So you’ve found the job of your dreams in one of the most lucrative countries in the world. But how do you know if the job offer letter you received to work in Canada is real or fake?
In this article, we’ll highlight the most common tell-tale signs to look out for when reviewing your Canada job offer letter.
How to Tell if a Job Offer Letter in Canada is Genuine
1. Misspellings or grammatical errors
One of the most common mistakes that you’ll find in a fake job offer letter is mistakes. As English and French are the official languages of Canada there is no reason for any grammatical errors or strange spelling mistakes. If you find an unreasonable amount of errors in your job offer letter, be wary. It may be too good to be true.
2. Strange recruiter email address
A genuine job offer letter will never be sent from a personal email address, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org. Scammers tend to use strange email addresses that often don't include the recruitment company name, for example. They also tend to steal email templates from other companies and use them to fool unsuspecting job applicants. At first glance, it will look like a legitimate email but when you look closely you may find slight differences like including a hyphen in the name.
A real job offer will always come from a company registered email. If you suspect that the email did not come from a legit recruitment company or from the internal human resources department of a Canadian company, there are various steps you can take:
- Do a job search on the job being offered as well as the company
- Check if there is a company website, but be aware that it may be a cloned website
- Use websites, such as Scam Adviser, to verify the website’s legitimacy.
- Verify the job letter through official government authorities such as
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
- Employment and Social Development (ESDC)
3. Mandatory paid training
If a recruiter mentions that you will have to pay for training in order to get the job in Canada, they’re more than likely not a recruiter. No Canadian recruiter or company will ever ask you to pay for mandatory training. Most jobs will offer on-the-job training if needed at the company's expense.
If a recruitment company or business claims to be able to guarantee that they will be able to get you a work visa or a visa to enter Canada they are definitely a scam. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the only authority that has the ability to approve or issue Canadian work permits or visas.
The same goes for immigration lawyers or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs). Although they both legally are the only immigration professional permitted to charge for visa services and improve your chances of success in the application process dramatically, they too cannot guarantee you entry to Canada.
5. Asked to pay to secure job
Just as a recruiter cannot guarantee that you will be able to enter Canada, a legitimate recruiter will never ask you to send them money to make sure that you get the job. This is extortion and is against the law.
If an agent asks you to send money in exchange for a job in Canada, stop any further communication and report them to the authorities immediately.
6. No written proof of job offer
If you are either offered a Canadian job telephonically or the recruiter tries to convince you that you don’t need a job offer letter, it’s quite likely that you are talking to a scam artist. If you are a foreigner applying to work in Canada you will either need the job offer letter whether you are a permanent resident or temporary worker. To claim Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points through immigration programs under the Express Entry system, for example, you will need the letter as a supporting document to claim CRS points. If you plan to work in Canada temporarily, you will need the job offer letter to apply for your Canada work visa.
7. In most cases, no LMIA or employment number
Besides needing a job offer letter you may need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is a document needed to show that the company that wants to hire you was not able to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Canada that is suitable to fill the role. In the event that you do receive a job offer letter, it’s important to look at it very carefully and ensure that it has all the necessary information, especially your employment number as you will need this when you apply for your Canadian visa.
8. No duties, rate of pay, deductions, and conditions of employment
Once you get your job offer letter for Canada, make sure that it has the following information:
- In-depth job description with a list of job-related skills, duties, and responsibilities
- Your rate of pay or salary, including deductions
- Work hours
- Job location
The letter should also be on an official company letterhead with contact information. Make sure that your employer or recruiter is contactable as a scammer will often use a fake address or telephone number to appear to be reputable.
9. Comes from anyone other than your employer
Unless you are dealing with an official recruitment agency, your job offer letter should come from your employer. Any other communication about your job offer in Canada that comes from an unknown source may be fraudulent.
10. No interviews or experience needed
What’s the saying? If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Any offer for a job in Canada that claims there is “no interview or experience needed” or offers a salary or wage that is much too high compared to the national or regional average is probably not real. Canada is searching for both skilled and experienced workers. In fact, the Canadian immigration system is based on five main factors:
- Language skills (English and French
- Work experience
- Ability to settle in Canada (family in Canada, proof of funds, etc.
Other red flags to look out for
- Asking for confidential or security information
- Job offers you didn’t apply for
- Being asked to have money or packages transferred to you (money laundering)
Getting a Valid Job Offer in Canada
The best way to avoid disappointment and land a real job offer in Canada is to apply through established job sites such as the government job site, Job Bank Canada, or other well-known sites like Monster Canada, Workopolis, or Indeed. Linkedin is also a great place to find great job offers but be sure to always keep your wits about you.
Before accepting any job offer, make sure that you scrutinize every detail of the job offer letter and ask as many questions as you can about the job. Remember no job offer letter generally means there is no job.
Ready to get to work in Canada?
There are thousands of available jobs in Canada that need to be filled. You just need to go through the proper channels. As much as the opportunity offered to you may seem like a dream come true there is always the possibility that someone may be trying to trick you. Be vigilant and if unsure there’s no harm in enlisting the services of professionals who have been down this road before and will look out for your best interests.