2022-04-25T09:10:18-04:00March 2nd, 2021|

How to stand out in a competitive job market: Tips for newcomers

Canada is an attractive destination for talent from all across the world, not just to find work but also to settle long-term and build a life here. Many candidates have relevant qualifications, compelling track records, and winning personalities. This makes Canada diverse and multicultural, with a competitive job market. 

If you haven’t had global exposure in your work before, as a newcomer in Canada, you may feel nervous as you begin your job search. But don’t worry, Arrive is here to help! In this article, we will share a few tips to help you better adapt to the Canadian job market, stand out from the competition, and get the job you want. What’s awesome is that you can start working on some of these tasks while you’re in pre-arrival so you can be ready to hit the ground running when you arrive in Canada. 

5 tips to stand out in your job applications

1. Customize your resume and cover letter to the position you’re applying for

Merely having a one-page Canadian-style resume and cover letter isn’t enough. You should customize it to suit the job description and requirements of the position you are applying for. Tailor your work experience, skills, and any additional information to the role. Include keywords from the job posting and always start your sentence with relevant action verbs like spearheaded, achieved, managed, trained, etc. Also, remember to craft a compelling summary for your resume. 

While working on your resume, avoid including very detailed information for each position you have held; you can share relevant details in the interview instead. Recruiters and hiring managers prefer seeing quantified accomplishments on resumes. The ‘CAR’ approach is a good way to help you structure individual sentences:
C = what was the Challenge,
A = what Action did you take, and
R = what the Result was.

Free downloadable Canadian resume templates to help you stand out from the competition.

2. Leverage your network for referrals

Tapping into the hidden job market and gathering valuable referrals are just two of the many benefits that professional networking offers. The hidden job market refers to positions that are filled without the employer advertising them publicly. As much as 65-85 per cent of the jobs are not posted online, and approximately 40 per cent of positions are filled through a referral. This is why building your network in Canada can be very helpful in finding a job. Start connecting early on so that by the time you move, you’ll have a strong network you can leverage during your job search. 

Tips Icon  Tip:
When reaching out to a connection to ask for a job referral, establish a “warm” connection first. Start by asking your contact to learn more about their career journey through an informational interview and share your learnings and experiences as well.

3. Polish your LinkedIn profile and gather recommendations

In Canada, most recruiters and employers use LinkedIn to share job opportunities and find talent. Therefore, keep your profile up-to-date, treat it differently from your resume, and optimize it for your desired role or position. In addition to showcasing your certifications, education, and experiences on your profile, gathering recommendations from former managers, colleagues, mentors, advisors, and clients is an excellent way to build a strong profile and demonstrate your capabilities to potential employers. 

Tips Icon  Tip:
Even if your LinkedIn connections do not specifically request it, you can show your support by endorsing and recommending them for their skills and expertise – this will help nurture the relationship.

4. Research the company and the interviewers

Researching the company where you’re applying for a job is an important step in preparing for a job interview. It will not only help you ask relevant questions but also help you learn about the company and provide context during your interview conversations. And learning a bit about the interviewers will help you craft meaningful responses during the interview, keeping in mind their experience and background. 

While researching, you may want to look up the company website as well as their LinkedIn, and Glassdoor pages for product and service offerings, key executives and their career paths, any recent news articles on the company or the executives, company culture, size of the company, and market competition. Update your industry knowledge by reading through current trends and hot topics. 

Some candidates are known to go the extra mile by compiling a brief presentation identifying the company’s pain points and outlining solutions that solve those problems. Others conduct in-depth competitor research or create a 30-60-90-day plan visualizing themselves in the new role. While these tasks require a lot of time and effort and are not entirely essential for an interview, if and when done right, they certainly make you stand out from the crowd.

5. Send “thank you” notes after the interview

After the interview, take the time to send a thank you note to each of your interviewers. While this reflects your enthusiasm for the position, it also ensures the interviewer remembers you while deciding whom to hire. Referencing specific parts of your conversation during the interview also shows you were attentive and engaged throughout the process. 

Finding meaningful employment in Canada can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Starting your career preparation while still in pre-arrival will help you get a headstart on your job search journey in Canada.