Volume 1, Issue 2
Spring 2016

Arrive Prepared Insider

Spring Forward with SOPA

andrewI am very pleased to welcome you to the second edition of the SOPA newsletter. Spring is fast approaching and the SOPA program is well underway! With close to 1000 client registrations, we are now delivering SOPA courses to pre-arrival clients in all partner areas right  across the country. Whether it’s introducing an engineer to Engineers BC, helping an Ontario bound accountant with her resume or an IT professional to better understand workplace culture in Atlantic Canada, SOPA intake counsellors and facilitators, from the east coast to the west, are helping our clients and future community members prepare for work in their destined Canadian communities by providing crucial information in that local context.

Pre-arrival services that facilitate early action and preparation are expected to facilitate faster and more efficient economic and social integration of ewcomers to Canada by effectively addressing needs earlier in the integration process and improving connections between pre-arrival and post arrival services. The SOPA Staff understand the importance of this early action and preparation. And our clients do, too! They know that after participating in the SOPA Program, they will arrive in Canada better prepared and more confident. Our  clients— nurses, engineers, IT professionals, financial professionals, technicians, healthcare professionals, among others—are arriving from India, Philippines, Nigeria, Albania, Iran, Israel, United Arab Emirates, China and approximately 65 more countries. And they are telling us that the SOPA program is fantastic. They feel knowledgeable. They feel connected. And they feel ready. One client said, “my fear has vanished”. Now that’s positive feedback!
After taking up to five SOPA courses, clients will integrate into their neighbourhoods and into their workplaces faster, more confidently and more successfully. They win, the community wins, the economy wins and Canada wins.
Please stay tuned for a new SOPA website and exciting promotional video. Visit arriveprepared.ca for more information about our programs and for additional editions of the Arrive Prepared Insider. We welcome your comments and suggestions on our content. New editions will be available every quarter.

Andrew Leverman,
Project Lead,


Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) is a virtual hub providing guidance and customized pre-employment supports designed to help newcomers find and retain employment in Canada.

Job Search Strategies

Job Search Strategies provides an opportunity for immigrants to become familiar with job search information and resources and the process of searching for a job in Canada. Participants learn and practice skills to become more competitive for positions in the Canadian labour market.

Job Search Strategies is highly interactive and involves regular contact with a facilitator with extensive experience in preemployment training. Over 6 weeks, participants progress through a variety of career-focused topics. Each unit covers a different topic and involves readings, case studies, activities, assignments, videos and additional learning resources. Participants take part in group discussions on relevant topics. The course is facilitated, offered online and requires 5-7 hours per week for 6 weeks.

Course Topics

    • Canadian Style Resumes
    • General Resume Writing
    • Targeting Your Resume and Cover Letter
    • Essential Skills and Transferable Skills
    • Job Search Methods
    • Marketing Yourself
    • Preparing for Interviews
    • After the Interview
What is definitely an advantage of taking Job Search Strategies is that it equipped me with unparalleled skills in building a “Canadian style résumé, targeting it and preparing a meaningful and personal cover letter. I must say it was very helpful and I am more confident now in job searching with my well-shaped résumé and portfolio. Thank you!”

I Got An Interview

In preparation for the “Big Move”, I’ve been keen in researching how to adapt easily and how to start a new life in Canada. I have attended webinars and seminars from CIIP, COA and PDOS where I learned a lot. But some of the most important learnings and lessons that I have got were from SOPA under the JSS (Job Search Strategies) course.
After enrolling in JSS course, I printed out the assignment submission schedule and always reminded myself to complete it on time. Our course facilitator, Gemma Follini, has been very helpful in providing her constructive comments on my works.
I have been applying for work in Canada ever since I received my visa but never been successful to land an offer not even an interview. Until I applied all I have learned from SOPA about resume and cover letter writing.

black businesswoman with smart phoneAfter sending my targeted resume and cover letter I received an invitation for a telephone interview. All of these will not happen without the help of SOPA and Ms. Gemma. Thanks to Ms. Gemma, for her patience and help in my targeted resume. We revised it thrice and she never stops until I make it right. The telephone interview went well (I guess). I used all that I have learned from the JSS course about preparing for interview. I researched the company and their current projects. I practiced possible interview questions. I even prepared questions for the interviewer. After the interview, I emailed a thank you letter. Also, after a week, I send out a follow up email. She said she would get back to me after talking to the manager and hopefully to have a follow up interview with the technical staff.
Well, I am still not sure if I get the job but I know I am getting there. I am happy because I know I am on the right track. I have knowledge on making targeted resume and cover letter in Canadian style that really works. And if ever I didn’t get the job, I will just take that interview as “charge to experience”. So that the next I will be interviewed, I will be more confident to talk about my work, my accomplishments, and myself.

Madel Abarquez, April 2016

SOPA Ontario Client


Job Search Strategies develops your job search tools and interview skills before you arrive in Canada. Across the country, newcomers are experiencing the benefit of arriving prepared. Job Search Strategies (JSS) will help you prepare cover letters, write resumes, market yourself and teach you about what to expect in a job interview in Canada. Here is some feedback from newcomers about their experience with Job Search Strategies:

  • British Columbia
    “Thanks so much for your courses in SOPA programs. They really motivated me to change my approach for preparing to come to Canada. I can honestly say that putting your course’s tips and tools into practice made me feel more confident, helped me to get more feedback on my work and allowed me to figure out a new way and style for corresponding with potential employers that I’m finally comfortable with.”

