Preparing for the Job Search

The Canadian Job Market

1. How much do you know about the Canadian Job market?
Are you sure that you know the Canadian job market? To find out how familiar you are with the Canadian job market, answer the following questions in this small test. Mark each statement with "T” if you think the statement is true or with "F” if you think that the statement is false.
1. The visible job market is the job market which is open to immigrants.
2. The hidden job market is the job market which is available only to Canadian citizens.
3. A resume is a detailed description of your working life.
4. In a resume, you do not have to indicate your age, nationality or marital status.
5. At the end of the interview, you will not be told if you are hired or not.
6. The purpose of employment agencies (recruiters, search firms) is to find a good job for you.
7. The services of employment agencies are free of charge.
8. To receive unemployment benefits a new immigrant should have worked at least a few days.
9. Once you get laid off, you cannot get unemployment benefits.
10. A Job Finding Club is a club where unemployed people relax and have fun.
11. Even if you have a regulated occupation, you will be able to work in your field without a licence.
12. An immigrant must work in Canada in the occupation which he or she specified in their immigration application.
13. The more resumes you send, the more interviews you get.
14. An apprenticeship is a program for people who want to be a sailor on ships.
15. If you receive unemployment benefits, you must agree to take any job.
See the rights answers at the end of this chapter.

2. What does the Canadian job market look like?
If you aren’t familiar with the Canadian job market or want to improve your knowledge, we suggest taking the following steps. Find out:
•What requirements apply to workers of your profile in the Canadian National Occupational Qualification (NOC)?
•What is the demand for your occupation today?
•What will the future demand for your occupation be?
•What are the most effective ways of finding a job in Canada?
•What Canadian organizations can help you to get employment?
•What are your strengths and weaknesses?
•What are Canadian employers looking for?
Once you become familiar with the Canadian job market, you have to decide what career you want in Canada, and start preparing for employment.
Sources: What is labour market information? Do I need it?

3. How can I prepare for the Canadian job market?
Any serious matter requires training. Would you start driving a car for the first time without training first? To quickly find a job in your field you have to be well prepared. There are always jobs available, but you have to know that there is unemployment in Canada. At the end of 2015, according to Statistics Canada, the national average unemployment rate was 7%. The lowest unemployment rates were in the provinces of Saskatchewan - 5%, Manitoba - 5.6% and British Columbia - 5.9%. The unemployment rate in Ontario in August 2015 was 6.8%, with 508,000 people unemployed. So, to find a god job in Canada isn't easy; there is a lot of competition.
We suggest taking the following steps to prepare for employment in Canada:
•Make a decision about your career goals.
•Evaluate your foreign credentials.
•Get a professional licence if your occupation is regulated in Canada.
•Take required courses for your profession to improve your credentials.
•Get Canadian experience in your field.
•Improve your professional English.
•Build your professional network.
•Accept the help of employment centres.
•Master effective ways to gain employment.
Source: Prepare to work in Canada

4. What does your occupation mean in Canada?
To find out what your occupation is called in Canada, where it is used and what you need to continue your career, look over the National Occupational Classification (NOC). If you know the exact English name of your occupation, it is easy to find its code. Each occupation has its own four-digit code and the digits have the following meaning:
•The first digit specifies the group to which the occupation belongs.
•The second indicates the required education or training.
•The third one identifies the subgroup.
•The fourth represents the name of a particular position.
Having opened the page to your occupation, you will learn about your job title and your main duties. There are also requirements for education, licensing and a description of the prospects for growth in your occupation. With the NOC you can decide whether you are ready to start working immediately in your occupation in Canada and if not, what steps you should take to prepare for the Canadian job market.
If you have any questions about your occupation, visit the nearest Employment Centre where you can consult with a specialist.
Source: Visit online Welcome to the National Occupational Classification 2021.

5. How can I find out if my occupation is in demand?
To find out what the demand is for your occupation today you can use the Canada Job Bank. Go online to Job Bank Canada and after entering your job title you can find vacancies for jobs in your occupation in any province or territory of Canada and in large cities as well.

6. What are employability skills?
The Conference Board of the Canada Research Centre has developed and approved a list of qualities, skills and abilities that are most valued by employers in Canada. This list, called the "Employability Skills" list, is widely used in schools, colleges, universities and job centres. It is used across Canada as a standard for the ideal employee.
The Employability Skills list includes three sections:
The first section is called the «Fundamental Skills». This section includes the most important fundamental knowledge, skills and abilities that are acquired in the course of study and work. These include: the ability to communicate (excellent knowledge of the language in which business is conducted, and the ability to use graphs, charts, diagrams, drawings, and tables), the ability to work with information (logical thinking, critical assessment of the situation, understanding problems and finding solutions, and the effective use of new technologies and information systems), and the ability to use mathematical knowledge in a particular situation.
The second section is called the «Personal Management Skills». This section includes optimism and a positive attitude towards reality, a responsible attitude, the willingness and ability to adapt to change and the desire to learn for life.
The third section is called «Teamwork skills». Canadian employers need a person who can work successfully in a team. Qualities in this section include the ability to understand the purpose of the organization and their role in it, to respect the ideas and opinions of others in the group, to find their place among others, to be prepared to share information with colleagues to achieve group results in conjunction with others to plan, make decisions and monitor the results.
Most of these qualities are not innate, they can be learned.
Source: Visit online Employability Skills 2000+

