Olivia Bauer | Manitoba Start
Getting the job you want is a lot like the old saying: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Even though opportunity often involves joint effort, preparing for your career success is entirely in your hands. Here are six ways to take action and be strategic about your career success.
Focus on Soft Skills. Many employers want to see candidates demonstrate better soft skills. The top three soft skills employers look for are communication skills, writing skills and customer relations skills. Consider your previous academic, volunteer and work experience: How have you used soft skills to work with a team, set goals, solve problems and be successful in a fast-paced environment? Do you have specific examples that demonstrate your soft skills? This is something employers want to hear about.
Improve Language Skills. Strong English (or French) language skills are vital in the Canadian workplace. Employers highly value communication and writing soft skills, and effective communication increases workplace safety, teamwork and efficiency. Improving your English (or French) language skills is one of the best investments you can make towards long-term career success. If you’re looking for a job, consider language studies as part of your preparation for employment.
Good English (or French) language abilities will help you to feel more confident in the workplace and set you up to achieve your long-term career goals.
Network. Networking is a powerful tool to find employment. It’s an excellent way to practice communications skills and increase your language abilities.
Developing contacts and a professional network will also lay the foundation for when you’re ready to take the next step to advance your career.
Get Canadian Work Experience. How can you get Canadian work experience while also looking for a job? Look for volunteer opportunities that match your short- or long-term career goals. Apply for internships that relate to your professional experience and round out your portfolio. Being in the workplace will help you to learn about Canadian workplace culture and understand employer expectations. It also helps you to build your network and access potential opportunities within the hidden job market.
Promote Diversity Advantages. As a newcomer, you have language skills and international work experience that other candidates may not have. Your diversified knowledge and experience is an asset to the workforce. Your skills can help businesses attract and serve a multicultural client base, and reach new markets locally and globally. Look for opportunities to promote your diversified experience to potential employers.
Be Job Ready. Check your job-readiness. Do you have:
A career plan with short- and long-term goals?
An updated, targeted resume and cover letter?
A list of informed references?
A list of companies/individuals you want to network with?
A professional introduction (or elevator pitch)?
An updated LinkedIn profile (or work portfolio)?
Appropriate professional attire for your industry?
Manitoba Start supports newcomers with free career development and job matching services to help newcomers achieve their professional goals and long-term career success in Canada. Visit Manitoba Start at 271 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, or www.ManitobaStart.com.