Job Searching Using Social Media




1.  Complete Your Profile

2.  Connect With Others

3.  Get Recommendations

4.  Join Groups

5.  Job Search

6.  Maintain Your Network




Social Media   Tips

1.   Build Your Brand

2.   Keep It Simple

3.   Polish Your Online Presence

4.   Think Before You Type

5.   Nurture Your Network

6.   Don’t Give Up!




9781896324470QuickLearn Guide - Job Searching Using Social Media

This QuickLearn Guide is also available in an 8.5 x 11, 4-page, laminated document that can be used in classrooms, worshops and independent study. They are also great to display on the wall. They contain all the information in a simple, easy-to-use resource. To order a hard copy of this QuickLearn Guide click here.


Job Searching Using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+

socialmediaSocial media has become a crucial part of the modern job search. The simple fact is that over 50% of companies now have a presence on social media sites. This number will only grow in the years to come.

As well, companies are not only choosing to be present on social media, but actively recruiting on these platforms and incorporating social media into their hiring process. Social media sites are essentially replacing traditional resumes. These sites have become so popular that anyone who is not on social media is at a disadvantage.

Using social media will add credibility to you as a viable candidate, allowing you to demonstrate to employers that you are tech savvy. But more importantly, it allows you to advertise your brand, creating exposure for your skills and attributes.

Sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have changed the landscape of the job search. Thousands of jobs are now posted through social media sites such as these. There is very little downside to using social media in your job strategy. However, like any job search tool it must be used effectively and appropriately. Take the time to create a thoughtful social media strategy. Below we will outline the basics of some very familiar social media sites, and how best to use them in your job search.


icn-li LinkedIn

LinkedIn is by far the most business-oriented of large social media sites. It has been called ‘the professional equivalent of Facebook’. It has changed the way people look for work, and employers hire. Two new members join LinkedIn every second.

It allows you to network and connect with other business professionals based on factors such as industry, geography, skill,and many more. Ideally, your profile on LinkedIn should convey a great resume, interview and reference document all in one.

LinkedIn allows employers to picture what kind of candidate you will make. If done properly, you should be able to communicate with other like-minded professionals that you otherwise may not have met through traditional job search methods.

To effectively use LinkedIn we have compiled a list of important steps that will get you up and running.


Step 1: Complete Your Profile

Creating a detailed profile on LinkedIn is not only the first step, but also the most important. Begin entering your profile on the main site. Similar to a resume, the content you put in your profile is critical to convey the proper message and image you want others to see. It also ensures that you are found on LinkedIn with information you include about your skills and experience.

Make sure your profile is 100% complete. Update your headline with a catchy, professional phrase. Instead of saying ‘Business Owner’, why not say ‘Entrepreneur and Business Strategist’?

The summary section is extremely important as it is the first section under your headline that employers will see. Use this section to advertise your strongest qualities. What separates you from other candidates?

In your profile include major skills, accomplishments, experiences, education, and any other professional achievements you would include on your resume. Pack your profile with keywords and skills. These can be searched by an employer to find you. Your profile should be constantly updated and reviewed, and ensure it is 100% free of errors, both spelling and grammatical.

Make sure to upload a professional photo with your profile. An up-to-date headshot is recommended with you in business attire. Remember, you want to connect with professional people in your industry. A photo of you on the beach is not appropriate for LinkedIn!

Once you feel confident that your profile is complete, take the time to show it to other people that now you well. What do they think of your profile? Is your profile a good reflection of who you are and the image you want to portray? If you need inspiration in completing your profile, then look at other LinkedIn profiles from industry leaders and those you respect.


Step 2: Connect With Others

Now that your profile is complete, it’s time to establish connections with others who also have LinkedIn profiles. You can do this right away, however, it is important to be strategic with your connections. Firstly, start by connecting with family and friends that also have profiles on LinkedIn. Then move on to people you work with, or have worked with at past employers. To save time, LinkedIn allows you to import your address book to add people you know.

Decide on the type of connections you want to pursue. Individuals who share similar industry experience, work skills, or general business interests can all become strong connections. Valuable information can be shared and important networking contacts established with these individuals. If you connect with too many people with little or no similar interests, then you run the risk of receiving message and information that is of little value to you.

When requesting a connection, don’t just use the standard text given. Personalize it with a message of how you know this person, or why you want to connect with them. This will increase your chances of the connection being accepted. Alternatively, don’t accept requests for connections from people that you don’t know, or are outside your business interests. Try to add at least a few connections each week.


Step 3: Get Recommendations

Recommendations are extremely important on LinkedIn. Great recommendations can mean the difference between getting a job or not over somebody else. Similar to good references on a resume, strong recommendations will set you apart from others.

A great recommendation can’t just come from anyone. It needs to be someone who knows you well in a work setting, or can vouch for specific skills and experiences you have stated in your profile. It needs to be somebody you’ve possibly worked with in the past on a project, or in a past job.

A recommendation from someone who doesn’t know you well will end up being ‘He is a great guy!’ for example. This is not the specific comments you want of someone who should be able to vouch for you. An employer will want specifics. Why should they hire you?

The best way to get recommendations from others is to ask for them. Don’t wait for someone to send you a recommendation, as you may wait for a long time. The easiest way to obtain one is to make a personal and polite request. For example, ‘Hi John, remember when we worked on that project together? Would you consider giving me a recommendation based on that project?’ Chances are an individual would be open to responding based on this request. Thank the person if they send you a recommendation. It is the polite and courteous thing to do.

Remember to be careful of requests asking you for recommendations as well. Make sure you know the person and can vouch for their credentials. You will have a greater chance of success on LinkedIn when you ensure that you follow good etiquette in regards to recommendations.


Step 4: Join Groups

There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn. When you first join this site it can be very intimidating and overwhelming. The best way to get your ‘feet wet’ is to join a group and start following the discussion. However, don’t just join any group. Find one that is within your industry, or speaks to an issue in which you are passionate.

Groups are a great way to network with like-minded people, however, as with all of LinkedIn there are informal rules that should be followed. Firstly, spend some time reading and listening to others who are posting within a group. What do they say and how do they say it.

Don’t just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind once you’ve joined a group. Take the time to think about what you wish to say. Respond to a discussion where you feel you have some insight, expertise, or a new angle on a topic that you can share with everyone.

As you become an active participant in a group, and are truly engaging members with a discussion you have initiated, than you’ll have the opportunity to be recognized as a ‘Top Infuencer’ in a group page sidebar. Visit each of your top 2-3 groups a few times each week.

Becoming an active participant in a group will help you get noticed as an expert in the field. It will increase your overall visibility on LinkedIn and open up targeted networking opportunities.

You typically will get the most visibility if you target the most popular discussions within each group. However, as mentioned ensure that you have something valid to say. Other members can see a sales pitch a mile away!


Step 5: Job Search

To effectively use LinkedIn it is necessary to incorporate all of the outlined steps. When it comes to the job search, LinkedIn offers some great features that will directly impact your job search efforts.

Firstly, if you know of a company or organization that you are interested in, simply use the ‘Company Search’ to find it. You will see a company profile, stats, current employees and many other valuable pieces of information.

