1. Prepare Your Resumé
Even if the recruiter is not very familiar with your country of origin, its educational system and industrial fabric, he needs to be able to get a quick sense of who you are and what your skills are (know-how and interpersonal skills). Submit your resumé as is customarily done in Québec and use the terminology used in North America to highlight your potential contribution to the company, and thus enhance your chances of being hired.
2. Do a “Dry Run” Before Making a Decision
Are you going to like Greater Montréal? Could you get used to living here? What are your chances of finding a job? To find out, what better way than to test the waters by staying in Greater Montréal for a while (up to six months). This will allow you to experience the culture, atmosphere and daily life here. You can explore the various neighbourhoods and begin to build a local professional network. Nothing, in fact, prevents you from asking to meet informally with a potential employer to discuss their sector of operations in Québec. Once you are back home, you can then make an informed decision about whether you wish to settle here.
Note: It is against the law to look for a job without a work permit, subject to expulsion from Canada.
3. Acquire Your First Work Experience and Show Your Ability
When Québec employers recruit, they are looking for know-how, not a diploma! And without a first work experience, how will you be able to show them what you can do? This may be difficult to understand for a newcomer, but you absolutely need to have a first job experience on your resumé.
4. Build a Network of Contacts
LinkedIn: Employers in Québec regularly use social networks to view profiles and check information. Make sure you are registered with LinkedIn (it’s free) and that your content is up-to-date and fits the Québec context (e.g., professional titles matching those used in North America, education and diplomas with their Québec equivalents). Feel free to participate in forums and ask for referrals.
Volunteer work can also help you create your network. In addition to allowing you to develop or acquire skills, it can help you become more familiar with the language and culture. In an employer’s eyes, volunteers are reliable, generous with their time, and eager to get involved. As a result, volunteer work is a valid work experience in Canada and can lead to valuable recommendations in the search for employment.
5. Use All the Resources at Your Disposal
Employment assistance organizations for newcomers, including:
- Clef pour l’intégration au travail des immigrants (in French)
- Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration (in French)
- Clubs de recherche d’emploi (job search centres), which host workshops and provide users with access to the Internet, phones and photocopiers
- Les Carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec, for adults aged 18 to 35
- Emploi Nexus, specializing in three key areas: aerospace; life sciences and health technologies; information and communications technologies (in French)
- Travailimmigrants.com (in French)
- Fondation Ressources Jeunesse (in French)
Greater Montréal has seven industrial clusters which bring together all the players in a given sector so they can combine forces to work together towards common goals. The business offices of these industrial clusters are valuable sources of information to sound out a sector of activity and review the most sought-after professions.
- Aerospace: Aéro Montréal
- Information and communications technologies: Techno Montréal
- Life sciences and health technologies: Montréal In Vivo
- Film and television: Action Montréal
- Finance: Finance Montréal
- Logistics and transportation: CargoM
- Clean energy: Ecotech Québec
Companies That Are Recruiting
Greater Montréal is one of the main innovation hubs in North America. Numerous high-tech Canadian, Québec and international leaders are based here and are regularly searching for new talent.
In the aerospace sector, 234 private companies have roughly 40,000 employees. The sector leaders are:
- Air Canada
- AJ Walters
- Bell Helicopter Textron
- Bombardier Aerospace
- Esterline CMC Electronics
- Kelly Aviation Center (Lockheed Martin)
- L-3 Communications MAS
- MDA Espace
- Pratt & Whitney
In the information and communications technologies sector, close to 5,000 companies employ 120,000 people. The leaders are:
- Acceo Solutions
- Bell Canada
- Dassault Systèmes
- Eidos/Square Enix
- Electronic Arts
- CGI Group
- Morgan Stanley
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
In life sciences and health technologies, 620 companies and organizations—including 150 research centres—employ 43,000 people. The largest private employers in the sector are:
- Algorithme Pharma
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Johnson & Johnson
- Charles River Laboratories
- McKesson Canada
6. Les Journées Québec
Twice a year, Journées Québec (Québec days) recruitment missions are held in European cities by the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (Quebec Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities) with regional partners, including Montréal International. During these events, Québec employers meet with pre-screened candidates who are interested in settling in Greater Montréal. These recruitment events are open to candidates of any nationality who are fluent in French and have all of the qualifications required by Québec employers.
- The next “Journées Québec” event will be held in November 2016 in Paris.
- Start of registration: To be determined.
- At www.journeesquebec.gouv.qc.ca, you can create your profile, view job postings by Greater Montréal companies, and apply online. If you are selected by an employer, you will be invited to come in for an interview. All of the logistical information (e.g., times and location) will be provided to you at that time.
- Note that if you are already in Québec, you will need to go through local recruitment channels.
- If the job postings by employers taking part in the next “Journées Québec” event do not match your area of expertise or you cannot attend the event, you can fill out this form to be notified of our upcoming recruitment activities.