Most of us can’t afford to travel just to network or to discuss hiring practices and future career opportunities. And most of us cannot afford international student tuition – Canada’s universities can be expensive – or don’t qualify to study. The majority of people have to look for a Canada job offer from an employer from where they are living right now. This is absolutely the hardest part of coming to Canada. And unfortunately, there is no way of making it easier.
What is a job offer in Canada?
A job offer letter is a document that a Canadian employer gives you (as a temporary worker). It explains the details of your job. Generally, a job offer letter (or “employment letter”) is less detailed than a contract.
The letter includes information about:
- The job title for the position being offered;
- Job description, including main duties and responsibilities;
- Requirements for the position – a list of necessary professional credentials, education, skills, experience, and licenses, as required;
- Details about start and end dates (if applicable) of the position;
- Specifics about the salary you are offering – both wages and other forms of payment; and
- The name and address of the employer, the address of the employee’s future place of work, and the details of a contact person at the Canadian company who is familiar with the job offer.
If you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), include a copy of your job offer letter with your work permit application.
An “offer of employment” is not the same as a “job offer letter”. If your employer doesn’t need an LMIA to hire you for the job, they need to submit the offer of employment in the Employer Portal. Once submitted, the portal generates an offer of employment number that you need when you apply for your work permit.
How can I get a job offer from Canada?
There are a number of ways of getting a job offer from a Canadian employer while you are overseas.
1. Recruitment agencies
Contacting one or more recruitment agencies focused on your profession can be the best bet to secure an offer letter from a Canadian employer. Companies or Employers cannot access talent from all sources and are increasingly relying on headhunters or recruitment companies to find the right candidate. Companies pay these agencies/headhunters so avoid so ones who are asking you to pay them for their services.
There are many agencies that are oriented towards foreign workers but there are many more that are not. With that said, however, the recruiters in Canada are generally very helpful. If they can’t find a match for you, they will definitely give very helpful feedback for your career in Canada.
There’s a saying that goes by “The right people, in the right place, at the right time”, which explains the power of networking. If you have friends or family in Canada who are working in the same domain as yours or happen to know employers in their network looking to fill in a position, then they can put in good words for you. This is definitely the simplest of all ways listed in here to secure a job offer and land in Canada with a valid work visa. Networking has never ceased to amaze me.
Every job offer has to be LMIA positive, which means Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) give their consent for a foreign worker who can fill in specific job requirements that no other Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) or citizen can. They evaluate and ensure if the employment of foreign workers will not have any negative impact on the Canadian Labour market.
Ontario and British Columbia have started their tech pilot programs as these provinces are lacking in the tech talent pool. So if you are linked to the IT sector and targetting these provinces then conditions are favorable.
3. Self Initiator
Tons of jobs never get advertised. Instead, employers give the job to a person they have already met or they know. So only way to be that person who gets the job is to be in the right place at the right time i.e. to cold call, which you could do over the telephone, email or in person.
You can be benefitted with this approach in the following ways:
- Employer offers to keep your resume and call if something pops up.
- Suggest you contact them later as a job matching your skills will be available soon.
- Offers you a placement, internship or sometimes option to work voluntarily (without pay).
- Updates you about another employer looking for a candidate like you.
Employers do appreciate candidates who take charge and are self-motivated. If you are indeed one of them and happen to convince employer then they will hire you no matter which part of the world you’re in.
4. Job Bank
One of Canada’s leading sources of labor market information is Job Bank. It is just like any other job search portal online but in addition to private jobs, it also lists all the government jobs across all departments. Job seekers and employers can find and list jobs for free and one can find a plethora of job opportunities bundled with the job and educational requirements, salary or wage rate and most importantly outlooks and current employment trends.
Although job bank is well aligned with immigration streams and labor market needs, it should not be your primary job search portal as many private employers use multiple hiring platforms or even headhunters to fill in talent and may skip advertising jobs on the portal.
With half a billion members and counting, LinkedIn is geared as a professional networking tool where you can connect with existing employees of the company or can also check the company job portal.
