This is a guest post from good friend and recent immigrant Jaafar Jabbar (see below for his full profile), after recently immigrating to Canada in late 2019!
Finding a job – the thing every new comer is obsessed with, and rightly so. Full disclosure, I have yet to land a job, however I have made strides and feel I can provide some valuable insight into this aspect as well.
First things first, no matter how great your background is back home, be willing to manage your expectations when coming into this job market. A lack of Canadian experience does impact your chances unless you can showcase your ability to merge into this culture, know its nuances and do really well.
Regardless of which city you land in, the job market is chalk full of applicants for a small number of posted positions. Remember, you are not just competing with new immigrants, but Canadians who are either unemployed or looking for new job opportunities – so you must be willing to put in that extra effort daily.
As such, standing out can be hard.
LinkedIn, Indeed, Jobillico and Ziprecuiter have all been great websites for identifying openings. Use an excel sheet to make note of the applications you are submitting. Make sure your resume is in the standard Canadian format and do write a cover letter for applications that ask for them.
I know it’s a tedious task, but like I used to tell all my candidates that were in the job market back when I was recruiting in Pakistan, “when you’re unemployed, finding a job should be your full time job”.
Block out 6-8 hours a day to send out those applications and keep at it. Even the best of us will have to persist and not give in to all the negativity that you might find yourself surrounded with. Do not ignore the naysayers, but rather ask them what would they do differently, what suggestions they might have and how you can alter your approach etc.
When not sending out applications, send out connection requests to people you feel are already doing well in your industry and strike up a conversation. Not everyone will respond, and that’s okay. Offer to take them out for a quick coffee and you’ll be surprised how many will be willing to meet you. Have a list of questions you feel are unique to your background and be inquisitive about what struggles they faced and how they overcame them.
Do NOT ask for a job – nothing turns off people faster than feeling the person is only interested in the job and not them.
If you continue to put in the time, effort and be willing to network, eventually you’ll land on your feet. Good luck!
This is a guest post kindly written by Jaafar Jabbar, a recent immigrant to Canada and a recruitment and HR professional with over 5 years’ experience, and a track record in driving growth through innovation and customer engagement. His skill sets include executive search, recruitment, training and development, P2P sales, client and stakeholder management and customer satisfaction and retention.