You can use this search to explore and research people employed at these companies and find contacts to connect with. You will also see related companies that you may have never known existed.

You can also ‘Follow’ companies you want to work for. By doing this you will get company notifications on their updates, including job posts. You can also see which of their employees are on LinkedIn.

An added benefit of this social media site is that in addition to searching for companies and people specifically, you can search for available positions using the ‘Jobs’ tab at the top of the page.

While this feature may seem similar to other large job search sites such as, a huge advantage of LinkedIn is its networking capability. In addition to specific jobs listings, you will also see anyone who you are connected with at those companies.

If you aren’t connected with anyone directly, it is possible to see if any of your contacts are connected with someone at the company. This feature is invaluable for your job search!

The key to job searching on LinkedIn is to be proactive. Take charge of your job search and establish relationships based on a clear and logical direction.


Step 6: Maintain Your Network

To use LinkedIn effectively, it is crucial to maintain your network even after you have found a job. Networking is about give and take. Reinforcing the relationships you have established, along with reaching out to others who you could potentially help, is what LinkedIn is all about.

If you have landed a job make sure to update your profile with the new position. Take the time to thank your contacts for their assistance. Pick up the phone, or send a thank you card to those contacts that you felt made a significant difference.

Continue to follow and participate in LinkedIn groups that are of interest to you. People will appreciate your expertise even after you have started your new job.

The most successful professionals know that building and maintaining networks is a long term process. It should never stop when you have a new job, and in fact if you nurture your relationships correctly, they will be there for you in your next job search.

If you can only choose one social media site to use in your job search, then LinkedIn is the one. It will allow you to find better opportunities and grow your business network more effectively than any other site.

Many companies won’t even interview someone without a LinkedIn profile. If you cannot be found online you will be thought of by employers as out of date or not tech-savvy.

If you’re not using LinkedIn, or have a profile but not using it to its full potential, it’s time to get started. Start today and see the huge benefits that can be gained from building a strong network on LinkedIn. A wealth of opportunities awaits you.


icn-tw Twitter

The next best social media site for your job search is Twitter. Over the last several years Twitter has become immensely popular, with over 500 million users. While not typically thought of as a job search tool, Twitter has proven to be an effective tool for personal branding.

As a micro-blogging site, Twitter allows users to communicate in ‘tweets’ with 140 characters or less. Similar to LinkedIn, you can also ‘follow’ influential people in your field. The only difference is, you don’t have receive approval or confirmation to follow someone. It happens automatically.

As a networking tool, Twitter allows you to access people you might not have otherwise. It brings your brand to the forefront and helps you get noticed. Some have said it is like being a networking event all the time. There are no guarantees that it will help you get a job, but Twitter is definitely proven itself as a valuable networking tool.

To use Twitter in the job search, the first thing to do is create an account. It makes sense to make your username (or Twitter handle), your personal name. If your name is taken include a combination of your name and industry. Include a personal photo that is professional and makes a good first impression.

Create a bio that uses keywords from your resume and include a link to your LinkedIn profile. Users will be able to search for keywords and tweets by topic, so a good bio can get your some valuable exposure.

When you first start out on Twitter, don’t just blast a message out to people that you are looking for work. Build momentum slowly by following individuals in a company you’d like to work for, or influential people in your industry. Follow their tweets, and get a sense of the kinds of information being sent out. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the functionality of Twitter.

Once you feel comfortable, start tweeting yourself by offering opinion on news and industry happenings. Not only can you follow others, but you can establish yourself as an expert in your field.

If you like what something someone has tweeted then retweet (forward) it. Send a direct response to the person in an informal manner. You can begin to establish a connection with this person. This is what Twitter is all about!

As a job seeker starting out in the new  Twittersphere, you may want to familiarize yourself with hashtags. A hashtag is like a category that tells Twitter how to categorize tweets. It is essentially a keyword or lablel followed by # that people can post in their tweets to tag their message to a specific category.

A job seeker may want to follow a hashtag about their industry such as #pharmaceutical or #sportsjobs. You can also follow a company of interest like @TD_Canada and watch for job postings.

There is a website that compiles all the jobs on Twitter. It is a global site where you type in what job and location you are looking for. It is worth checking out.

Keep in mind with all social media sites that there is a fair amount of ‘noise’ that occurs, especially on Twitter. Individuals don’t always follow proper etiquette in tweeting and as a result there is much useless information floating around. Twitter is not the professional site of LinkedIn. Keep focused on your task at hand when using Twitter – to brand yourself and establish a network of influential people in your industry.


icn-fb Facebook

Chances are that you are already using Facebook to communicate with friends, family, etc. While not considered a professional networking tool, the mere fact that over one billion people use this social media site means that it is hard to ignore in the job search.

Most people and companies that you would like to establish a connection with are likely on Facebook. Therefore, it makes sense to take advantage of this networking powerhouse.

With this in mind, you need to decide whether to keep your Facebook profile social, or update your existing page to be strictly used for professional networking. Even if you choose to not use Facebook in your job search, you will need to polish up your online presence, since employers will be able to easily access your information.

If you choose to use Facebook for professional purposes then take a look at your profile and decide what you want employers and business contacts to see, and what you don’t want them to see!

Make your profile simple, and remove content, graphics and widgets that don’t advance your job aspirations. Keep photos to a minimum and ensure that you post content relevant to your job search. Remember you may be tagged on many photos outside your profile as well. If any of these photos don’t present you in a positive light they have to be removed as well.

Once you feel comfortable your Facebook profile is professionally sound, reach out to former employers, business colleagues and other professional contacts and ‘friend’ them. You can still have personal friends, old high school classmates, etc. on your page. Just be sure to choose your friends wisely. Keep your page strictly professional.

The first thing to do with your Facebook page is change your status update with your current situation and what you are looking for. Everyone in your network is a valuable contact that could potentially help you, and you never know where a job lead may come from. Keep people in your network informed of any progress you have made, so your job search will be top of mind for them.

You will also want to join and become active in groups where jobs are posted. You can also learn valuable information from industry experts. How is the industry changing? Who are the major companies in your field? Who are their major competitors? Facebook is not only for networking, but also for researching and learning as much as you can about the industry you wish to work in.

While Facebook has been thought of in the past as being strictly social, it has become much more and now has a robust job search engine. In 2012, Facebook launched the Social Jobs Partnership app that allows users to search and apply to millions of jobs. It combines jobs from many of the large job sites like While there is no Canadian equivalent at the moment, stay tuned.

Many employers are now listing positions on Facebook, so be sure to follow those companies you are interested in working for. Ensure to ‘like’ company pages that you are interested in. By doing so, you will be able to follow company news and recent job postings as they become available.

Facebook can be the ultimate job networking tool if used in the appropriate manner.


icn-go Google+

Launched in 2011, another social media site, not nearly as popular as LinkedIn, Twitter or, Facebook, is Google+. This online medium is thought of as Google’s social network and is quickly gaining a following with some 343 million active members.

Google+ is intended to combine all of Google’s peripheral products (Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, etc.) into one cohesive network. With Google+ you create a profile, post messages, upload photos and videos, plus much more.

Google+ is becoming important for job searching and networking, but what makes it different from other social media sites?

One of the biggest differences is that when you connect with someone on Google+ you add them to ‘Circles’, or organized groups of people. In other words, you can choose to make a post, picture, or video public for all to see, or specify the ‘Circle’ of friends or colleagues who you wish to view the content. This is extremely handy when you want to share posts with friends, and keep other content strictly for professional contacts.

Another major difference is that conversation is much more enhanced on Google+. The platform encourages interaction through content sharing, status updates, online and video chats (Hangouts). If you are interested in a post a hiring manager has shared, you can ask them directly about it, or set up a face-to-face chat online.

Make sure to complete your profile as much as possible on Google+. It will be easier for others to find your information online. Also remember to include links in your profile to your other social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) This way hiring managers will be able to view your other accounts easily.


hintstips Social Media Tips

Below are some important Social Media Tips to help you stay clear of major pitfalls and assist you in maneuvering the world of online social media. Good luck in your job search!

1. Build Your Brand

Give thought to what you want your brand to be and then make sure it is consistent across different social media platforms. Always keep your profiles updated.

2. Keep It Simple

Join LinkedIn and master this platform before moving on to another social media site. It is better to be effective on one site, than ineffective on a large group of them.

3. Polish Your Online Presence

Even though your LinkedIn profile is professional and complete, an employer may see your Facebook page as well. Make sure to polish your online presence on all sites to remove any inappropriate content. Don’t forget to Google your name to see what comes up.

4. Think Before You Type

Always think before you send out a post or tweet. You don’t know who may read it. Remember tweets can show up in Google searches as well. Treat every post and tweet like your boss is going to read it.

5. Nurture Your Network

Effective networking involves give and take. Always strive to build and nurture your network, even after you’ve found a job. Connect to new people, post interesting articles in groups, and continue sending messages to close contacts. Your network will be there for you next time you need it.

6. Don’t Give Up!

Establishing a strong network takes time. There is no quick fix in using social media in your job search, however, the benefits to you can be enormous. Do a little bit each day and keep at it. Be methodical and determined in your approach. Don’t give up!


Top Career & Employment Websites

Top Websites For Your Job Search

With so much career and employment info on the Internet, where do you start? From The Directory of Careers & Employment in Canada comes a list of specifically chosen websites that are sure to kick-start your job search. Click on the links to the right, to view the websites below.



National Sites

-  Canadian Careers

-  CanLearn Interactive

-  Employment and Social Development Canada


-  The Directory of Careers & Employment in Canada

-  Working in Canada

-  Workopolis

Job Boards

-  AllStar Jobs


-  Hire Ground Careers

-  indeed


-  Service Canada’s Job Bank

Regional Sites

-  Alberta Learning Information Service


-  Emploi-Québec


-  JobsPEI


-  Manitoba WorkInfoNET

-  Ontario WorkInfoNET


Industry Sites

-  AgriTalent

-  Alberta Occupational Profiles

-  BioTalent Canada

-  CA Source

-  Canadian Forces Recruiting


-  Career Edge

-  Careers In Culture

-  Discover Tourism

-  Engineering Jobs

-  Environmental Careers


Topic Specific Sites



-  Career Edge

-  Skills/Compétences Canada

-  Skills For Change

-  Workink

-  Young Workers Zone


9781896324494QuickLearn Guide - Top Career & Employment Websites

This QuickLearn Guide is also available in an 8.5 x 11, 4-page, laminated document that can be used in classrooms, worshops and independent study. They are also great to display on the wall. They contain all the information in a simple, easy-to-use resource. To order a hard copy of this QuickLearn Guide click here.


National Sites

  • Canadian Careers
  • CanLearn Interactive
  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • The Directory of Careers & Employment in Canada
  • Working in Canada
  • Workopolis


Canadian Careers

Online since 1996, Canadian Careers is a website with ample career and employment information, nicely divided into three main sections - Explore Career Options, Market Yourself, and Finding Work. Read Full Profile 


CanLearn Interactive



CanLearn Interactive provides information on Canadian universities and colleges, programs and courses, scholarships, student loans, grants, educational requirements, learning strategies, and financial options and plans. Read Full Profile


Employment and Social Development Canada



Employment and Social Development Canada assists Canadians of all ages manage transitions and challenges throughout their lives by offering a wide variety of programs and services in more than 320 offices across the country. Read Full Profile is Canada’s leading career management and resume database with over 1.7 million resumes. For job seekers, posting resumes and conducting job searches based  on nearly 25,000 Canadian jobs and 1 million foreign jobs is completely free. Read Full Profile


The Directory of Careers & Employment in Canada
www.directoryofcareers.cahomepage1 contains thousands of career and employment-related profiles. Employment Websites, Industry Associations, Recruiters, Employers, Internships & Scholarships, are included in this powerful online tool. Read Full Profile


Working in Canada


The Working in Canada website provides job seekers, workers and those who are new to the Canadian labour market with the information required to make informed decisions about where to live and work. Read Full Profile




Launched in 2000, Workopolis is Canada’s leading Internet job and recruitment site. With currently over 30,000 jobs available through the site, Workopolis has become such a valuable tool for job seekers and employers nation-wide. Read Full Profile


Job Boards

  • AllStarJobs
  • Hire Ground Careers
  • indeed
  • Service Canada's Job Bank


www.allstarjobs.caallstarjobs is the leading career resource on the internet for jobseekers. With links to 5,000 career related websites in our career resource section, we have become the site where job seekers begin their job search. Read Full Profile
www.canuckcareers.comcanuckcareers is a career gateway for Canadian professionals to find new career opportunities and resources to help them achieve their career goals. Read Full Profile

Hire Ground Careers

Hire Ground Careers is Western Canada’s premier online resume database. The website matches employers with career seekers through an automated industry-specific, skills-matching process. Read Full Profile


Indeed is the #1 job site worldwide, with over 70 million unique visitors and 1.5 billion job searches per month. Indeed is available in more than 50 countries and 26 languages, covering 94% of global GDP. Read Full Profile allows you to search thousands of jobs across the country. It also allows job seekers to post their resume, and provides a blog and career advice. Read Full Profile

Service Canada’s Job Bank

Service Canada's Job Bank is Canada's one-stop job listing Web site. Each year we help hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers, job seekers and employers connect online. Read Full Profile


Regional Sites

  • Alberta Learning Information Service
  • Emploi Québec
  • JobsPEI
  • Manitoba WorkinfoNET
  • Ontario WorkInfoNET



Alberta Learning Information Service

Alberta Learning Information Service is the provincial gateway to help Albertans achieve career success. It provides information for career planning, post-secondary education and training, educational funding, job search, labour market trends, and workplace issues. Read Full Profile
www.bcjobs.combcjobs is one of British Columbia’s newest recruiting centres, connecting job seekers with prospective employers. This job search and job posting site lets job seekers explore various employment opportunities. Read Full Profile


