Do you know you don’t necessarily need to do a survival job here in Canada before getting into your formal, dream career?
Do you know you don’t have to start at the entry level of your career here in Canada?
Do you know you can land three offers, I mean three great offers, here in Canada in less than three months of landing here in Canada? YES You Can! No, I didn’t just say this because Barack Obama used the slogan in 2008 and made the FIRST BLACK, AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT of the United States of America. I said “Yes You Can” because that was what happened to me. Yes, you heard right. I landed a fantastic gig in about two months after I landed in Canada. I got more than two offers, and yes, I didn’t start from intermediate or junior level. How did I do it?
I focused on the 3Cs. CONTAINER, CONTENT AND CARRIAGE.
I am XYZ, a recruiter with XYZ Organization. I received your resume for the post of Snr Business Analyst.
I find your resume very rich and interesting and I would like to schedule you for an interview with the hiring manager. Kindly confirm your availability for an interview at our office in Toronto…
I started receiving mails like the one above barely a week after I got here, and I lost count of such emails after about two week. They just kept coming in.
But it wasn’t just email messages alone. I had telephone calls too. Something like the conversation below:
Recruiter: Hello good, morning. My name is XYZ, I am a Recruiter working for the top banks and telecom organizations here in Canada. Am I speaking with Bola?
Me: Yes please, this is Bola.
Recruiter: Great Bola. Is it a good time to talk?
Me: Yes please, it is. What did you say your name is again?
Recruiter: Yes, My name is XYZ and a Recruiter for ABC Bank. I saw your resume and I think it perfectly matches an opening I am trying to fill for one of our clients, a telecoms provider here in Toronto, and wanted to talk to you to better understand your skillsets, expectations both from us and from you as well…
Telephone calls such as the above conversation typically characterized my first month.
As you are reading this, I hear the question in your head and mouth. And I can guess the question is “What did you do”? And that’s what ushers in the first C of my 3Cs, the CONTAINER.
The mails and the telephone calls I received came in because they saw my resume, which I would call the CONTAINER. It’s the container, because that was the first thing recruiters and hiring managers saw before seeing me. Just like products, you first see the container before you feel the content. So, how did I come about an interesting one? A resume that interested recruiters and hiring managers? Well, a bit of background. My name is Bola and I arrived in Canada as an International PR without any knowledge or experience of the Canadian market, however I came in to the country prepared.
Two to three months before I arrived here, I knew my somewhat average resume from Africa wouldn’t work here, so through some research and the email I received from IRCC for my PR, I found PrepCan, and that was the moment my journey really started. I had a few online correspondence with a representative to understand my skill-sets and career objectives, then she requested for my resume. And within a day or two, she sent me an update with comments, corrections, suggestions and edits. Specifically, she asked to focus on accomplishment, soft and technical skills etc. This was when I became READY with my resume, or better still, what some of my friends called the “ATTENTION GRABBING RESUME”
A fantastic resume will fetch you an interview. But you need to be able to then convince the hiring managers and the interviewers that you know your stuff. Basically, you need to talk the talk.
During one of the webinars I attended from PrepCan, the facilitator discussed how to attend and ace interviews. From how to dress, how to shake hands, how to sit, to how to respond to questions etc. I followed those steps and advice during my interviews and it paid off. I got to the final stages of interview processes of more than three companies. In fact, one HR Manager told me I interview very well and they enjoyed every interview session I attended.
It’s very possible to have a good resume, know your stuff, but lack the creativity and carriage that would fetch you an offer. This was another thing I worked on during my interview process.
I remember using the STAR format during my interviews, always focusing on the problem I solved with the projects I worked on, elevating my achievements during those engagements and sounding confident and believable. Another Hiring Manager told me after the interview “Bola, we need someone like you on our team and can’t wait to have you join us”
So, there you go about my 3Cs. But I won’t leave you hanging, I will provide you with few tips to getting yourself a great job in Canada.
- Never land without using a Pre-Arrival Service such as PrepCan
- Make sure you have a Canadian-compliant resume that has been reviewed and ‘approved’ by an agency or consultant
- Make sure your skills match the skills required in the job opening. This is KEY
- Have a captivating Cover Letter
- Research every company you are applying to, in order to understand what the company does, the people in the organization, their core values etc.
- Use LinkedIn as your tool. Connect with practitioners in your field and those currently working in the organizations you would like to apply to
- If possible, do mock interviews
- Be confident during your interviews. Speak calmly, and boldly. Relate your experience to every question asked, and make sure you understand the questions
- Focus on your soft skills
- Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn, ask for a meeting (coffee etc.)
- Network! Network!! Network!!!