How to find a job in Canada as a newcomer: The Ultimate Guide.

Published on: September 5th, 2023

Canada is a land of opportunity, attracting people from all over the world with its vibrant culture, diverse landscapes, and strong economy. If you’re considering working in Canada, it’s essential to understand the various work permits and regulations based on your profile and status. Whether you’re an international student, a visitor, or looking to work in Canada, this guide will help you navigate while searching for your first job.

Working depending on your status

To begin, it’s essential to examine your visa and work permit. Depending on your background and current profile, you may have the opportunity to work in specific situations.

Your eligibility for a work permit depends on your particular circumstances, and various types of permits may be available based on your status:

Working Under a Study Permit

For international students in Canada, the opportunity to work while studying can be a valuable experience. To do so, your study permit must have a condition that explicitly allows you to work on or off campus. Here are some scenarios where you can work without a separate work permit:

  • On-campus work: As a full-time post-secondary student at a public post-secondary school, you can work on your school campus without needing a work permit. This applies to colleges, universities, trade or technical schools, and CEGEP in Quebec.
  • Private post-secondary school in Quebec: If you study at a private post-secondary school in Quebec that follows the same rules as public schools, you can work on or off campus.
  • Diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or attestation of vocational specialization (AVS): If you study in a private or public secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a DVS or AVS, you can work without a work permit.

Working Under an Open Work Permit

An open work permit is a versatile option for foreign nationals. It allows you to work for any employer in Canada for a specified duration. However, open work permits are only issued under specific exemptions, such as the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions. There are two types of open work permits:

Unrestricted open work permits: These permits have no occupational or location restrictions, offering you greater flexibility.

Restricted open work permits: These permits may have restrictions based on factors like your medical status or work permit category. Location restrictions may apply, depending on the work permit category, such as the provincial nominee class.

Working Under an Employer-Specific Work Permit

If you have a specific job offer in Canada, you may need an employer-specific work permit. To obtain one, your employer must provide you with a copy of your employment contract and either a copy of an LMIA or an offer of employment number for LMIA-exempt workers. This type of permit allows you to work in Canada according to the conditions specified on your work permit. The dpcument also includes the employer’s name, duration of work, and location (if applicable).

Working with a Tourist Visa

It’s important to note that a visitor visa does not grant you the right to work in Canada. Engaging in commercial activities that directly enter the Canadian labour market while visiting as a tourist is prohibited. However, if you are in Canada as a visitor and receive a valid job offer, you can apply for a work permit without leaving the country.

Working Under ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization)

An ETA is required for air travel to Canada, but it does not grant authorization to work or study in the country. If you plan to work or study in Canada, you must apply for a separate work permit or study permit before your trip. If your permit is approved, you will automatically receive an ETA, which is essential for boarding your flight to Canada.

As you can see, it’s crucial to understand the specific work permits and regulations that apply to your status. Whether you’re an international student, a visitor with a job offer, or seeking employment in Canada, following the appropriate procedures and obtaining the necessary permits will ensure a smooth transition into the Canadian workforce.

Job Application Documents in Canada

Now that you have a better understanding of the various types of work permits available in Canada based on your situation, let's explore the important documents you'll need when applying for your first job in this northern country.

  1. Social Insurance Number (SIN)

    A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a vital identification number for all Canadians and is also required for foreign workers. It consists of a unique nine-digit code, which is not only essential for employment but also for accessing government benefits and programs. To obtain your SIN, follow these steps:

    • Apply online through the Government of Canada’s official website.
    • Choose the “First Social Insurance Number” option from the drop-down menu.
    • Fill out the necessary form, which includes uploading digital copies of your original documents.
    • Typically, you will receive your SIN by mail within 15 days.
  2. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

    Getting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is not something you need to do personally as a foreign worker, but potential employers will require it when hiring international employees. An LMIA essentially proves that there is a real demand for hiring foreign workers for specific jobs and that there are no qualified Canadian workers available to fill those roles.

  3. Resume (CV)

    Before applying for any job in Canada, it is crucial to create a well-structured resume that adheres to Canadian standards. Canadian resumes typically emphasize the following aspects:

    Relevant Skills: Highlight skills that are pertinent to the job you are applying for. Customize your resume for each job application to ensure it is suitable for the specific position.