Emploi Québec

Emploi-Québec offers services for job placement and labour market information, as well as diversified services. These services include job search help, training, apprenticeship, and self-employment. Read Full Profile
www.jobsnorth.cajobsnorth is entirely devoted to job searching in the Northwest Territories focusing on the unique needs of job seekers and employers. Read Full Profile



JobsPEI is a free online registry for individuals seeking work in Prince Edward Island. Using this service you can add your résumé to their database, making it available to PEI recruiters searching for qualified candidates. Read Full Profile is a powerful labour market tool that provides one-stop access to the latest and most complete set of employment and career information resources available in the Newfoundland and Labrador. Read Full Profile


Manitoba WorkinfoNET

Manitoba WorkinfoNET helps Manitobans quickly find the information they are looking for in three easy to understand categories. They are: Employment, Career Planning and Learning. Read Full Profile


Ontario WorkInfoNET

Ontario WorkInfoNet (OnWIN) is a bilingual website that provides links to over 2,000 websites specializing in Ontario-based employment and career information. Read Full Profile

SaskJobs provides a variety of tools and resources to assist people looking to find a new job, make a change in careers or market their skills and abilities to prospective employers. Read Full Profile


Industry Sites

  • AgriTalent
  • Alberta Occupational Profiles
  • BioTalent Canada
  • CA Source
  • Canadian Forces Recruiting
  • Careers in Culture
  • Discover Tourism
  • Engineering Jobs
  • Environmental Careers




This bilingual database provides concise listings of training and learning programs in agriculture offered across Canada. It was developed for producers, farm managers and others, as well as those without any experience seeking learning opportunities. Read Full Profile 


Alberta Occupational Profiles

Produced by Alberta Learning Information Services (ALIS), Alberta Occupational Profiles shares current information on over 500 occupations. All Canadians can benefit from using this site. Read Full Profile


BioTalent Canada

The BioTalent Canada site provides a description of biotechnology, future job prospects, career paths, and information on finding the right career in Biotechnology. Read Full Profile


CA Source

CA Source is a service developed by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants to help job seekers take charge of their careers. Read Full Profile


Canadian Forces Recruiting

Are you looking for a job in the Navy, Army, Air Forces, or the Reserves? The recruiting page for the Department of National Defence provides detailed information about full and part-time jobs, with more than 100 career choices in the Canadian military. Read Full Profile

The is Canada’s first and only retail-specific job site that provides job seekers looking for employment in the retail industry with a wide-ranging list of job opportunities available across Canada. Read Full Profile


Careers in Culture

The Careers in Culture website offers tools that will lead you through what you need to know and what you need to do for a career in the arts and culture. It is your first stop to learn more about jobs in this industry. Read Full Profile


Discover Tourism

Tourism is Canada's (and the world's) fastest growing industry with a choice of over 400 job roles that require varying levels of skill, experience and education. Check out why the tourism industry is for you! Read Full Profile


Engineering Jobs

Engineering Jobs is an online job tool for engineers in all disciplines. It provides alphabetized employment pages for a myriad of companies and recruiters. It includes links to engineering tools, references, societies and organizations. Read Full Profile


Environmental Careers


ECO Canada specializes in environmental careers and is Canada's largest online resource for environmental jobs, training, and certification. Read Full Profile
www.jobprofiles.orgjobprofiles is a career exploration and inspiration website where experienced workers share their motivations, basic skills and advice with those just entering the career field. Read Full Profile



Topic Specific Sites

  • Career Edge
  • Skills/Compétences Canada
  • Skills for Change
  • WORKink
  • Young Workers Zone

Powered by Aboriginal Link, this highly specialized employment portal is fully-dedicated to assisting Aboriginal Job Seekers in researching and acquiring opportunities to develop their careers. Read Full Profile
www.apprenticesearch.comapprenticesearch helps make the match between people looking for apprenticeship opportunities, and employers offering apprenticeship training and jobs. Read Full Profile

Career Edge

Since 1996, Career Edge Organization has provided thoughtful, results-driven leadership in connecting multi-sector businesses with diverse, qualified talent through innovative paid internship programs. Read Full Profile

Skills/Compétences Canada

Skills/Compétences Canada is dedicated to increasing awareness about careers in skilled trades and technology. It helps youth develop skills they will need to succeed in a career in these fields. Read Full Profile

Skills for Change

Established in 1982, Skills for Change (SfC) is a non-profit organization that has designed programs that incorporate learning and training opportunities for immigrants and refugees so that they may fully participate in the workplace and community. Read Full Profile


WORKink is a virtual employment resource centre to facilitate communication and provide resources and information to enhance the equitable and meaningful employment of people with disabilities. Read Full Profile

Young Workers Zone

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has created the web page Young Workers Zone to create awareness and promote health and safety in the workplace. Read Full Profile




Finding a Summer Job

Finding a Summer Job

Finding a summer job is a 'right of passage' for most young people across the country. We've compiled an easy to use QuickLearn Guide - 10 Steps to Finding a Summer Job to help you in your search!



Step 1: Think About Your Summer Job Options

Step 2: Identify Your Skills & Accomplishments

Step 3: Create a Winning Résumé

Step 4: Write Dynamic Cover Letters

Step 5: Prepare Your References

Step 6: Be Ready to Complete a Job Application

Step 7: Get Ready For the Interview

Step 8: Send a Polite Thank You Note

Step 9: Network Using Social Media

Step 10: Start Looking for Work!












9781896324449QuickLearn Guide - Finding a Summer Job

This QuickLearn Guide is also available in an 8.5 x 11, 4-page, laminated document that can be used in classrooms, worshops and independent study. They are also great to display on the wall. They contain all the information in a simple, easy-to-use resource. To order a hard copy of this QuickLearn Guide click here.






10 Steps to Finding a Summer Job

So it’s time to find a summer job? Well you’ve come to the right place! Getting a summer job is a rite of passage in Canada for most youth as early work experience can prepare you for future employment.

Great reasons to get a summer job!

• to earn spending money;
• to assist in financing your education;
• to gain valuable workplace skills and attitudes
• to get hands-on experience in different work settings;
• to build a network of contacts for future employment; and
• to add an impressive résumé for future job searches

Start your summer job search now!


Step 1: Think About Your Summer Job Options

For many students, their first experience working will be at a summer job. Unfortunately, having little or no formal work experience under your belt can result in a very challenging search. How do you land a job if your work history is limited? Luckily for you there are many other skills you can offer a potential employer. You are hard-working, eager to learn, and have lots of enthusiasm! That has to account for something, right? Well it does. Many employers look for these traits when hiring summer students.

