Looking for tips to position yourself as a strong candidate in the Canadian job market? Here’s an interesting approach to get you started. Think of job search in Canada as playing a game. To win this game, you need to develop a strategy, then put in the practice hours, and when the time is right, give your best shot. The following steps include advice from David Mendoza, an educator and the CEO of Orbit 5, a career coaching initiative that prepares international students to launch meaningful careers.
Your strategy to master the job search game in Canada
A well-crafted résumé will give you the lead over other players. Of the hundreds of applications for any job, a small percentage of those move forward after being scanned by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). To increase the chances of your résumé being among the handful that make it to the hiring manager’s desk, you need to highlight your accomplishments and be concise.
Next comes determination and practice … lots of it
Where most applicants go wrong is that they list their tasks on their résumé. You need to turn the tasks into accomplishment statements. David shared the following example in his job search workshop at our Before You Arrive in Canada conference for pre-arrival immigrants.
If you have a task on your résumé that indicates that you “trained new employees”, you can turn it into an accomplishment by adding the result of the actions taken: “Trained new employees resulting in increased customer satisfaction.”
Take it a notch higher by adding numbers for context or time: “Trained more than 15 new employees over a 12-month period resulting in increased customer satisfaction.”
Make your accomplishment statement even more impressive by measuring the result and putting that result at the beginning: “Increased customer satisfaction by 25% through effectively training 15+ new employees over 1 year.”
What a drastic improvement, right? Now, practice more by repeating this for all your tasks and accomplishments.
Lastly, give your best shot and if needed, go again
It would be best if you clearly showcased to the recruiter or hiring manager what you have accomplished and what’s your unique value proposition. It’s the answer to oft-asked questions such as ‘why’ should the company hire you or ‘how’ do you help people through what you do? Take a look at some examples that convey messages effectively. The video explains this in more detail.
- “I reduce delivery times to keep customers and convenience store owners happy.”
- “I create customized travel itineraries that provide clients with a memorable experience.”
- “I help international students land jobs in 15 weeks or less.”
Finally comes the part that job applicants and interviewees worry about – the result. We truly hope that your résumé gets selected and you excel at that job interview. However, if the result isn’t in your favour, remember you have to keep playing the game. The better you navigate rejection, the stronger you will bounce back from it. Here are some tips:
- Express gratitude to the recruiter for their time and tell them you will keep updating them on how your skill set evolves because you want to be considered for future opportunities.
- Ask the hiring manager/interviewer for feedback on how you can improve your performance in future interviews.
- Expand your network on LinkedIn and connect with suitable people in your dream companies for informational interviews about desired roles.
If you found this article useful, don’t forget to share it with a fellow job seeker.