Landing your first job in Canada


We’ve all felt the emotional highs and lows that come with job hunting. If you are new to the city or country, those emotions of excitement and angst may intensify as you search for a job in an unfamiliar market.   “Deciding to leave the familiar and move to a new country is a major decision,” says Ivy Chiu, Senior Director, Cultural Markets, RBC. “Taking steps to build your network before you begin your job search will help set you up for success in today’s labour market.”

Consider these tips: 

  • Start your search before you arrive: Technology has made it easier to start your job search before you arrive in Canada. Check out popular sites ( to look for jobs in your industry.
  • Find Workshops: There are many associations that offer free career assistance for newcomers including services such as resume building, skillsbuilding and interview practice. Find one in your neighbourhood and take advantage of the services offered, and use it this opportunity to build your network as well. In Toronto, one of the popular associations is ACCES Employment (ca) which connects employers with qualified employees from diverse backgrounds.
  • Sign up for internships and volunteer opportunities: While earning an income is the first priority for many, as you navigate through the job market, seek out opportunities to gain experience, network and discover what career path you wish to pursue. You never know –it may lead to a promising career you hadn’t considered.
  • Cross check credentials: You may be coming with a set of skills from home that needs updating in Canada. Find out what updates you need to make prior to applying to jobs in your specific field.
  • Build language proficiency: If English or French is not your first language, build your proficiency by signing up for a language course. Remember that business acumen is different than just knowing the language. Seek out associations ( that may offer the service for free or at a discount.
  • Searching for a job will likely always come with the same flurry of emotions. Taking the steps to be prepared and put your best foot forward will help as you navigate your way through the process.

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