A piece of advice you will hear often when you job searching in Canada is to learn how to “sell” yourself, market yourself or promote yourself to employers.
In the beginning, this could be an uncomfortable thing to do, as many people have the instinct to be modest and not stand out. However, the opposite is exactly what you need to do when job searching. A company will not hire you if you cannot convince them you are the best candidate for the job, which is what selling yourself is all about: convincing that you are that candidate! So, where do you start?
Build your strategy
You want to be strategic. This is a very important step, so do not skip it and spend as much time as needed on developing what you want to say and how to say it. Use your time while you are still outside of Canada, and if you are already here, take a step back from your job search. Analyze your strengths by writing down all of your job duties and positive feedback you have received from previous employers, and your volunteering experience. Go over your resume and job postings that you are interested in. Identify your core strengths and the ones employers are asking for in the job postings. You need to make detailed lists with examples demonstrating how you used your strengths in your job (s). If you can show numerical examples of your strengths that is even better! We call them quantifying statements. Add these strengths to your resumes and cover letters.
When you are at an interview, include these strengths in the answers you give to the interview question! Remember, employers greatly appreciate these kind of examples. It shows that you have done your homework and taking your job interview seriously. Employers want you to demonstrate how you can help their company, how you will fit in and how you can succeed in the role. Your interview would most probably be online, so prepare yourself for this if you have not done one before. Here is an article we wrote about virtual interviews: https://arriveprepared.ca/virtual-interviews/
Check your social media
Look at your social media channels (if you are on Facebook, Instagram, tiktok, etc). Ensure that your social media presence is showing you in the best way. Make sure to privatize anything you do not want employers to see, such as Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn posts, comments and videos of you. Go to every social media account you have and make sure that comments or posts you made publicly, represent you in a professional way.
Scroll through your privacy settings of your social media channels to decide what privacy level you want. If you do not know how to change your privacy setting, google it and follow the steps.
Use your LinkedIn
If you already have a LinkedIn profile, great! However, before you start your job search, make all the necessary updates to your profile so it is up-to-date and looks professional. Make sure that the information on your LinkedIn profile and your resume are somewhat similar. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile yet, consider setting one up. Through you LinkedIn account you can connect with other professionals, join groups that are relevant to your profession, follow potential employers, and find out more about upcoming labour trends. We have written a post on how to use your LinkedIn profile in your job search, check it out as well: https://arriveprepared.ca/how-to-use-linkedin-in-your-job-search/
LinkedIn is also a great place to promote yourself by participating in discussions, sharing your expertise or writing posts. Follow companies and people you are interested in.
Grow your network
Next, grow your network! Remember, you want to promote yourself and your experience, especially while networking. Develop an elevator pitch. Create a 30-second introduction of yourself. Use a mirror to practice it a few times. You can create different versions to fit a variety of networking events you might attend. You can use them during interviews, or at networking events as a response to the common conversation starter: “Tell me about yourself.”
The goal of the elevator pitch is to ensure you are saying something that will make you stand out to potential employers, to the professionals you are speaking with, or to people you are networking with. Remember, you are “selling yourself” to these connections and hoping to make new connections in the process.
Connect with professionals in similar field of work, ask questions, share your best tips, and share job postings.
From networking, to creating your resume, to answering interview questions, you need to keep the concept of promoting yourself in mind. How you talk, dress, and answer questions are all part of your own selling strategy. Show how you will succeed in the position you are applying for by representing yourself in the best way you can. The more you do it, the easier it will become to talk about yourself this way. And remember to show your personality, in the end employers want to hire ‘you’.
Are you approved to immigrate to Canada? Our courses ‘Job Search Strategies’ and ‘Soft Skills: Social Interactions’ will help you with how to market yourself and how to grow your network in Canada. Register with us today!
Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) is an Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) funded program that delivers free pre-arrival services for job readiness, success and retention. Explore the free, pre-arrival resources, services and courses we offer at ArrivePrepared.ca.
Prepared by Kristy-Lu Desrosiers and Albina Ziatdinova
Edits by: Anika Sweet and Donna Safatli