December 20, 2023

The Curious Case of Immigrants and Finding Relevant Jobs ft Talent Expert

Picture yourself arriving in Canada during the heart of winter, having come from a tropical country and wearing attire suited for warm climates.

Would this approach be effective?

Not, really!

Well, this is the same mistake which immigrants usually tend to make when they land in Canada with an aspiration to find a relevant job.

Through our observations, we’ve found that a significant portion of newcomers aspire to secure meaningful employment, yet often falter in creating the essential groundwork. Their energies become consumed by perfecting their resumes, submitting applications, and building networks, often resulting in numerous rejections before they even lay the foundation.

It’s crucial to recognize that resume is a composite of various elements, as outlined in this article. The oversight isn’t due to a lack of desire, but rather, these elements that are often considered as second nature in their home countries.

Whether you’re networking or applying via job boards, your focus should be on following the steps listed in this newsletter, if your goal is to achieve your preferred job or else you’ll wind up applying for 200 jobs and connect with 500 people….with no effect.

While this article isn’t exhaustive in its coverage, it will certainly guide you in the right direction. The following facets of your job search require meticulous preparation before even embarking on the journey.

But before we proceed further, we would like to let you know that we have joined forces with Soumya Sharma, Talent expert with more than 11 years of experience in HR. His guidance has illuminated the paths of countless newcomers in their Canadian journey, rendering him an unparalleled authority well-versed in the intricacies of the field. With his profound insights, he stands as a beacon of practical wisdom, poised to elevate your strategies and enhance your prospects.

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🎯 Nick: Soumya Sharma, tell us a bit about yourself and your journey in Canada. This will help us know you better?

Soumya Sharma: I landed in Canada 15 days before the worldwide lockdowns were imposed due to Covid. As an immigrant, I wish I would have received an appropriate and sincere assistance from a mentor, especially during those unprecedented times.

I faced over 270 rejections, survived a survival job and eventually networking helped me secure my first job in Canada.

Hence, I was able to make a robust program and having coached multiple individuals towards successfully securing jobs, I am confident that I can make a positive impact in the efforts of the newcomers.

🎯 Nick: Can you tell us what factors do you think newcomers should consider before applying for jobs?

Soumya Sharma: There are a number of considerations that demand the attention of newcomers as they navigate the job application process. Admittedly, these factors are not entirely foreign to them; however, my experience suggests that their emphasis often strays from the critical focal points.

It’s important to understand that this divergence isn’t a shortcoming on anyone’s part. In our home countries, these factors were considered secondary. I, too, encountered this very error in the initial phases of my Canadian journey. Yet, as time passed and experience accumulated, I honed my approach. I can confidently affirm that the forthcoming points, if diligently adhered to, will take your career to the next level.

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🎯 Step1: Know Yourself

Take a moment to jot down your strengths and weaknesses, and recall the accomplishments you’ve achieved throughout your professional journey thus far – regardless of their scale.

Might seem a bit unusual, doesn’t it?

But in reality, it’s quite the opposite.

Imagine finding yourself in an entirely new environment, devoid of the familiarity you’ve grown up with. In such situations, where every adjustment is a learning curve, it’s wise to capitalize on your strengths – a feat that’s only possible if you’re aware of what they are.

As you delve into this self-assessment, keep in mind that your strengths and weaknesses should resonate with the Canadian job market’s demands.

Craft a list of your strengths and accompany each with two instances from your professional history that illustrate how you’ve showcased them.

Frame these examples as follows: {Dynamic Action Verb} {specific strength area} resulting in an enhancement of X% to Y%. For instance – “Implemented predictive recruitment tool and improved recruitment efficiency from 10% to 65%.”

This exercise will serve as a cornerstone in understanding and leveraging your capabilities in your new professional journey. This will help employers understand who you are as it will help you develop your personal brand.

🎯 Step 2: Research

Now that you’re acquainted with your strengths, let’s focus on pinpointing suitable roles in Canada that align with your recent experiences. Take the following steps to navigate this process effectively:

a) Identify Job Title: Begin by scrutinizing the titles you’ve held in your most recent role overseas. Investigate whether these titles have counterparts in the Canadian job market. For instance, note that titles like “Assistant Manager” are scarcely used in Canadian companies.

b) Relevance to Role: Delve into titles that accurately convey the nature of your responsibilities. These titles should resonate with your past roles and experiences. Essentially focus on “does this title resonate with me and my past experience?”

c) Explore Job Description: Engage in an exploratory mission by perusing at least 20 job descriptions for roles similar to your background. Cover a spectrum ranging from small enterprises to larger corporations. Pay particular attention to the qualifications and skill sets these descriptions emphasize. Ask yourself if you possess a strong grasp of the mentioned skills and if you meet the qualifications required for these roles.

d) Unveil Common Responsibilities: Identify recurring responsibilities across those 20 job descriptions. Can you extract at least one example for each of these shared responsibilities? This is where your earlier self-assessment comes into play, aiding you in drawing parallels between your capabilities and the demands of the roles.

e) Certifications and Requirements: Are there any certifications or specific qualifications that frequently appear in the job descriptions? It’s important to take note of these prerequisites. If you find yourself falling short on numerous qualifications, circle back to steps 2(a) or 2(b) to ensure you’re honing in on the correct title or role.

