Chapter 6: International Job Seekers & Job Seekers with Disabilities

Job Search Tips for International Students and Job Seekers

  • Gain Canadian experience and get involved.
    Obtaining Canadian experience shows an employer that you are able to acclimate into the local employment market. By including Canadian experience on your resume, you will be more competitive in the job market. Although a part-time job may offer you many benefits, experience can also be gained through summer jobs, volunteering, or joining extracurricular activities on and off-campus. Subsequently, you will learn more about workplace culture, practise your language skills, and build Canadian networks.
  • Understand your on- and off-campus work authorization.
    Not all employers will be familiar with study and work permits, as well as the restrictions you may have on where you are able to work and for how many hours. The more that you know and understand about this, the better you will be at explaining this to an employer and the more confident they will feel about the process of hiring you as an international student. For more information on the laws and regulations with regards to studying and working in Canada, please refer to the Government of Canada website.


    The International Education Centre is your home away from home during your time at Algonquin College. They are here to offer whatever support you need to adapt to your studies and life in Canada and connect with the college community and other students.

  • Practise and improve your language skills.
    One of the major challenges that arise in improving language skills among non-English speakers is confidence. When you are afraid of making mistakes or being judged, you may feel less inclined to speak. Take any opportunity to practise your language skills, interact with English speakers, learn by watching and listening to English television and radio programs, and spend time rehearsing your answers for interviews. Practising your language skills through mock interviews will help you to better articulate what you’d like to say, help you to feel more self-assured, and increase your chances of making a better first impression during your actual interviews.
  • Use accepted styles of job search documents.
    Refer to the resources in this book to help you develop job search documents that match the content and formats that are expected among Canadian employers.
    Be prepared to address assumptions about hiring international students. Oftentimes, employers are uneducated about the processes of hiring international students, which can lead to some common misconceptions. They may feel that the process is too complicated or time consuming, they may be concerned with issues surrounding work permits, or they may fear that an international student is not interested in staying on long term. Confidently addressing an employer’s concern by providing them with more information and reassuring them of your commitment will help in the decision-making process.
  • Focus on networking.
    With such a large number of job postings not being advertised, it is imperative that you increase your visibility in the job market by expanding your personal contacts. As an international student, you may feel that you are at a disadvantage because your network in Canada is small. To build up your connections, consider volunteering, participating in career fairs and events, connecting with the Students’ Association, and conducting informational interviews with employers.


    Contact the Students’ Association or visit their website for more information on joining clubs.

  • Showcase your diverse benefits.
    As an international student and job seeker, you bring a wealth of benefits to the Canadian job market. Focus on highlighting some of your unique qualities and market yourself with confidence when engaging with your networks and employers. Aside from the transferable skills you acquired from the experience you gained in your home country, you are multilingual, you are able to see things from different perspectives, you are sensitive to multicultural environments, and you have knowledge of international markets. On top of all that, you have demonstrated resilience and determination by adapting to and integrating into a new country.
  • Take advantage of services.
    There will be roadblocks along the way, but you don’t have to go through this process alone; several on-campus services are accessible to you throughout your studies.

    • The Employment Support Centre is your greatest resource to receiving one-on-one support for all of your career and employment-related needs as both a student and a graduate.
  • Be informed.
    When you don’t know where to access all the information that you need, managing your life in a new country can be difficult. Knowledge is power; ensuring that you are informed and that you are being treated fairly and safely in the workplace is extremely important to your experience here in Canada. For more information, please refer to the following resources:


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Be the Boss of Your Career: A Complete Guide for Students & Grads Copyright © 2021 by Lindsay Bortot and Employment Support Centre, Algonquin College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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