Advice on Working in Canada

By Algonquin College Modified on March 09, 2018

There's help for international students finding work that can foster lifelong success!


You've come to a new country. Things were strange at first. But you've made friends, found your way around, and settled in.

Now you would like a job, something that might further your chosen career, and bring in some cash. What to do?

First, you'll need to determine whether as a student you can obtain a work permit. The first place to visit on this matter is the Canadian government's Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada's website. If you have any questions, you can turn to the College's International Education Centre on the 4th Floor of C Building.

But let's assume the paperwork is done and you can work. Now comes the tricky part - getting a job.

You'll find numerous online job sites, but it's important to understand the hidden job market. These are jobs that aren't necessarily found online, but through personal connections. Employers often hire someone they've met or connected with through a network. This means that establishing a network of connections is vital.

How do you make those connections? Job fairs are good for networking. The College's Student Employment Centre can help on this. The service hosts a Part-Time Job and Volunteer Fair. Doing volunteer work, whether on or off campus, is a good way to make connections and gain experience.

You can also check out the College's Career Networking Fair. The annual Tie into Business Networking Night is also a good opportunity for Business students to expand their network.

But even with the best connections, you still need to provide a polished resume and a compelling cover letter. It's important to know that the Canadian style on these matters may be different from what you're used to in your home country. Spelling mistakes, typos and inadequate grammar will likely get your application tossed in the garbage can.

Again, the campus Employment Centre can offer advice. But generally speaking, a good resume summarizes your education, skills, work experience and achievements. They are crucial in making a strong first impression even before you meet your prospective employer.

The interview is where you market yourself, convincing the employer that you are the best person for the job.

A few do's and don'ts on this point, courtesy the Employee Centre, are worth knowing.

  • Prepare for the interview. Do your research to learn about the company ahead of time. Use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You may be asked what you know about the company to determine your seriousness as a job candidate.
  • Be able to demonstrate that you understand the job requirements and how your skills and experience match those requirements.
  • In advance, think of the kind of questions you might get and respond as though you were already doing the interview. This will help you feel more at ease and confident facing the interviewers.
  • Dress appropriately for the interview, and be on time!

Good luck.