Get Started working in Manitoba
Permanent resident status does not guarantee you employment. It is up to you to find a job and show the employer that you are qualified. It may take months to find a job, and longer if you need to upgrade your skills, your education, your English proficiency or, in the case of regulated trades and professions, become licensed.
To work you must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) card. To get one go to a Service Canada office. Bring your landing document or permanent resident card.
As a provincial nominee you were advised to research your occupation before moving to Manitoba. The first stop for immigrants in Winnipeg is the downtown office of Manitoba Start (MAP). This government-supported agency refers new immigrants to the programs that meet their individual needs for orientation, language and employment. Bring your MPNP pre-arrival planning workbook to help Start staff understand your needs.
Manitoba Start will refer you to the employment program, and personal counselling, that meets your needs. Whether you need to make a new career plan, or you simply need advice on resumé writing or job search skills, Start has a program that is right for you.
Steps in your job search
This page summarizes what you should consider and the actions you should take when you are looking for a job.
Before you start looking for work you need to find out what kinds of jobs you are qualified to do. Qualifications are skills, education, work experience, language ability and, in the case of regulated trades and professions, a certificate or licence.
Use the Working in Manitoba Tool to look up your occupation and get a detailed report – advertised job openings, job skills and duties, licensing requirements, occupation-specific education and training opportunities, wages and other information including career advice from successful recent immigrants and information on professional bridging and communication programs.
Find job openings
Once you know the job or jobs you may be qualified to do, you need to find an employer who needs someone with your skills.
The Working in Manitoba Tool shows for each occupation current opportunities that have been advertised on Canada Job Bank.
There are, however, many more places to find job advertisements. Some jobs are advertised with a sign in a store window. But, in fact, most jobs are not advertised.
Try these methods to find job opportunities:
Workopolis.com is the job website most Manitoba employers use to advertise job openings. Manitoba’s major newspaper, the Winnipeg Free Press, posts all the jobs from its Saturday Career section on workopolis.com. The site is free for job-seekers.
Employers work with Manitoba Immigration and its service partners to hold “job fairs.” Immigrants are invited to meet employers at these events.
Some companies – particularly those with IT, office or accounting needs – hire a staffing agency to find employees. These agencies advertise positions or seek out people whose skills meet the needs of employers. You should contact these employment agencies and have them add your name and work experience to their database. They CANNOT charge you any fee.
‘Hidden’ job market
It is said that most Canadian employers do not advertise when they have job openings. That is why we refer to the “hidden” job market. To find opportunities you must “network.” That means doing things such as talking to people you know to find out who is hiring, contacting employers directly (find them using the Manitoba Companies Directory), attending job fairs and contacting groups involved in your field of work.
Networking means making social contacts. This way you can hear about unadvertised jobs, and employers can hear about you. Here are some methods:
- Get to know people in your neighbourhood and in your industry or profession. Talk to employment and professional counsellors, employers, and colleagues.
- By talking to people you will also come to understand your industry and what businesses look when hiring new employees.
- Join professional associations. Subscribe to their newsletters. Attend professional events and meetings.
- Attend public meetings and community events.
- Give and collect business cards.
Apply for a job
To get a job you must convince employers that it would be to their advantage to hire you. You will need to explain how you are qualified for the job by writing a resumé that explains your education and work experience, or by filling in an application form the employer provides. When you respond to a job advertisement follow the instructions in the ad.
Before you write a resumé you need to know the kind of information Canadian employers are looking for. Resumés here are often different than in other countries. You need to include a “cover letter.” It introduces you and indicates the position for which you’re applying.
Canadian employers expect to see references. This usually means people you have worked for in the past who can speak for you. If you have no Canadian work experience this can be difficult. This is why it is important to network – get to know people – so that an employer has someone to phone and ask about your experience and character.
NOTE: A small number of Manitoba employers require with an application from internationally educated people, the submission of a report from the Academic Credentials Assessment Service (ACAS) (PDF).
The employer reviews paper applications. The next step is to call candidates in for an interview. This could happen quickly or it make take a company weeks to decide who to interview.
Employers usually invite only the most qualified applicants for an interview. An interview could be an informal conversation or it could be a structured format with pre-determined questions in front of a panel of interviewers. You will be expected to discuss, in English, how your qualifications and experience relate to job requirements.
- Workopolis Resource Centre: Interviews