The latest news and updates from the CanPrep team
We don’t need to tell you that interviewing for a new job is stressful. The experience of having to sit down in front of an employer and answering unknown questions can raise the anxiety of even the most confident job seeker. Interviewees worry about what they are expected to say, and whether they will mess up and make mistakes. For an already anxious job seeker, online video interviews brings a whole other level of unnerving challenges. CanPrep has assembled a panel of experts who share their advice on how to prepare for video interviews including:
- Do’s and don’ts during the interview
- What employers focus on during online interviews
- The right way to follow-up after an interview
- Personal success stories of being hired through online interviews
Preparing for employment through CanPrep’s one-on-one job coaching and mentorship services can help a new immigrant find gainful employment in Canada; sometimes within a few months of arriving, which was the case for Amol, our latest CanPrep success story.
- Job searching techniques
- A Canadian-style resume suitable for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
- Updated communication skills for the Canadian workplace
- Guidelines for networking on LinkedIn or in person
CanPrep gave Amol a better understanding of the Canadian job market and the confidence to interact with potential employers.
Benefits for MenteesRead More
CanPrep recently collaborated with Jason Purba, Financial Advisor at Scotiabank to present the next webinar on Banking Basics: Financial Literacy To Start Right In Canada. This webinar covers information on financial literacy for Canada including:
- Credit History
- Differences between Savings & Chequing Accounts
- Mortgages for Newcomers
- Making a Budget Work
- Protecting yourself from fraud.
Have you been wondering what your rights are as a worker under a Canadian employer? CanPrep’s webinar on “Employment Law in Canada – Know your Rights & Duties” is just for you. In this webinar we cover important topics like:
- Basic Employment rights
- Interview Questions: Legal Vs Illegal
- What is discrimination?
- Employment contracts
- Difference between Federal / Provincial laws
- Room for dismissals
- And more!
Each year our CanPrep program helps hundreds of newcomers start preparing for employment before arriving in Canada. Our Employment Specialists guide each participant through how to conduct a job search in Canada, participate in online mentoring, learn about their specific industry, connect with employers and apply for jobs.
Internationally trained professionals who enroll in the CanPrep program arrive in Canada well-prepared to find positions that fully utilize their skills and education.
Tasneem, a Marketing Specialist from Bangladesh, participated in the CanPrep program. Here is what he has to say about his experience.
Isn't it remarkable how time flies? I have now spent four seasons in Canada. [I wanted to] thank you for the greatest gift of all in my first year here. You listened to my story and shared your views on the industry and job market here. I feel indebted to you for sharing knowledge with me; each [step of the CanPrep program] has contributed to making me the person that I am today.
The last year brought with it the challenges expected with moving to a new country. After 11 years of [short term] marketing roles in different countries, I was "between jobs" for about 5 months. But I came across the term "up-skilling", and then made the most of it during summer. I got Google AdWords certified, completed an online diploma in digital marketing, earned an email marketing certification, learned basics of UX design, HTML & CSS, and built a portfolio. My short term contract was replaced with a permanent account management role.
Tasneem accessed the following resources through our program:
- One on one sessions with CanPrep Employment Specialist through Skype and Email
- Canadian job search advice and support based on individual needs
- Resume building tool
- Employer Connections – job board connecting to job postings that match candidates’ profiles
- Self-directed e-learning courses
What was the lasting result of Tasneem’s participation? He says “I have started to find my feet in Canada. Thanks to you.”
A panel of leading experts answer your questions on how to excel at a Canadian job search
Learning how to conduct a job search in Canada and how to be successful in the workplace is an integral part of finding employment in Canada. CanPrep, a leader in providing pre-arrival programs for internationally trained professionals, hosts a webinar with employers representing some of the largest companies in Canada.
In this webinar, you'll learn about:
- Hiring Practices
- Workplace culture
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Tips on job searches, resumes & cover letters
- Open positions / industry trends
- Effective interviewing tips
- Getting a job through staffing companies
Learn how to apply at these participating organizations. Expand your professional network in Canada!Read More
What exercise is to the body, employment is to the mind and morals. – Henry David Thoreau
For anyone immigrating to a new country, finding employment as soon as you arrive is a top priority. It was no different for Dale who was preparing to leave his home in the Philippines and his well-established career in Accounting. When he started researching the job market in Canada, he came across JVS Toronto's CanPrep pre-arrival employment program and signed up. With determination and focus, Dale worked his way through the following steps of the CanPrep program:Read More
TORONTO, May 23, 2017 – Scotiabank is giving a boost to new immigrants before they arrive in Canada through a three-year sponsorship to enhance CanPrep, a national pre-arrival program, funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and delivered by JVS Toronto in partnership with TRIEC and other Canadian community organizations.
