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Before You Start Your Job Search


Learn the name of your job to avoid confusion with employers. Working in Canada provides job descriptions, and other names for your occupation.

There are two types of occupations: regulated and non-regulated. Regulated professions have a governing body that ensures that its practitioners are qualified for the position. See a list of regulated professions. Non-regulated professions do not have a governing body.

If your career is in a regulated profession, ensure you know who the regulatory body is and check what the requirements are to become a registered professional in Ontario. The Foreign Credentials Referral Office website provides information on how to get your credentials recognized. The Ontario Immigration website details your career map. This will give you a step-by-step explanation about what your particular profession's requirements are.

Job Search Strategy

Treat your job search as your full time job. Try to keep all information filed and organized to make it easier for you to follow up on possible job opportunities.

Before you start your job search

To work legally in Canada you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). The SIN is a nine-digit number that allows you to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits.

  • You can apply for a SIN if you are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a study permit holder, a work permit holder or a conventional refugee. Refugee claimants with an approved work permit can apply for a SIN as well.
  • People of any age can obtain a SIN. Children who are 12 years of age or older may apply for their own SIN. Parents and legal guardians can also apply for a SIN for children under the age of majority in their province (18 for Ontario)
  • The documents that you need to provide when applying for SIN include: birth certificate, certificate of Canadian Citizenship, certificate of Indian Status, Permanent Resident Card, or a work or study permit. You can apply for, or replace, your Social Insurance Number by visiting Service Canada's Social Insurance Number page, in person at your nearest Service Canada Centre, or by mail.

Employment standards

The employment standards in Ontario are regulated by the Employment Standard Act 2000 (ESA). You can find a guide to the ESA on the Ontario Government site.  

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