    Education: Include details about your educational background, including degrees, diplomas, or certifications that are relevant to the job.

    Work Experience: Elaborate on your past work experience, with a focus on roles that are similar to the one you are applying for. Highlight your accomplishments and qualifications, aligning them with the job description.

    Transferable Skills: Emphasize skills that are adaptable and valuable in a Canadian work environment.

    Clarity and Readability: Ensure that your resume is well-organized, and use clear and easily understandable language. Utilize bullet points to enhance readability, making it more accessible for potential employers.


    Creating a resume in the Canadian style is a vital step in your job search. By aligning your resume with Canadian expectations and employer preferences, you will significantly enhance your prospects of securing job interviews and, ultimately, obtaining employment. Keep in mind that your resume serves as your initial introduction to the Canadian job market, so it is essential to invest the time necessary to make it stand out. Best of luck in your pursuit of Canadian job opportunities!

Spotting scammers and false job offers

How can you recognize scams?

The most common form of job offer fraud involves being asked to pay for assistance in finding a job that doesn’t exist. Fraudulent immigration services may demand anywhere from $2,000 to $200,000 for a promised job offer.

Typically, a recruiter or agency charges employers for finding workers. You should never pay a recruiter to secure a Canadian job offer. Fraudulent recruiters are typically after your money or personal information, don’t provide them with either! Never share personal details, social insurance numbers, or banking information.

First and foremost, it’s important to know that it’s illegal to request payment for a Canadian job or a job offer letter. A legitimate job offer letter should include the company’s official letterhead and contact information.

Warning signs

  • Fake job postings often contain spelling or grammar errors.
  • A recruiter contacts you using an unusual or free email address (e.g.,,,
  • The employer appears uninterested in your skills or experience.
  • Many fake jobs are advertised as work-from-home or self-employment opportunities.
  • There’s mandatory paid training, or you’re asked to pay for materials or supplies necessary for the job.
  • The job relies on commissions, or your salary depends on unrealistic sales targets.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

How to Avoid Scams

Conduct thorough research. If you receive a job offer from a Canadian company, take the time to investigate the company. Legitimate companies should have an online presence, including a website, and customer or employee reviews.

Be cautious of false promises. When an employer guarantees fast processing times, easy entry to Canada, and a high salary, exercise caution. Remember, only government immigration officers can guarantee your entry into Canada.

Where to Find Jobs - Job Listings in Canada

As a newcomer to Canada, discovering job opportunities becomes more accessible with the help of various online platforms and job listing websites dedicated to assisting individuals like you in your job search journey. Here is a list of reputable websites where you can explore job listings in Canada:

  • Job Bank Canada: This official website serves as a valuable resource, offering an extensive database of job listings from employers across Canada, making it an excellent starting point for your job search.
  • Indeed: As a widely recognized global job search engine, provides a diverse range of job listings, including positions suitable for newcomers, in a user-friendly format.
  • LinkedIn: This professional networking site includes a job search feature that allows you to find job listings, connect with recruiters, and expand your professional network.
  • Glassdoor: This platform only presents job listings but also offers essential insights through company reviews and salary information, helping you make informed decisions regarding potential employers.
  • Government Websites: Many provincial and territorial government websites feature dedicated job boards and resources designed for newcomers, offering valuable information about local employment opportunities. One of them is the Hiring Programs for Students page

By making use of these trusted resources, you can access numerous job listings and embark on your career journey in Canada with confidence. Remember to tailor your applications and resumes for each opportunity, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance and support from local immigrant assistance organizations during your job search.


On the whole, embarking on a new career journey in Canada as a newcomer can be both exciting and challenging. We’ve explored various aspects of this endeavour, from understanding the different types of work permits to identifying job scams and knowing where to find job listings. With the right information, resources, and determination, newcomers can navigate the Canadian job market successfully. Remember to stay informed about the latest developments, adapt your job search strategies to the Canadian context, and utilize the numerous job listing websites and government resources available. By doing so, you can unlock opportunities and build a fulfilling professional future in this welcoming and diverse country. Best of luck on your journey to finding a job in Canada!


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