(Guest Post): CV
Last Updated: 17th February, 2019
How to Get a Job in Canada
There are three ways to secure a Job in Canada from India. Two of them work easily.
OPTION 1: The luckiest and riskiest way – Your company in India transfers you on a special project.
At the company I currently work at, our IT division is outsourced to HCL. Project Managers and IT engineers from Bangalore and Noida are currently based out of our Brampton office. They were hired as “temporary foreign workers” from Canada’s International Mobility Program for a couple of years. After 1-2 years of experience, they may be eligible for permanent residency from one of the following programs:
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program – “I have 1 year of full time work experience in Canada, in a job that is classified in the Canadian National Occupation Classification (NOC).”
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) – “I have 2 years of full time work experience in Canada, in a job that is NOC classified, and the company loves me so much that they are willing to nominate me to apply for permanent residency.”
The reason this is a risky choice is because you are not in control. Ultimately, you’re relying on the good will of your company and its success to dictate if you stay in Canada or pack up back to India.
There are many major Indian companies that have presence in Canada – HCL, Tata Consultancy Services, ICICI Bank and other companies that have a large presence in India such as Sun Life and Accenture.
With Justin Trudeau and Narendra Modi aimed at getting “warmth” between the two countries according to HindustanTimes, we hope to see more Indian businesses flourishing in Canada in the future. Brampton, the city our very own Russel Peters grew up in, currently has a large Indian immigrant base, and its economy is on the rise.
What this means for you? If you currently work for a company in India that has presence in Canada, start speaking to your management or your counterparts in the Canadian branch to let them know you’re interested. I recently spoke to a family friend of mine, Matthew. He works at JP Morgan. He told me he let his company know a year in advance he was moving to Canada, and when the opportunity came up, JP Morgan Canada welcomed him. Take this approach only if you are sure that this announcement will not hurt you in any way in your current job – not all bosses are supportive!
OPTION 2: The reliable way – Apply for permanent residency and network network network!
When you’re a permanent resident (PR) in Canada you don’t have to worry about the deadline of a work permit expiry date. The less stress during a job search, the better.
If you apply for a permanent residency using the methods that other people have mentioned, you can do a “short landing.”
To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, you have to live in Canada as a PR for 4 out of 6 years. (Bill C-6 received Royal Assent on Jun 19 2017, which will change that to 3 out of 5 years. Yay!)
What is a short landing? People who have permanent residency approved will land in Canada for the first time, get their landing papers stamped which will officially make them a permanent resident, and immediately go back to India for up to another 2 years. Then they come back to Canada and don’t move for the next 4 years, so they can be eligible for citizenship.
If you choose to do this, don’t let those 2 years go to waste. Network with Canadians and build relationships as early as possible.
Use those two years you have left to find the right Canadians in your professional industry and start networking with them.
If you short land you have up to two years, use them wisely. Save money and network!
OPTION 3: The useless, time wasting way – Apply for jobs online at Monster, Workopolis, Indeed, LinkedIn etc.
Imagine you are a HR hiring manager working for Tata Consultancy Services in Delhi. You have a job available and you receive 20 resumes. 19 are from HR professionals with great experience and fit the requirements, and they all live in Delhi. One is from a HR professional with great experience and fits the requirements, and she lives in Canada. Would you hire the Canadian?
Please don’t waste your time applying for jobs on the online boards. Your resume is either not being looked at all, or is being tossed aside. Unless your skills on paper are so rare and exceptional and no one else living in Canada applying for the same job has it, you have no chance of securing a job in Canada this way.
When I was job interviewing, one question that was always asked at the interview “Are you legally allowed to work in Canada?” The answer is “Yes” only if:
- You are a citizen
- You are a permanent resident
- You have an open work permit
If you are living in India, you are neither of these things. You are legally not allowed to work in Canada!
There is only one use for the job boards online. You can review the job descriptions of what is being asked in your line of work, and notice if there are any gaps that you can fill from now till you land. If you’re planning to get into project management for example, and you’re seeing “PMP is an asset”, get it done now while you have the comfort and support of your home base.
Another use for the online job descriptions is if you’re in a regulated field. If you’re in the engineering, medical, teaching, accounting, HR field and some others, prepare to go back to school. Colleges and universities generally host these programs. Whether you can do them online while you are in India, I do not know. You will have to contact the respective training institute to find out.
So instead of wasting time apply for jobs online, use that time to do something more productive.
My personal advice, (this won’t be easy to hear), change careers and start working in a fast track high demand occupation. Assuming you meet all the other criteria, you need 1 year of experience in this occupation to be eligible for PR.
This of course is no easy task, because it means quitting your current job and doing something that may be different field altogether.
However, there are 357 fields listed. You must have some transferable skills that will allow you to move jobs into one of these categories.
I have ready that in a life time of a 40 year career, people will change fields at least 4 times. This is a good opportunity to make that happen.
It all depends on how badly you want to migrate to Canada and take the risk to make this sacrifice in India.
So what’s the best choice?
Most people should fall in the Option 2 category but they make the mistake of relying on Option 3. The reason I stress on networking is because in Canada, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. There are 300K immigrants per year + 1 million college students + 6.5% unemployment rate in Canada – lots of competition! The job is awarded to the person the hiring manager trusts, and trust is most likely given to the person they know first hand.
Networking is not just a one time activity, it’s a way of life. Regardless of which choice you pick, get into this habit while in India, while you still have time before the big move, so you can leverage this network after you land.
When I moved to Canada, I got three job offers in two weeks using a targeted job search strategy that I researched for a year before landing in Canada.
Good Luck to you! I hope you secure your new Canadian job as quickly as I did, and then you can bring your parents or grand parents over on the Super Visa program.
(P.S. José Bautista is the Sachin Tendulkar of baseball. Learn the sport, it’s a good ice breaker in networking conversations. “Let’s Go Blue Jays!”)
Bonus Tip for Indians:
A study I have uncovered shows that Indian names work against job seekers in Canada.
According to the study called “Why do some employers prefer to interview Mathew, but not Samir?” employers are 40% more likely to interview candidates with English sounding names.
I’m not saying you should change your name, because it is a core part of your identity. But I thought it is important to raise this issue. Chinese job seekers face the same problem.
A response from the study indicates that when employer’s see a non-English name, they subconsciously assume there will be a language and communication barrier. Abbreviating your name, or shortening it (“Dev” instead of “Devindra”) is also another possible suggestion.
In Canada, more importance is placed on experience and accomplishments. Not on education.
It doesn’t matter if you have a bachelors or masters or PHD. Recruiters firstly have no idea about the education system in India. Even if you state your WES equivalency, it’s not about your education, it’s about whether you have done the same job before.
In your resume, it is very important to highlight your accomplishments and support it with numbers.
For example, if you are an IT engineer, just listing “I resolved general IT problems for the staff” is not enough. State an accomplishment – “I resolved IT problems for the staff and reduced the incident count by 15% per year.”
Also in Canada, people are specialized. If your resume promotes you as a jack of all trades, it will not win any hearts of the recruiters.
For example, if you are a civil engineer and your resume states you can build and fix anything, it’s not specific enough. Look at this link to see the various job titles for civil engineers. Likewise, you can Google “Job Titles for xxxx job in Canada”