How to Get Jobs in Canada as an International Student

International students can work part-time and avail of co-op opportunities during their studies. Additionally, the flexible post-study work scheme also allows international students to take up full-time jobs too. Earlier, we discussed the top courses to study in Canada for getting jobs. In this post, we will discuss how to get jobs in Canada as a foreign student.

Why should Prospective International Students be Strategic about Finding Jobs in Canada?

No. 1 Reason: Eligibility for Post-Graduation Work Permit

Firstly, you need to know if you are eligible to work after you graduate. Not all designated learning institutions (DLIs) and not all programs of study make you eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

How to Apply for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada?

  • You must possess a valid student visa
  • Proof of completion of a full-time Diploma/Degree program from a DLI
  • The duration of the Program must be a minimum of 8 months
  • The Program must be eligible for PGWP
  • You have up to 180 days after you graduate to apply for a PGWP

Along with graduating from a PGWP-eligible designated learning institution, you need to meet all other criteria to get a post-graduation work permit.

If your study permit expires before you apply

If you don’t change your status to a visitor and your study permit expires, you have up to 90 days after your study permit expires to apply for a PGWP and restore your status as a student.

How to find the list of designated learning institutions by province/territory in Canada?

You need to visit the official Government of Canada’s Immigration Site.

  • Step 1: Choose the province or territory your school is in.
  • Step 2: Type in keywords such as the name of the school, city, etc.
  • Step 3: Find the designated learning institution (DLI) number and write it under the section Details of intended study in Canada on your study permit application.

No. 2 Reason: Hidden Job Market

Like Europe, Canada has also got a big hidden job market.

As of 2020, less than 20% of the tech and Engineering jobs may appear on major job posting sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, etc.

That’s why the application through such big payers is highly competitive and very inefficient. The success rate is very low and even highly employable people may get even get a 5% positive response (interview calls).

Jobvite’s 2019 Jobseeker national survey reports that even though most applicants apply for jobs on a job board or employer career site, 35% found job postings on social media, 50% of respondents heard about jobs from friends, and 37% said they learn about jobs from professional networks.

Why are jobs hidden in Canada?

In Canada, the majority (around 90%) of employers are SMEs and startups. Hence, they operate with small teams and a limited budget.

  • Cost Efficient: The employer needs to pay a service fee to the recruitment firm for helping them to hire a qualified candidate.
  • Time-Saving: If a job post is available online, sometimes there will be so many applicants and it might take too long to select a candidate.
  • Confidential: Some job duties can be confidential and the company might not want its competitor to know.
  • Higher quality candidate: The employer has already developed a professional relationship with the candidate. Those candidates have the right time and could save time to onboard.

As you can see from the data above, the number of jobs being posted by Canadian employers has been falling dramatically.

Now, we will discuss how to find jobs in Canada as an international student.

How to Find Jobs in Canada as an International Student

Build a Canadian Resume

A Resume is your best marketing tool. Let your resume do the talking. Utilize it to make a difference.

The format, font, writing style, structure– everything counts while you document your resume for a Canadian Job.

Document it wisely to give employers an impressive idea about your goals, skills, strengths, certifications, and achievements.

A mention of some References could build trust with the employer. You can humbly request your faculty or previous employer, if any, to provide references so that employers get a quick idea about your character and employment history from them.

Consider removing any graphics, personal information, grades, and work history older than 15 years.

Quick Tip

Don’t simply send the same resume to all the companies as the HR team of different companies talk about the placements and type of resumes they get. Tailor the resume as per the post you are applying for. Research well about the company and the post you are applying for and then document your resume.

Be Strategic Job Search

Leverage Online Job Portals

Buy your time to browse for jobs online. Take a look at some of the resources.

Navigate Hidden Job Market:

  • Hidden Job Market refers to the unadvertised job openings. These jobs are not posted online.
  • These jobs account for nearly 85% of the total job openings in Canada. That’s huge, isn’t that?
  • You have to be a bit more creative and resourceful to tap the desired job opportunities from the hidden job market in Canada.

