Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island - Canada
Looking for Work
Before you start looking for work, it is a good idea to think about your career goals. Keep in mind that you may not be able to find an ideal job right away, but do not get discouraged. If you are not happy with the job you get, you can always continue to look for better opportunities. As a new immigrant in Canada, you may want to accept a job that is available, even if it is not perfect, as it is important to acquire Canadian work experience.
When looking for work, it is always helpful to do get some information about the opportunity trends for your profession, trade, or jobs that apply to your set of skills. Here are some ideas on how to make your job search easier:
- Labour market information -- Searching out labour market information can help you get an idea of employment trends in PEI and Canada, who the employers are, and what skills are needed for certain jobs. [See Related Resources]
- PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada -- The PEI ANC has employment counsellors to help you with your career planning and Canadian job search skills.
- PEI Career Development Services -- They can help you prepare for and locate a job, learn interview skills, complete an application, and a resume.
- Employment programs -- There are a number of employment programs which offer assistance to people who are unemployed or under-employed (have more and better skills than required in their current jobs) in getting work experience and upgrading their skills or training.
- The Employment Journey -- This PEI newspaper is issued every two months. It has information about available jobs and articles related to employment, skills development and labour market.
Where to Look for a Job
Jobs that are advertised will have many people applying for them and there will be more competition.
It is said that approximately 80 percent of job openings that are available at any given time are not advertised in the newspapers or online job boards. This is called the 'hidden job market'. In order to access the hidden job market it is important to network or be in contact with a wide variety of people who may be able to help you with your job search.
Here are some suggestions on where to look for a job:
In the back of the newspaper is a section called 'Classifieds'. Look under 'Help Wanted' in the classified ads. You can also look for news stories about new projects or businesses starting up. These could give you an idea where you could apply for a job.
Many employers advertise jobs on the Internet. It can be on their own business or organization website, a news website with a classifieds section, a social networking site, or a website dedicated to job advertising.
The Government of Canada runs a website called the Job Bank. Employers from all regions of Canada post jobs on this website. In PEI, the Government of Canada, Provincial Government, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), Holland College, Cities of Charlottetown and Summerside, and other larger employers will have job postings on their own websites. [See Related Resources]
Some employers put signs on their windows, buildings or announcement boards when they are looking for new employees. The sign may say 'help wanted' or 'now hiring'. Usually it is restaurants and retail or service shops that use this method of advertising. If you are interested in a job like that, write down the name of the business with the phone number to call, or go in, ask for the manager and introduce yourself. Ask what is necessary to apply for the job. If you do this, make sure you are dressed appropriately, as if you were going to a job interview.
Jobs of Interest and Information Interviews
If you are interested in a particular kind of job, or if you have knowledge or experience with a particular type of business or organization, you do not have to wait for a position to be advertised. You can contact the business or organization that interests you and express your desire to work there. You may send in or drop off your resume with a cover letter explaining your interest, and even set up a meeting with the potential employer to conduct a so called 'information interview'.
Information interviewing can also involve speaking to people who work in the field about which you want to learn more. Besides potential employers, this could be professional associations, sector councils (organizations that look at skills needed in specific job markets), etc.
Friends and Family
Ask your friends and family if they know of anyone who is currently hiring.
Volunteering is very popular in Canada. People volunteer for different reasons, but mainly to help their community. Although you do not get paid, volunteering is a good way to:
- learn about and feel part of your new community
- get Canadian work experience
- learn and practice English or French
- learn new skills and continue to develop the skills you already have
Volunteering will also give you an opportunity to network, i.e. meet new people and make new contacts. Ask your employment counsellor or contact PEI Voluntary Resource Council to find out about volunteer opportunities in PEI. [See Related Resources]