CanPrep provides employment preparation and guidance to immigrants who have been granted visas but have not yet arrived in Canada. This responsive approach, supported by IRCC and now Scotiabank, provides immigrants with timely preparation for a successful integration into the Canadian labour market and society.Read More
Parisa was an established Telecommunications Engineer in her home country of Iran. Like many immigrating to a new country, Parisa was nervous and plagued with questions. How will I settle in a new country? I don’t know anyone, will I make friends? I have a good job now, will I be able to find something equally good? She took to the internet to look for answers. She started conducting research on her specific job sector almost five months before her arrival date. This is when she came across JVS Toronto and discovered CanPrep pre-arrival employment services.Read More
Building professional connections is a great way to find opportunities that could lead to employment – especially when you are a newcomer to Canada. Networking with professionals in your field for information and career growth should be an important aspect of every newcomer’s job search strategy.
Using LinkedIn to build your Canadian professional network
The good news is that you can start building your professional network even before you arrive - for example - by using LinkedIn as a professional networking tool.
This was the topic of discussion for CanPrep's webinar.
This interactive webinar shares insights on LinkedIn’s professional profiling techniques and how to maximize this tool to further your job search and market your skills in the Canadian job market. This webinar recording will provide information on:
- Why using LinkedIn is important for job search in Canada
- LinkedIn profile guide: what’s expected in Canada, tips to make your profile standout
- Current hiring trends using LinkedIn
- Starting a network from scratch
- How to connect to the industry in Canada
Information interviews are one-on-one meetings you can request (in person or online) to learn more about another person’s job, organization, sector and industry. This can be used as an effective tool for networking and part of a Canadian job search strategy.
CanPrep program offers insightful e-Learning modules that cover topics like Information Interviews, Online Networking, Canadian Resume and Cover Letter.
CanPrep recently organized a webinar on the topic “How-to Guide: Information Interviews.” In this blog post, we are responding to some of your frequently asked questions.
What kind of questions can I ask during information interviews?
Information interviews can have both long term and short term impact on your job search process. It’s one of the most effective networking tools. So being prepared with all the relevant information on the company and the employer’s program and position is vital. The key is to get the other person talking. Here are some sample questions that you can use to conduct an information interview:
Are there any specific training / education requirements to get into your line of work?
What do you like most/ least about your work?
What is a typical day (or week) like for you?
How did you become interested in this field?
What kind of problems do you typically deal with at work?
What related fields do you think I should consider looking into?
Can you think of anyone else you can connect me to for additional information?
As suggested in this Monster.ca article, the right questions can also open up opportunities you might not have thought of before. For example, you might learn about an internship opportunity at the company that can help you get your foot in the door, or it might open your eyes to a new skill you should learn in order to make yourself more marketable in that specific industry.
What should I wear for the meeting (online or in person)?
Research what outfit works for the specific industry. For example, if it is Banking industry – formal attire like a formal dress or tie and suit is the norm; dress code may be more casual in the information technology industry – so wear something more casual, jeans might even be acceptable! Be cognizant of the attire even if you are connecting with the employer online.
Should I take my Resume to the information interview?
The simple answer is – Yes! Although the intention of information interview is information gathering, go prepared. Introduce yourself with your elevator pitch and have your resume handy in case it comes up during the conversation. Remember you are also trying to make an impression here so do not ask for a job directly. You can always include a line like “I’ll be happy if you consider me for any future job opportunities in your organization.” - in the thank you email after you meet with the person.
Are there any don’ts that I should keep in mind?
- Don’t ramble on about yourself! Let the other person do the talking – engage them. What people remember is how you made them feel during a conversation, not what you said. Be strategic, ask relevant questions about their personal experiences.
- Research basic information. Don’t waste their time asking simple things that you can easily Google. Make sure you ask the right questions to the right individuals. For example, do not ask someone from Human Resources questions about Marketing. It will be a waste of their time and they’ll end up having a bad impression of you.
- Stick to the agreed upon time limit. If you asked them for a 20 minutes coffee, try not to exceed that time. Canadians are usually very polite and may not point out anything directly so be mindful of the person’s body language. If they are fidgeting / looking at their watch, at the end of the stipulated time, it usually means they are busy.
I am an introvert. How do I handle information interviews?
You don’t have to be an extrovert to network or conduct information interviews. You are not expected to be outgoing – but definitely polite and professional.
