Living in Vancouver means living in one of the most expensive cities in the world and it’s why as a newcomer, having a steady source of income at the soonest is essential. That being side, it’s not always the easiest or fastest thing to do. We’ve applied to jobs that have answered negatively more than three months later! It is also more difficult with the “Canadian Experience” requirement that no one wants to admit to existing but may unconsciously be there in recruiters’ minds.
One thing to point out is that it’s very difficult to find work in Vancouver before moving or before having the necessary documents to be able to legally work. If your PR or work visa has already been accepted then make sure to mention that in the application or cover letter.
So if you’re wondering what the best ways to find work in Vancouver are, keep reading!
“Start building a network as soon as you land!” Probably the words you’ve heard over and over when anyone recommends finding work. For the introverts, this may sound like an absolute nightmare. How can one build a network when you don’t know anyone? Should one randomly approach people asking for a job?
Networking doesn’t necessarily have to be through a work setting. It can be through meeting people at the gym, on a hike, in a class and such. Whenever you’re talking to people, bring up the fact that you’re job hunting. There are multiple social media groups you can join and where the right opportunity for you may be posted or brought up.
2- Informational Interviews
Another thing you can do, and it’s not something I had heard of before, is informational interviews. In this role reversal situation, you are the interviewer. The premise is simple, find someone who works at a company you’re interested in working in or is in a position you’re interested in learning about, contact them and meet them for the interview. It’s important to be prepared as it will give you more insight, put yourself “out there”.
3- Job Fairs
Most of the job fairs one will come across when they’re new are the general ones that are recruiting for entry level jobs. Even the big companies won’t be hiring for their higher level positions. However, it’s a good networking opportunity to have that discussion with the company representatives and ask questions about the company itself.
That being said, be on the lookout for the more specialized job fairs that are targeted to a specific industry. Opportunities are more specific than the more generic job fairs ones and could prove to be more valuable in understanding the industry better.
Depending on where you come from, you may have or not used LinkedIn much in your day-to-day-life. From what we’ve seen so far, it is extremely important to have a presence there.
Make sure your profile is complete with a picture, education and work experience history, skills, certifications, a summary. Use LinkedIn as well as a way to build a network and reach out to people for an informational interview.
Indeed is one of the preferred sites to post and find work in Canada. It is usually the first place to start looking for job opportunities with a lot being listed there. Make sure to have your profile setup there before moving to Canada too.
Glassdoor is a great website to look at too. While there also are job opportunities listed there, the important of this site is that it has reviews of what it was like working at X or Y company. This is crucial as you don’t want to accept a job only to realize people are overworked and badly treated. It is also a good way to help identify scam job offers as well as understanding salary ranges better, leaving you better informed come negotiations time.
7- Check Companies’ Career Page
Often, it is better to apply directly through the company’s career page. That’s especially the case if you identify a company you would like to work rather than just applying to any company that has your preferred job position in mind. Using Glassdoor, LinkedIn and just by doing searches, you may come across companies that appeal to your values. You may also randomly come across a business website by doing day to day activities. Always take a look at the Careers section of the site as they may not always be posted elsewhere. It’s also been implied that if you find a listing elsewhere, applying from the company’s website would have a better appeal.
8- Recruitment Agencies
While trying to find a job directly is a good way, do not ignore going through recruitment agencies. A lot of the big companies hire those agencies to find staff on their behalf.
If you’re a newcomer, agencies are a great way to be in front of someone who can vouch on your ability to communicate and interact. It’s like a pre-interview that can help you get through the door. It’s through an agency that I was able to find both jobs I’ve had so far! There’s quite a few of them, some more general with other being more industry focused. They will also help you rework your resume as well as put your name forward for jobs that would be a good match to you.
9- Facebook Jobs
Facebook has been expanding on the various features their site has and a welcome addition is Facebook job board, not for working at Facebook but jobs listed in Facebook. Smaller companies and freelance work can be found there. The downside however would be a potential lack of vetting of the job postings.
10- Facebook Groups
There are plenty of Vancouver Facebook groups you can join and several of them are specifically related to jobs. Just type in “Vancouver jobs” in the search bar and voila!
Join them all and keep an eye out for specific opportunities that would fit you but also to one or two day jobs that can help you build connections and get some extra cash on the side to sustain yourself during your hunt.
11- Job Bank
Previous PR applicants had to apply to the government job bank as part of the process. Unfortunately, the job bank has a reputation to not provide any opportunities during that process. It is true that most candidates will prefer hiring someone that is already in Canada. This means that while it didn’t have much value during the initial process, it can be a good place to look after moving to Canada. Like with other platforms, make sure your profile is always up to date with the latest information.
12- Get “Canadian Experience”
Recruiters swear it’s a myth, most immigrants are adamant it’s not. Canadian experience is nothing more than actually working in Canada. The misconception is that it has to be a survival, very entry level job but that’s not always the case. It’s not a requirement to be able to get anywhere but if you do find yourself getting tight financially, working any type of job will help keep you afloat but also give you the ability to add a Canadian job on your resume. That will reassure future employers that you are already in Canada and have successfully been able to work.
13- Find your local Work B.C.
One of the things to do when you first arrive in B.C. is head over to the closest Work B.C. that covers the area you live in. Work B.C. offers a variety of workshops that include resume revamping and interview training, job search and job market resources and a counselor that will accompany you during your search.