Documents Needed to Find a Job in Canada

Documents Needed to Find a Job in Canada

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated February 28, 2020

Getting a job can be a major feat, but it’s nevertheless a necessary step for Canadians. Attending school – especially post-secondary studies – can greatly increase your chances of getting a good job with decent pay and benefits, particularly if you’re after a precise type of job in a specific industry or niche.  

However, in order to find a job in Canada, there are specific documents required to submit to potential employers before you are considered for a particular position. The exact types of documents required will depend on several factors, such as the job you apply for and the program applied under. Before you set your sights on a job and start pounding the pavement in search of employment, be sure to have your arsenal of documentation ready to present.

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

One of the first pieces of documentation that you will need before you are eligible to retain employment in Canada is your Social Insurance Number, or “SIN” for short. Many parents apply for a SIN for their children shortly after they are born so that they will already have this important piece of information when they are of age to seek out work.

A SIN is a nine-digit number that’s unique to each Canadian and is required to work in Canada, as well as to gain access to various government benefits and programs. In order to apply for your SIN, you will need to show various pieces of original documents that prove your identity (no photocopies allowed), such as:

  • Certificate of birth or birth certificate
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad

These documents apply to Canadian citizens. For permanent residents of Canada (those who have permanent resident status in Canada but are not Canadian citizens), an original copy of one of the following is required as proof of identity to apply for a SIN:

  • Permanent resident card
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • Record of Landing
  • Verification of Landing
  • Status Verification or Verification of Status

These documents must then be taken to a Service Canada office when applying for a SIN. This number is highly confidential and should only be given out to verified employers when requested.

Cost of commuting to work in CanadaCheck out this infographic for a detailed look at Commuting in Canada. 

Work Permit

Over 300,000 foreign employees come to Canada to work on temporary work permits every year. If you are foreign to Canada and wish to seek employment, you will require a work permit to get a job. In addition, an offer of employment will be required from a Canadian employer prior to being given a temporary work permit. Sometimes a Temporary Resident Visa will also be required, depending on your country of citizenship.

For information about the 15% foreign homebuyers tax in Victoria and Toronto, read this.  

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

While you aren’t necessarily responsible for obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as a foreign worker, prospective employers will require one when hiring foreign employees. A LMIA is a document required by employers in Canada who hire foreign employees. A positive LMIA essentially shows that a need exists to hire foreign workers to fill jobs and that there are currently no Canadian workers available to fill them.


Before applying for a job, it’s typically necessary to submit a resume along with any application being filled out. Your resume basically outlines your previous work and educational experience that a potential employer would want to know about before deciding whether or not to hire you for a specific job.

Your resume should contain a few key elements in order for it to impress employers, including the following:

  • An engaging summary of your qualifications
  • Core competencies and proof of relative expertise
  • Relevant work and volunteer experience
  • Educational certificates, diplomas or degrees

Your resume should:

  • Be honest
  • Have a proper format
  • Be well-organized and free of any spelling or grammatical errors
  • Feature relevant keywords that are related to the job position you’re applying for
  • Be up-to-date

The purpose of your resume is to essentially describe what you bring to the table and what you can do for the company.

Cover Letter

Accompanying your resume or job application should be a cover letter, which essentially introduces your resume and yourself to the employer. It will outline the reasons why you are applying for the job and why you would make a perfect fit for the position. Your cover letter should be professional but still personable at the same time while highlighting specific aspects of your application.

Your cover letter should:

  • Address the person your application is intended for
  • Showcase why and how your skills are perfect for the job at hand
  • Highlight previous achievements that are relative to the job being applied for
  • Include your contact information

Educational Documentation

If a specific job requires any type of formal educational training, you may be required to submit proof of such education in the form of a diploma, certificate, degree, or even a transcript. Depending on the position, your prospective employer may do a background check on you to find out whether or not you have the educational training required to be considered for the position you’re applying for.


Your prospective employer may want to get in touch with some of your previous employers to verify the type of employee you were and could be if hired for the job you’re applying for. As such, you may be asked to submit a list of references of previous employers, along with their contact information.

Final Thoughts

Finding a good job that pays well and is fulfilling can be a stressful endeavour. With all the competition out there potentially vying for the same job as you, it can be overwhelming to try and stand out from the crowd so that a potential employer picks you over others.

Are you currently self-employed or a contract worker? Here’s how you can get a loan.  

Throughout your job search, it’s important that you go into the process well-prepared, which means gathering all necessary documents required for your employers to make an educated decision about hiring you. When in doubt, consider having your resume drafted up by a professional writing service and speak with an employment service provider who can offer some guidance when it comes to putting your best foot forward when looking for a new job.

Rating of 4/5 based on 12 votes.

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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