Now, we will Ways to tap the desired job opportunities from the hidden job market in Canada.

How to Get Jobs in Canada by Navigating the Hidden Job Market

Networking is the Key to Finding Hidden Jobs in Canada

 ‘Your network is your net worth’, rightly said Porter Gale. An Oxford Dictionary defines networking as the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

Networking plays a significant role while you begin your quest to find jobs in Canada as an international student. 

Main Benefits of Networking in Career Growth and Finding Jobs in Canada

  • The 3 E’s- Exposure, Experience, and Education- make careers. Exposure to the knowledge and experience of professionally successful minds enables you to assess the qualifications and skills that you possess.
  • The professional opportunities, the latest updates, and trends get served on a platter. When you start networking with the right people, you get a reservoir of professional opportunities, updates, and the latest trends.
  • As you become more noticeable, your self-confidence shoots up and your brain starts processing the Dos and Don’ts to adopt to accomplish the set down goals.

Related Article: Networking is the Most Effective Job Search Strategy

how to find hidden jobs in canada

Building a Professional Network in Canada

Having understood the importance of networking, our brain starts looking for avenues on how to be a part of a good professional network in Canada.

Social Media Platforms

Social media has a lot to offer when it comes to selecting good starting points for networking. And tada!! a student knows better about social media these days.

Join the company’s pages and groups, and turn on job-seeking alerts on Social media platforms like  Instagram and Facebook to be aware of the company’s latest developments. 


A lot of websites these days provide a platform where you can start networking with like-minded people who share your professional interests. 

Meet Up:

With the motto of Stay Connected, Meet Up is one of the fantastic tools through which you can meet people who share your interests either online or in-person in Canada.

You can join groups, find events or even start a group and get connected over the type of work, technology, culture, or language.


LinkedIn needs no introduction. It is one of the world’s largest networks of professionals and career development.

It provides a plethora of employment-oriented opportunities and insights into different sectors of employment where you can easily fit in and be able to make a difference.

Leverage your LinkedIn profile to get noticed. Update your profile with your education, skills, interests, recommendations, or references from your faculty to stand out from the crowd.

Go for Volunteering and Internships

It is advisable to proactively volunteer for Internships in companies which you target for a job.

It enhances your chances to become a potential employee of the company by showcasing your willingness to work in a skillful environment in Canada.

This way you will be able to gain the much-needed valuable work or research experience for your career growth.

Read how Volunteering and Community Work can help your networking, job search, and PR in Canada.

Sites to keep an eye on:

Informational Interviews

Research well about the companies you are targeting. Make a list of professionals whom you meet and share your same interests.

Be Bold and direct enough to send short and crisp cold Emails to the executive.

Your email should be your mini-resume including a basic introduction, work experience, interests, or achievements.

Make sure to send a humble invitation for a coffee at the end. If they agree, Congrats, you have been successful in arranging an Informational Interview.

Besides refining tour job search, you can gain access to the person’s contacts that will widen your network, and chances of landing a perfect job increase.

Follow up to level Up your Job Hunt in Canada

Great my dear friend, you are almost there. However, keep in mind that the pursuit of your dream job does not end here. 

Follow-up after about a week of sending your job application or informational interview would be a smart move in your game of job hunt in Canada.

You could choose either sending an e-mail or making a call as a mode of Follow up as per your convenience.

Refine Your Interview Skills

By the time you start getting interview calls, transform yourself to work in a professional environment. 

Research and learn about the Work culture in Canada. Body language, dressing sense, communication skills, and time management skills could be the key areas you can always work upon.

Practice answering job interview questions. As you are transitioning from student to professional life, this exercise could help you build confidence and face interviews like a pro.

Take Away Note

Be sure to stay motivated, consistent, and enthusiastic from the beginning till you find your dream job. YOU WILL CERTAINLY GET WHAT YOU SEEK! All the best for all the endeavors you are going to put in the process. 

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Translate »