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Getting Job in Canada (After PR) - What am I doing wrong?

Hi All,

I’ve been applying for Product Management Jobs in GTA. So far, I’ve applied to 50+ Jobs and have received a rejection on 35. I am mulling over things that I can do to get at least an interview.

Background:

  • Technical Background - 10+ Years of Experience in Technical Consulting, Professional Services, Solution Architect, and recently in Product Management
  • Masters from the USA
  • Resume follows all industry standards - One page, highlighting achievements, key skills, professional summary, formatting, etc. I’ve also updated my address as Toronto and have acquired a local cell number.
  • Applying through Linked-in, Indeed, and direct.
  • Looking for jobs in Product Management as Senior Product Manager or Product Manager

I feel confident that I can’t add or modify anything in my resume - I spent 3+ weeks on getting it right. Also, I am getting interview calls from New York, SF, and other US cities.

Questions for the group:

  • What am I doing wrong?

  • What can I do to at least secure an initial screening call?

  • How did you get the job in Canada after the PR?

@vik @avj @mrandmrs @vignesh.pr @panditji

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In typical IT / SW jobs, your USA experience is what matters most, but with anything to do with people skills, it would be an added advantage if you can find someone who can refer you to the hiring manager. That will help to get through the door faster.

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I ask this with absolutely no idea of your background or current situation, so please excuse me if you feel this is wrong. In the other calls you have been getting from within the US, have you been asking them if they’d be okay with you working from Canada? (Assuming a high probability of bagging a remote opportunity since you work in IT)

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  • It’s not about what you are doing wrong, but what are you not doing? Use all channels, apart from just applying online, use InMails, talk to recruiters (the ones that usually reach out to you can help you get a foot in the door), talk to people who may know someone who may know someone who is actively hiring or knows someone who’s company is hiring; more often than not, this works.

  • The above

  • Everyone’s circumstances are different, but let me tell you this, if you’re used to getting inundated with interview calls from the US, Canada is going to be slightly tougher, because hiring over here happens in a more conservative fashion. Firstly, they’re gonna want Canadian experience, but US experience is also welcome because the work ethic is similar and perhaps stronger. Secondly, getting interview calls through references rather than random Linkedin messages happens a lot more often here, again the slightly conservative and “safe” hiring culture. You HAVE to find a way around it, like so many already have. Thirdly, population is 1/10, therefore total number of jobs are also fewer, therefore expect a proportional decline in interview calls.

  • However this doesn’t mean that you should lose hope. A lot of people feel like it’s a lost cause and tend to get depressed, but sooner or later they all find something and move.

  • Have you looked at remotely working for US employer from Canada -option?

  • Do you know if hiring freeze is causing the drop in interview calls?

  • Are you using the MovNorth HIRE platform?

  • Have you written Canadian PR on your resume?

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I don’t think that you should come to the conclusion that you’re doing anything wrong. Based on your description it looks like you’re doing everything correctly, so don’t lose heart and carry on. That said, these are very strange times, a lot of sectors have been badly impacted, unemployment levels are at all time highs (though this depends on the sector and tenure of employment). Even employers who’ve not been impacted are approaching the situation more cautiously, so there’s a lot going on.

My advice to you, to supplement what people have already said here would be to consider these 3 things -

  1. Consider moving to Canada to a subsidiary of your current employer. A lot of times people are hesitant to even discuss this with their management, and if you’ve not already done so then I’d strongly encourage you to bring this up with your manager.
  2. Tell potential future US employers that you’d like to work from Canada. It’s fairly easy for big companies to accommodate this, it’s somewhat harder for smaller companies who might have a US only presence.
  3. Instead of casting a wide net and reaching out to recruiters, work your LinkedIn network. Find someone who is willing to put in a good word for you and a referral instead of trying to connect with more recruiters.

I found a job through terminal, this is developer heavy but if you feel like you’d be a good fit in one of the partner companies, do let me know and I can try putting in a referral for you.

And lastly to reiterate, don’t setup arbitrary timelines for yourself; you’ll just end up getting more stressed. Take it easy and keep applying to jobs passively, once the right opportunity comes your way, you can make concrete plans and move for good.

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Caveat: I have a PR but haven’t yet moved to Canada. I am currently in the USA.

I have a different angle on this that adds to what the gurus said above.

The number of product management roles is a fraction (1/10th maybe?) of the number of software engineering/development roles in the tech industry in USA and I would imagine that is true for Canada as well . You can seriously expand the number of opportunities that you come across if you look for software engineering/development roles. You have related experience as well based on technical consulting/professional services/solution architect and I would imagine that you could make the jump to software engineering/development. It might not be easy or not something that is aligned directly with your liking but I believe sometimes one has to what is needed.

To give you an example, I am a software engineer and been working in USA for over 10 years. Also have Masters from a university (not top tier) in USA. I have never worked at any of the tier-1 tech companies (like FAANGM) or startups. I was searching for jobs in Canada in February and applied to a 30-40 jobs or so. I openly told that I am currently in USA but did mention I have the maple leaf card. I just applied directly on various company websites and LinkedIn. Within a couple of weeks, I got calls from 3, made it to on-site rounds for 2 (Amazon, Instacart) but wasn’t able to crack them. Pandemic hit, and I have postponed my move to Canada for until end of the year for a variety of reasons.

Ultimately, job search is a numbers game and the numbers can be in your favor depending on the role that you choose in tech. Hope that helps. Good luck!

Thank you all for taking the time out and sharing your feedback.

@usa2can - It sounds like a good idea. I haven’t explored this option. Maybe I’ll get a premium Linked-in and start sending in the mail with a pitch to the prospective employer.

@siddEE - No, not at all - it’s a valid question. I haven’t asked anyone yet if they’d be willing to let me work from Canada. However, I’ve started un-checking the box (need sponsorship) during the application. The idea is to let them know during the interview process that I’d want to work remotely from Canada.

@avj - I have started applying more to USA based companies - and hoping to explore the option to work for them remotely from Canada. I haven’t written ‘Canada PR’ on my resume - Will it make a difference? I do have a profile on the MovNorth HIRE platform.

@panditji - If nothing gets figured out by the end of this year - then I’ll probably stay in the USA for another year and start looking for options once things settle down. I’ll check out the terminal and let you know if I see anything useful there. Thank you for offering the reference!

@katz - I hear your point. Software Engineering jobs will be the last option for me - I do have technical background and experience, but I have never been a full-time software engineer. But as you said - sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Adding ‘Canada PR’ will boost your resume. Otherwise they would think you are planning to move to Canada and expecting sponsorship.

@pankajtrivedi @canadainland I agree with this. When I moved here just under a year ago, I was very skeptical of landing a job, especially given the niche field I work in (automotive software engineering). But in hindsight, I would have to say adding “authorized to work any employer in Canada” to my resume’s header contributed at least a little in the number of interview calls I received in a short period of time. Please utilize every little detail that would help you in this tough process.

Adding ‘Permanent Resident’ worked at least to get 1 interview call from Vancouver :slight_smile:

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