Remember, this process isn’t just about finding a job—it’s about aligning your strengths and experiences with the Canadian job landscape in a strategic manner. By following these steps, you’ll be better equipped to pursue roles that truly suit your capabilities and aspirations.

🎯 Step 3: Develop a learning action plan

Congratulations, you’ve conquered the initial challenges, and the groundwork has been laid. Building upon the foundation established in Steps 1 and 2, it’s time to pinpoint any gaps that exist within your skill set. Now, let’s focus on bridging those gaps together.

For instance, let me share my experience. Even before I arrived in Canada, I dedicated time to studying the Canadian labor code, Employment Standards Acts, Human Rights code, and delved into an array of case laws. This endeavour was driven by my role in HR, and I recognized the significance of these elements.

Remember, each step forward you take in refining your skills brings you closer to your goals. By actively addressing these gaps, you’re not just preparing yourself for success but also demonstrating a proactive commitment to growth.

🎯 Step 4: Job Search Strategy

With the wheels set in motion, let’s dive into crafting an effective job search strategy.

Targeted Region:Reflect on where your skills hold the greatest demand within Canada.

Explore: In which part of the country is your expertise sought after?

Role Relevance: Delve into the nuances of job titles. For instance, the role of a Digital Marketing Manager might encompass varied responsibilities.

Discover: How does your profile align with the actual expectations of the role?

Qualification Focus:Explore the landscape of qualifications. Identify roles where certifications might be optional or even advantageous.

Ask: Which qualifications should I prioritize based on the roles I’m eyeing?

Company Spectrum:Consider the organizational landscape. Contemplate whether you’d thrive in a small startup, a medium-sized enterprise, a large corporation, or perhaps a non-profit setup.

Question: What kind of company culture and structure resonate with me?

Industry Direction: Explore diverse industries and their growth prospects. Think about which sector aligns best with your aspirations and strengths.

Wonder: Which industry ignites my passion and offers potential for growth?

🎯 Step 5: Interview Preparation

This irony is striking – the desire for a job is universal, yet when challenged with a mere 60-second elevator pitch, many falter, resort to filler words, and lack the readiness for a seamless delivery.

The truth is, you should maintain a perpetual state of interview readiness.

Why, you ask?

Picture a scenario where a single job opening receives 100 applications. A mere 10 candidates are shortlisted, each brimming with confidence about acing the interview. Now, who do you think stands a better chance of cracking the interview?

Even before you start preparing a resume, go to the internet, download a list of behavioral and standard questions and meticulously articulate your responses using the STAR format (PS Google it, you’ll know it!). Practice them with a stop watch in your hand. No answer of behavioral questions should be longer than 3 minutes and no answer to standard questions should go beyond 30 seconds.

But how, you wonder, can you substantiate your responses with compelling examples? Recall Step 1 of your journey – self-discovery. This initial groundwork will be your guiding light as you furnish authentic and impactful instances to support your narrative.

🎯 Step 6: Resume

As amusing as it may sound, the resume should constitute the final bastion of your preparation. Now that you possess a comprehensive understanding of yourself, prepare a “Mother resume”which should have everything you have done till date. Use the format mentioned in Step 1.

When approaching a job description, exercise discretion. if you don’t qualify in terms of experience, don’t apply. For instance, if the company requires 10 years of experience and you possess 9, you may proceed; however, don’t apply if your experience stands at 8.

If your “Mother resume” aligns with approximately 80% of the job description, go ahead and apply for the role. Your resume should be able to show your ability to make impact in the areas of responsibilities they’ve mentioned.

Avoid writing fluff words like “Detail oriented” or ”Analytical” rather show it on your resume. These fluff words can be tested during the interview or can be deduced from the manner in which you depict your skills on the resume.

Have you ever heard a lion proclaiming, “I am the king”? NO! Then how do you know Lion is a King? You deduce it by their actions. This is exactly, how you need to build your resume.

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We’ve shared a some important steps that you need to take into consideration to get the ball rolling. If you’re interested in joining our exclusive community and staying informed with the latest knowledge, here’s how you can get started:

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We, as a community of immigrants dedicated to supporting fellow newcomers, prioritize creating a secure environment where professionals can come together and interact. Join us by signing up at www.immigrantnetworks.com and gaining access to our exclusive WhatsApp group, where you can arrange personalized one-on-one sessions with our Ambassadors for mock interviews, LinkedIn profile reviews, and so much more. Please be aware that this group is exclusively for users with Canadian cell phone numbers.

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