It’s not easy for the new kid in town to get interviews and job offers. Here’s what you should expect when you get to Canada.
One of the biggest challenges that landed immigrants face is convincing potential employers that their overseas education and foreign credentials are equivalent to – or even exceed – the qualifications for the job they are applying for. Jan Sheppard Kutcher, Employment Services Manager at Nova Scotia’s Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association, explains that newcomers will face one of two different scenarios.
Scenario 1: You are in a regulated field, such as medicine or engineering.
In this scenario, each profession’s provincial regulatory body has its own process for assessing and recognizing qualifications (the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials, CICIC, hosts directory of resources by province). Proving the equivalency of your credentials begins with these professional associations. This is easier for some professions than for others, but all associations share two goals: to benefit from well-trained, qualified workers, and to protect the safety and well-being of the communities they serve.
Scenario 2: You are in an unregulated field.
In this case, one step may be to contact a credentials-assessment service in your province (view a CICIC list of provincially mandated services here). Such services can provide you with a letter detailing what your education, credentials, and experience are equivalent to in Canada. A second step may be to demonstrate your skills on the job via a work-placement program (there are many organizations that help with work placements; one place to start looking is this this Citizen and Immigration Canada directory of provincial immigrant services). Such programs cost nothing to the employer and get you a local work reference – or in many cases, an actual employment offer.
Showcase the right skills
Jan Sheppard Kutcher, Employment Services Manager at Nova Scotia’s Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association, mentions the following common challenges: