Searching for a job as an immigrant in another country

I live in the Quebec region, Canada, since 2011. I spent five years in the Capitale Nationale and now I live in the metropolitan region of the second French-speaking city in the world, Montréal.

I have 6 resumes. They are all mine. They go like this:

  1. General, in English.
  2. General, in French.
  3. For positions in Social Media Management, in English.
  4. For positions in Social Media Management, in French.
  5. For positions in Digital Project Management in English.
  6. For positions in Digital Project Management in French.

Because the job search in a Canadian bilingual region is like that.  Just a single resume in just one language is not enough. You must have it in the two that this region speaks of, especially if you live in Montréal. Just to get started! Then, if you have specialized in two disciplines, or you are looking for employment in two fields, then you have to highlight the experience in each of those fields. Since I do digital MKT and digital projects, then I have to do 2 versions of each one.

… Without counting on your Plan B, which is the “surviving resume”, that you use to get a job “for while” and it also has to have a version in each language, just a single page, because baking muffins and cleaning tables don’t need much about your academic skills. I’m not urged for this one, happily.

The things to consider, essential in the Canadian resume: that your information is correctly written, that the text is IMPECCABLE and that above, does not exceed 3 pages. That does not mean that you stay calm with those documents. You will have to adapt them to the demands of the work proposal, trying to make it an exact match, sometimes “literal” so that the filters of the recruitment systems (yes, automated) could catch the keywords of your resume. It means that there will be times I will have to modify them, if necessary, depending on what the company I want to apply for seeks.

Of course, we must add the famous Canadian-Québécois motivation letter. If you are already versed in both languages, you can afford to modify it without problems, adding information that may be relevant to the employer. If not, you have to check a thousand times before sending it, with the minimal modifications to a template that puts you on nerves, because you know that if there is only one lack of writing (especially if you are in COM) you will be discarded in one.

“Oh yeah, I want to go to Canada too” “Oh yes,  I bet you are having a great time there”

There has not been a single day of work in which I have not earned every dollar with the sweat of my brow and the burning of my neurons. I have worked much more and left on the field than I did in Peru. But I have never felt more proud of my achievements and although sometimes things do not go as expected, and looking back only gives me more momentum to get ahead. It gives me the claw to jump higher.

Because being an immigrant is living the challenges daily. Challenges that range from the simple aspect of having to express yourself in a foreign language (or languages, as in this region), understand a sometimes disconcerting culture and have to prove that you are twice as good to have an opportunity to shine. It is hard, it is every day, but it is what we do, with a smile, with gratitude, with our eyes wide open. We have come here to learn.

During this experience, you know many people whose job will be to block you from jumping. They will tell you that YOU CAN NOT. Let them look at you, because YES YOU CAN. I repeat:  YES, YOU CAN.

It is not pure  “Monday Motivation”, useful when you do not want to get up. It is the hard truth if you need to believe it and above all, if you want to live it.

Let each Monday be a day when you make the resolution to do something new with your life. Nobody can’t stop you! Not even if you have to do 6 CV and 2 letters in languages that are alien to you, although everything seems complicated, even if you feel tired, even if they have made you doubt your own professional abilities. You have come from afar, you are living the adventure of your life! You have taken the great step of leaving your comfort zone, you do it every day when you leave your house, and you face a society that sometimes does not want you to be here!… Keep in mind that we are many in the same trance, as I do now since I decided to come to Canada.

Come on, get up today and shine. Do it, feel powerful. Just go.

Published here on September 24th, 2018.

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