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This article was updated more than 6 months ago. Some information may be outdated.

Graduates around the world looking to enter the labour market and give themselves the best possible career opportunities could do a lot worse than consider moving to Canada. Graduate jobs in Canada come in all sectors, across a diverse range of cities.

Graduates around the world looking to enter the labour market and give themselves the best possible career opportunities could do a lot worse than consider moving to Canada. Graduate jobs in Canada come in all sectors, across a diverse range of cities.

Moreover, Canada’s economic immigration programs place a strong emphasis on higher education, making it easier for graduates to settle in Canada. And even if arriving as a permanent resident is not an immediate option, graduates may be able to begin work in Canada on a work permit before transitioning to permanent residence at a later stage.

These top tips will help graduates plan for success as they embark on their Canadian adventure.

1. Canadianize your resume

While searching for graduate jobs in Canada you will need to provide a typed resume. You will need to adapt to the resume format in Canada and present your experience and skills in the local way. Knowing how and when to use it is also essential; tailor the content to fit each job description and make yourself stand out. Resumes that outline duties, but ignore value, won’t get you far. Quantify what you brought to your previous jobs in real, numerical terms. Get excited about what you have achieved — if you can’t, then no employer will.

2. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn allows you to organize your professional connections, build an online presence and leverage common connections with other members of your network. The purpose is to build connections that can assist you in meeting your professional objectives. Whether you are searching for a job, keeping up to date on your field, or looking to advance your career, you will find LinkedIn can help you achieve your goal.

Also ensure that you clean up your social media presence. Those photos of the crazy booze-fueled weekend last year and the expletive-filled Twitter war you had with a C-list celebrity should really be deleted.

Learn how to use LinkedIn to your advantage

3. Use the phone instead of email

It’s always more difficult to get someone’s attention by email, so use the telephone or meet in person where possible. When you do need to use email, don’t be afraid to follow up as people are busy and it’s important to show people you’re keen to get their help. Work on your phone manners and always be clear, sincere and engaging.

4. Informational interviews

As you search for graduate jobs in Canada, don’t feel shy about contacting and meeting people in your industry.

The informational interview is an important tool for you to use in your job hunt, as it’s a popular way of networking within your industry in Canada. You will be amazed at how friendly and open people will be to meeting with you if you take the chance and ask. An informational interview is essentially the art of leveraging or making a new contact within your industry and getting together to learn more from this person about how this sector operates. It’s a casual interview where the end goal is to learn about how your industry works in Canada and increase your chances of finding employment. Getting informational interviews set up requires research and networking, and together these form part of a coordinated job search strategy that will work.

5. Print business cards

Fumbling around with your phone or pen and paper looks unprofessional, and the person with whom you are speaking is unlikely to contact you as a result. It’s cheap and easy to have a batch of business cards made up, so once you have a local phone number you can get them done. Keep it simple — number, email, address, full name, profession — and always keep a few on your person (in your wallet or purse, for example). Going for a walk? Bring cards. Heading out for a drink with a friend? Bring cards.

6. Be persistent in your search for graduate jobs in Canada

The job seeking process can take months in Canada, so make sure you follow up after initial contact and don’t give up if they don’t reply immediately. “Thank you” emails after an interview set you apart from other candidates. If finance is an issue, consider getting a part-time job in another field while you establish yourself and your career in Canada.

7. Create your “elevator pitch”

Be prepared to answer the question “So what brings you here?” This is your cue to communicate your value. The phrase comes from the idea that you should be able to communicate your message to a stranger over the time span of a typical elevator ride. Grab a pen and paper and formulate your pitch. Practice makes perfect. Ensure you practice aloud to woo strangers.

‘My name is Sophie Williamson, I’m an accountant with three years’ experience at a major firm in London and I have just arrived here from the UK. I love it here so far and I’m really excited about growing my career in Canada. How have you found working in {name company/city/sector here}?’

8. Be selective

Targeted job applications stand a far better chance of achieving success (i.e. interview/job offer) than generic applications sent to a wider range of employers. These employers share information and are likely to notice that someone is sending the exact same resume and cover letter to each and every one, so tweak your resume to suit the job description, write a cover letter tailored for the job, and find a contact within the company to whom you can address that letter.

Learn how to write a quality cover letter

9. Get accredited

Your profession may require your foreign qualifications to be accredited in Canada. Professions such as teaching, physiotherapy, nursing, and social work, among others, usually require additional accreditation. This process can take up to six months so do your research and plan ahead. See this list for professions and trades across all provinces.

10. Learn more about your industry and do things the Canadian way

This is a catch-all for the nine points above. Via informational interviews, gaining accreditation (if necessary), writing a solid Canadian resume and networking, you will be learning more about your industry and how things are done in Canada. This is basic ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ stuff, and it’s not just polite to act this way — it’s also hugely advantageous as you search for graduate jobs in Canada.

Where to next?

Find construction and engineering jobs today. We’ve recently rebranded the Moving2Canada Recruitment agency under the name Outpost Recruitment.

About the author

Hugo O'Doherty profile picture

Hugo O'Doherty

Canadian Immigration & Integration Specialist
Hugo O’Doherty has over a decade of experience and research in Canadian immigration, establishing him as a recognized authority on immigrant integration and adaptation. His personal and professional experiences with immigration have made him an expert on the practical aspects of successfully moving to and settling in Canada.
Read more about Hugo O'Doherty
Citation "10 Tips for Graduates Moving to Canada." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation


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