Oh, Canada. The land of maple syrup, ice hockey, and friendly citizens. Who wouldn’t want to live and work in a country with beautiful landscapes and delicious poutine (a local delicacy of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy)? To get a job in Canada as an American may be a dream for many: A dream that is held by some for years, and come upon by others as soon as they visit the land up north!
With its wide open spaces and abundant wildlife, Canada is a nature lover’s paradise. Quaint towns and liberal politics may be what attracts others. Regardless of your politics, everyone would agree that Canadian’s charming and polite personalities are one of the major reasons living and working in the country is desirable.
Is it easy to get a job in Canada?
It’s not exactly a breeze to get a job in Canada. U.S. citizens will need to be sponsored, or even hold dual citizenship, in order to work in Canada. In a nutshell, working in Canada isn’t for the short-term oriented. In fact, finding legal employment in Canada may take months or even years of dedication—so you better be serious about it!
However, there are specific things you can do to better your chances and make employers choose you. By staying positive and putting in the work where it matters, you’ll be able to find work to live on, and work you enjoy.
If you know anyone who’s immigrated to Canada, now is the time to get in touch with them and see if they have any advice. Otherwise, it’s best to start from the ground up and do independent research.
What’s your first step? Who can help you along the way? What may apply to you that is not required for others? It’s easy to get a job in Canada if you prepare in advance, seek help from others and the resources at your disposal, and meet some basic requirements. Speaking of…
What are the requirements to work in Canada?
The requirements to work in Canada don’t just include visa and immigration considerations (although that’s important). You should also keep in mind that to work in Canada, you’ll need:
1. Language skills
Canada’s two official languages are English and French, both of which are a fundamental part of Canadian history and culture. If you speak English, but not French, this would be a good time to start learning! While not a requirement for many jobs, it will make you stand out from others immigrating, and give you a leg up when it comes to applying for competitive jobs in Canada.
2. A CV adapted for Canadian employers
As with everything, your application materials should be adapted for the country in which you are applying for jobs. Improve your resume for Canadian hiring managers by making it:
- Specific to the job you are applying to
- Relevant to the experience and skills needed for said job
- Team-oriented rather than just a list of individual achievements (don’t forget to include any volunteer work you’ve done)
- Short and precise, utilizing keywords found in the job description
If you work in a field like medicine, law, or social work, you will need to get your qualifications accredited in Canada. This is a process best started early, so start preparing to have your credentials validated as soon as you can.
4. An understanding of the local culture and history
Knowledge of the languages of the place you’ll be working in should be paired with knowledge of its culture and history. Being able to relate to the audience or potential customers of the region will make you better able to serve them (or sell to them).
Regardless of the type of work you are looking for, this will be seen as an invaluable skill to an employer. It will also help with your visa application.
5. Knowledge of where to look for jobs
So, where can you get a job in Canada as an American? The Canadian government has a job search tool called the Job Bank for anyone looking for work throughout the country. It can also help you narrow down your search to a particular area if you’re not sure where you’d like to settle. Other job search sites include those popular in the U.S. as well: Indeed, Monster, Google, and beyond.
6. A positive attitude
Canadians are well known for being kind, welcoming, and positive. It’s important that you emulate this important aspect of Canadian culture during your job search. Employers want to know you’ll be able to adapt to Canadian life, which includes a positive attitude!
7. Networking help
Networking is hugely important when immigrating and seeking work. Getting a job in Canada as an American may be more difficult due to stereotyping; Americans are sometimes viewed as obnoxious, ignorant, and independent by other parts of the world, going against the generally polite and team-oriented nature of Canadians.
By meeting people who can vouch for you, or share tips and tricks for applying to various positions, you’ll help combat that negative stereotype and build a network of good references.