    “Thank you for your useful and valuable comments on my assignment. I am sure that your comments will help me to have a better résumé and consequently it will improve my job hunting skills.”

    “This course helped me a lot because it made me more confident and prepared for my job application. All of the topics are useful and informative.
    I have a lot of takeaways from each lesson; every activity and assignment was engaging. It made me reflect on what I’ve done before and what I need to do moving forward. I highly recommend this course, and I want to thank my facilitator for her dedication, assistance and feedback.”

  • Saskatchewan
    “I think we were able to learn the most important things regarding the Canadian job market. In principle, we learned how to adapt our résumés and cover letters according to Canadian standards & style. We learned how to approach employers and got to know techniques for job interviews, as well as hard and soft skills. This is a very valuable experience, and being able to get professional hints from Lisa was the most exciting part of it all. Thank you.”

    “I found the information on this course very useful. I can’t believe that I did such a huge progress in just 4 weeks. I feel very lucky and grateful for the opportunity to participate in this essential course.”

    Atlantic Provinces
    “The great part of the course was an interview and everything connected with it: preparing for an interview, making a good first impression, predicting and answering interview questions, sending thank-you notes and assessing an interview

  • Information for All Courses

    Technology Required

    • Latest version of a browser such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer
    • Email: Outlook Express/Outlook/ browser based mail, e.g., Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo
    • Operating System: Windows XP or higher, Mac OS X or higher
    • Latest version of Java and Adobe Flash
    • Headset or Speakers
    • PDF reader (such as Adobe Reader)
    • High speed internet access

    Participant Criteria—Recommended Language Level

    • Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 6 or higher (Intermediate) General/Academic IELTS – 5.5+ in all skill areas

    Upon completion of the course, clients are asked to complete an online evaluation. After completing the evaluation, clients will be able to download and print a Certificate of Completion

Our Other Courses

Soft Skills: Professional Communication

Soft Skills: Professional Communication provides participants with communication tools required for success in the Canadian workplace. Using videos and other media, the course explores different types of interactions and prepares participants to be workplace ready in the areas of small talk,
presentations, constructive feedback and meetings.

Soft Skills: Working with Others

Soft Skills: Working with Others provides participants with communication tools required for success in the Canadian workplace. Using videos and other media, the course explores different types of interactions and prepares participants to be workplace ready in the areas of networking, negotiating, working with others and conflict management.

Working in Canada

Working in Canada provides critical information about Canadian workplace culture, including workplace orientation, organizational culture, workplace protection, employment contracts, taxes, pay, written and unwritten workplace rules. Participants learn about the unique characteristics of the Canadian workplace and how to integrate effectively into their field of employment in Canada.

Canadian Workplace Integration

Canadian Workplace Integration provides information about adapting to Canadian workplace culture. Topics include: how to adapt, the importance of communication styles, how to expand soft skills, using cultural communication, working with differences and understanding power dynamics in the
Canadian workplace.

SOPA Social Media Overview

Technology use among people immigrating to Canada is growing fast. In order keep up, SOPA is active on three main Social Media platforms: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Through our Social Media channels, we strive to engage our followers so that they feel that they are not alone in their journey to Canada. We want them to stay connected before and after they have taken SOPA pre-arrival courses. Every day we post tips and useful information about Canada, job search strategies, communication techniques and settlement agencies.

We want  the SOPA Social Media Overview to provide our clients and followers with useful and reliable information so they arrive better prepared for the Canadian labour market and so they will connect faster with the communities of their destination.

All SOPA partners are now on Twitter! Make sure to follow, if you are heading to one of these provinces! SOPA clients can get more province specific information through each province’s Twitter account.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the discussions through our SOPA LinkedIn Group.

You can also find the links in our contact information below! We look forward to connecting with you!

Albina Ziatdinova

Online Community and Social Media Monitor

Connect with Us

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British Columbia
MOSAIC Headquarters
1720 Grant St., 2nd floor
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V5L 2Y7
Phone: 604 254 9626
Fax: 604 254 3932

CCIS Main Office
5th Floor, 1111 – 11 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 0G5
403 262 2006

Atlantic Provinces
Immigrant Services Association
of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
Suite 2120, 6960 Mumford Rd,
Halifax, NS, B3L 4P1
P: 902.423.3607 F: 902 423 3154
Toll Free in NS: 1.866.431.6472

Newcomer Welcome Centre
1st Floor, 2332 11th Avenue
Regina, SK S4P 0K1
Phone: 306 352 5775
Fax: 306 352 5011

Ottawa World Skills
219 Argyle Avenue, 3rd floor
Ottawa ON K2P 2H4
Tel: 613 233 0453
Fax: 613 232 1757

Catholic Centre for Immigrants
219 Argyle Avenue
Ottawa ON Canada
K2P 2H4
Telephone 613 232 9634
Fax 613 232 3660

Altered Minds Inc.
ENTRY Program
Unit 400-259 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3B 2A9
Phone 204 944 0133
Fax 204 944 8062