First thing to do
The one of the first thing you would like to do after coming to Canada is to look for job. It is obvious. It is obvious for all of you, but the difference among individual is to look for a kind of job – job in your field of expertise or any job that earns bread and butter for you and your family. I am not saying that any of the above approach is wrong or right. Both can be right or both can be wrong – it depends on your efforts.
Finding job in your field of expertise
Let us consider the first one. It is very natural for us to think about the job in the field. When you worked as a Mechanical Engineer - designing hydraulic pumps why should you not look for job in your field. Good decision. You must put enough efforts to look for the job. Remember it may be easy – in some cases only couple of weeks or it may be tough – more than a year to find a job in your field.
Once you decided to find a job in the field, you need various sources of job.
Newspaper is most common source according to everyone. It is not completely wrong though. Newspapers are easily available and print media is still considered main stream advertising media.
I am not going into statistics but the public jobs – the jobs which you see in the newspaper are just few of the available jobs in the market – the rest are just filled in by internal references, through the employment agencies and only when those sources are dried out they are advertise in the news paper. This is much like your home country.
So though the newspaper is good source of job – it is not the only source. Keep reading newspaper – you will have an idea about the job market in your field. What skills they are asking for, do they always ask for experience, is there any related job industry where you can switchover etc. It also helps you to improve your resume. (Again preparing resume itself is another topic of discussion). In the newspaper you can mostly see advertisements from Government and Big Corporations. Most the small players would like to depend on another channels.
Internet – Job Sites
The next big source is job sites on the Internet. Yes, I know you are aware of it, but I want to make a point here. What sites you is looking for? Do you have enough lists of all job search sites? Are those job search sites do cover your fields? Do they have enough jobs in your city or province?
Ideally you should be getting list of job search sites that is complete in nature. But there are no such things. Friends will tell your list of the sites they use. And it works sometimes. But when the economy is down and market is full of people - who are looking for job, only such lists are not complete. You have to maximize it. Speak with people. Only Workopolise.com or Monster.ca are not going to do magic. They can but you should maximize your search efforts. Keep on looking at other sites also.
How to Search for jobs on Job Search Site?
Once you located sites for your job search, often it is not easy to search for the job you are looking for. The technology sites are using is different and often it is lengthy process to find a job. Suppose you are living in Markham Area and looking for Pharmaceutical jobs in Greater Toronto Area, you may have difficulties in locating such jobs. Often you have to go through menus and prompts to access list of jobs in Toronto Area. Here are some tips for faster and accurate searching.
If you are looking for accounting job and would like to stay in the Toronto Area, try this in the search box. “Accountant AND Toronto”. Most the sites without any hitch or going through lengthy page navigation you should be able to see jobs with word “Accounting” and also “Toronto” in your list. This may sometimes gives you few unrelated jobs, but it should be ok as far as you are able to browse through different jobs. Sometimes giving too general words will result in many search results. You should narrow down the search results by becoming specific. For example accounting is general word, and it should be changed. Now if you change it to Accounting Assistant you may get less results, but chances are there that you will miss many jobs with title “Accounting Clerk” which does the same job! So try each and every combination you think will match with your job.
Since Accounting Assistant or Accounting Clerk is title rather than job function, I would rather like to put the job function for better search. If you are in the field of “Pay Role” and “Taxation” you should put search like this: “(“Pay Role” OR Taxation) AND Toronto”. Please look at the double quote around Pay Role, as is not a single word you must put quotes around it to make the search engine search the entire word as a whole rather than Pay and Role separately. And also look at the brackets. It tells the search engines to give you jobs in Toronto and with either Pay Role or Taxation as a job function.
The AND, OR etc. are the words telling search engines how to treat them. When you don’t specify anything it treats them as AND. Please try above and you will see the difference.
There are more things to work on. You need to know the synonymous (similar) names of the same thing you were using at back home. For example technician is very common word here as compare to back home. Drafting Technician as compare to AutoCAD Operator.
On this site you can find list of job sites.
Automatic e-mail search setting from Job Search Sites
This is a must, if you are aggressively looking for job. Most of the job search sites have e-mail notification robots. Once your register with any such site, you can opt for e-mail notification. All you need to do is to provide the Keywords you are looking for and your e-mail address and they will send you matching e-mails directly to your e-mail box at regular interval. You don’t need to visit the site daily and look for job. All you need to do is to check your e-mails and if there is a perfect match – apply.
Put your resume on Job Sites
This is something different. Rather than you are looking for job- let others look for you. It is reverse of a potential employer displaying a job on the job site you are posting your availability on the same site. And believe me it works! It works much better than any other means. Provided you have put good resume with skills that are in demand.