Types of Jobs Available

There are several main industries where young people with little or no formal work experience can find summer employment:

• Attractions – amusement parks, water slides, outdoor music and performance venues, local tourist attractions
• Business – sales rep, marketing rep, telemarketing
• Entertainment – disc jockey, dancer, actor or actress, announcer
• General Labour – construction worker, warehouse worker, gardener/landscaper, pool maintenance, cleaner, painter
• Hospitality – hotel worker, restaurant worker, tour guide, casino worker, valet parking, ice cream and summer food vendor, reservations clerk
• Office – administrative assistant, receptionist, clerk
• Other – tutoring, volunteering
• Helping – childcare, babysitter, dog walker, elderly assistant and home visitor, hospital and nursing home helper, veterinary assistant, charity fund canvasser
• Retail – grocery clerk, sales associate, cashier, movie theatre usher, secret shopper
• Recreation – camp counsellor, special event worker, pool attendant, swimming instructor, lifeguard, gymnastics teacher, golf course and driving range helper


Step 2: Identify Your Skills & Accomplishments

The second step is to assess the skills you have and identify what you can offer in today’s job market. Take the time to answer the following questions. Write down your replies to help you express your thoughts. Be honest and keep focused on what you want.

• What things am I most interested in?
• What do I like to spend my time doing?
• What topics would I be the most interested in learning more about?
• What are some of my weaknesses?
• What types of jobs could I see myself doing and enjoying?
• What are the specific duties related to those jobs that I would enjoy?
• What abilities do I have that would make me good at those jobs?
• What strengths or knowledge do I need to work on to succeed at those jobs?
• How can I go about developing the required skill sets?
• Are the types of work that interest me in demand now, or will they be soon?

If you answer these questions truthfully and accurately, you are on your way to finding that right summer job! Now you can spend a little bit of time to do some research on occupations that relate to your strengths, and let your interests guide you. You’ll be happier if you find a job you’ll enjoy doing.


Step 3: Create a Winning Résumé

A résumé is a necessary part of applying for a summer job. Along with an accompanying cover letter it will provide an employer with a concise glimpse of who you are and what you can bring to their organization. Every résumé is a marketing piece that should be tailored to each specific job and do exactly what you want it to do – which is to get you a job interview!

Potential employers will quickly skim your résumé for about 20 seconds. Electronic scanning equipment, if used, will do it in a fraction of that time. Only if your résumé makes a strong first impression will the reader decide to go through it entirely. It is extremely important for you to clearly indicate what you are looking for and what you have to offer. The objective is to convince the employer that they should contact you for an interview, which is where you get to shine.

What to Include in Your Résumé

Every résumé should include the following:

Heading – written out at the top of the page, it should include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. This is how the employer will contact you for an interview, so it is important that this information be up-to-date.

Job Objective – best used at the beginning of your résumé if you know what position you are interested in. The goal of a job objective is to tell the employer what you want to do and what you are looking for within their organization. Make sure that you keep it clear and precise (ideally should be no more than a dozen words). Remember that if you do decide to use a job objective, tailor it specifically for each job you are applying for.

Summary of Qualifications – may be used instead of a job objective if you are interested in applying for a range of positions. If you choose to go this route, it should appear at the beginning of your résumé after the Header. Your summary of qualifications should generally be two or three sentences in length, and used to highlight your skills or achievements that are relevant to the potential job.

Related Work Experience – ultimately the most important part of your résumé, it shows the employer that you have the skills and experience they need. If you have little or no formal work experience, then include volunteer work, co-op placements or school projects and activities.

Education – list all secondary and post-secondary schools you have attended, in reverse chronological order. Make sure you list the dates when you finished attending each school. State your major and list any courses that might be particularly relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Résumé Accessories – can add to, and make your résumé stand out by adding a few extras such as awards and honours, or hobbies, memberships in relevant clubs or groups, and other interests. It shows the employer a little bit about your personality. However try not to go overboard. You don’t want this section to take away from your work experience and education.


Step 4: Write Dynamic Cover Letters

Every time you submit your résumé to a potential employer you should try to send a cover letter with it. The cover letter introduces you to the employer. It also allows you to emphasize the relevant skills and qualifications that you possess, to show that you would make an excellent candidate for the position.

A cover letter has two important purposes; to get the potential employer to read your résumé, and, in combination with your résumé, get them interested enough to schedule an interview with you. It is very important to indicate, through your cover letter, why this company should hire you over the other potential candidates.

It is not the place to reiterate every point already stated on your résumé. You have to entice the employer to want to read your résumé. Your cover letter should not be longer than four paragraphs, and the letter itself should be no longer than one page.

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

Heading – should include your contact information, the employer’s name and address, and the date.

Introduction – always begin your letter with a greeting (e.g. Dear Mr./Ms. Smith). Do your best to find out the person’s name and correct title. In the first paragraph, indicate the specific position you are applying for. If you are responding to a job ad let them know how you heard about the opening (e.g. career board, newspaper, etc.). Be sure to tell the employer why you are interested in working for their organization and what you can bring to the position/industry.

Body – should generally be one or two paragraphs in length. This section is where you are given the opportunity to sell yourself to the employer. Explain why you are the best candidate for the job. It is wise to emphasize your assets according to the key qualifications that the employer has listed in the job description. This is a great place to show how your skills from previous experiences are relevant to this position. Also, you can use this section to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and of their organization. Do not give too much of your résumé away.

Closing – this is the best place for you to clearly state what happens next (when you will contact the employer to set up an interview, or that you look forward to hearing from them on the status of your application). It is also very important to thank the employer for taking the time to review your application. Lastly, it is professional to end the letter using the phrase “Sincerely” and printing your name beneath your signature.

Step 5: Prepare Your References

Most employers will require at least two to three references – people who can vouch for you. If possible, at least one of them should be a previous work supervisor. Others may be a teacher, colleague or personal reference. It is not generally recommended to list family members unless you really need to, or if they have experience (or clout) in the field you are applying to.

In any case, make sure you get permission from each of your references to use their names - well before a potential employer may be contacting them. It is wise to remind previous supervisors about the length of time you worked with them and a bit about your job responsibilities so they are able to give you an accurate reference. For other references, quickly review what they might say about you and make a few suggestions about skills or achievements you’d like to have mentioned, if they’re willing to.

Hold on to your reference page until asked for it by a potential employer. When writing down each reference, remember to include their full name, title, company name, address, and phone number. Make sure your references are listed on a page separate from your résumé.

When leaving an employer, it is advisable to ask them for a reference letter, as there is no guarantee that your previous supervisor will still be there when you need a reference. It is also a good idea to keep in touch with previous supervisors and colleagues for networking purposes throughout your career. Remember to thank your references for their assistance and keep them updated on how your job search is going.

Step 6: Be Ready to Complete a Job Application

When applying for certain jobs, such as summer camps, an application form is required instead of (or accompanied by) a résumé. Larger organizations will often ask you to complete a standard form, either online and/or in hardcopy format. The form itself is usually very straightforward, but here are a few tips to help you complete it properly:

• Follow directions carefully. If it says "PRINT" then print.

• Take your time and think about what you want to write.

• Ensure that you are answering the specific question asked of you.

• Complete each section in full sentences unless you are asked to do otherwise.

• Never leave a section blank unless it does not apply to you. If a question or section doesn't apply to you put "N/A" in the space. (N/A means "Not Applicable").

• Carry a copy of your résumé with you when completing the form so you can pull information right from the source.

• You might be required to provide the company’s name(s), supervisor’s name(s), phone number(s), and address(es) of previous employers, so have that information handy.