If you are an introvert, being prepared and conducting research can work to your advantage. Make a list of your questions - use research to help make your questions interesting.
Be genuine – it’s ok to mention to the other person that you are an introvert or shy during the conversation. You can also figure out a way to communicate this to the person you are interviewing prior to the meeting. They may also be introverts and might appreciate your honesty! Enjoy the interaction / experience.
How do I keep in touch after an information interview?
Networking is a long term investment. Make sure you follow-up after the meeting. A good thank you email can take you a long way. In the email, cover what your take away from the meeting was, reinforce what the person had committed to you (if they had agreed to send you information or connect you to someone). Ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Once you connect with them on LinkedIn, stay in touch.
Do I have to be present in-person for information interviews?
No - you don’t have to be. Information interviews can be done via email, LinkedIn, Skype and other connectivity tools even before you arrive in Canada. Remember, when you are trying to connect on Skype, you may have to find a time convenient for an employer in a different time zone – within their work hours.
You can get more pointers on information interviews at the JVS Toronto blog.
Have a question you’d like answered in the CanPrep Blog? Contact email@example.com.
Information interviews are one-on-one meetings you can request (in person / online) to learn more about another person’s job, organization, sector and industry. This can be used as an effective tool in your Canadian job search process.
When you’re a newcomer to Canada, building professional connections and conducting information interviews is a great way to find opportunities that could lead to employment. Having conversations with professionals in your field for information and career growth should be part of your job search and is an effective way to network and build your personal brand.
CanPrep program offers insightful e-Learning modules that cover topics like Information Interviews, Online Networking, Canadian Resume and Cover Letter.
This interactive webinar presented by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) in partnership with JVS Toronto (CanPrep), shares insights from employers on how to network and build social capital through information interviews focusing on what you can do prior to your arrival in Canada.
After viewing the webinar, you will:
- Identify how to use information interviews to enhance your job search before coming to Canada
- Learn about approaches you can take to arrange and conduct information interviews prior to arriving
- Understand the value of information interviews from the perspective of employers
Click on the "Play" button to view the webinar. Watch out for our follow-up blog post on this topic where we respond to some Frequently Asked Questions on Information Interviews in Canada.
- Anna Kostecka, Manager, Learning Initiatives, TRIEC
- Melissa Magder, Senior Manager, Inclusion, Scotiabank
- Peter Hawkins, Owner, MELLOHAWK Logistics
- Irene Vaksman, Director, Newcomer Services, JVS Toronto
JVS Toronto’s CanPrep program is designed to guide internationally trained professionals through the challenging aspects of the Canadian job market. Many CanPrep participants find jobs in their field shortly after they arrive, and sometimes even before they have left their home country!
Mark is a Test Automation Engineer from Philippines who was able to secure a job offer in a similar position, 3 days before he arrived in Canada!
He believes a strong resume helped him find employment faster. He was able to build this resume with the help of personalized employment counseling, online learning modules and tools offered by the CanPrep program.
We asked Mark to tell us how CanPrep helped and to share some tips. This is what he had to say:
How has pre-arrival program helped ease your transition into Canada?
CanPrep pre-arrival program has helped me gain better understanding of the Canadian job market.
What aspects of the program did you find particularly helpful?
Resume building is one of the best aspects of the program. Without it, I would not have been able to get a job because my earlier resume wasn't tailored to the Canadian job market.
What did you think would be your biggest challenges before arriving in Canada?
Finding a job, a place to live in and other settlement things to do during the first few weeks of arriving were certainly things I worried about.
What do you feel about the challenges post arrival?
Good research and preparing well for these challenges helped us settle much faster.
What are the various strategies you used that helped you find your job?
I did 3 main things which helped me find employment:
- Tailored my resume to suit the Canadian job market with help from CanPrep program
- Targeted jobs that match my skill set
- Persistent in my job search
Any pre-arrival job search tips that you would like to share with other CanPrep participants who are looking to immigrate to Canada soon?
Prepare early, tailor your resume to the Canadian job market and specific to the industry as well. Apply to jobs even if only one or two of your major skills match.
Would you recommend CanPrep program to others, why?
Definitely! I feel that 70% of my success in landing a job before landing in Canada is because of the CanPrep program. Remaining 30% is on individuals to research companies, look for jobs and prepare and perform well in interviews.
Has Mark's story motivated you? Are you ready to enrol in the CanPrep program? Register here!
