How to gain the competitive edge you need to succeed

posted on March 30, 2022

By Canadian Immigrant magazine

Some sectors in Canada, like marketing, visual design and other creative fields, can be highly competitive. This makes it very important to set yourself — and your skills — apart.

There are abundant opportunities in the Canadian labour market right now. But not all industries are created equal. Some sectors are very competitive with lots of talented candidates vying for desirable job openings. Finding a job in areas like the arts, visual design, media, marketing or advertising can be challenging for skilled newcomers. Some factors like a challenging post-pandemic economic outlook for the arts and media sectors in Canada are outside of a job seeker’s control. But the actions you take as part of your job search journey can make all the difference toward reaching your career goals. We talked to a couple career advisors to get some pointers on how to set yourself apart from the competition — even in the most competitive fields.

Preparation is key

Christopher Lau, a client success coach with Windmill Microlending, a national charitable organization helping skilled immigrants and refugees achieve career success, advises newcomers to start job market research right away — preferably even before arriving in Canada — to be prepared for what lies ahead. He says this includes finding out what kind of jobs are in demand, what areas of the country are the best fit for your skillset, and what qualifications employers are looking for.

A helpful resource to find out which skills are in demand in every part of Canada is Windmill’s Trending Jobs ReportIt highlights the jobs, province-by-province, that are growing and have strong prospects for the future.

“Be honest with yourself and consider if what you have to offer matches up with what employers in Canada are looking for,” Lau says.

For example, if you worked in advertising in your country of origin, take a good look if your creative style and skills match industry trends in Canada. Upskilling with some industry-specific training can help you adapt your skills to the Canadian market.

Sharpen your skills

“Upskilling is definitely an advantage,” says Vandna Joshi, senior manager, employment programs at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society in Surrey, B.C. “Updating your skills shows employers that you’re open to new ideas, adaptable to change, have a growth mindset and are committed to lifelong learning,” she says.

After all, whatever field you’re in, things don’t stay static. “We’ve seen that so clearly over the last two years. It’s important to learn new skills, tools and approaches so we can innovate and meet the changes in the labour market,” she adds.

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