• Consider asking for two copies. Fill one out in pencil first and then submit your final copy in ink. Keep the first copy for your own records.

Step 7: Get Ready for the Interview

The job interview is usually the deciding factor in whether or not you are hired. It is essential to be well prepared, to ask relevant questions, and be confident in yourself. Since you already feel you’re the best person for the job it’s your turn to prove it to the employer!

Always be on time. Plan to arrive at least 5-10 minutes prior to the interview. This will tell the employer you are professional and reliable. It will also give you a few extra minutes to finalize your preparations and calm down before the interview. If you know you are going to be late for any reason, it is imperative that you call the employer and let them know; otherwise you will look irresponsible.

Know where you are going. If you are not familiar with the area that your interview will take place, it is usually a good idea to take a trip there the day before so you will be able to plan your route accordingly. This will help you to judge how long the travel time is, and if you are driving, locate available parking. Using tools such as MapQuest at ( or Google Maps ( is a great way to get directions by inputting the exact address.

Eat and be well-rested. These two things are very important in helping you look and feel your best for the big day.

Dress appropriately. Most employers will take note of your appearance at the interview, so it is vital that you dress professionally (no jeans or running shoes unless specified, and limit your makeup and use of perfume/cologne unless needed for the position).

Bring a spare copy of your résumé, cover letter and references page. The employer may not have these with them and may want to make notes right on the pages.

You don’t just want to show up and do okay at the interview – you want to blow their socks off so they’ll hire you! Being prepared will show them that you are not only are you well qualified and credible, but also that you are the best person for the job.

Remember your objective is to be able to describe your skills and achievements in relation to the position you are applying for. In order to accomplish this, you must know as much as you can about the position, the company, and yourself.

Step 8: Send a Polite Thank You Note

A thank you letter or e-mail lets the interviewer know you appreciated them taking the time to meet with you. It also gives you an opportunity to remind them of points you made (or add the ones you forgot to make) during your interview. As well it reinforces your written communication skills.

Here are some important things to remember when preparing your thank you letter:

• Thank the person for the opportunity to interview with the company.

• Recap some of the conversational highlights.

• Plug your skills. Use the last paragraph as a chance to state, "I believe I would be an asset to your company because of XYZ."

Interviewers in most cases have met with a number of other job applicants. A thank you e-mail is your final chance to stand apart from others who are seeking the same position. It is always a good idea to send a thank you note within two business days of your interview. A lot of people don’t bother with this step so who knows – this could just land you the job!

Step 9: Network Using Social Media

Social media comprises networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The simple fact is that more than 50% of companies now have an online presence on social media. If companies are there – so should you!

There are good and bad aspects to this! You probably already have a Facebook page, and possibly if a search of your name is entered on Google you will find other websites that may reference you (e.g. a blog where you may have posted). It is important to ensure any pictures or information referencing you online presents you in the best possible light. Many employers will search candidates on LinkedIn or Facebook. If there is something that you don’t want your mother to see, chances are you don’t want an employer to see it either!

Make sure that your online presence is positive. Delete any negative rants or raves on your pages and ensure to remove any tags on pictures, not just on your page, but through friends that may have tagged you as well. Ensure that there are no typos in the content on your social media sites as well. Employers love attention to detail!

While using social media presents some added ‘work’ on your part to ensure  appropriate content is visible to employers, it also provides huge advantages for you to ‘brand yourself’ in the most favorable light. Use social media to back up claims made on your resume with links to volunteer, activities and hobbies you’re involved in. Your personality will shine through to employers!

Step 10: Start Looking for Work!

You’ve come a long way! Your resume and cover letter are prepared, you have insight into job interviewing and networking with social media. Now you need to learn where to find work! Jobs can be found from two main sources – advertised jobs and non-advertised jobs. More than  80% of work is found in the hidden job market, which is comprised of non-advertised jobs.

Social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ provide a great starting point for non-advertised jobs. Why not look at a company’s Facebook page? Some companies post videos on YouTube. Search for employer information through Google, or check out an industry blog. Make sure to look at The Directory of Careers & Employment in Canada. You can find it at most employment centres and libraries. If they don’t have it, ask for them to get it! You will find a wealth of hidden job market information in this resource.

Remember that searching for a summer job takes time and effort. Start your job search early and don’t be shy about letting everyone you know that you are looking. Be specific about the kinds of jobs you’d like to do. It may get discouraging at times, but eventually your hard work will pay off!

Good Luck!

Finding Your Perfect Job

Learn the Basics of Conducting a Successful Job Search


1. Develop a Job Strategy

2. Take Inventory of Your Skills

3. Network to Create Opportunities

4. Research Your Industry

5. Prepare a Dynamite Resume

6. Write a Great Cover Letter

7. Winning the Interview

8. Use Social Media in Your Job Search

9. Tap Into The Hidden Job Market


9781896324500QuickLearn Guide - Finding Your Perfect Job

This QuickLearn Guide is also available in an 8.5 x 11, 4-page, laminated document that can be used in classrooms, worshops and independent study. They are also great to display on the wall. They contain all the information in a simple, easy-to-use resource. To order a hard copy of this QuickLearn Guide click here.


Despite all the obstacles you may face, finding a job does not have to be a painstaking, overwhelming process! While everyone agrees that looking for employment is not an easy task, there are a number of steps that you can take to increase your odds of landing that perfect job.

Doing some groundwork now will save you a lot of time and money down the road. For your own reference, try to make some personal notes on how these steps can be best incorporated into your particular job search. While no one step is sufficient on its own, a combination of as many of these different strategies as possible is your best chance to securing a meaningful, fulfilling job.

Step 1: Develop a Job Strategy

Looking for employment can be an extremely challenging and intimidating task. Let’s face it – finding work is a big exercise in marketing or branding yourself. Some of you may have been exposed to the basics of marketing in the past, either through past education or prior work experience. In selling a product to a specific target market, you must choose what your product will be, who your customer is, and how you will get your product into your customer’s hands. This research and planning to bring your product to ‘life’ is the same process that is used in your job search – except the product is you!

In preparing to look for work you must first decide what you are going to sell - recognizing those skills you possess (taking an inventory of your skills is discussed in the next step); who you are selling to - which employers you are targeting to find employment; and how you are going to get your product to the customer – which methods will ensure an employer knows about you.

The process of marketing is not easy. There is a lot of competition out there. If you hastily choose a product without giving it some thought, or send out marketing material without considering the target market, you will have wasted a lot of valuable time and money. Even worse, your product will not sell.

To apply this to your job search – if you do not give thought to what you are offering an employer, or if you don’t learn about the companies you’re marketing your talents to – then you will have wasted much time and effort. You must develop a ‘plan of attack’ to ensure that you are setting realistic goals for yourself, and following a clear direction. It is important to take the time to think about what you want, and then go after it!

Deciding what you want to do takes some real soul searching. If you think about jobs or tasks you did in the past that you liked, and those that you disliked, you will at least begin to have a broader picture of where your interests lie. Make a list of these likes and dislikes and update it frequently. There are no easy choices. Some of it will undoubtedly be hit and miss. The best thing to do is try as many different types of jobs as possible, so that you can realistically assess their merits. This is where the saying ‘you never know until you try’ has significant meaning.

