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How newcomers can look for a job and prepare for employment during and beyond COVID-19

By Jessica Martel with insights from Munsif Sheraly

Moving to a new country during the middle of a worldwide pandemic takes this challenge to a whole new level. And while the Canadian labour market isn’t immune to current challenges, all is not lost.

Read on to learn more about the current state of the Canadian labour market and to find tips for how to search for and prepare for employment during these turbulent times.

What is the current state of the Canadian labour market?

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), a monthly survey conducted by Statistics Canada that interviews 56,000 households and more than 100,000 individuals, the Canadian labour market has seen a dramatic slowdown since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to Statistics Canada, in April alone employment fell by almost two million. April also saw the unemployment rate increase to 13%, the second-highest level on record.1 Job creation rebounded somewhat in May, but labour market conditions remain challenging.

“There are many useful resources available to help you navigate through this difficult time and Scotiabank is also here to help.”
- Munsif Sheraly, Director Multicultural Banking, Scotiabank

What does this mean for someone who is new to Canada?

When it comes to the current state of the Canadian labour market, it's complicated, and that's because this is an unprecedented situation.

Honestly, it's not the best time to find a job, whether you've been living in Canada for your entire life, or if you've just arrived. But don't feel that all hope is lost, things will get better and there are still jobs available, you just need to know where to look for them.

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Where to search for jobs in Canada

You can start your job hunt by searching on the Government of Canada job bank website. This is an excellent resource that provides reports and trend analyses for every occupation. It also makes searching for a job easy and efficient by providing a variety of filters that can help you narrow down results by province or city. You can even search the job banks COVID-19 page which allows you to browse jobs deemed as essential.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has made searching for a job even more challenging, it's important that you stay up to date on what's happening in the labour market, so you're prepared for the upswing.

How to prepare for employment

Now is the time to start preparing for future employment. Here's a list of things you can do to ensure that you're ready to go when the labour market rebounds.

- Complete an education and work assessment

If you're coming to Canada to work in a particular profession or trade, as a Federal Skilled Worker, or if you're hoping to study, you will need to have your credentials assessed (education and work experience).

A credentials assessment helps to determine the jobs you are qualified for and if you require additional training or education. This is something you should do as soon as possible as it takes time and costs money.

- Update your resume

If you're currently out of work, then use this time to update your cover letter and resume to ensure it includes your most relevant work experience. If you need assistance, you can check out the Canada InfoNet website. They offer counselling and mentoring to new Canadians on everything from interview skills to online networking.

- Apply for jobs

With your credentials assessed and your resume ready to go, you can begin applying for jobs and seeking educational opportunities.

You can use the previously mentioned Government of Canada job bank or check out the New Canadian Jobs website. Here you can upload your resume so interested employers can reach out to you.

The Government of Canada also provides a range of helpful resources for newcomers looking for jobs or educational opportunities.

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Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as financial, tax or investment advice or guarantees about the future, nor should it be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. Information contained in this article, including information relating to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change without notice and The Bank of Nova Scotia is not responsible to update this information. All third party sources are believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date of publication and The Bank of Nova Scotia does not guarantee its accuracy or reliability. Readers should consult their own professional advisor for specific financial, investment and/or tax advice tailored to their needs to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly and action is taken based on the latest available information.