I’m Sara Mesa, an Executive Assistant with over ten years of experience in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. I’m currently working for London Employment Help Centre. When I came to Canada in 2016, I had limited knowledge of employment services, job search, and networking strategies. I had my Bachelor in Communications and my Diploma in Human Resources from Colombia, but these were not enough for me to get a job in London Canada.
Finding a job was not easy, and I realized that I needed professional guidance to start my career in London. If you’re a newcomer looking for a job, take a look at the following three tips for success:
1. Expand your English skills. Find a school that provides ESL or LINC classes (the schools are providing virtual classes due to the pandemic). Work on your speaking and listening skills by talking to your neighbours and teachers. Also, reading news and information, watching movies and listening to music in English will help you improve your communications!
If you need to evaluate your English level, contact Cross Cultural Learner Centre to take a language assessment test.
Check the following ESL/LINC/OSLT options in London:
- G.A. Wheable Adult and Continuing Education Centre: (519) 452-2660 | 70 Jacqueline St, London, ON N5Z 3P7
- Centre for Lifelong Learning – St. Patrick Campus: (519) 675-4436 | 1230 King Street, St. Patrick Campus, London, ON N5W 2Y2
- The Accenture Learning Platform (online database with English language learning resources): ask us and we can set you up with an account!
- Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT) is offered at no cost for newcomers to Ontario: https://co-oslt.org/
For more information about schools visit the following link: https://www.informationlondon.ca/services/groups/list/10422/english_as_a_second_language_esl_and_other_language_training_programs
If you feel comfortable with your communication and you have a 5-6 English level, reach out and contact an employment service provider!
2. Find an employment provider. Book an appointment with a Career and Employment Specialist at London Employment Help Centre (519-439-0501) and discuss your background, experience, and short and long-term goals. Note that the appointments are virtual currently because of COVID-19.
Communicate with your counsellor frequently and follow up with them! Don’t expect that the Career and Employment Specialist makes everything happen for you. It demonstrates passion and interest in your job search, and can be a great way to practice networking and build your communications skills with someone you can trust.
Don’t be afraid and talk about the barriers that you’re experiencing currently.
3. Get your resume in top shape. Keep in mind that if you’re looking for a job opportunity, your resume is one of the most important documents to get any results. By polishing and formatting your resume, you have more chances to get an interview. Remember that resumes differ from country to country. In Canada, you don’t need to include a picture, religion, age or marital status in your resume. Learn more about typical Canadian resumes and pay special attention to keeping them concise and organized. Include your soft skills as well as technical skills, education, and work experience. Do not simply translate words from your native language. Tell your story!
For some positions, it is mandatory to apply with a resume and cover letter. Check the Internet for some examples and ask your Career and Employment Specialist about best practices to write a cover letter and resume. Ask us for the LEHC Cover Letter and Resume guides!
As a newcomer myself, I understand your fears and limited knowledge on how to find a job. Remember that you’re not alone and you can utilize the education and employment services to achieve your goals in Canada. Stay tuned for more tips and advice!
Welcome to London, Ontario!