Finding a good job is one of the biggest challenges for newcomers to Canada, and while it isn’t easy, it can be done! Many immigrants are successfully working in their fields, making a good living and contributing significantly to the economy of Nova Scotia. And like most things in life, effective job searching is a skill that can be learned. Here is some advice for immigrant job seekers in Nova Scotia:
- Forget that you are a job seeker and think like an employer. This may seem like strange advice at first, but it could be the most important thing you do. If you were hiring someone for the position, what kind of skills, experience and qualities would you want? Take some time and think about it, then make a list for yourself. Examine your own skills, experience and qualities. Do they match up? Let your potential employer know that you have what they need.
- When it comes to resumes and cover letters, be a perfectionist. Targeting your resume is essential – whether you are submitting it for a job competition or presenting it as part of an information interview. Use your resume as a tool to tell the employer how your qualifications fit their needs. And make sure it has no spelling or grammar mistakes. In addition to a “spell check”, ask your employment specialist, English instructor, mentor, friend, neighbour, and anyone else you can think of to review your written documents. They must be perfect.
- Do your homework. Before contacting, meeting or having an interview with a potential employer – find out as much as you can about them. Research the company or organization thoroughly. This is important for many reasons. It will help you to figure out whether this is a good place for you. It will help you target your resume. It will help you ask good, informed questions in a first contact or interview. It will tell the employer that you are very interested in this position, this work and this company.
- Don’t forget the old saying: “You only get one chance to make a good first impression”. In fact, it only takes 10 – 20 seconds for this to happen. Make a good first impression. Actually, make a fantastic first impression! Stand up tall, dress right, make eye contact, shake hands firmly and smile! This will convey confidence to the employer and will help you to feel confident.
And finally, your best first step is to contact Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia and ask to talk to an Employment Specialist. They can help you get started on your employment journey.