Whatever you do, make a concentrated effort to think about your job choices now! Do some research using social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Many companies now have pages on these sites, so you can view company information quickly and easily. If you remain conscious of your environment, and work to continually upgrade your job search skills, you will be able to set clear concise goals. This is half the battle to finding employment.

A job strategy does not have to be a formal document with every imaginable contingency. It can be as simple as mapping out a few past experiences which have allowed you to gain valuable skills, and listing some specific ideas as to how best utilize your job search efforts. If necessary, speak with a career counsellor to obtain assistance in this area.

Also don’t forget to tap into the hidden job market. What is the hidden job market? It is simply when a job opening exists, but hasn’t been advertised yet. This type of situation occurs within a company more often than not, as hiring managers sometimes wait a period of time to see if they can fill the position before launching a full-scale search.

Make a list, or maintain a database, of every resume you send, every phone call you make, and the name and title of everyone you talk to. Keep track of all those job websites you visited that you liked and were helpful. This will help you in your follow-up efforts, and allow you to closely monitor your progress. Do the planning now! It will save you time and frustration down the road.

Step 2: Take Inventory of Your Skills

This step could easily have been incorporated in the job strategy step above. However, taking inventory of your skills is of such great importance to the job search that it needs greater clarification. If we relate this concept to marketing once again – let’s say you are selling a car. If you are unclear as to the benefits or features of the car, or the reasons why someone should buy the car, then why would anybody purchase it? The point is – if you don’t know what you’re selling, how are you supposed to sell it! This holds true for the job search as well. An employer wants to know what features or benefits (i.e. skills) you have to offer. They will not search for these answers. It must be clear and concise. That is why taking an inventory of your skills is so important.

What are some of the skills that you have to offer an employer? For each individual it will be different. However, these skills are made up of both academic qualifications and personal attributes. It is interesting to note that for many employers personal skills, such as oral communication skills, leadership skills, computer skills, and being adaptable in the workplace, are considered to be just as important, or in some cases more important than your academic degree or diploma that you obtained. What does this mean for you the job seeker? Make sure to sell your personal skills as actively as your academic background.

Listed below are some of the more common personal skills that employers consider important. There are many others, however, this is a good starting point. Look through the list and try to come up with experiences in the past that have allowed you to gain some of these valuable skills.

Adaptable Analytical
Artistic Computer Proficiency
Confident Creative
Decision Making Dependable
Efficient Flexible
Innovative Interpersonal
Leadership Logical
Manual Dexterity Negotiation
Numeracy (Math) Oral Communication
Plan/Organize Positive Attitude
Problem Solving Responsible
Team Player Writing Skills


Dig deep into your past, come up with a few examples for each skill, and then choose the ones you feel best about. Which of the ones listed best describe you as a person? Include skills such as these on your resume in addition to your academic achievements. Your resume will be a much better snapshot of who you are, and will give an employer a more concise picture of your strengths and accomplishments.

Step 3: Network to Create Opportunities

Networking is something we do on a regular basis on Facebook for example, but we don’t use it nearly enough in the job search to benefit from its enormous potential. In many cases, networking can be the best strategy to a successful job search.

In essence, networking is an ongoing process to establish and maintain a rapport or relationship with individuals in your field. It is not a short-term process, but its long-term effects can be dramatic as unforeseen opportunities can arise in areas you never thought possible. The key to networking is to connect, online and in-person, with as many people as possible who could lead you to potential opportunities.

Make sure to be sincere with people, and show a genuine interest in the industry and people’s personal experiences. Most individuals can tell very easily when you are using them to just get information. Remember, your approach is the most important aspect of networking. Be polite and courteous, and realize there are no quick fixes to finding a job using this process. However, the more people that know you’re looking for work, the greater the chance you’ll find employment through one of these contacts.

Step 4: Research Your Industry

Researching prospective employers within your industry is an important strategy in today’s competitive market towards finding employment. Not a lot of job seekers conduct this background research, and therefore are unaware of which companies best match their skills and qualifications. As well, you can learn valuable information that will be of vital importance during an interview with an employer.

At the beginning of your research you may want to spend a bit of time reading about your industry and finding the answers to some important questions. Is the industry growing? What are some the key firms within the industry? Are there any regulations within the industry that you should be aware of? What are some of the pros and cons of the industry? These are just some of the questions that will help guide you in looking for employment, as well as setting the proper expectations for your job search.

At some point, you will want to develop a list of employers. This list will comprise those companies that, through your research, you have identified as ones you wish to apply to. Prepare a file that contains your list of employers, along with contact information and any pertinent background data on the company that may be useful should you be asked in for an interview. As your job search continues update and add to this file.

Where are you going to get this information you ask? The best place to start is online. You can also obtain a wealth of employer information on the Internet. A company’s web page will provide information on its history, their products or services, and in many cases even provide you with the opportunity to apply online.

Many companies have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page. LinkedIn is particularly useful as it is the business equivalent of Facebook. You can search companies on LinkedIn and in many cases even learn about employees within a company, including the name of the hiring manager.

Joining a trade or industry association is another valuable method of learning about prospective employers and will help you to stay on top of the latest industry trends.

Another great way to learn about an employer is to directly speak with an individual who already works in the industry you plan on entering. Talking informally to an individual may provide some extra insight into a company you could not obtain otherwise.

Step 5: Prepare a Dynamite Resume

The resume is one of the most important tools of the job seeker. It is a vital part of your marketing strategy that when written properly will jump out at prospective employer and say “hire me!” The resume is basically a written summary of your education, work experience, past achievements and interests that are constructed in a positive manner. When putting together your resume it is important to keep it short, focused, concise and accurate.

The resume itself contains specific components that are common to all. These include contact information such as name, address, and phone number; a career objective statement (optional); education; skills and abilities; work experience; volunteer work (optional), activities and interests; and references.

Each part is of significant importance:

Contact Information: Place your full name at the top of your resume, and include your address, telephone number, and e-mail. If you have a fax number you should include this as well.

Career Objective: This is a statement that outlines your career goals. It should be very brief, a sentence or two, and give a strong sense of where you are heading in your career path.

Education: Any relevant education should be included here, such as college, university or any technical schools that you may have attended. Your high school education can also be included. Any awards or scholarships can be outlined separately.

Skills and Abilities: This section allows you to highlight all those impressive skills and abilities that you obtained through school, past employment, volunteer work, and personal activities. To write this section you must complete step two - Identify Your Skills. This will require you to do some self-reflection.

Work Experience: In point form list your past jobs in chronological order. Include the dates, name and location of the company, as well as the responsibilities and duties you had in each position. Any volunteer experience you may have acquired can be included in this section.

Activities and Interests: The best type of candidate is one who appears well-rounded and has varied interests, including some diverse activities. This will signal to employers that you have gained some effective personal skills.

References: Indicating that “References available on request” is appropriate. Ensure that you have prepared these references from your academic, employment, or personal background should you be asked to supply them.

