- Participants Coming to Canada
Looking For Work In Canada
Remember, your stay in Canada is meant to be exciting, fun, and culturally enriching!
How To Look For Work In Canada
Whether you are looking for work in Canada in the hospitality, tourism or retail sectors, or you are seeking professional or career-related employment, you will find the following points helpful in your job search:
- Look for work diligently. You’ll find a job faster that way.
- Focus on finding casual employment instead of seeking the “perfect job”.
- If you are seeking a professional position related to your career goals, be prepared to spend more time job searching.
- Look for work just before or during peak tourism periods (winter months for ski resorts / summer months for lake resorts).
- Ensure you have enough money to support yourself for at least two months in case you don’t find something right away.
- Know your rights as a worker in Canada.
- Update your resume and include a cover letter.
- Respect business hours:
- Retail stores open at 9 or 10 a.m. and close around 6 p.m. (sometimes later depending on the location and day of the week).
- Shopping malls may remain open until 9 p.m. during the week, but close at 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
- Sunday openings of retail stores and shopping malls varies by province.
- Convenience stores or corner stores are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Professional businesses are usually open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Trust prospective employers who make a job sound unrealistically perfect (e.g. they fail to mention overtime is typically required, or only evening and midnight shifts are available).
- Fall for unusual requests (e.g. you should never be expected to buy supplies or pay any type of deposit).
- Do door-to-door sales work.
- Accept the word of someone who says a particular business isn’t hiring. Check it out for yourself - in person if possible.
- Forget to include your Canadian work experience on your resume. Foreign work, even in a casual job, can really help in landing a career-related job when you return home.
- Work for any employer who offers you a job but says you won’t be paid while you are in training.
Where To Look For Work In Canada
Here are just a few suggestions for finding employment in Canada:
Walk-In Method: If you think you would enjoy working at a particular workplace, ask to speak to the manager about opportunities. This method works best if you concentrate your efforts on retail businesses and restaurants located on busy streets or in shopping malls.
Employment Agencies: Typically listed in the phone book under “Employment Agencies”, these are a good option for participants skilled in office-related tasks (e.g. using spreadsheet or slide presentation software) for short-term temporary help to fill vacancies in businesses where permanent staff are ill or on holiday. Agencies are responsible for all aspects of your employment including pay cheques and appropriate tax deductions.
Networking: Since many jobs aren’t publicly posted, ask people that you know or meet about possible job positions or referrals that they might have.
Classified Ads: Most local newspapers have an employment section in their classified ads.
Internet: The following websites provide general employment-related assistance, including job boards:
Meeting Prospective Employers
Use the following guidelines to make the best impression with a prospective employer:
- Contact employers in the morning when they are more likely to be relaxed and willing to meet you.
- Go alone.
- Dress smartly. Be well-groomed and tidy.
- Arrive on time for job interviews - perhaps even a few minutes early.
- Introduce yourself and shake hands firmly. Make eye contact.
- Leave your resume with the manager as only he/she has the authority to hire you.
- Express your appreciation for the time they took to meet with you.
- Contact employers at times of the day when the business appears to be busiest.
- Take your friends with you.
- Appear overly shy or overly aggressive.
- Forget to thank the employer for taking the time to meet with you.
- Forget to follow up personally after meeting either by dropping by a second time, or by phone or email. Make it clear you want to hear from them again.
Download the full Guide For Participants Coming To Canada (PDF* 570 KB) brochure.
For more information about International Experience Canada, please contact us.
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