Other Sources to try on Internet
Now when you are using web again don’t restrict your job search to job search sites only. You can find more hidden jobs by using alternate technique.
Search for the industries in your field. How to do this? It is simple. There are many categorised search engines, which can list all the industries in a particular city.
For example I am a Civil Engineer and looking for list of companies in the Construction and Maintenance Industry in Ontario or Toronto region. Here is what I would do.
Go to http://www.google.com as it has got categorized listing. I clicked on Category option on the top. It brought me a page with lot of categories. As I was looking for Canada pages, and I could not find it, I focused on Regional, and found North America listed below it. I clicked on it and it brought me on a page where Canada was greatly listed!! I clicked on it and got a page where Ontario was there. I clicked on Ontario and found a page with various categories like Art and Entertainment, Health etc. I could find a link called “Business and Economy” and click on it. Wow, now Construction is listed there. I clicked on it and found a page with full of construction web site.
Interestingly I got a web site as http://www.ontariocontracters.com and it was good resource of all contractors in the province!!
Now I am closer to the finding of a job that is hidden. Many companies just prefer to post job opening on there own websites. So this is list is good for me to see if they have any opening or not. For example I located one company listed with this website and I visited there page. http://www.agm.on.ca/ On the site they have Employment Opportunity link (Which most of the sites have with couple of different names, Employment, Jobs etc.). I clicked on it and found one job which has following job description:
Engineer with 2 to 5 years experience in municipal design with a strong design background in CAD and other software programs. Construction inspection and surveying an asset. Candidate should be eligible for Profession Registration.
So I trapped into the hidden market now. I have opened my way of finding hidden sites which till now unknown to me. And hey! When I did not know how could other people know about it? And as very few people know about it, I have less competition to face and I should be OK!!!
The google.com as just one example. You should try different sites like - http://www.toronto.com, http://www.canada.com and also many other government sites. The tricks for searching might be different for each one, but once you penetrate the site you will find the entire world of opportunities!
Throw arrows in the Dark!!
Guess site names!
Another alternate (in absence of exact names of sites) is to try direct words like.
If you are mechanical engineer, you can try any of these sites:
Out of above many links didn’t worked, but those worked gave me lot of links related with Ontario and Mechanical Industry. And Wow, they have many jobs.
If you are looking for general jobs – try sites with any matching combination – like ontariojobs.com ontariojobs.ca torontojobs.com torontojobs.ca engineeringjobs.ca engineeringjobs.com accountingjobs.com accountingjobs.ca
Any (or All) of above should give you plenty of information.
Another thing to try is use any search engine and give matching words like “Engineer AND Toronto AND Jobs” and see the result! It will give you lots of link for know and unknown jobs sites that you never heard!
Mostly during your job search you will come across recruitment agencies or agents. Don’t discount them at all, just because they are not the employers. They are bridge between you and the employers. As a newcomer you might be not knowing where to look for, or for which skills to look for. Whenever you got a call from any recruitment agents give him full information. Don’t hide any of your skills. Tell frankly and he should be able to help you design your resume as per specific job. In most of the situation, they are able to help people. After all he is earning from you, so he must pay attention to you.
Design resumes based on your job search
Once you have enough information regarding jobs and industry, the best you can do is to improve your resume. While improving resume is although a separate topic itself – with your search about industry here you have to modify the way you are presenting your skill sets. No, there is no cheating here – but only the way you want to put things is different. May be you have worked on many different applications but here certain are in demand, you may need to highlighted those. Even in some cases suppressing job skills is beneficiary thought it looks weird?
Self evaluation based on market demand
The most important is evaluating you. If your skills are not what exactly the industry is looking for be ready to upgrade yourself. If everyone is asking for some high-tech skills in addition to the basic skills go and get it. For example if you don’t know AutoCAD which is required to perform an Electrical Engineers job anywhere in Canada go and gain that knowledge before you apply.
Attend Seminars: The best approach if you don’t fear meeting people!
Another effective way to may your way out and get possible best job is to addend seminar in your field. Though as an individual it might prove costly, you can always join any professional organization in the city with annual membership you can join all the seminars.
The seminars will give you knowledge about industry and people in the industry. It will also allow you to come to contact with other people and other people will also notice you. If the topic of the seminar is on the subject you familiar with, grab that opportunity with both hands. If you have good communication skills (with proper slow paced English) you can raise question or supplement the information provided by the speaker or anyone else. If you have fear to speak against people, you can use the breaks to connect with people – join any group and after introducing yourself you can start speaking about the stuff going on around the topic – and see – you should get a job in few days- as you might be directly talking to engineering managers of a company!!