What are Required
Resume & Cover Letter
Resume (or CV as most of us referred in Sri Lanka) and cover letter are the first step in finding a job. You may have to customize your resume to suit the job that you apply for. No matter how many times you read it over, you may not catch a spelling or grammatical error. There are no rules you must follow but you want your résumé to help you look different from all the others and at the same time be standard enough that an employer can find your information easily. There are specific Canadian standards in resume writing that you should be looking for. You can download specific templates for free from internet or refer known alumni for a sample. GTA & suburbs have many immigrant services and job agencies that will have resume & cover letter writing workshops too.
If you are a newcomer, you are at a disadvantage without an established network. The only way to rectify this situation is to attempt to make up for lost contacts by becoming a joiner. Join community groups, professional associations, interest clubs, sports teams or any other groupings that will put you in contact with people you wouldn't ordinarily meet. It is important to attempt to socialize and get to know these people. Shyness is not an option. Your network is thin; you are missing all those childhood friends, former employers and relatives who could introduce you to an employer. You will need to work extra hard to make those contacts. The best way to find a job is by talking to people in your network. Your network of friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances is a valuable job search resource. The vast majority of jobs openings are never advertised; they are filled by word of mouth.
Depending on the employer’s requirements, you may be asked to do a credential assessment on your educational certificates. As this is not a must and cost money, you may wait until a specific requirement arises. If you wish to continue further studies or apply for scholarships this may become an essential requirement.
Following are some known sources for that
Comparative Education Service (CES) at the University of Toronto – Evaluates academic credentials that you earned outside of Canada.
International Credentials Assessment Service (ICAS) - Evaluates credentials from secondary school, post-secondary school and technical qualifications.
World Education Services (WES) - Evaluates secondary school and post-secondary school diplomas and degrees that you completed outside of Canada. WES has a contract from the Ontario government to perform evaluation services.
Where to get support
There are many job services agencies operate in Ontario. You should be cautious in finding and selecting the right place for your profession as each and every one has its specific fields and services. As most of these agencies and organizations use federal and provincial immigrant service funds, you can only register with one or in some cases couple of providers.
Ontario Bridge Training Program
There are several government funded programs that help newcomers with professional qualifications get their licenses and/or certificates and very well valued Canadian experience. One such program which several of our alumni members have been benefited from is “Ontario Bridge Training Program”. This program which is offered by Ontario universities and community colleges is designed for internationally trained individuals with post-secondary degree. This program provides bursaries for the participants. You may find more information about this program by following the link below; http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/keyinitiatives/bridgetraining.shtml
Co-operative Education Program (Co-Op)
“Co-op” program (co-operative education program) is another government funded program aimed at migrants with international qualifications and experience. This is basically “Adult Learning Program” geared towards skilled migrants to get Canadian work experience that is generally an essential element in finding a job in Canada. The length of this program is approximately 18 weeks with “in school” component and a “co-op placement” with various employers, both in government and corporate sector.
In school component of the program (approximately 7 weeks) is generally designed to enhance communication skills of the participants and help the participant to prepare a good resume and cover letter. You will also learn how to do job search and will practice mock interviews.
Co-op work placement (approximately 9 weeks) is usually unpaid and gives the ‘Co-op student” an opportunity to get weeks of Canadian experience in their profession and references which can be very useful in job search. Co-op work placement allows you to get your foot in the door and show the employer what you got to offer. It is our experience that in some cases the employer hire the co-op student at the end of the placement should they find him/her an asset to the company.
Co-op programs for foreign trained professionals are offered by the Toronto district school board and the Dufferin Peel catholic district school board.