From an interview with Trinadh Moganti.
Trinadh Moganti is a full stack developer from Hyderabad, India. He holds a bachelor degree in technology, electronics and communication engineering and has over six years of experience developing and hosting applications on cloud infrastructure. Trinadh began his job search months before moving to Canada in 2019. He reached out to recruiters, had promising opportunities, a couple of which went to multiple rounds of interviews but failed to materialize. Trinadh didn’t give up hope and kept trying. He eventually landed a job one week before coming to Toronto. Trinadh shares his job search experience, insights on the importance of preparation and patience, and tips for newcomers coming to Canada.
My success story begins with a failure. As part of the immigration process, you have to take English language tests. The company I worked for in India has an office in New Jersey, and I had calls with them every day – in English. I had a false sense of confidence in my English language skills and thought I would be able to take my language tests without much preparation. I did very poorly in my writing test.
I reflected on where I went wrong and realized my mistake was a lack of preparation. So I started working on it: I dedicated at least two hours every day to preparation until I retook the exam two months later. I made a timetable for myself to get used to all the modules in the language test. I joined a WhatsApp group related to IELTS (International English Language Testing System). We discussed things related to the language test. I posted letters or essays that I had written and got feedback on them.
I practiced speaking in front of a mirror, made recordings of myself, and listened to them repeatedly. This way, I could identify the areas I needed to work on. I improved my language skills through practice and preparation, and finally, I was able to get through the exam. This was my first success and an important lesson I learned about being well prepared.
The importance of pre-arrival preparation
I researched the different ways to immigrate to Canada and found that Express Entry is a transparent way to apply on your own, and you’ll get permanent residence, not just a work permit. I learned all that I could about Express Entry and began preparing. The Arrive pre-arrival checklist is really helpful for newcomers. It clearly describes what to do, whether you’re three months or three weeks from landing.
I collected all the transcripts from my university and sent them for ECA (Educational credential assessment). I submitted the documents, filled out the application and paid the fee in August 2019. It took around six months for my application to be processed. During this time, I also researched many aspects of career and life in Canada as part of my preparation.
I read articles on how to write a Canadian resume and started to prepare at home. In Canada, your resume should clearly outline what you are capable of doing and what you have achieved, not five pages of job responsibilities. I researched the interview process in Canada. It’s pretty different from back home.
In India, if you apply for an IT or technology role, people generally look at your technical skills. Here, it’s not just about the technical skills. People are interested in how you behave, what you bring to the team, and how you communicate. All of these are equally important. In interviews, Candian recruiters or hiring managers will ask scenario-based questions rather than just focusing on your technical credentials. Like “If you encounter a production issue, how do you respond?” or “What makes a successful situation?” Even before the interview, I knew what kinds of interview questions to expect because I had done my research. I was prepared.
Read more about tips on networking, interviewing, and telling your story.
I got in touch with colleagues I knew who were already in Canada to get a sense of living expenses (which were much higher than I had anticipated) to plan my finances in Canada. I also researched how to find accommodation in Toronto, and decided to look for shared accommodation, because it is less costly. Most importantly, I started networking with professionals and recruiters in Canada.
Networking tips from a LinkedIn explorer
Throughout my journey, LinkedIn helped me get to know more about Canada and what the job market is like and what employers here expect from a candidate. I follow a few organizations like Arrive and ACCES. They helped me understand the challenges a newcomer may face and what to do once he lands in Canada.
The first step is to start connecting with people in your industry and recruiters. There is a feature called Advanced Search on LinkedIn where you can filter by name or by company or location. For example, I would use the search terms, recruiter, Toronto. I’d get a bunch of results and then see which companies I was interested in and connect with them.
I believe that when you’re sending connection requests on LinkedIn, you should actually write a personalized message so that the other person will know who you are and why you want to connect with them. If you just blindly send a request, the other person may not accept it. If you have a personalized message explaining why you want to connect, it may help. Even then, the other person may or may not accept your connection request, but they’ll at least know the purpose.
I send personalized messages. Six people out of ten will at least accept my connection request. Whenever someone accepts my connection request, I send a thank you note that can kick start a conversation: what I’m looking for, my current status, what I expect from them, or what value I can provide them.
Another thing I did was include #ONO – Open to New Opportunities everywhere in my profile. This helps to search. Also, there is an ONO community. I updated all the possible combinations related to my current role or roles I’m interested in, like front-end developer, Java developer, Microsoft developer, full-stack developer.
Trinadh’s top 5 tips for newcomers coming to Canada
1. Be patient and well-prepared
Finding a job can be an exhausting process – and it’s different for everyone, so be patient. Don’t take for granted the preparation time necessary. For example, dedicate time to be prepared In the event that a recruiter gets back to you for an initial screening round or an interview.
Take time to understand the job market in Canada, the employers’ expectations, and the common challenges faced by newcomers and how to overcome those. Organizations like Arrive and Acces Employment have plenty of resources available that can help.
2. Develop your soft skills
In Canada, soft skills are valued as much as technical skills – how you behave, communicate, and blend with the team are all equally important.
3. Outline achievements in your resume
Keep your resume crisp and quantify your achievements. Don’t just outline responsibilities. Ensure you can support those statements with valid examples during the interview.
4. Send a note while adding contacts on LinkedIn
Write a personalized message and include a blurb about yourself and the intention to connect.
5. Leverage the ‘Advanced Search’ feature on LinkedIn to find relevant contacts
Use filters for company, location, title, industry, etc., to narrow down your search results. This will ensure you are targeting the right people.
Failures and successes add up to a journey
I chose to move to Canada for the quality of life. It has been an adventure with both successes and failures, and it has worked out well for me. Newcomers coming to Canada should never hesitate to ask about the things they don’t know: Canadians are friendly and willing to help. Networking is number one. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is number two. Being prepared for interviews and preparing a stellar resume is number three.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, I feel fortunate to have a job and that I’m able to work from home. Even though we are socially distant at the moment, people are using video calls to connect. So you can still reach out, network and get to know people. Because we’re spending less time commuting there, we have more time to hone our skills or take up a hobby. I like to cook in my spare time and have been doing more of that these days. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll become a chef.
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