Skilled work experience is a requirement to qualify under Express Entry. However, many international students struggle to find skilled jobs after graduation. If you are an international student going to graduate soon or have graduated, here are 5 tips on how to navigate the job market and land a skilled job.
Start Your Job Search Early
Canada allows international students to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week. Use this opportunity to explore the job market, and understand the requirements of the position you want.
For example, those searching for marketing positions will be required to handle an organization’s social media, create content, run ad campaigns, and more. Identify the necessary skills for your desired job, then practice them through freelancing or volunteering.
Keep a Record of Your Best Work
If you have graduated without any experience in your field, use your classwork to showcase your skills. It is best to build a portfolio including your best work to show samples to your future employers, this can include blogs, presentations, and other interactive projects.
Additionally, if you are currently studying, use assignments as an opportunity to learn, polish skills, and experiment under your professor’s guidance.
Networking is Key
Most job searches are networking. To begin with, professors are your best resources. Utilizing their professional connections, they may be able to help you identify organizations that are hiring.
Moreover, seek volunteer opportunities that will help connect you to industry professionals. If not, you’ll still gain experience and build meaningful connections.
Connect with Alumni
Linkedin is another tool you should use to build connections. For example, you can visit your school’s LinkedIn page and filter through offered courses to find alumni from your program. In addition, you can learn from your school alumni how they got their position and if their organization is hiring.
Utilize Career Services of your University or College
Your school’s career services can help identify where your application needs improvements. Career services can also help you update your résumé according to Canadian standards. Moreover, proofread the cover letter to identify mistakes and provide valuable suggestions. Lastly, consider undertaking mock interviews to practice interview skills with a professional.
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