Toronto is an incredible city. Traditionally a city that welcomes immigrants, Toronto is still true to its heritage and remains one of the most multicultural centers in Canada and around the world. Nearly 150 languages are spoken in the city and nearly half of the population is born outside of Canada.
Toronto is Canada’s financial center, but even the city center is divided into lively neighborhoods, each with its own unique feel. Just outside the crowds, Toronto residents enjoy beaches, parks, and plenty of trails to enjoy Lake Ontario. The city is so excellent for its residents that the economist recently ranked it as one of the world’s most livable cities, it’s no wonder so many people want to work there!
Also – exciting news for job seekers – Toronto is currently in a time of demographic change, with an aging population and few births, meaning the workforce is changing rapidly and jobs are opening at unprecedented speed. So how do you get into the race?
This guide will walk you through the 8 steps to getting a job in Toronto.
1. Make yourself eligible to work in Canada
Toronto has traditionally been friendly to immigrants, and obtaining a visa in Canada is relatively easy compared to many countries in Europe. For many hopeful immigrants, Express Entry is an option – there are really few barriers to working in Canada other than finding work.
To check your eligibility for quick access, you can check your eligibility on the Canadian Immigration Services website. Knowing in advance whether you qualify can save you time when looking for a job if you do not qualify.
2. Consider the type of available jobs
Toronto is Canada’s financial center, which is why the city has many jobs in the financial sector. Other major industries in the city are media, technology and tourism, with the city having a growing startup scene.
Outside of the core industries, there is still a fairly wide range of emerging industries. Knowing which are the largest will help you decide if Toronto is the right city for you; it is important to research the prevalence of your industry as you begin your job search.
3. Watch online
Due to its proximity, many job boards in Toronto are the same as in the United States. When looking for jobs, the Internet offers a wide range of opportunities in many industries and is usually the best place to start. Some of the most popular sites to search for jobs in Toronto are:
Toronto Jobs is specially tailored to the city (be sure to check out their career fair too!)
Workopolis has a wide variety of jobs across Canada
Canada’s top 100 where you can see listings of Canada’s 100 Best Employers
Career Builder offers several openings
Eluta, which also searches Canada’s 100 Best Employers
Hot Jobs in Canada offers a good spread of opportunities in your region
It’s also a good idea to check out the biggest job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, and SimplyHired.
4. Find a recruiter
While online search offers the most options, the Internet cannot give you the personalized job search that you might find if you worked with a recruiter. Working with an agency can provide in-depth help with writing your cover letter or customizing your resume, getting tips for your interview, and some background information about the companies you’re applying for. It’s a good idea to surf around and find a desk that’s right for you, but the following recruiters are well-rated and highly respected in Toronto:
- Apex Life Sciences for science, engineering and research jobs
- The Judge Group works to place candidates in technology and healthcare jobs
- Procom works with professionals looking for IT jobs
- Aquent places talent in jobs in various sectors
- Vitamin T focuses on creative talent
- The Select Group works with professionals looking for jobs in multiple areas
5. Do some networking
A strong professional network is one of the most important things you can find anywhere when looking for a job, and it is extremely useful for finding a job in Toronto. If you have time to visit the city before or during your job search, attending professional events is one of the best things you can do to give your competitors a head start.
- For events aimed at networking with other younger professionals in an informal setting, head to The Hip Haus.
- For a wide variety of networking events, try the Kijiji’s Networking Event Forum, Eventbrite’s Toronto Gatherings, or Toronto Eventful’s Networking Meetings.
- Meet the Ellevate Network to meet Toronto’s professional women.
- Join Toronto Business Casual to meet other professionals in a more social environment.
6. Make sure your CV is up to date
There are tons of jobs available in Toronto, but it’s also necessary to keep in mind that many professionals are fighting for them. If you want to be selected for the job, you need a resume that really stands out.
If you need general tips for resuming writing or a place to start, try Monster’s CV writing tips and CareerPerfect’s Expert CV Advice. Even if you’re an excellent writer, getting your resume done by real HR professionals can be a good idea. Check out a few Toronto-based resume help companies like Resume Target and Resumes Canada for even more in-depth help.
7. Apply for a Canadian work visa
The Canadian Immigration Service has made it quite easy to apply for your work visa. The whole process can be completed online and all you need are scanned copies of the required work permit documents. Once you have everything in order, you can apply for your permit through the Canadian government’s online portal.
While the application process is fairly straightforward, there is one immigration technique where many native English speakers get stuck hoping to get an Express Entry or Skilled Immigrant visa. Even if you are a native English speaker, you must take a formal language exam. Accepted language exams are CELPIP and IELTS.