Empowering new immigrants to enter the job market

Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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By Nadine Aldesouky

Why Aren’t We Getting Hired?!

“I studied engineering for four years so I don’t want to lose this experience and my education for nothing,” said Raghad.

Raghad is an Iraqi mother who has been in Canada for just a few months. She has manyyears of experience in the field of engineering but still cannot acquire a professional positon as an engineer. This is the exact problem Advancing New Canadian Women in Technology (ANCWT) addresses. Raghad is more than qualified for many jobs in the Canadian engineering market, but why doesn’t she, like many other newcomers, get hired?

Last March, the founder of the ANCWT program Dr. Sawsan Abdul-Majid, ran an extensive training session in collaboration with recruiting consultant Magdalene Cooman in order to find answers to this question. The session was held at the University of Ottawa by the ANWT program, which helps women who are new to Canada successfully integrate themselves into the Canadian job market.


As many would agree with entrepreneur and hiring coach, Magdalene Cooman, “newcomers have tremendous potential.” However, in order to conquer the Canadian job market, there is a formula that must be understood.

The session focused on helping job seekers like Raghad understand what employers are looking for and then tailor all of their efforts to answer to the employers’ needs. This approach should be considered during the entire process, from job searching, to applications, to interviews and all the way to probation. It must be applied to everything from the wording used on the resume, to the outfit worn to the interview. According to Mrs. Cooman, “newcomers tend to prepare their resumes in isolation.” This means that they forget to put themselves in the employers’ shoes.

Through this session, ANCWT helped many of the newcomers develop a job search strategy. This is essential as these women have higher qualifications, which grant them the privilege to choose where they want to work. The program helped them discover that they are no longer just looking for a job; they are looking and working toward the job they want.

As a result, Mrs. Cooman and Mrs. Abdul-Majid were able to answer Raghad and many other women’s question “Why am I not being hired?” When applying for a job, you have to wear the employer’s lens, you must change your mindset, you must “speak to a person’s listening and write to a person’s reading,” Cooman.



Recently, the ANCWT program received support from the Impact AI conference which took place in Ottawa last month. This support will help the program offer  other cohorts at the fall of 2018.


Please consult ANCWT for more details.


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