Job search Tips for Internationally Trained Accountants

Fatima Isah


Canada is a beautiful country built upon diversity and inclusion so it’s a no brainer why a lot of individuals move here. Nevertheless, moving into a new country is a brave and difficult decision. Individuals move for different reasons including better education, gaining access to the international market, getting paid higher, economy stability and others. Whatever your reason may be, getting a job to continue the career you started in your country is a common concern among immigrants. I recently attended an event organized by CPA Ontario and TRIEC for finance and accounting immigrants in Canada. The event was an informative one, attended by brilliant and well respected CPAs and recruiters.  They shared their experiences and offered great words of encouragement to the new comers. I have put together a few tips I gathered from this event on how to get your foot in the door in Canada.

  • Update your resume: Remove irrelevant information on your resume and add what is useful. Research what recruiters are looking for in the industry and try to outline that on your resume. Another useful tip I learnt is to convert the numbers on your resume from your country’s currency to the Canadian dollar. Most jobs are the same in every country so if you were a financial analyst in your country, you already have the experience needed for a similar position in Canada. All you need to do is translate it properly on your resume so recruiters do not see the country difference as a barrier.
  • Be Patient and Focused: Finding a job is a part time job. It takes time and a lot of effort to get a position equal to or close to what you had in your country. You may get distracted by other quick jobs and lose focus on what it is that you are passionate about. Do not get carried away and forget what your goals are. Be patient and confident in your experiences and skills. It’s only a matter of time before you get it.


  • Build your network: Times have changed, recruiters are no longer filling positions based on resumes submitted online. Networking and referrals are huge parts of a lot of success stories and they should be relied upon heavily.  Social media platforms such as twitter and LinkedIn makes it easier to research individuals in the industry and try to connect with them. This will help you learn more about the difference in working in another country and it will provide you with opportunities you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. You can also meet up and build groups with immigrants like you and this will help you transition easily.
  • Get a Designation: Joining the CPA provides you with opportunities not opened to others. Firms are increasingly demanding for highly qualified accounting and finance professionals, the CPA provides you with this qualification. It is a designation that is known and respected across the globe, so if you decide to leave Canada to another country it will still put you in a great position to land your dream role. Depending on the level of experience and education you have from your country, you will be given certain exemptions in the program. This already gives you an edge and it will be great to put this on your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Another great advantage of having this designation is the compensation it provides to its members.
  • Consider Temporary Jobs: Although your preference is a full time-permanent job, getting a temporary job is a good way to get in to a firm. Most firms evaluate their temporary hires and provide them with full time jobs after their contract is up, based on their performance. Even though this is not the case for you, at least you would have more experience on your resume and it will bring you a step closer to your dream job.






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