“The New Normal” and Impacts for Job Seekers
By Laura Sturmer | Published November 2020
It is not new to anyone that COVID-19 has brought significant impact across different sectors and industries. From a job seeker perspective, especially for newcomers looking for their first job here, there are two essential things to consider as we get into the "new normal."
Competition & Remote Work
Firstly, industries like Cannabis, events, tourism, air travel, apparel, for example, suffered a great impact from the lockdowns and had to make significant layoffs. This means that you are now competing with a lot of strongly qualified candidates that might have years of experience in the Canadian market.
Secondly, as companies adopt working remotely, they do not need to source talent locally; they can hire people anywhere in the world.
New tools: creative, focused & resilient
It might seem like it is all bad news and that if it was hard to find a job in your field, after COVID, it would be impossible. I can't entirely agree with those thoughts; what I believe, though, is that professionals that want to be successful will need to even be more creative, focused and resilient.
The first step that newcomers take when they come to Canada and want to look for a job is to translate their resume and LinkedIn. This is a great mistake because it ignores the fact that the labour markets in your home country and in Canada are totally different. The scope of a “Marketing Analyst” in Brazil is usually more generalist than the scope in Canada, for example. Another thing is that when you translate directly without understanding the market, you might end up misleading your experience. "Coordinator" in Canada tends to be an entry-level position, without any team member reporting to you, while in Brazil, what we call “Coordenador” tends to be closer to a manager position.
So before translating anything, start reading as many job descriptions and job positions as you can. Select and save the positions you think might be the best fit for you and then begin to highlight what they are usually called, what are the most common keywords, qualifications, etc. And most important, what are the things that the position DOES NOT DO. If in Brazil the Project Manager role you occupied was responsible for managing the project, preparing reports, implementing new process and training teams but the position here asks you for only the first two tasks, don’t mention everything you did back home. You always want to emphasize what you did that is related to the position you are applying for. Everything else doesn’t need to be mentioned.
The second advice I give you is to network, meet people in your field and go have a virtual coffee chat with professionals that are now doing the same position you would like to do. Why would you do that? The more you talk with professionals, the more you learn about your field, the main terms, the things they do, the main challenges of the position and what they don’t do (which is super important so you don’t mention in your resume/LinkedIn).
By chatting with people, you also get the chance to train your pitch, to be more comfortable on video, and those professionals will be more likely will make you a referral for a position after they met you.
In summary, the job seekers that will succeed after COVID are well prepared, which means they know the Canadian market, the challenges of the positions and what companies are looking for talent and those who are building a network they can rely on for referral and advice.