Thanks to Lana Montgomery for her contribution to this article.
If you’re reading this then the likelihood is that you are looking for a marketing job in Canada. Moreover, there’s also a good chance that you’re a newcomer to the country and need some solid advice to get you started. If you fit this bill then you’ve come to the right place.
Similar to the banking, finance and accounting sectors, the three main marketing hubs in Canada are centered in the country’s three biggest cities: Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. These three cities are home to some of the most prestigious marketing agencies and companies in the entire country, and offer a range of marketing roles for the right candidate. So, whether you’re looking for an opportunity as a marketing manager, social media expert or search engine optimization (SEO) specialist, there will almost certainly be a range of positions that meet your skill-set in Canada.
That’s the good news for marketing professionals or recent graduates in Canada. The bad news is that the field is littered with competitive candidates so if you want to stand out from the crowd then you will need to be as prepared as possible. So, how can newcomers access these lucrative marketing jobs in Canada?
Create a cover letter that shines
Does your marketing resume read something like this?
Tasked with the management of all social media channels and marketing content for the advertising company I worked for.
If so, it’s time to turn your resume into a document that shines. To do that, make it speak in terms of situations faced, actions taken, and what those actions achieved for the company in terms of KPIs. Here we go:
I was exclusively responsible for creating engaging content that would increase brand awareness of our company across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. By implementing a detailed social media schedule, I was able to target our branded content to the audience that was most receptive to it. As a result, the company’s social media traffic and engagement metrics increased by 55 percent in one year.
Doesn’t this looks more like a smart marketing specialist, ready to solve problems for a Canadian business? Now, please don’t copy the above example into your resume. Instead, review every single bullet point of your resume and re-evaluate it according to this formula:
Problem/Situation >> Action taken >> Results/Achievement
Then make the necessary changes (and believe us when we say those changes are necessary).
When you take this advice on board, then you should expect to land an interview for a marketing opening sooner rather than later. When you do, it’s important to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible. To achieve this goal we recommend that you follow these top five tips:
- Be concise with your answers. Highlight your achievements but don’t ramble. Use your resume as a reference point.
- Ensure that you research the company you are interviewing for thoroughly. Show the manager or hiring manager that you’ve undertaken the necessary research about the company, but don’t show off.
- When you’re asked “why do you want to work for us?”, make sure you don’t talk about what you want. First, talk about their needs.
- When it comes time to list the attractive and unattractive aspects of the job description, list three or more attractive factors (for example: exciting opportunity, salary, remote working opportunities) and only one minor unattractive factor.
- Refer to past experiences that show you’ve had success in solving previous employer problems that may be similar to those of the prospective employer.
These are just some of the tips that will help you ace an interview.
First things first, as soon as you arrive — or better still, a week or two before you arrive — use Google, Linkedin and business directories from the city you hope to set up base in and come up with a list of companies in these or related fields.
Come up with a short, concise email that really sells your skill set and experience level. You don’t necessarily need to send your resume at this point. Don’t go into too much detail but see if they would be willing to meet you for a coffee to discuss how the marketing industry in Montreal for example, works.
Many marketing professionals know how hard the job market can be and may be willing to help you out or at least provide some invaluable tips on the jobs market in their city, province or more broadly in Canada. This could give you a foot in the door to give them a call later that week following up on your email.
Keep in mind that this person most likely won’t have a position available at that exact time, but they may know someone who does or have something coming up in the future. Also, remember that finding the right marketing job in Canada may take time so be patient and don’t lose heart if you haven’t sourced your dream job right away.
If you are on a working visa and you want to be up front about the duration of the visa dates it is a good idea to explain that you are able to extend this. Make it clear that you see your career developing in Canada. Companies are naturally wary about hiring you if you may need to leave in a few months.