There are a number of potentially great construction management candidates out there who are sometimes overlooked by companies looking to hire a missing piece of their staff. These professionals have the experience, the skills and the maturity to make excellent candidates for a wide variety of positions. The reason they can be overlooked is due to lacking in-depth knowledge of the Canadian construction landscape and how to get in front of potential employers to build their career.

There’s a movement happening in the industry to increase the exposure of these professionals to potential employers and to help them understand how to seek out jobs and to effectively interact with key decision makers. The Engineering Skills Enhancement (ESE) Bridging Program at Humber College is directed at internationally-trained professionals who are newcomers to Canada, have academic credentials and some experience in Architecture, Civil, Electrical, or Mechanical engineering. The 15 week program runs three times per year on evenings and weekends with class sizes of approximately 35 students.

Humber’s (ESE) Program Introduces Candidates with Potential to Canadian Construction Landscape

So, it was with great enthusiasm that I accepted the opportunity to be a speaker at an event sponsored by the Program which brought together industry experts from construction companies and students for some tips for employment, a question and answer period and even some on-the-spot job interviews. The companies involved were some of the best in Canada and included: AECON, Athena Automation, RV Anderson, Black & McDonald, Ledcor, Kearns Mancini, Turner Fleisher, Maple Reinders, GVA Lighting, Hatch, Vision Group, Quadrangle Architects and Harbinger Network Inc.

While discussing employment options, how to find them and how to apply, something was evident as I delivered my message and answered questions; there was a concern among many students that they were sending their resumes all over and weren’t getting any responses. Many assumed that since English wasn’t their first language and they didn’t have local experience, that was the reason they were not getting responses. I explained that was not often the case and perhaps they could be unaware they were doing things that were negatively impacting their chances. I asked them to consider factors that could be leading to their lack of success. Were they applying to the right jobs? Perhaps job titles and descriptions were not the same as in their home countries. Did they appear desperate to a potential employer by applying to any and every job? I encouraged them to be more selective by only looking at jobs that were a good potential fit for their skills, personality and experience. Were they applying to companies that received hundreds or thousands of resumes and couldn’t respond to everyone?

What’s encouraging is that Humber College’s Bridging Program and other similar ones have identified potential roadblocks to construction professionals new to Canada and are taking steps with industry partners to try and eliminate them. Whether you’re a construction professional looking to enter the Canadian market or a company looking to tap an underutilized source of talent, contact your local Construction Management school and explore the potential.