Newcomers to Canada often find that sales and marketing are competitive fields to break into, especially for those whose first language is not English or French. Newcomers also tend to lack a deep knowledge of the local Canadian culture, traditions, and the overall landscape, which is often a basic requirement for sales or marketing roles.
A key point to note is that sales and marketing roles in Canada tend to be more specialized and niche. In your home country, these fields may have overlapping responsibilities and organizations may prefer hiring candidates with a more generalist profile.
“In Canada, marketing roles are very specific. The nice-to-have skills and credentials are now must-haves as employers have realized that the talent they’re seeking is readily available and eager to work. When considering potential opportunities, newcomers should consider their past experience and skills and check role fitment.”
— Marcie Pollack, President, Marketers on Demand
In Canada, companies tend to hire for very specific roles. Sales and marketing are considered as two different occupations, and marketing roles may be further divided into growth marketer, digital marketer, social media expert, SEO specialist, brand marketer, etc. In this article, we will help you understand how to analyze the scope for your sales and/or marketing role in Canada and make a successful transition to the Canadian job market.
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s national system for describing occupations. The NOC code is a four-digit number that plays an important part in your immigration application. The NOC groups jobs based on the type of job duties and the work a person does. You can learn more and find your NOC code on the Government of Canada website.
Here are some of the NOCs that broadly cover all the roles in the fields of sales and marketing:
||NOC Code Name
||Advertising, marketing, and public relations managers
||Advertising Director, Marketing Manager, Public Relations Director, Sales & Marketing Manager.
||Corporate sales managers
||Corporate Sales Manager, Regional Sales Manager, National Accounts Manager.
||Professional occupations in advertising, marketing, and public relations
||Communications Specialist, Media Coordinator, Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Officer, Publicity Agent, Event Marketing Specialist, Advertising Consultant.
||Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants
||Business Development Officer, Market Researcher, Marketing Analyst, Marketing Consultant, Tourism Industry Consultant, Economic Research Officer.
||Retail sales supervisors
||Department Store Supervisor, Telemarketing Supervisor, Head Cashier.
||Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade
||Software Sales Representative, Technical Sales Supervisor, Medical Instruments Sales Agent.
||Real estate agents and salespersons
||Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Agent Supervisor, Real Estate Sales Representative.
||Financial sales representatives
||Financial Services Officer, Financial Services Representative, Loan Officer, Sales Associate – Personal Banking.
||Sales and account representatives – wholesale trade (non-technical)
||Food Products Sales Representative, Freight Sales Agent, Hotel Accommodations Sales Representative, Transfer Company Agent.
||Car Rental Agent, Computer Salesperson – Retail, Furniture Salesperson, Retail Sales Clerk.
||Other sales related occupations
||Door-to-door Salesperson, Home Demonstrator – Retail, Telemarketer.
Figuring out your NOC code makes the process of analyzing the job market easier.
Tip: For the purpose of analysis, you don’t have to be restricted to one single code; you can look at multiple codes that require your skills and decide which one might be better suited to your situation.
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What is the demand for sales and/or marketing roles in Canada?
Before you dive deeper, it’s important to understand the big picture. Statistics Canada (StatCan) publishes monthly and annual employment trends for various industries. This is a good starting point to get an idea of the employment trends in sales and marketing; any increase or growth is a good sign.
The monthly and annual employment trends data on Statistics Canada is grouped by industries. As per the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), most sales and marketing roles are categorized under code 54 – Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Therefore, when you look at employment trends in Statistics Canada, you will have to look up this specific category.
Statistics Canada also allows you to filter the numbers by province. This is a good way to identify provinces that have the maximum demand for your skills and know the probability of finding a job in your field. For instance, in 2019, among all provinces, Ontario had maximum employment for NAICS code 54, followed by Quebec and British Columbia.
If you would like to gain a better understanding of the overall job market trends, you can look at the following two sites:
- Statistics Canada publishes monthly reports which can be found by searching for the Labour Force Survey. A general Google search with the keywords (Labour Force Survey + latest month and year) will take you directly to the relevant webpage. You can have a look at the reports of April 2020 and March 2020 to get an idea. Note that these are overall trends and not specific to the sales and marketing sector. However, they will have subsections for noteworthy NAICS categories for that month.
- Explore the sales and marketing job market in various provinces by reading a comprehensive report published by Canada’s Job Bank. Once you’re on the webpage, choose a province and then scroll down to sectoral profiles. Select Professional, Technical, and Scientific Services for deeper insight into the sales and marketing sector.
Tip: For a quick overview, type in your NOC code or job title on the Occupation Trends page and search. Here’s a summary of the role of a Marketing Manager (NOC 0124) in Canada. The main summary page will provide various details such as educational and skill requirements for the role, average wages, and the number of jobs available. Clicking on the Prospects tab will show you a provincial breakdown of job prospects.
