about you online. Also, create or update your LinkedIn profile.
 
· Create a professional email address.
 
· Focus more on your accomplishments rather than your responsibilities.
 
· Use strong, persuasive verbs such as utilized, developed, managed, resolved instead of weak verbs such as worked and used. See a list of action verbs here.
 
· Use a clear, easy-to-read and consistent format, with headings and bullet points.
 
· Proofread your résumé carefully or have someone else look it over. Mistakes or typos on a résumé are a big NO.

Samples, Links & Resources


If you are looking for work, or need assistance creating or editing your resume, contact us: 416-767-4595. We will be happy to assist you.

The Cover Letter

A cover letter must not repeat too much of what you already said in your résumé. Rather, it should provide a brief summary of why you believe you are an ideal candidate for that position. Try to convince the employer why their company should hire you over other candidates. What is it that you can bring to the company?

Cover Letter Tips!

 
· Keep the header layout and font the same as your résumé.
 
· Address it to a specific person (include their name, department etc.)
 
· Start the letter with a catchy, attention-grabbing statement.
 
· Keep it short and to the point. Cover letters should not exceed 1 page. Only include relevant information that sells you.
 
· Demonstrate what you can bring to the company and mention some of your accomplishments.
 
· End the letter with a polite request to meet for an interview. And don’t forget to say ‘Thank you’.
 

Click here for cover letter samples.

The Interview

If you get a call back to come in for an interview– congratulations! You are one step closer to getting the job you want. The interview is your chance to convince the employer that you are the right person for the job. In an interview, the employer tries to see if you have the skills and personality they are looking for, as well as if you will work well with other employees. The interview is also a good time to find out if the company is a place where you would like to work. Interviews can be intimidating. It is important to prepare yourself by practicing your interview skills. Firm handshake, eye contact and researching the company are all great tips, but there is a lot more to know.

If you have questions about job interviews, please contact us. Our counsellors would be happy to provide you with information, guidance and support: 416-767-4595

Preparing for a Job Interview
How to Answer 50 Most Common Interview Questions
Behaviour-Based Interview Questions
Job Interview Preparation

Job Search

Before you decide to apply, ask yourself these questions: Do you meet the requirements? What strengths do you have that would be relevant in this position? Is it a job you will enjoy? Spending time applying to jobs that you are not really interested in, which do not utilize your skills will only hinder your chances of success. If you are interested in a particular company you can always check for job opportunities on their website. In fact, majority of job applications today are done online.

Here is a list of popular job search websites:


Networking

You may have heard the popular quote “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” But more recently, this phrase has become “It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows YOU!” And this is very true in the workforce today.
Put simply, networking means talking to people and developing relationships with them. It can be an informal chat with a neighbour, to a more formal meeting with a person in an organization. Networking allows you to develop new contacts and grow your personal network.
One great way to meet employers and other professionals is to attend career fairs. Newcomers Canada hosts the Newcomer Career Fair across Canada. Check their website to see when the next fair will take place. Also check your local newspaper, libraries or community boards for other networking events.

Employment Centres and Agencies

You may also wish to visit an employment centre near you, to gain more hands-on skills when it comes to creating a résumé, preparing for job interviews or applying to jobs. Employment centres provide employment workshops and one-on-one support.
YMCA employment services
JobStart
JVS Toronto
 
There are also employment agencies that help you find jobs. These agencies are usually private companies, but they should not charge you for their services. Employment agencies make money by charging the company that hires you through them or they might take a percentage of your pay. Different agencies have different kinds of services. Some place you in short-term or temporary jobs and others place you in long-term or permanent jobs.