Cold Calling for Job Search – A Canada Visa and Work Permit Perspective

Foreign workers usually live outside Canada and their potential job search opportunities are normally limited to job search websites or family or friends who live in Canada.  Both options offer little success rate. If you are in Canada, you may consider another option: cold calling.

I hired one of our team members because of cold-calling a couple of years ago. A job seeker left his resume in our office. I reviewed the resume and liked it. We didn’t have an opening at the time. Regardless, I invited him to an interview. We offered him a position a few weeks later when an opening became available.

What is Cold Calling in Job Hunt?

Canadian employers usually post their openings on job boards. However, many of them eventually hire someone who they know. One way to make yourself known to an employer is to meet them or call them. There are two ways you may do this:

  • Visit the employer’s office in person
  • Call them on the phone

Both options are cold calling.

Visiting the Employer’s Office in Person

If you intend to visit the employer’s office in person consider the following:

  1. Visit the employer’s website and familiarize yourself with their business as much as you can.
  2. Perfect your work résumé (or rather your CV or curriculum vitae). Make sure the résumé is truthful yet it relates to the employer.
  3. If there is a specific opening in the company that matches your skills or expertise, study it carefully and know every aspect of it.
  4. Do your best to find out the names and roles of potential decision-makers. You may get help from LinkedIn or the employer’s website.
  5. Based on the research you have done about the employer and the potential job opening prepare answers to some potential questions (e.g. your experience and how it matches the job)
  6. Prepare some questions to ask from the employer. Those questions show you understand the employer well and willing to work with them.
  7. While you are visiting the employer’s office make sure to “dress to impress”. In other words, be business-like and well-groomed.
  8. Be ready for rejection. Some employers are quite receptive and they may even invite you to an interview on the spot. Some of them may arrange for an interview in the future. Some employers may just collect your resume and some may even refuse to accept the resume from you. Get yourself mentally ready for any scenario. Regardless of the employer’s reaction maintain a professional attitude.

The larger the employer, the less likely you will be able to get in touch with a decision-maker. I personally believe the cold-calling option works for medium-size or small businesses, but you may give large businesses a try.

Making Phone Calls to Employers

Calling the employers is not as effective as visiting them in person but it has some advantages. For example, you may call several employers in a single day and you do not need to spend money on the commute to their location. You may also reach out to those employers that are located in other parts of Canada. If you plan to make phone calls to the employers you need to consider items 1 to 6 on the list that I already posted for visiting employers. Also, get ready for more rejections.

Special Considerations for Foreign Workers

When you are hunting for jobs in Canada, consider the following:

  • Most of the job offers need to be approved by the ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada). You need to receive a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) before you initiate the work permit process for most of the jobs. The LMIA process is time-consuming and costly. All the expenses need to be paid by the employer. Consequently, make sure the following:
    • The employee needs to be active for a few years and has some full-time employees (the more the better)
    • The employer should not be on the blacklist of the ESDC.
    • The employer needs to be ready to cover all the necessary expenses for you. The extent of the employer’s commitment depends on the salary they offer to you in comparison to the median salary offered to a Canadian or permanent resident of Canada.
  • As a foreign worker, you have similar rights to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. You may consider taking my online course on foreign recruitment for more information.
  • A good read: Take these 3 Steps to Work in Canada

Note: Cold calling has nothing to do with the cold weather or the common cold disease 🙂

If you wish to visit or move to Canada or if you have encountered any issues with the immigration authorities, you may fill out our free assessment form or book a consultation session to assess your potential opportunities or offer you immigration, visa, or citizenship advice.

Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada


This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice nor should you rely on it as legal advice. If you have specific legal questions, you should consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.

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Al Parsai

This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.