Toronto is an incredible city. Historically a town that welcomes immigrants, Toronto holds true to its heritage today and remains one of the most multicultural centers in Canada and around the world. Nearly 150 languages are spoken in the city, and almost half of the population was born outside of Canada.
Toronto is Canada’s financial center, but even downtown the city is divided into vibrant neighborhoods, each with its own unique feeling. Just outside of the main hustle and bustle, Toronto's residents enjoy beaches, parks, and plenty of trails from which to enjoy Lake Ontario. The city is so excellent to its residents that the Economist recently ranked it as one of the world’s most livable cities, it’s no wonder so many people want to work there!
Also - exciting news for job seeker - Toronto’s currently in a time of demographic change, with an aging population and few births, meaning the workforce is quickly turning over and jobs are opening up at unprecedented speed. So how do you get in the race?
This guide will take you through the 8 steps for getting a job in Toronto.
Toronto is historically friendly to immigrants, and getting a visa in Canada is relatively easy compared to many countries in Europe. For many immigration hopefuls, Express Entry is an option - there are truly few barriers for working in Canada beyond finding employment.
If you’d like to check if you qualify for express entry, you can check out your eligibility at Canada’s immigration services website. Knowing your eligibility up front can save you time on your job search in case you don’t qualify.
Toronto is Canada’s financial center, and as such the city boasts plenty of jobs in the financial sector. Other big industries in the city include media, tech and tourism, with the city boasting a growing startup scene.
Outside of the core industries, there’s still a pretty wide range of industries that are booming. Knowing which ones are the biggest can help you decide whether Toronto is the right city for you; it’s important to research your industry’s prevalence as you begin your job search.
Due in part to its proximity, many job search sites are the same in Toronto as they are in the U.S. When looking for jobs, the Internet provides a wide range of opportunities across many sectors and is typically the best place to start. Some of the most popular sites to search for jobs in Toronto include:
- Toronto Jobs is tailored specifically to the city (make sure to check out their career fair, too!)
- Workopolis has a wide range of jobs across Canada
- Canada’s top 100 where you can view listings of Canada’s top 100 employers
- Career Builder offers a variety of openings
- Eluta which also searches among Canada’s top 100 employers
- Hot Jobs In Canada gives a good spread of opportunities in your area
It’s also a good idea to check the largest job sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster and SimplyHired.
While searching online serves up the most options, the Internet can’t give you the personalized job search that you could find if you worked with a recruiter. Working with an agency can mean in-depth help writing your cover letter or tweaking your resume, getting tips for your interview, and some background info on the companies you’ll be applying to. It’s a good idea to surf around and find an agency that’s right for you, but the following recruiters are well reviewed and highly respected in Toronto:
- Apex Life Sciences for science, engineering and research jobs
- The Judge Group works to place candidates in tech and healthcare jobs
- Procom works with professionals looking for jobs in IT
- Aquent places talent in jobs across a range of industries
- Vitamin T focuses on creative talent
- The Select Group works with professionals looking for jobs across multiple fields
A strong professional network is one of the most important things you can have in a job search anywhere, and it’s massively helpful for finding a job in Toronto. If you have time to visit the city before or during your job search, attending professional events is one of the best things you can do to get a leg up on your competitors.
- For events focused on networking with other younger professionals in a casual setting, check out The Hip Haus.
- For a wide range of networking event listings, try Kijiji's networking events forum, Eventbrite's Toronto Gatherings or Toronto Eventful's networking meetups.
- To meet with Toronto’s professional women, try meeting up with the Ellevate Network.
- To meet other professionals in a more social setting, join Toronto Business Casual.
There are a ton of jobs available in Toronto, but it’s also necessary to keep in mind that there are are many professionals competing for them. If you want to be selected for the job, you’re going to need to have a CV that really stands out.
If you need general tips for resume writing or a place to get started, try Monster's Resume Writing Tips as well as CareerPerfect's Expert CV Advice. Even if you’re an excellent writer, it can be a good idea to have your resume spruced up by real HR professionals. Check out a few Toronto-based resume help firms like Resume Target and Resumes Canada for even more in-depth help.
Canada’s department of immigration has made it fairly easy to apply for your work visa. The entire process can be completed online and all you’ll need to have with you are scanned copies of the necessary work permit documents. Once you have everything you need in order, you can apply for your permit through the Canadian government’s online portal.
While the application process is pretty straightforward, there’s one immigration technicality that many native-English speakers get stuck on when they’re hoping to get Express Entry or a Skilled Immigrant visa. Even if you’re a native English speaker, you’ll need to take a formal language exam. Accepted language exams include the CELPIP and the IELTS.
Getting a job in Toronto is the hard part, but living in Toronto is where the fun begins. BlogTo’s 10 Tips for Finding an Apartment in Toronto is a good place to start looking for your next place to live. Moving2Canada provides a great list of tips for your move to Toronto. If you’ve landed the job but you’re still not sure if the city is for you, check out Narcity’s 10 Reasons You Should Move to Toronto Over Any Other City.
If you do decide to make the move and have the need to transfer money back home for any reason, consider using TransferWise. TransferWise uses the real mid-market exchange rates to convert your money from one currency to another. That means that, unlike regular international bank transfers, there’s no hidden markup on the currency conversion rate. And because TransferWise receives and sends your money via local bank transfers in both Canada and abroad, those international fees are cut out entirely.
The cost of living in Canada varies widely from region to region. This 2020 guide outlines what you can expect in terms of living costs.
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