Work in Canada
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, it requires thorough preparation, starting with a successful application. has prepared a set of country guides describing the main routes to employment in 31 countries. This is a brief abstract of the Looking for work in Canada guide, highlighting the main focus points. For more detailed information, consult the full guide on Canada.
Work permits in Canada
- Always the Canadian embassy in your home country to find out more about obtaining work permits.
- EU and US citizens may enter Canada for up to three months without a visa.
- A personal interview, medical test and background check may be involved in your application for a residence permit.
The application procedure in Canada
- Realise the importance of language skills. Having a conversation in a social setting is very different from a business negotiation.
- Canada is a large country; it is best to check the vacancies in the regional paper of the province where you want to work.
- The application process in Canada is very commercial and you have to actively sell yourself.
- In the English-speaking areas of Canada, the application is much like in the US. In the French-speaking areas of the country, it is more formal and less direct.
Writing a resume in Canada
- Use the term "resume" instead of CV.
- The key focus of your resume should be to persuade the employer to invite you for an interview. Therefore your resume is a marketing tool, which should be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it.
- It is advisable to write a short profile of yourself, using concise and punchy sentences filled with action verbs and power words.
- Your resume should be thematic; this should highlight the qualities that are important for the vacancy.
The application letter in Canada
- A Canadian application letter (or cover letter) has to be typed in a short and professional style.
- You should always find out whom to address the letter to.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry or the company. Use the company's website as a resource.
- Mention your telephone number in the last paragraph of your application letter.
Do's & Don'ts in Canada
- Use power words and action verbs in your application letter and resume.
- Be very specific in Canada when describing experiences or qualities.
- Add references to your resume, this is important for foreigners especially.
- Ask if you don' t understand the question.
- Provide examples to prove your achievements.
- Look interested
- ask questions in an interview.
- Sit until invited in a Canadian application interview.
- Look upon Canadians and Americans as one kind. Both parties do not appreciate this!
- Put anything besides the truth in your resume, your future boss will find always find out the truth eventually.
- Criticize former employers.
- Go over the top
- stay calm and stick to the facts.
Management culture in Canada
- Employees are motivated strongly by their employers and there is little direct criticism in either direction.
- In meetings, formal introductions and ice-breaking sessions are short.
- Office hours are rather flexible. In general, offices are open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.
- Do not use professional titles to introduce yourself in Canada. However if you are introducing someone else, do use their title.
For more information on employment in Canada, order the Looking for work in Canada guide one of 28 Expertise in Labour Mobility Looking for work in... guides. It's all you need to make that first successful step abroad!