The ultimate Starter Pack for new Canadian marketing immigrants

Put together by Mazino Fapohunda, Emmanuel Olutokun and Shakira Tai-Osagbemi

Congratulations! You are about to make/have made a life-changing decision to relocate to Canada. It is both an exciting and scary experience because of  the uncertainty that lies ahead, especially with settling down and getting a job in your preferred field (hopefully). It is a temporary challenge that we can all win.

The goal of this is to give marketing immigrants a headstart in their search for a marketing-related job in Canada. I will share all I know that will help lighten the burden on them.

First, marketing is just one option

From talking to different marketing immigrants, I am learning that there are several people who want a digital-related  job and think digital marketing is the only option. And I have also learned people are not generally aware of all the hot digital related jobs available to them. Here are some other careers that you can consider:

  • Data analyst (there is no shortage of need for this role. Really nice-to-have skill)
  • Customer Success (it is an advanced version of client services or account management, but pays a lot more)
  • Product Manager (build and manage great products for both startups and more established companies)
  • Scrum Master (ensuring that teams live the agile values and principles)
  • User Experience Designer 

Feel free to do more research on these career listed above and figure out if Marketing is still the one for you.

Now, the let’s talk about marketing in Canada

I am not even going to sugar coat it – the competition is steep. Getting a marketing job in Canada takes a lot of dedication, positivity and strategy. The good part is once you are in, you can only go forward from there as there is a lot to learn.

One thing you should know is that there is a difference between marketing here and marketing back home (at least in Nigeria). These are the top 3 differences for me:

  • Marketers here are very goal oriented. All their activities are in line with the trackable goals.
  • Marketers here live by the funnel. This is one of the best things that happened to me. Once you understand your marketing funnel (based on your customer journey), you begin to do good marketing. They understand the best audience, channels, tactics for each stage of the funnel.
  • Marketers here are very data oriented. They don’t joke with tracking and reporting. This is why you need to learn the basics of analytics at least. This includes Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, etc

I have also noticed that most marketing jobs come with the responsibility of Social Media Management (This is a good skill to have.). This means that almost every marketing role has a bit of digital marketing in it.

Top marketing jobs in Canada

Like I mentioned above, digital marketing has seeped into other traditional marketing roles. So, the top roles are:

  • Digital Marketer – main focus Social media. Also known as Social Media Specialists
  • Digital Marketer – main focus Performance Marketing. Also known as Performance or Growth Marketers
  • Digital Marketer – main focus on Content Writing. Also known as Content Writers
  • Demand Generation Specialists
  • Marketing Communications Specialist
  • Marketing Coordinator

Top sites to find them:

Marketing Salaries

There is a wide range for this, typically from like $35,000 to $150,000 annually. But I would say that the average I have seen mostly is between $50,000 and $90,000. Then, of course it increases as you grow in the job.

Free resume templates

For this, I thought it best to share editable templates for you. These sample resumes have come with structures and keywords that you should definitely adopt in your resume.

Here is a full list of skills and knowledge, I advise marketers to have a general idea of as they search for jobs in Canada. The top digital marketing course I recommend in Canada is Brainstation

Communities you can join
Joining a community is a great way to quickly settle into the marketing industry and get closer to relevant opportunities, tools and insights that exist. Some communities that you can join are:

Resumes and Interviews

Here are some tips for you:

  • This is a common one. Fill your resume with keywords that match the job description. That is why I have shared those templates with you above, to ensure you have the keywords covered
  • Fill the top of your funnel with applications. Apply for at least 10 jobs everyday
  • It’s advised that your application comes with a cover letter because this reflects how your skills and experiences positions you as a perfect fit for the job you’re applying for.
  • Have a resume for at least 2 other similar roles. For example, as a marketer have one for Marketing Communications Specialist, one for Social Media and one for Customer Service (this one is just last resort)
  • The one pager marketing strategy template – When you interview there is a high likelihood that they will tell you to share a mini strategy as part of the process. Here is my golden gift to you – The one pager marketing strategy template. With this template, you will be hitting the nail on the head. This right here is your marketing strategy – your ability to plot your messaging, audience, channels and tactics against your goals. You also don’t have to stress yourself with putting together plenty of pages that they wont even read
  • Someone once told me to focus on one industry and tailor my resume to fit the needs and just start applying there
  • Interview Duration – Most interviews in Canada take between two weeks to one month to complete, sometimes the process takes longer. You could have up to three stages of interview for a role. This means that it’s good to prepare your mind for the process and even start applying to your desired roles before your arrival. Usually the first process is a scheduled phone interview which you can handle virtually, so long as you can legally work here and you are sure to migrate before the commencement of the role.
  • Interview Etiquette: Here are 5 important etiquettes to apply when attending your interview:
  1. Be on time: This cannot be stressed, employers actually take this seriously. If for any reason you’ll be late, contact the employer and request for an extension. Ideally, get to the venue 15mins before the interview.
  2. Dress well: While there’s no one acceptable dress code it’s important your outfits represents how you want to be perceived.
  3. Be prepared: Practice common questions like “Tell me about your self” and also questions specific to the role that you are applying for. Do your research before the interview.
  4. Turn off your mobile phone: You don’t want an interruption to ruin a good mood or conversation.
  5. Smile and maintain eye contact: Your verbal and non-verbal communication matters during the interview, ensure they pass the right message to the employer

After all that is said and done

You have your dream marketing job in Canada, Check. What if you lose your job? Now don’t say ‘God forbid’. Unlike Nigeria, it is very common for companies to let you go because of reasons not necessarily related to disciplinary actions. It could be that things are not going so well financially in your company, or you work for a start-up that has recently
changed business direction.

If this happens, one of the things I have found useful is leveraging the freelance platform to fill employment gaps. If you find yourself out of a job, quickly create an online portfolio in one of the platforms. Actually, I advise you have a profile and start doing some ‘on the side’ projects, so you are ready for the rainy day. It will also help build up on your skills. Here are some of the popular ones:

Upwork: here, people can employ your services for a short period as an extension of their team, and you can set your price per hour. The key to winning here is a stellar portfolio and a well-written pitch that is adaptable to most requests.

Frelancer.com: Similar to upwork but has more higher paying users

Fiverr: (My fave for now): The advantage here is you can piece your skills apart and sell in bits as ‘gigs’. For instance as a full-stack digital marketer, you can offer PPC services or design services or social media management services

The overall concept is, there is much more you can do beyond being confined to a 9-5.

Want some inspiration? Check out a few stories of how other Nigerians bagged their marketing jobs in Canada:

Want to talk more on this? Reach out to:

Please note this is an ongoing document and will be updated regularly.

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