How to Get Employers to Take Notice for Jobs in Canada
The competition to immigrate to Canada is undoubtedly high. Most people will tell you that the best way to win this competition is to find a job in Canada before you apply for immigration or enter into the new Express Entry system. In fact, some might say finding a job first is the only way to win the immigration contest.
But with so many people trying to immigrate to Canada it has become clear that finding a job means figuring out a way to stand out from the crowd. A good way to do this is something we call Personal Branding.
What is personal branding? It is how employers interact with your resume and online profile. It is positioning yourself in a way that makes it easy for the employer to describe and categorize you. Simply put, it is telling a story about yourself that gives the employer an easy path to connect with your application.
Personal branding in the real world is accomplished through many things such as clothing, hairstyle, language or even where you chose to live. Usually it is communicated in person or over a telephone conversation. In the online world of international job applications, personal branding is accomplished through written anecdotes and the ability to present your technical skills and work experience in narrative rather than documentary form.
Think about it this way. Most employers and recruiters are passive. In other words, their first priority is not to hire an international worker. However, if they see an opportunity to hire someone that really stands out they will invest the time and take the risk of bringing someone in from overseas. The main goal of an international employer is to find someone who will fit in and remain loyal to the company. In the world of international recruiting the only way an employer can accomplish this is if they get a sense for who you really are, and personal branding is an excellent way to facilitate this process.
Consequentially, you must tell a good story in your application that sells your personal brand. Perhaps you are trying to sell sociability. You want the employer to feel that you are the type of person that they want to sit next to in the lunchroom. Adding a picture to your application will go a long way to creating that mental picture. There is no substitute for the ability to see who you are. But you must also ensure that when you design and communicate messages in your application the brand of sociability is reflected in all your answers.
For example, the language you use in your cover letter and application may be casual in tone. The reason why you want to come to Canada may be more casual in nature. Perhaps you have a fascination with culture and are driven to immigrate to Canada because you want to meet as many different people as you can. Your work experience and roles and responsibilities are framed in a way that tells a story about how interacting with other people was the most important part of your job. When the employer does a Google search on you they will see your extremely active Facebook or Twitter page. In isolation, these items may seem corny. However, the cumulative effect is that a definite impression of who you are will be formed in the mind of the employer.
That is not to say every employer will be looking for someone like you. In fact, with employers who are not looking for a sociable candidate you may actually be excluding yourself from the contest if you are draped in a heavily sociable personal brand. However, there is nothing worse than a candidate with no identity or personal branding. These are the ‘Invisible Candidates” who all look alike, do not stand out and get passed over in the blink of an eye.
Most of the time, international employers are looking for something very specific. They will not just pick out the best person in the room. They will keep looking until they find exactly what they are searching for. This means that you have to be exactly what they are looking for and that is a very difficult thing to do without a personal brand.
Having a personal brand gives you a chance to be hired abroad. It may take a whole lot of interviews, but with a personal brand eventually an employer will be looking to hire someone exactly like you. It does not matter whether your brand is sociability, ethics, expertise, connections, persistence, awareness, confidence, enthusiasm, listening or anything else you can imagine an employer will see that helps you stand out from the crowd.
Ultimately, your personal brand needs to be something. That is because being nothing is the worst strategy you could possibly use in trying to get a job and win the Canadian immigration contest.