Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: No Canadian Experience, Eh?

It's tough enough for Canadians to get hired with relevant experience in their field, let alone for those who do not. These people end up stretching out their achievement statements in order to prove how their skills qualify them; it can be a difficult process. Now imagine the difficulty for a person who might have little to no experience, or even some excellent and relateable experience, but not in the country which they're applying. This is a common occurrence for International Students and Immigrants, people who come to Canada seeking better education or work, but without Canadian experience they can end up feeling lost.

Brock University is full of International students who choose to stay in Canada following their studies to pursue something in their field here. What some of them are realizing is that their lack of Canadian experience is getting in the way of their career goals and job search. Or is it..?

In the second edition of "No Canadian Experience, Eh?" Daisy Wright covers literally everything a Canadian newcomer will need to know about how to immerse themselves in the culture of our career search, and even provides some helpful tips about Canadian culture as a whole (the term "eh?" is defined on page xiii, haha).  From attaining the accurate legal documents and creating a resume, to putting the references sheet together, sample thank-you letters and even success stories, this book has it all!

Wright identifies key areas where an immigrant to Canada might have difficulty transitioning, especially when it comes to job search. She provides specific suggestions for how to deal with resume writing, filling in gaps and structuring all experiences, as well as how to market yourself and prepare for the interview.  At the end of each section there is even a quiz to complete, helping the reader guage how well they are understanding the material in order to ensure confidence as they move forward in their Canadian career search!

Another great aspect about this book is something we're very big on at Career Services - goal setting and self assessments! She begins the book by having the reader get to know themselves, and understand how to set achieveable goals for their job search. She reminds the reader that it could be a lengthy process, but knowing yourself and making SMART Goals are imperative first steps to help make the process go smoother, if not faster!

My favourite part of the book is Chapter 9: Navigating the Job Search Maze. This chapter includes various sections on success tips, real life examples of job search mistakes, the hiring manager's perspective in the process, and even suggestions for preparing yourself for a job layoff. As an immigrant to Canada herself, Wright has a good understanding of what information is important to relay to Canadian newcomers in order to facilitate job search success and confidence, with no surprises!

Here are a few testimonials about how beneficial this book is, if I haven't yet convinced you:

"this book is an outstanding resource tool and thoroughly prepares our newcomers to take a pro-active and fresh look at addressing some fo the employment barriers that they will face"
Dauna Jones-Simmonds - Manager, Diversity Programs and Initiatives, TD Banks

"a must read for new immigrants. I wish I had this book before coming to Canada"
 T. Small, Legal Assistant

"This book is outstanding. It provides many valuable resources to people who plan to immigrate to Canada, and it allows newcomers to take a fresh look at the challenges they could face in immigrating, but also offers advice on how to overcome those challenges"
D.r Cheng, former University Professor in Taiwan

I'd also say that after reviewing this book, I find that the tips that Wright provides are beneficial for every job seeker in the Canadian market as her tips are universal to the fundaments of Canadian job search success.

 So those of you reading this blog who feel like you could benefit from some guidance on how to structure your resume and job search without any Canadian experience, never fear - drop by the Career Resource Centre in the Learning Commons and have a look through! You won't be disappointed :)


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