Entering the Canadian Job Market: An International Student’s Journey
Discover how Conestoga College's Career Services can help you find and secure a job in Canada.
Story shared by a recent graduate from the School of Business.
As an international student at Conestoga College, securing employment after graduation was my top priority. This meant I needed to revise my resumé, find a part-time job during my studies, and explore job opportunities everywhere.
Like many others, I started working on these things. But unlike many others, I took the initiative of connecting with a career advisor at the Career Services office on campus.
Type of part-time jobs: on-campus & off-campus
While searching for a part-time job, I encountered a few open positions, some off-campus and others on-campus. It's really a personal choice, and for myself, I decided to pursue something on-campus to manage my hours better and stay focused on my classes.
The next step was learning how to apply for an on-campus role and how to make my application strong. That's when I reached out to the college’s Career Services for guidance.
Career Services at Conestoga College
I found out about Career Services through a senior student. I was excited and ready to revamp my resumé. I booked an appointment and finally got introduced to my career advisor.
I bombarded her with questions, "what do you think about my resumé?", "is it bad?", "should I apply to roles that are relevant to my profile?", and "how do I write a cover letter?" Phewww! After an hour of thorough discussion, I knew what I needed to do. Amanda introduced me to a massive library of resources available to Conestoga students.
Although I initially struggled with formatting my documents, Career Services provided me with guidance on the following:
- Building a Canadian style resumé
- Writing a cover letter and elevating my application
- Job search preparation — Interview prep and frequently asked questions in interviews
- Creating a career launch plan after recognizing my strengths and finding an appropriate career path (based on my areas of strength)
- Understanding job opportunities in my local area
- Connecting with Conestoga-affiliated employers
After inquiring about on-campus jobs, my career advisor directed me to the myCareer Services portal, where I could explore all open positions for international students, both on and off campus. What's impressive is that myCareer portal is exclusive to Conestoga students and provides details about the role and hours per week. As someone from the Business Development and Sales program, I was intrigued by the potential alignment of on-campus positions with my field of study and the value they could add to my resumé.
After adjusting my documents, I applied for the role, and that's how I got my first part-time job in Canada.
Job search: as a graduate
Not much later, I found myself going back to Career Services, only this time, I was close to graduating and looking for a full-time job opportunity. My resumé was already up to date, and I had started to apply for jobs. But this time, what really helped me was doing practice mock interviews. Moreover, myCareer portal has a vast database of interview questions, which I covered during my preparation.
And the best part is that international students can still access these resources and connect with career advisors even after graduating! I'm grateful to my professors, who played a significant role in preparing me for life after graduation. While my program offered hands-on learning and helped me gain practical experience compatible with the job market, Career Services supported me in finding job opportunities that aligned with my professional goals.
As a recent graduate, I advise you to take advantage of the incredible resources available from the college and reach out to Career Services when looking for support in finding employment.
Find your program at Conestoga College