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How to find a job as a young newcomer in Canada

Searching for jobs in Canada? Check out our tips on what you need to know before you apply for a job

Young newcomers to Canada have a future filled with possibility. The opportunity to go to school, start work and find a fulfilling career is very exciting. At the same time, settling into a new country, and, possibly, a new language can be difficult. With the proper tools, knowledge and support, newcomers can build the foundation for a successful future in Canada. Here are some important steps you can take to prepare for a successful entry into the Canadian workforce.

Gain Canadian work experience

Everyone joining the workforce needs to start somewhere. Employers in Canada look for job candidates whose education and skill set will be valuable in the workplace. But young people don’t need wait to finish school to gain experience. Instead, they can gain tangible work experience through some of the following options:

  • Co-operative Education: Co-ops allow students to study and gain experience in a specific field of work at the same time. The co-op is supervised and evaluated by the employer and the school together. Get in touch with your school’s career centre to learn more about co-op opportunities.
  • Job Fairs: Not sure where to look for a job? A job fair is where employers present information about their company or industry to potential employees. You can find job fair events near you by searching online, or by checking with your local high school or library. Jobs Canada Fair also lists job fairs across the country as a helpful resource.

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Volunteering: There are countless local organizations that benefit from the hard work and dedication of volunteers. Volunteering allows you to develop new connections and gain important skills for the workforce. Volunteer Canada, for example, can be a great resource to find volunteer work.

Improve English language skills

Being able to communicate well in English is important for your success in the Canadian job market. Most post-secondary institutions have English training programs available to students if English is not their first language. There are also language classes available that are funded by the Government of Canada. Another way of enhancing English skills could be to get involved in organizations, such as a local Toastmasters International club, that can help newcomers build public speaking and leaderships skills in addition to language capabilities.

Develop a resume

Ready to apply for a job? A resume is a document that tells a detailed story about your education, skills and work-related experience. Prospective employers will use your resume to evaluate if you are qualified for a job. Typically, an employer will review your resume before meeting you in person, so it is crucial that your resume be well written and reflective of your strengths and talents as a potential employee. The Government of Canada offers some tips on how to make a good resume.

Find a local mentoring program

Canada offers several organizations and programs geared toward mentoring youth to ensure they have the tools and resources they need for a successful future. Scotiabank is proud to partner with one such organization: Pathways to Education. Pathways to Education is a national charitable organization that creates positive social change by supporting youth living in low-income communities to overcome barriers to education, graduate high school and gain the foundation to a bright future in Canada.

Scotiabank reinforced its commitment to inclusion and diversity in 2020 by pledging $750,000 to support newcomers and immigrants enrolled in the Pathways program. Scotiabank’s pledge will create access for newcomer youth to a network of community support, including English language tutors, settlement services and employment skills training. Scotiabank hopes this investment will help newcomers gain life-long skills and knowledge that will lead them on a path toward a successful career and future in Canada.

Create/update your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is an excellent place to explore when you want to apply for a job. Think of your LinkedIn profile as an extension of your resume. You want it to be up to date, reflect your experiences and what you are looking for next as you build your career. Adapt your profile as you gain work and volunteer experiences; your profile should be growing with you. Also, make sure that it is free of any spelling or grammatical errors. You want your profile to look as professional as possible.


What do you want your career to look like in five years and beyond? A great way to learn more about different career paths is by networking. When you are building your network, start off with your contacts, talk with your friends, family and professors to learn about what the job environment is like in Canada, what a successful job candidate looks like and good places to find summer or full-time employment. But don’t limit yourself to your own circle. Networking is an important and very common part of Canada’s work culture. Use your LinkedIn profile to begin reaching out to people whose careers you admire to set up virtual coffees. Though it can seem a bit scary at first, it gets easier with practice and you can make some great contacts and future mentors to help you as you start your career.

Check out the Jobs & Internships section of our Student Hub to get career advice on landing your ideal internship, co-op placement, job-hunting, and networking. Also look into virtual events related to your field where you can make more connections that you can then follow up with post-event.

By adopting the practices listed above, young newcomers can feel confident about entering the Canadian workforce. In addition to career goals, newcomers should also start thinking about their financial future in Canada. The Scotiabank StartRight program connects newcomers with experienced Scotiabank Advisors to learn about the Canadian financial system, help them reach personal financial goals through advice and provide resources and banking benefits.

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Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as 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 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.