Student Success Centre

Understand the Canadian Workplace

If you are a newcomer to Canada, you need to know what makes looking for a job in Canada unique. Here are some differences between a job search in Canada in comparison to a job search in other countries:

What Skills Do Canadian Employers Look For?

Skills sought by Canadian employers include hard (technical) skills and soft (practical) skills. Some skills that employers find extremely important are: a strong ability to communicate, decision-making and risk-taking abilities, leadership, team-building, planning and organization, creativity and innovation, critical-thinking and problem-solving, and computer competence.

But I Don’t Have Any Canadian Work Experience…

Very often, international students looking for a job in Canada have concerns that they do not have Canadian work experience. However, bringing hard and soft transferable skills from their native countries is very valuable and important. In addition, international students often offer other unique skills including: cross-cultural sensitivity, adaptability, the ability to communicate in two or more languages, creative thinking, and a willingness to be challenged in a new environment. “Having international experience demonstrates that you can cope, you’ve experienced new culture, you’ve put yourself out of the box, and you’ve challenged yourself.” Glynn Hunter, Global Ambition.

Once You Are Employed as a Worker: Know Your Rights

All workers in Ontario are protected by the Employment Standards Act, a government document which states the minimum workplace standards that employers are legally required to follow. This includes the minimum amount of money a worker must be paid (minimum wage), the number of breaks a worker is entitled to during a work shift, illness and safety issues, as well as a number of other topics.  All employees in Ontario are also protected by the Ontario Human Rights Commission which governs against such things as discrimination, harassment, and safety issues.