Written by Arcelia Camacho, PMP
From: Confused Job Seeker
Should I start applying to Canadian jobs before my landing date? Some forums say I could, and others advise against. I do not know what to do. Please advise.
Dear Confused Job Seeker:
You can apply to Canadian jobs before landing. When you do, make sure that you are willing to be interviewed late at night or very early in the morning depending on where you are currently living. Potential employers usually conduct interviews during business hours in their time zone.
Here’s what you could do to improve your chances of getting an interview:
1. Tailor your resume to the job posting. Tailoring your resume is crucial, especially if you are applying online. Chances are good that the company uses an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and you have to make sure your resume includes keywords relevant to the position. If you cannot pass the keyword scan, there is no way a hiring manager will give your resume and cover letter a second look.
2. Mention your availability for interviews in your cover letter. Yes, you need to send a cover letter. A cover letter is an opportunity to expand on the value you can bring to the company and explain unique situations such as your intention to relocate to Canada. There’s no need to provide detailed explanations. The potential employer needs to be made aware only of the following:
- You are relocating, and you are eligible to work in Canada
- Your availability for virtual and in-person interviews
For example, you could say “Please note that I will be relocating to Vancouver in October 2018 and I am eligible to work nationwide. Your opening presents the precise challenge I am seeking, and I would welcome the chance to discuss this opportunity with you.”
You may be wondering if the statement mentioned above could make the hiring manager discard your application. The answer is maybe, and it depends on many factors such as the urgency to get the position filled, and the number of suitable candidates shortlisted.
On the other hand, what is the point of delaying the disclosure of this information? If the potential employer wants to hire you, they will do their best to make it work. However, don’t expect the hiring manager to wait for you for months.
In a nutshell, this is my advice: Start applying to Canadian jobs before landing, tailor your resume, disclose in your cover letter that you are currently living outside Canada and will relocate soon, and make yourself available for interviews.
All the best in your job search!