This exercise will help you set realistic expectations for being able to find a job in your field in a specific province or region.
How to narrow your research and identify a city where sales and/or marketing skills are in-demand
Once you decide on a province where you would like to work, as a next step, you can start looking at specific cities that might offer more opportunities to find a job in your desired role. For this, Canada’s Job Bank website is an excellent resource.
On the Prospects page, when you click on a specific province, it will provide a further split by region. For instance, you can view the opportunities for a Marketing Manager in British Columbia on the same site.
After narrowing down the region, you can go back to the main Occupation Trends page, type in your NOC and region or city to get a similar detailed report.
How to identify relevant sales and/or marketing certifications or licenses that may be required for your role
Different provinces and territories may have different requirements for professional licenses and certifications. Identifying if you would need to obtain a license or certification can help you get a headstart in preparing for your employment in Canada.
|Note: All occupations in Canada are classified into regulated and non-regulated occupations. You can find out if your profession is regulated by typing in your NOC code and province/territory on the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) website. Regulated occupations typically require you to have a license and/or a certification to be able to work in the field.
Considering the instance of a Marketing Manager (as mentioned above), the same page on the Job Bank website will provide a list of skills and requirements (such as licenses and certifications) to be able to work in the field. For those in the field of marketing, getting a membership with the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) can be a nice value-add that may help boost your employment prospects.
In the case of a Marketing Manager, there are no certification or license requirements to be able to work in Vancouver. However, a university degree or college diploma in business administration or a related field with a specialization in marketing and several years of experience as a marketing representative is usually required.
“Must-have credentials for marketing roles vary from employer to employer and from one hiring manager to another. We see that having a university or college education is often mandatory for most positions; in marketing that would solely depend on expertise. For instance, while applying for a digital marketing role, it would be nice to have a digital marketing certificate.”
— Marcie Pollack, President, Marketers on Demand
Navigating salary expectations for sales and/or marketing roles in Canada
Setting salary expectations is another key area of importance for newcomers. There are many sites to conduct salary research: The Job Bank website, Glassdoor, and reports published by recruitment firms such as Hays and Randstad are some of them. Your salary would vary greatly depending on the city you’re based in and your work experience.
Each of these sources will let you filter your profession by experience level and region and city so that you can get a very real sense of salary expectations. It is a good idea to compare numbers from different sites to get a good ballpark figure.
For instance, a Marketing Manager working in Vancouver can expect to earn approximately $65,000 to $110,000 on average, depending on their level of experience.
How to find a sales and/or marketing job in Canada
Sales and marketing roles are categorized into a niche and specialized fields in Canada, and there is an increased emphasis on knowledge of local market, culture, traditions, and language. To find employment in the field of sales and marketing, as a first step, you should align your education, work experience, and skills with specific roles of interest in Canada.
“Good communication skills are mandatory for any marketing role. If you’re not fluent in English, you may want to consider taking English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to improve your language skills.”
— Marcie Pollack, President, Marketers on Demand
1. Online and offline methods
In addition to Canada’s Job Bank website and other online job search portals such as LinkedIn Jobs, Indeed, Monster, Workopolis, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired, and many others, you can sign up for industry events and register with specialized recruitment or staffing agencies who can help market your resume to potential employers. Industry events in your city or neighbourhood can be found on sites like Eventbrite.
2. Build a strong resume
The most important tool in your quest to find your dream job is your resume. Ensure that your resume is always up-to-date and aligned with the Canadian style of formatting. Be sure to customize it to the sales or marketing role you are applying for.
Networking is crucial to finding employment in Canada. LinkedIn is a good starting point for you to build your network. See the top 10 tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
What does the hiring process look like for sales and marketing roles in Canada?
The hiring process for sales and marketing roles is usually split into multiple rounds:
- Screening: This is usually a telephonic round where the interviewer will discuss basics such as role expectations, compensation, and chat about your experience.
- Skill testing: If the interviewer determines that you are a good fit for the role, the initial round is followed up with two or three more rounds of conversations primarily geared towards evaluating your skills. These rounds may include a case study or scenario-based questions.
- Final round: The hiring manager will usually meet with you before an offer letter is issued. The focus of this conversation is generally on soft skills and cultural fit.
Tip: Prepped is an excellent resource for you to practice your interview skills and prep for the interview process in Canada.
On average, the entire interview process can take between two to six weeks, depending on the urgency of the position to be filled and the availability and scheduling of everyone involved in the process.
Finding your desired role in the field of sales or marketing in Canada may take some time and require you to strategize your resume and skills to attract employers. However, with the right resources, you will be ready to confidently navigate the job market and land an opportunity of your choice.