Whichever domain you’re working in, it is highly recommended to create your professional profile, if it is not done yet and update it with all your experiences and achievements. The employee can use LinkedIn in a variety of ways, ranging from professional networking to job search. Many employers have set the LinkedIn profile as a benchmark of candidate evaluation as LinkedIn offers great tools for prospective candidate analytics. So it will be beneficial for all of your job applications, if you have an updated and well maintained LinkedIn profile.
6. Job portals
Monster, Indeed, and Workopolis are popular job portals bridging employers, recruiters and employees. Creating and updating your profile to your current experience is advised. The best part about these job portals is not only they have listed from employers but also from recruiters who are looking for appropriate talent for multiple clients/companies.
Indeed has an upper hand when it comes to job search as it clubs and list jobs posted on all (most of) online job search portals which makes job searching a lot easier and concise.
That said, I can conclude this as even though this is a list of must-do things while searching for a job offer in Canada, it is also encouraged to keep an eye on all other possibilities.
Can I go to Canada without a job offer?
Some people actually don’t need a job offer to work in Canada. Those people can be divided into groups
- Professions that do not require a work permit
- Skilled worker
- Business owners
However, if you are not in one of these groups, you need a job offer to work in Canada even if your occupation is LMIA exempt. If you are even slightly unsure as to whether or not you need a job offer, work permit or LMIA, you should assume that you probably do require one or both of them
What makes a job offer valid under Express Entry?
Generally, a valid offer is for a job that is:
- full-time and non-seasonal,
- for at least one year,
- in a skilled job listed as Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B in the 2016 National Occupational Classification.
A job offer must be in writing and must set out details of the job they are offering you, such as:
- your pay and deductions
- your job duties
- conditions of employment, like your hours of work.
In most cases, a valid job offer must be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The employer has to apply for one from Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada.
If they get a positive LMIA, they must give you a copy and a written job offer. In some cases, your employer does not need an LMIA to support your job offer. Under Express Entry, a valid job offer will give you additional points in the Comprehensive Ranking System.
A work permit on its own is not a job offer, even if it is an open work permit. When you create your Express Entry profile, include the LMIA number to show that you have a valid job offer. If you get invited to apply, the government may ask you for the original document, so keep it in a safe place.
A job offer is not valid if your employer is:
- an embassy, high commission or consulate in Canada, or
- on the list of ineligible employers.
If your employer is not eligible, does not get a positive LMIA, or is not LMIA-exempt you will not meet the requirements of a valid job offer for arranged employment.
How many CRS points do you get for a job offer for Express Entry?
In Express Entry, the number of CRS points you receive for a Canadian job offer depends on the NOC code of the offered position. You can receive either 50 or 200 points, depending on the skill level of your position, but only upper management positions are awarded the highest amount of 200 points.
- 200 points: Job offers at NOC codes beginning with 00
- 50 points: All other job offers at NOC skill level 0, A, or B
How to find a Canadian job offer for Express Entry?
There are many ways to search for a Canadian job offer. But, before starting your job hunt, you have to make sure you’re prepared for the Canadian job application process. Follow these simple steps to prepare yourself and get the best possible chance of finding a Canadian job offer:
Step 1: Format your CV by Canadian standards
Canadian employers expect a specific format for CVs (also called resumes). There’s a good chance that the format might differ from your home country.
Step 2: Write a cover letter Canadian employers will love
Most employers in Canada expect job applicants to include a cover letter with their initial application. If you don’t include a cover letter, or if you use the format, you might be losing out.
Step 3: Ensure you’re using LinkedIn to your advantage
LinkedIn, the social networking site for working professionals is used by many employers to fill open job positions.
Step 4: Apply for the right jobs
Take the time to find positions that fit your experience and to craft a standout application. After creating an eligible Express Entry profile, you will receive a job seeker validation code that will allow you to register your profile with the Canadian job bank. As well, many Canadian jobs are advertised using job boards and social media like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Ziprecruiter.
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