Where to find a job in Canada: our guide to the biggest and best job fairs
No matter how skilled you are or how sparkling your newly edited resume looks, sometimes there’s no substitute for making a solid face-to-face impression. That’s why job fairs are still an excellent way to get a foot in the door at all levels of experience.
If you’re on the hunt for new employment, consider attending of Canada’s biggest and best job fairs.
Montreal (Oct. 12-13)
For sheer size, it’s hard to beat this huge annual fair in Quebec.
This year, around 275-300 exhibitors and more than 20,000 guests are expected at the three combined events, said Daniel Levesque, president and general manager. Co-founded in 1996 under its original name Education and Training Fair, the event has in the past drawn the likes of Chatr Mobile, ADT and Expedia.
Aside from numbers, what sets this fair apart is the integration between three seemingly separate fairs. The National Education Fair is primarily attended by young Quebecers trying to decide which post-secondary school is right for them, the Study & Stay Abroad Fair is intended for young people and adults who want to explore work and educational opportunities abroad, while the National Job Fair is a more traditional gathering of employers, job-seekers, and experts in employment support and training.
But the layout of the fair is meant to encourage attendees to check out all three areas, which Levesque suggests sometimes presents unexpected opportunities. Maybe, for instance, you’ll strike up a conversation with a university representative about educational options and instead talk your way into a job opportunity?
“This approach is beneficial to everyone,” Levesque said. “This is an advantage for both the visitors and the exhibitors. Maybe that’s why the fair is so healthy and popular. Having all these possibilities gives you more than the usual fair.”
Calgary (Sept. 12), Toronto (Oct. 5), Edmonton (Nov. 21)
This fair initially began in Alberta after the recent oil crisis left many scrambling for new work. Since then, the organization has hosted dozens of shows in Calgary and Edmonton and will hold their first Toronto fair in October.
With free admission and past exhibitors including Ikea, Apple, McDonald’s, the Calgary Flames, and Air Canada, attendees can meet with employers or explore continuing education options for longer-term career plans.
“What sets our career fairs apart from the rest is a combination of our 30 years of experience in the job market industry and our commitment to connecting hiring managers with job seekers and prospective students with schools that meet their needs,” said communications co-ordinator Amanda Pereira.
Vancouver (Sept. 30), Toronto (Oct. 21)
Finding the right job is a challenge for anyone, but it can be significantly more difficult for new Canadians or prospective immigrants who may face language barriers or questions about work eligibility.
That’s why Newcomers Canada’s Newcomers Career Fair has become such a hit in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. Not only does the fair seek to connect foreign-born workers with employers, but the Newcomers Career Fair also offers visa and immigration advice, language testing, career services, and settlement services.
Free with advanced registration, the fair attracted 1,450 attendees to its spring incarnation in Toronto, 1,320 in Vancouver, and 950 in Calgary, organizers said. Exhibitors have included National Bank, Toronto Public Library, Sun Life Financial, Best Buy and Staples, while Canada Revenue Agency and Immigration Canada have also been on hand for seminars meant to ease the transition of new Canadians.
“It’s a great resource for anyone new to Canada,” said owner Erin Flynn. “I’m also a first generation Canadian and I think that what my mom went through must have been tough but it’s nothing compared to what some of the other families are dealing with now.”
Toronto (Sept. 21, Nov. 29)
Ontario job-seekers might find what they’re looking for at the career fair billing itself as the largest in the Greater Toronto Area.
The Canada Job Expo has drawn such exhibitors as Apple Canada, CIBC, Rogers Communications, and Labatt Breweries. Do you have a passion for parkas? Canada Goose is among the employers at this year’s upcoming events, along with William Ashley, and the YMCA.
Attendance is again free for job-seekers. And if your schedule is too tight to make the next two events, rest easy: Canada Job Expo runs bimonthly.