In this session, we heard from Sydea Kabir, an industry leader in HR, former international student, and a valued team member at Devant. Her experience in talent acquisition, employee relations, talent strategy, training/development and compensation all shone through as she addressed over 30 questions asked during the session.
Topics addressed included:
- employer research
- the application process
- challenges faced by international students in the Canadian job search process.
On that note, we also have to give credit to all those who participating from the Devant Community. We appreciate the honesty in your questions and always look forward to your feedback. Below, we’ve included a few of the great questions that were asked and her responses.
Q1 – How do you get a job in Canada without Canadian experience?
The first thing I did was to develop career goals for myself. In my example, my post-grad course was only one year and my goal was to land a job before I hit that graduation date. I started by developing a list of targeted companies that I was interested in working with. It’s important to remember your international experiences and the skills you learned from those. As long as they are communicated well, you can definitely leverage your past successes from outside Canada. When it comes to experiences, think outside the box about what to include, for example, volunteerism, personal projects, part-time roles. Just make sure that you can explain how they are relevant to the position you are targeting.
Then, I put a lot of effort into scheduling coffee chats. They were extremely helpful in learning more about my industry, practicing my networking and interview skills and developing meaningful connections. Remember to keep your coffee chat request simple, keep it under 30 min and specify why you’re interested in meeting your targeted connection. I landed my first job because of a coffee chat connection. Keep working hard, stay focused, and try not to get discouraged.
Q2 – Is it important to connect with employers and recruiters before you apply?
If you can, that’s great. Make sure you network, use LinkedIn as a tool. 80% of jobs are within the hidden job market which means they aren’t posted. So, networking is essential in discovering new and hidden opportunities. Making connections and building rapport with individuals in your industry and HR professional can make all the difference in a successful job search. It is an added advantage.
Q3 – How can I ensure my CV passes through the ATS?
When you prepare your resume and cover letter, ensure that it is directly related to the job description. I would encourage you to revise your resume each time you apply and see if you can tweak your messaging to match the job post. However, please keep in mind that you can never lie or enhance your experiences. Keep them honest and clear.
Q4 – How can I follow up with recruiters and employers after applying?
Never hesitate to followup – if you are connected through LinkedIn or email, after 5-7 days send a note asking about your application status. You can also ask for feedback about the interview process which is completely acceptable. Finally, a thank you note is a staple when it comes to following up. It is a great way to stand out amongst other applicants and is a good opportunity to showcase your commitment to the role.
Q5 – Finally, as a veteran recruiter, what do you look for in a good LinkedIn profile?
The first thing I’d notice is the profile picture. Make sure the photo is current and professional. Next, I would move to the summary section. Here I am looking for your story. I want to know what unique skills and experiences you have, what your career journey is thus far, and your future goals. This is a great space to get a recruiter’s attention before I scroll down and learn more about your experiences.
If you missed out on this session, don’t worry, we have a few more Q and A sessions coming up on other topics including, immigration, taxes, and resume clinics. For a full list, we encourage you to bookmark our Events Page.
At Devant – We’ve Got Your Back – please drop us a note at email@example.com. We would love to get your feedback and brainstorm new ways to engage and help international students.