Tips to Find your Internship in Canada from our Lead Placement Specialist

February 20, 2020
Posted in Student Internship


Would you like to find an internship in Canada in 2020? If you are from a country that holds an active agreement with Canada regarding the International Experience Canada (IEC Canada), then Canada is the perfect country to gain real-world experience while improving your level of English. An internship in Canada will open doors for your future career and is a valuable asset for your CV.

At Stepwest, Recognized Organization by the Government of Canada, we know that preparation is key to securing an internship in Canada, and there are some items you need to do in order to maximize your chance of starting your next internship experience in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal or Calgary. Today we’re interviewing our Internship Placement Specialist Cassandra, who can share with you several tips to optimize your chances to achieve an internship in Canada!

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Cassandra, Lead Placement Specialist at Stepwest

Our Lead Internship Placement Specialist

Cassandra is our Lead Placement Specialist for Stepwest. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C, Canada and has a background in sales, business development, and administration. This experience allowed her to foster great motivation to meet tight deadlines and ensure that clients’ needs are prioritized and met. Her past experience in sales as an Outbound Sales Agent for a Canadian telecommunications company based in Vancouver shows that she is really undaunted by connecting with people.

Being an Internship Placement Specialist at Stepwest includes everything from an initial consultation to make sure we can provide you with an internship in Canada that would match your career goals, resume revision to make sure your internship application stands out from other international students, interview preparation to be ready to interview with Canadian host companies, liaising with the host company in matters pertaining to the visa, … everything for you to be ready to find an internship in Canada. She’s been working with hundreds of students from all around the world; different professional careers and studies and knows everything you will need to find an internship in the Canadian market.

She is ready to give us some advice on how to find an internship in Canada making sure you are able to apply with no mistakes to internship opportunities in Canada. If you have already done an internship in Canada through our Student Internship program, you might be familiar with many of these tips, if you have not, well this will be a very interesting read before you jump into your internship search in Canada!

Why would you recommend an internship abroad?

An internship abroad is the perfect way to add international experience to your resume and gain real-world experience that will help you throughout your whole career; the experience you will get is invaluable.

Canada is a perfect destination for your internship abroad as the Canadian Government has designed a program for youth mobility: International Experience Canada (IEC). This program allows students with a passport from a country that holds an agreement with Canada to complete an internship anywhere in Canada. Not everybody can apply for an internship in Canada: check out our if you are eligible for this program!

During your internship in Canada, you will immerse yourself in the North American business culture and grow your global network. The perfect way to create valuable professional relations that can be useful throughout your career.

Another valuable asset of completing an internship in Canada will be to improve your English in the workplace: it is the language of international business and improving your professional communication skills will make you feel comfortable in any working environment.

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Let’s talk about the CV: in your opinion, what are the Dos and Don’ts for writing a good CV/resume?

3 Do’s 

 

1) Make sure you list all relevant work or volunteer experiences that you have done in your lifetime.

Even if it is something that does not seem to be that significant, it may set your application apart from others! We can always edit your resume to tailor it to the employer’s needs; however, it is always a good idea to include more information than less! Also, make sure you list languages that you are fluent in – having more than one spoken/written language is a huge asset!

2) Ensure all of your spelling and grammar are as close to correct as possible.

We can edit your resume to make sure minor errors and syntax are correct; however, you should put as much effort into your resume as possible to make sure it looks professional, that sentences provide context for the employer, and that everything makes sense for the employer’s review.

3) List any special skills, hobbies, or interests!

Sometimes we think that employers are only interested in learning about your work experience and education; however, by providing any special skills or interests/hobbies that you enjoy, you are providing more insight into who you are as an individual, and employers will appreciate that!

3 Dont’s

 

1) Do not leave out a description of your role and responsibilities at each previous employment or internship you have done!

For example, if you list “Server” on your resume, you should also provide at least 3 bullet points describing what your daily duties or responsibilities were at that role. Do not expect employers to know what you did at your job, because job titles and actual duties may vary!

2) Do not use more than one type of font on a resume.

Sometimes using different kinds of fonts may appear fancy, but it can appear distracting and disorganized. Try using a free template from Microsoft Word, or look for pre-made templates online that you like if you want to add more pizazz to your CV! 

3) Do not write long paragraphs.

For descriptions or objectives, it is best to use point form, bullet points, or a few sentences to describe your jobs or work experience objectives. If you continue to write too much, employers will not have time to read through everything, and it is more efficient and eye-catching to look at a few bullet points – save the lengthy details for the interview!

How can I make sure my resume is ready to apply for an internship in Canada?

Make sure to have your resume written fully in English, no mistakes, and do some research online about Canadian resumes. You should ensure that the following items are absolutely for sure on your resume (Work/Volunteer Experience, Education, Objective, Skills) and additional items may include Hobbies/Interests, as well as Special Achievements or Awards. 

I would recommend having a look at the following details when working on your resume:

  • You should develop your resume as much as possible. Try to keep your resume around 1-2 pages long. If you have trouble condensing it, please let us know and we can assist you!
  • Do not include any pictures or personal information (date of birth, relatives, status, …);
  • Make sure you have a professional contact email with your name & last name on it.
  • Use chronological order on your resume, starting with your most recent experience.
  • Make sure you include the duration of your experiences (month/year).
  • Do not include Primary school, start with Secondary school.
  • Translate names of previous schools/universities so that your Canadian employer understands.
  • Make sure to write out the full names of previous companies and schools and not abbreviations.