7. Do you know your strengths?
Let's imagine you are an average immigrant who arrived to Canada through the Skilled Workers and Professionals program. Try to visualize a two-pan balance scale which you can use to make an inventory of your qualities, putting on the first pan your advantages (anything that helps you succeed in Canada) and putting on the second pan your disadvantages (anything that prevents you from succeeding). When you are finished with this exercise, try to add to this list with strengths specific to you and your education and experience.
Here are your advantages that you can put on the first pan:
1. Education. The average immigrant is well-educated. Statistics Canada says that the Canadian system of selecting immigrants has led to the fact that 90% of immigrants have degrees from colleges and universities, while for domestic Canadians this number is only 46%.
2. Work experience. As a rule, all who immigrate to Canada as Skilled Workers have good work experience in their field of their expertise, because without that they would not get the necessary points for immigration.
3. The immigrant has established business relations in their country, so he/she can contribute to the development of Canadian imports and exports.
4. The immigrant often brings with him his/her inventions, new ideas and knowledge.
5. The immigrant knows more languages.
6. After medical testing, most immigrants are healthy people.
7. Immigrants have no criminal records.
8. The percentage of working-age population among immigrants is much higher than among domestic Canadians. This is essential for Canada's workforce.
9. Most immigrants are energetic and enterprising people willing to work with full dedication.
10. They are often willing to work for less money because they want to adapt as quickly as possible to a new country.
Ensure your resume emphasizes your skills and accomplishments.

8. Do you know your weaknesses?
Here are your disadvantages that you can put on the second pan:
1. Poor English (French) language skills, which is a problem for most immigrants. Communication difficulties are the main obstacle to employment in a new country. The situation is not any better with English professional terminology.
2. No Canadian education which local employers can verify easily. Employers cannot be sure what you were taught abroad.
3. No Canadian work experience. This is the cause of many failures of immigrants to find a job. It can be that professional responsibilities and duties in your country are very different from Canada. Canadian experience is often required in job ads.
4. No certificates and licences that are required to work in regulated occupations. Certificates and licences obtained abroad are rarely recognized.
5. Lack of knowledge of Canadian standards and regulations, which are needed to work in any industry.
6. Poor knowledge of technology, tools and materials used in Canada.
7. Lack of computer literacy and knowledge of professional software, which is necessary to work in any profession in Canada.
8. No familiarity with the Canadian labor market. Immigrants are not ready for strong competition, both from other immigrants and from domestic Canadians.
9. No business and friendly relationships in Canada, without which finding a good job is extremely difficult.
10. Settling in places where their occupation is not in demand.
Try to remove your weaknesses by studying and improving your knowledge and experience.

9. How does it feel to be unemployed?
There is no way to know in advance how much time you need to find a job. There are too many objective and subjective factors involved in this process. On average, a well-trained immigrant looks for a job in his occupation in Canada from six months to a year.
Why do people lose their jobs? Often a dismissed person will blame themselves for job loss, trying to understand what he or she did wrong and unable to find the reason. In most cases, the dismissed workers were not bad, and the dismissal is not their fault. Some employers decide to liquidate their business, others use new technology, and others lose customers and orders. As a result of unemployment people often have the feeling of loneliness and hopelessness. The following are ways to cope with unemployment:
•During this period it is very important to get support from family and friends. Discuss the situation with your family, share with them your thoughts and hopes, ask for advice and assistance. Keeping good relations in the family is very important. The same applies to friends. Search for new friends, including those people who like you are looking for work. These people especially understand your problem, and they are willing to share with you some ideas on the way out of this difficult situation. Meet more often with relatives, friends and acquaintances.
•Avoid being alone. In every city there are public services and centres for the unemployed. These centres operate programs for those who need both professional advice and moral support. As a rule, a visit to these centres and communication with colleagues has a positive psychological impact: you realize that you are not alone.
•Try to keep the rhythm and schedule that you had before job loss. Have a hard plan for the day, which does not leave you time for negative thoughts. Actively look for a new job. Make a certain number of phone calls every day and visit a certain number of offices and companies. Try to keep the same time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, do not watch too much TV and make sure to go to bed at the same time each night.
The main idea is keeping yourself under control! You do not become worse, losing your job. You are the same person, who is valued by your family, friends and society.

10. What are the correct answers about the Canadian job market?
1. False. This is the job market which publishes job ads. These ads are in newspapers, magazines, on billboards and on the Internet.
2. False. This is the market which does not publish job ads. Many employers do not want to take people from "the street" and are looking for workers through their employees, friends and relatives.
3. False. The resume includes only such information that will help you get the right job. You can avoid including in your resume jobs which do not relate to your job title (objective).
4. True. Do not specify in the resume your age, nationality or marital status.
5. True, because the interviewer often has to interview many other candidates.
6. False. The main purpose of employment agencies is to find the right employee for the employer, who has hired this agency.
7. True. You do not have to pay the employment agency, and if it requires money, this is illegal.
8. False. To receive unemployment benefits, you have to work a certain number of hours, the amount of which varies from province to province depending on the unemployment rate. The average time is approximately six months.
9. False. If you have worked the required number of hours, you will get unemployment benefits.
10. False. In fact, this is not a club, but a program where you learn how to find a job.
11. True. For some regulated occupations, you can work without a licence under supervision of a licensed professional.
12. False. After immigration you can take any job that you want.
13. False. Each resume should be tailored to the specific job ad.
14. False. In Canada, it is so-called training directly in the workplace.
15. False. If you are offered a job that does not meet your qualifications, you can opt out.
If you got a lot of wrong answers when responding to these questions, then your knowledge of the Canadian job market needs improvement. Visit a few workshops about the job market, which are regularly offered by Canadian newcomer information centres and the employment resource centres.
A useful book related to Canadian job market for immigrants is "How to Find a Job in Canada. Common Problems and Effective Solutions" by Efim Cheinis and Dale Sproule.

11. Where can I find sources of additional information about Canadian job market?
Job Market Information for Immigrants
Guide To Using Labour Market Information In Ontario

12. Are there any Canadian sources in other languages?
Here are website