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How To Get Your First Job In Canada

Whether you are a student who just finished University / College or you just landed in Canada as a new immigrant, landing your first corporate job can be challenging. People often want to know how to get their first job in Canada especially because employers and recruiters lean more towards people who either have Canadian education or Canadian work experience.

Even if you do not have Canadian experience, you can find a job, do not let anyone discourage you.  I have previously shared what it is like looking for a job without Canadian work experience here.

How Long Does It Take To Get Your First Job?

There is no average time to land your first job in Canada. For some, it takes 2 weeks, others 6 months while for others a year or more. Some may have to do jobs outside their qualification such as customer care, Home care etc so as to earn an income while they get something better.

My Story On Getting My First Job

I had been applying for jobs in the capacity of a Business Analyst which was different from the experience on my resume. It took me a while to notice I was not getting any callbacks so I had to take a step back. I had to assess and look at the skills on my resume and started to target jobs with those skills. So I stopped targeting Business Analyst Roles and started to target Digital Marketing, Product Management & Product Marketing roles.  

I applied for over 150 jobs via Indeed, Linked In, Workday, Monster in and out of the province. I had no luck with getting interviews outside the province. It took me about 2 months to land my first job in Canada.

I found a job on Indeed requiring digital marketing skills with no apply button. I took the extra effort to find the company’s email. After which, a couple of hours later, I got a call from the company that they were interested in me and they would like me to come in for an interview.

The interview process was a one-stage interview where they presented their problem, what they are trying to achieve and I provided solutions to their problem. It didn’t feel like the typical interview process. The entire process from start to finish took about a week for them to give me a job offer which I eventually accepted a couple of days after.

Getting My Second Job In Canada

If your first job is so amazing then you can relax. If you find that you are settling for the job then continue applying which is what I did. I gave myself  3 months to find a job before my probation at my first job was over. In this period, I optimized my LinkedIn profile and  I got more Inmails from recruiters on LinkedIn.

In fact, I got offered a job via LinkedIn and from the company, I did my internship (coop). Also, I applied for a job in the morning and by afternoon I got a request for an interview which was similar to my experience with getting my first job. Although, I never took any of those jobs as it was not what I wanted. It was a job that I applied for 8 months before while in school that I ended up quitting my first job for.

The interview process for the second job was a bit longer because it was a larger organization. The first interview was about what was on my resume and accessing where I would fit in the company. The second interview was more situational questions and using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach to answer the questions. In a couple of days, I got an offer.

How To Tender Your Resignation From Your First Job

In Canada, depending on how long you have been working at the organization, you are required to give your employer 1-2 weeks’ notice.

A new recruit resigned few weeks prior and that gave me the courage to do the same when the opportunity came even though I had been there less than 2 months. I personally found it difficult to resign because of sentiment (p.s- the first time I ever had to resign from a job officially). I was very vague in my email but I let them know I was giving them a 2 weeks notice.

Here Is A Sample Resignation Letter Below: 

Dear {name},

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as a {Position} from {Company Name}. My resignation is effective from today, {date}, so please accept this letter as my official two weeks’ notice of resignation.

Thank you very much for the personal and professional development during my time here.

I would like to help with the transition of my duties so that the {department’s name} can continue to run smoothly after my departure. To this end, I will be available until the last day of my employment.

I wish you and the team all the best in your future endeavours


{Put your name}

11 Tips For Getting Your First Job In Canada:

  • Tailor your resume for every job application.
  • Apply to jobs in and out of the province, you never know where you will get a callback.
  • Have a generic cover letter for each job role you are considering
  • Find a mentor or someone who is in a career path you are interested in to help you map out your career. and review your resume.
  • Go the extra mile when writing your cover letter and filling out the job application.
  • If you are a student, start to apply for jobs when you are in school.
  • Attend career fairs.
  • Even if a deadline has passed, still apply. There might be a reason why the job posting has not been taken down.
  • When you do not see an option to apply on job boards, look for the company’s email and send your resume.
  • Network! Network!! Network!!! – Let people know you are looking for a job. Don’t be shy.
  • Prepare for every interview callback you get.

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