There are different resume formats depending on those components you would like to emphasize. The two most common styles are the chronological resume and the functional resume.

Chronological Resume: Organized in reverse chronological order so that your latest schooling and last job are listed first. This style emphasizes job duties and should be used if you have a steady work history, and if your most recent experiences relate to your desired field.

Functional Resume: Focuses on skills and abilities, while de-emphasizing job titles and employers. It should be used if you have been out of the work force for some time, or if you want to highlight specific skills and strengths that your most recent jobs don’t necessarily reflect.

Combination Resume: As a modified version of the above formats, this style emphasizes both work-related duties and skills so that you can highlight strengths from various past experiences.

Keep your resume organized, easy to read, and brief. Use point form beginning with action verbs that accentuate your strengths and positive experiences. Avoid the use of “I” when emphasizing your accomplishments.

We have outlined a brief list of some of the more common resume verbs that you can use instead.

Achieved / Administered / Analyzed Arranged / Assisted / Completed / Conducted Coordinated / Delivered / Designed Determined / Directed / Established Evaluated / Examined / Executed / Facilitated Generated / Identified / Implemented Initiated / Launched / Maintained / Managed Motivated / Organized / Planned / Prepared Presented / Processed / Produced / Provided Researched / Reviewed / Scheduled / Sold Supervised / Trained / Updated

Remember, your resume is the first contact that you will likely have with an employer – so make it a good one! Keep it on standard 8-1/2” x 11” premium paper, and ensure that you are using a printer that has good quality print. In addition, your resume must be 100% accurate in grammar and free from any spelling errors. While it may seem out-dated to prepare your resume in this printed format, you should always bring a hardcopy of your resume to an interview.

In regards to online, make sure you get on LinkedIn. Put your credentials on the Internet and open up your skills and attributes to a world of hiring managers. More than ever, companies are using social media to search and learn about potential candidates.

Make sure to show your resume to lots of people and allow them to critique it for you. One advantage to having your family, friends, and others close to you look at your resume is that they can pick up on important skills and strengths that you may have failed to mention. It may also be a good idea to post your resume on the Internet either through a job board, or by having it placed on a home page of your own. The more exposure your resume receives the better!

As well, if you are having trouble preparing your resume, or need some extra guidance, make sure to speak with a career counsellor. They offer a wealth of information and can help you in overcoming some of the stumbling blocks you may encounter.

Step 6: Write a Great Cover Letter

The cover letter is an important job search tool that must always accompany your resume. So much time is focused on a dynamic resume that we often ignore, or hastily put together, our cover letter. Take the time to carefully prepare your cover letter just as you would your resume.

The benefit of this letter is that it provides you with an extra marketing piece to sell yourself to a company. In the cover letter you can show an interest in an employer that you can’t show in a resume. As well, you have the opportunity to point out one or two key skills or achievements so as to peak the interest of the company to want to read your resume.

While each cover letter should be unique and personal, there are specific components that form each paragraph:

First Paragraph: Keeping it short and with the purpose of generating interest, outline the position you are apply for (or why you would complement the organization) and what prompted you to write (i.e. job position on a website, career fair, networking contact).

Second Paragraph: Explain how an organization may benefit from your qualifications and highlight any skills or accomplishments that may set you apart from other candidates.

Third Paragraph: Incorporate any relevant education or past experience that would make you attractive to the employer.

Fourth Paragraph: Express your interest in the company and make a request for an interview (or informational interview). Suggest how you will follow up and ensure your last sentence thanks the employer for their consideration.

This structure outlined is meant to illustrate the components of a ‘typical’ cover letter. The most important aspect is to make the cover letter as personal as possible. Avoid using form letters, as employers can pick up on this very quickly. Keep your cover letter brief and to the point. Don’t just repeat information verbatim from your resume, but strive to explain what you can offer a company (not what you can gain from them). As with your resume, do not overuse the personal pronoun “I”, and make sure that your cover letter is error-free.

Step 7: Winning the Interview

For a lot of people, the interview is the most daunting and intimidating part of the job search process. Your chances of landing a position within the company all depend on their impression of you. What will you do? Fortunately, there is hope! A little preparation before the interview goes a long way.

Once the interview has been arranged, you should do some in-depth research on the company. Find out its main products or services, types of customers, principal locations, size, parent company, rank in the industry. These are just some important points to consider. The more you can find out the better. If possible, speak to someone at the firm before the interview. This insight could be invaluable. Before the interview make sure that you know everything on your resume, and can expand on any points that are listed on it. The interviewer will most likely refer to it many times during the interview to ask questions. 

Depending on how many interviews you have attended in the past, it’s a good idea to try some role-playing, so that you gain confidence and feel a bit more at ease. With a trusted individual, act out a full interview trying to make it as realistic as possible. The more you practice the better you will become when the real one occurs. 

For the interview itself there are a few tips to follow. First and foremost, be on time! Nothing will jeopardize your chances more than to show up late. Allow yourself lots of extra time in case of unforeseen circumstances and make sure to dress professionally for the interview. Bring a pen along with a notepad, and carry a briefcase or a professional folder containing extra copies of your resume.

When you meet your interviewer smile and extend your hand for a firm handshake. During the interview, try to be attentive and relaxed. Answer questions concisely and honestly. There is nothing to fear, the interviewer is on your side. When appropriate, ask questions about the company. When the interview is over turn it into a learning experience. Remember, the first interview is always the hardest. The key factor is to be confident – you can do it!

Step 8: Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Social media is now recognized as a crucial part of the modern job search. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are invaluable in your job search. In a recent study, more than half of companies surveyed have an online presence on social media sites. It is important to be where the companies are!

Looking for a job is largely about networking, and there is no better way to network than through social media. Take the time to learn these sites and utilize them to maximize your job search.

The premiere site for job seekers and hiring managers is LinkedIn. This business professional site can help you network with people in your industry. Spend time creating and perfecting your online presence. It is well worth the effort!

We have only briefly covered social media as we have a more comprehensive QuickLearn Guide - Job Searching Using Social Media to learn the basics of what you need to know.


Step 9: Tap Into the Hidden Job Market

What is the hidden job market? It is simply when a job opening exists, but hasn’t been advertised yet. This type of situation occurs within a company more often than not, as hiring managers sometimes wait a period of time to see if they can fill the position before launching a full-scale search.

It would be the same situation if your neighbour were looking to find someone to mow the lawn or baby-sit. They would spend some time asking colleagues or friends to recommend a candidate, rather than right away placing an ad on Craigslist for example. It is at this stage that job seekers have the greatest chance of landing the best positions, since there is less competition. However, a large effort also needs to be cultivated at this point.

The best way to find work in the hidden job market is to make lots of contacts within your industry. By networking constantly, you’ll eventually meet someone who’s looking for a person with your skills or who knows of someone else who is. As mentioned previously, joining LinkedIn is a great way to tap into this market.

The most important piece of advice for ‘The Perfect Job Search’ is to remain positive. Show a commitment to your job search and don’t give up! Good Luck!


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