Job Search Strategies in Canada for ITA (Express Entry) Recipients


Receiving an ITA means you have been selected to submit an application for permanent residence to Canada, bringing you significantly closer to the final step for your immigration process. As you should know, you have 60 days to submit your complete application, after which IRCC aims to process 80% of these applications within six months.

The waiting period for your application to be processed is the ideal time to prepare yourself to enter the Canadian job market. What can you do in these six months? Start by making professional connections and explore the job market in Canada. Here's how.

1. Online Networking

Online networking often begins with LinkedIn, a must-have for professionals around the world. Create an optimized LinkedIn profile that highlights your skills, past experience, and education. Actively participate in professional groups related to your field to increase your visibility. You can also follow Canadian companies that interest you and interact with their posts to get noticed.

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Don't limit yourself to LinkedIn. Other platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, also offer opportunities to connect with professionals and groups in your industry. Join specific groups where you can share articles, ask questions, and participate in discussions. It is an effective tool for keeping you up to date with market trends and positioning yourself as an expert in your field.

2. Job fairs and webinars

Online career fairs are a way to meet employers without having to travel. Search for industry-specific events or general trade shows offered by Canadian organizations. These events are often free for job seekers and can put you directly in touch with recruiters. Prepare your presentation and some relevant questions for employers in advance.

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Webinars are not only useful for learning specific skills or understanding industry trends, but also for establishing professional contacts. Register for webinars offered by Canadian companies or professional associations, and don't hesitate to actively participate in question-and-answer sessions to increase your visibility.

3. Mentoring Programs

Mentoring programs are offered by many organizations, particularly through Canadian professional associations. These programs connect you with professionals who can give you valuable advice, introduce you to important networks, and help you navigate your new career in Canada. Check professional association websites to find suitable programs.

A mentor can help you understand the particularities of the Canadian job market and adapt your approach to job searching. Use this special link to ask specific questions about the work culture, employer expectations and even get recommendations for open positions.

4. Internships and volunteering

Internships are a fast route to gaining relevant experience and Canadian references. Although these positions are sometimes unpaid, they can be a valuable investment in your career. Sites like Indeed or Glassdoor often list internship offers in various sectors.

Volunteering can enhance your CV, expand your network and give you a practical understanding of the Canadian professional environment. Look for opportunities that match your field to maximize the relevance of this experience. Platforms like Volunteer Canada can help you find positions that suit your skills and interests.

5. Continuing education and certification

Certain trades and professions in Canada require specific certifications to practice legally. Learn about the requirements for your profession in Canada and enroll in courses that offer these certifications. Establishments like Coursera and Udemy offer courses that can be completed remotely.

Continuing education can help you stay up to date with the latest technologies and practices in your field. It also shows employers your commitment to your professional development. Consider online learning programs or workshops offered by Canadian universities to strengthen your profile.

6. Remote Work Platforms

With the rise of teleworking, many Canadian companies are open to the idea of hiring professionals who are not yet physically present in Canada. For prospective immigrants, this represents a valuable opportunity to start working for a Canadian employer even before moving to Canada.

Websites like We Work Remotely, Remote.coand FlexJobs specialize in remote job postings. These platforms aggregate job postings from various industries, allowing you to filter searches based on your area of expertise and work preferences. They offer a variety of options from freelance work to full-time positions, and are particularly useful for those looking to gradually integrate into the Canadian job market.

7. Participation in pre-arrival programs

Pre-arrival programs are designed to help immigrants prepare for life and work in Canada before they even arrive. For example, programs funded by the Canadian government, such as Planning for Canada and PrepCan, offer comprehensive services that include information on the Canadian job market, advice on resume writing, interview preparation, and workshops on Canadian work culture.

Participating in these programs can give you a significant advantage, as you will receive advice tailored to your specific situation and professional goals. They often also provide resources to help you understand the regulatory and professional requirements specific to your field of activity. Additionally, these programs can help you establish an initial network by connecting you with other professionals planning their migration to Canada.

8. Use of recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can be a good way to find job opportunities, especially if you are new to Canada and have not yet established a strong professional network. These agencies have connections to companies that are actively looking to hire and understand the specific needs of employers as well as immigrant candidates. Agencies like Adecco, Randstadand Michael Page are well established in Canada and cover many sectors of activity.

To get the most out of a recruitment agency's services, it is important to maintain clear and open communication with your agent. Provide them with an up-to-date CV and specific details about the type of role you are seeking, your location preferences, and your salary expectations. Also be open to feedback and ready to adjust your expectations or approach based on the Canadian job market. Agents can also offer valuable advice on how to navigate job interviews and present your skills and experience optimally.

Challenge the statistics

Integrating into the job market is a crucial step for newcomers to Canada, and the numbers show that preparation in advance can make a big difference. According to Statistics Canada, in 2021, the employment rate of recent immigrants was 71 %, up from previous years. However, those who had prepared for integration before arrival had even higher employment rates, often comparable to those of the Canadian-born.

In 2023, the employment rate of recent immigrants aged 25 to 54 saw a significant increase, reaching growth of 10.7% since 2010, compared to growth of 4.1% among Canadian-born workers. These statistics show that efforts to improve immigrant integration are paying off, and that Canada continues to value and support its new residents.

We encourage you to take action today:

  • Sign up for a pre-arrival program such as Planning for Canada or PrepCan.
  • Start building your professional network on LinkedIn and actively participate in discussions in your field.
  • Find and register for upcoming virtual career fairs and webinars.
  • Contact recruitment agencies specializing in your industry to explore job opportunities.
  • Consider courses to obtain certifications needed for your profession in Canada through platforms like Coursera or Udemy.

The effort you put into your job preparation today can not only ease your transition to a new country but also accelerate your path to a successful and satisfying career in Canada. Don't wait until you arrive to start shaping your professional future – start now and be ready to seize opportunities the moment you set foot on Canadian soil.

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