Employers appreciate the effort and well-rounded individuals, so try to make sure you show who you are and include items that will promote why you are the best fit for the employer!

I also recommend you to use the “Action and Result” method of writing: the idea is to describe what action (or tasks) you carried out, and then describe what the result was. This is important because many times internship applicants will list their accomplished tasks but will forget about the result. Employers need to see your results!

To highlight your results even more; use numbers to back yourself up. For example; instead of saying “managed clients”; you should write “managed a portfolio of 15 clients”. Numbers are more significant and bring real value to the employer.

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I don’t have any work experience still in my career, do you think I can find an internship in Canada?

Of course! Just because you do not have a lot of work experience, does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to land an opportunity; it may be a bit more challenging, but definitely not impossible! 

Focus on your education, skills, and any past volunteer experience you may have. For your work experience that you do have, be as detailed as possible about your roles and responsibilities, so even if you only have had one job, you can describe exactly what you did, and any accomplishments you had during your time there so that the employer has a detailed understanding of your work ethic.

In addition to that, do not hesitate to include any experience you might have in your family business to your resume if you have been connected to it before: if you’ve worked during summer for your parents or uncle’s company; or substituted one of your family members while he or she was away; this is real work and this experience is valuable as well! Canadian companies will value any experience you’ve done!

How to prepare for my internship interview?

Researching common interview questions online is always a great tool to assist you. It is imperative to research the company prior to the interview, as it will provide more context about the role you will be doing, what the company does, and also allow you to feel more confident and prepared for the employer’s questions. Additionally, employers like it if the person they are interviewing is excited about working for their company, so make sure you know as much as possible about your potential host company!

Finally, it is also recommended that you prepare some questions to ask the employer at the end of the interview! It may seem a bit funny to ask the employer questions, but it shows you have initiative and genuine interest in their company and working with them. A couple of my favorite questions to ask are, “What do you enjoy most about working at your company?” or “Where do you hope the company will be in 5 years?”


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What are the most popular internship industries?

Internship industries can vary. The most common appears to be in Marketing, Finances, or Engineering, but overall Canada is a country with a lot of internships offers in many different industries and you should be able to complete an internship in your field of study.

Even though it will depend on what you have studied before and your previous experiences, we highly recommend you not just target one industry, but try to extend your research to other fields to maximize your chances of finding an internship in Canada. If you are doing a double degree in Business Management and Marketing, do not limit yourself to just marketing. Applying to different industries you are interested in will help you find an internship faster and improve your interview skills.

What is the dress code for an internship in Canada?

The dress code can vary from workplace to workplace, so it is important that you ask your employer about the dress code before you begin your internship. The most standard dress code for many workplaces is business or business casual. Better to dress more formally than less!

And finally, what kind of advice would you give a student for a successful internship?

Make sure you do as much research as possible before you arrive. Practicing little things such as maintaining eye contact, posture, confidence when speaking and thinking on the spot will all assist you with your interview process. Even if you feel nervous, there is a saying where we say “Fake it until you make it!” which basically means, that even if you are scared, try to act confident and smile, and you will have success

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I can’t find an internship in Canada in my field of study. Can Stepwest help me?

If you are struggling to find an internship in your industry; we at Stepwest can help: we offer opportunities in Graphic Design, Business Administration, Human Resources, Real Estate, … And so many more industries! Check out all our opportunities here! 

What should I expect during a Consultation with Stepwest?

It is recommended that you talk to us about your interests when we do a one-on-one consultation so that we can attempt to match you with the best-suited company for your needs! An intern should be professional at all times, be inquisitive and unafraid to ask questions if they are unsure about something, and also unafraid of challenges! 

What kind of companies do you place interns in?

Interns can be expected to be placed in a variety of different industries or companies. Depending on your location (most popular in Vancouver and Toronto!), experience, interests, as well as availability upon projected arrival date, etc. Some of our host companies include financial or accounting firms, law firms, hospitality businesses, small businesses, startups, etc… most of our host companies are small to medium size companies. 

Why you should consider Stepwest to secure your internship in Canada

Paying for an internship program in Canada has many advantages. As Canada’s leading work experience provider and a Recognized Organization by the Government of Canada, we will help you secure your next experience in Canada and provide you with:

  • A guaranteed internship experience – Complete your internship in one of Canada’s biggest cities: Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, or Calgary.
  • Resume revision – We will work together to adapt your resume to the requirements of the Canadian job market.
  • Interview preparation – our internship placement team will help you prepare your internship interviews in the best way; even directly from home! We will aim for success together!
  • Internship permit assistance – we will make the internship permit process easier and support you throughout the whole process. You will be in Canada sooner than expected!
  • Accommodation – We can help you with your accommodation in Canada! Whether you’re looking for a host family and would like tips on the best areas to stay in Vancouver, we are here to assist you.
  • Solid support from an Internship Placement Coordinator – Our placement team is ready to assist you any time! Share with your placement Coordinator as much information as possible about your interests, experience, and education to make the search for an internship easier!
  • … And many more advantages!

Connect today with us today to find your internship in Canada! Click on apply now below, complete your details and we will organize a FREE consultation with you to find an internship that matches your professional goals, with no commitment at all! We will send you all the details about our student internship program and we will answer all the questions you might have! See you in Canada soon! Let’s secure your internship! 

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