Career and Job Search Advice for Newcomers

Originally published on June 21, 2021. Written by Esraa, a former staff member at Keshen Goodman Public Library, opens a new window

Click here to download and read the Arabic version, opens a new window

Are you looking to make a career change? Getting back into the workforce? Entering the Canadian job market for the first time? Whatever your goals are, the Library is here to help.

Nova Scotia’s economy is growing, and the job market is competitive. It's important to understand how to search for jobs, make your resume stand out, and prepare yourself for an interview.

The Library has several resources and books related to job searching, and even one-on-one business consultations at several branches. Visit our Business and Careers, opens a new window page for more information.

Here are some ways to help you find your dream job

Explore the market

The Government of Canada Job Bank, opens a new window is an excellent tool for career planning as it will help you understand many various aspects of the job search, including trends, skills employers are looking for, which industries are hiring, and where jobs are located.

Learn about diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are the first steps to building a workforce in which all Canadians have fair access to job opportunities. Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, newcomers, veterans, seniors, and youth often face barriers entering the labour market. If you are a member of one of the above employment groups, The Government of Canada has several resources, opens a new window to support you in your job search.

Understand payroll deductions

On each paycheque that you receive in Canada, a part of your earnings will be deducted to pay taxes, including income tax, Canadian Pension Plan, and, if applicable, union dues. It's important that you understand why this money is taken, opens a new window out of your paycheque, and the Canada Revenue Agency, opens a new window can provide an in-depth explanation.

Find an employment centre in Nova Scotia

Employment centres, opens a new window are located around the province and the country. They provide personalized, in-person assistance to help Nova Scotians find a job and prepare for work.

Build a professional resume and cover letter

A resume is a document you provide to potential employers listing your employment history, as well as the skills and qualifications that you would bring to their organization. In Canada, a Curriculum Vitae, or CV, is used primarily when applying to work as a professor at a university or college. A CV includes teaching experience, grants and awards received, and publications, but is not required for most non-academic positions.

A cover letter is a document that is submitted with your resume. It is an opportunity for you to introduce yourself and is a way for you to highlight how your skills would match with their organization.

Dalhousie University, opens a new window has some excellent resources to help you build your cover letter and resume, as does Job Bank, opens a new window.

Find employment

There are a number of excellent resources online that can help you find a job that fits your skills and interests:
Careers Nova Scotia, opens a new window
Service Canada – Job Bank, opens a new window
Government of Nova Scotia, opens a new window
Jobjunction career listings, opens a new window

Prepare for an interview

A job interview is a conversation that occurs between an employer and a job applicant. This is a chance for the employer to ask the applicant questions to determine if they would be a good fit for the company, but it is also an opportunity for the applicant to ask the employer questions to find out if it is somewhere that they would like to work. Not everyone who applies for a job will get an interview, but to brush up on your own skills, check out Job Bank's list of interview tips, opens a new window.

Expand your network and explore the hidden market

The hidden job market is a term used to describe jobs that aren't posted or advertised. The best way to find the hidden job market and increase your chances of finding that perfect job is to build relationships and networks. Learn more about the importance of building relationships, here, opens a new window.


Did you know that volunteering will help you expand your network, boost your social skills, and will help gain Canadian experience?

Halifax Public Libraries has plenty of volunteering opportunities, opens a new window that can help you build your resume, network, and put you in a great position for career opportunities.

Improve your skills

Learning new skills will help you to achieve your goals and gain confidence, and will add experiences and qualifications to your resume.

LinkedIn Learning, opens a new window

Pick from more than 4,000 video tutorials taught by industry experts on a wide range of topics including business, photography, graphic design, project management, animation, audio and music production, web design, marketing, job interview preparation, public speaking, and much more. For more information visit our LinkedIn Learning blog, opens a new window, or watch the how-to tutorial on Niche Academy, here, opens a new window.

Niche Academy, opens a new window

Learn how to use online resources like Ancestry Library Edition, Chilton, Consumer Reports, Hoopla, LinkedIn Learning, Novelist, OverDrive, Libby, PressReader, Rocket Languages, and TumbleBooks. Niche Academy also provides tutorials for popular websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Gmail, and Goodreads. Learn more about Niche Academy with our how-to blog, here, opens a new window.

Explore books in our collection to help you develop new skills and achieve your career goals

Career development

The Proximity Principle

Mastering the Art of Public Speaking

Explore and Discover your Purpose

Careers for Dummies


The Elements of Résumé Style

The Big Book of Job-hunting Hacks

Expert Resumes & LinkedIn Profiles for Managers and Executives

Resumes for Dummies

Knock 'em Dead

Job search

What Color Is your Parachute?


The Ultimate Job Hunting Book

Is there something else we can do to help? Reach out to us by emailing, opens a new window, or give our Ask the Library line a call at 902-490-5753. 

Library staff member Esraa works closely with the newcomer and Arabic community in the Keshen Goodman Library area, and is keen to share tips and ideas in both English and Arabic. Explore more blogs available in English and Arabic, here., opens a new window