Have a question you’d like answered in the CanPrep blog? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More
This is a continuation to our previous article on Volunteering titled Why volunteering is essential to job search in Canada. This article attempts to clarify the difference between Volunteering, Co-op placement and Internship in Canada.
Volunteering is described as an unpaid activity where someone gives their time to help an organization or a cause. It is of benefit for both parties involved and does not involve financial payment. Volunteering is usually done on a part-time basis depending on the availability of the volunteer and the organization need.
When deciding where to volunteer think about these aspects:
- environment– creative, philanthropic, medical, people focused, technical, financial, media, etc.
- time commitment
- what do you bring to the organization and the role
- what do you want out of the experience
- what kind of people do you like to work with
- is this strictly for fun or charity, or is it to further your career growth
Co-op or Co-operative placement is usually associated with a course or certification offered by an education institution or employment centre offering a job related program. Co-op allows you to apply concepts learned in class during paid work terms. At the end of the placement, you will have not only a certification that indicates you participated in a CO-OP program but also work experience in your field of study and a network of valuable contacts. All of these factors will contribute to helping you find a job more easily after the course completion. You can find more information on this topic on Settlement.org
An Internship is a professional working position that is typically offered to students or inexperienced workers. It enables the intern to gain valuable work experience and on-the-job training, while providing the employer with an enthusiastic worker.
Some internships are paid positions, while others are unpaid. Both allow you to work within an organization to gain first-hand experience about a particular industry or field of work. Internships help inexperienced workers get involved in the workplace, and can sometimes lead to permanent positions.
Since internships are full-time positions, watch out for unpaid internships. While they vary from province to province, there are sets of rules governing how internships must be run. These rules are designed to protect interns, ensuring their internship helps spur their career. Most provinces ask that any unpaid internship be a requirement for a formal education program, offering practical learning experiences.
Whether it’s Co-op placement or paid internship or volunteering work – any of these can be excellent means for a newcomer to show that they have the skills necessary for potential job opportunities in their field.
Resources to find Volunteering opportunities in Canada:
Environmental volunteering: goodwork.ca
British Columbia & Alberta: govolunteer.ca
Ontario: Ontario Volunteer Centre Network
Paid Internships: careeredge.ca
For more job search tips, register to talk to a CanPrep Employment Counsellor. Click here: https://www.jvstoronto.org/pre-arrival/canprep/#canprep-registrationRead More
CanPrep program’s recent webinar on “Harnessing the Power of Networking for Professional Success " covered Volunteering as a vital tool to build on your network as a newcomer to Canada. Volunteering gives newcomers an opportunity to start using your skills from Day 1 of arriving here and also to develop new skills. Some immigrants who need to brush up on their English or French skills can do so while volunteering. Volunteering will not only give you practical knowledge of Canadian workplace but also add valuable Canadian experience to your resume. Networking opportunities offered by volunteering helps you tap into the “hidden job market” which can represent as much as 80% of available jobs. You can learn more about the hidden job market in CanPrep’s eLearning modules on ‘Getting Hired in Canada’
Gain related professional experience.
Research and identify organizations that have legitimate volunteer departments, represent causes that are meaningful for you, and that have possible spots where you can gain work experience, learn and improve your skills and qualifications. Check out sites such as Charity Village, Working in Non-profit, Volunteer Toronto, your relevant sector council or professional association as places to volunteer.
Build and Leverage Your Professional Network.
While you are volunteering, be dedicated and apply the same effort to your volunteering as you would as an employee. Always make sure your work gets done. Be as helpful as possible to others. Make an effort to have lunch with the team, and find other opportunities to start meeting other people at the company. Build a relationship with your supervisor because they may be able to refer you to a colleague for another opportunity.
Help others and help yourself.
Research reports that adults who volunteer may live longer and healthier lives and it increases empathy and compassion. It’s not good to isolate yourself when you are looking for work. Volunteering can help you get out of your home and get involved in positive experiences, as well as get the positive feeling that you are giving back to the community.
Bridge the gaps in your resume.
Add your volunteer experience to your resume and social media presence. Employers value candidates who make a difference in the community; it helps you answer the question “what are you doing right now?” It also covers the gap in your work history and keeps you busy while you are looking for paid employment.
How to prepare for volunteering before you arrive:
If you are an Internationally Trained professional and you understand that volunteering can be an excellent tool to give you a head-start into your career in Canada, here are ways you can start preparing even before you arrive:
- Research organizations that offer positions in or close to your field
- Establish connection with the organization to understand their needs
- Few weeks before arrival write to the organization and inform that you are interested in volunteering as soon as you arrive
Resources to find Volunteering opportunities in Canada: