- Career Development
- Job Search Strategies
- Job search tools
In person at the Career Corner (UCU 216), or via the chat function.
Career development guide
In person at the Career Corner (UCU 216), or via the chat function.
Researching the conventional and hidden job markets requires time, patience, and proper planning. Getting your job search started with general job search Web sites such as JobsNow is great but make sure you also spend time n etworking with people who can potentially set you up for a job interview. By doing so, you will open more doors to your career.
Employability skills are the “skills you need to enter, stay in, and progress in the world of work – whether you work on your own or as part of a team.” (The Conference Board of Canada) Employers seek individuals who have developed employability skills through past experiences because these skills are considered “transferable”. To determine the skills you will need for a specific occupational field and the experiences that are relevant to the development of those skills, it is important to meet employers and people in the professional field of interest through career fairs, recruitment receptions and employer presentations, as well as visit the Employment and Social Development Canada's Web site to research profession-specific competencies.
The public, private, and non-profit sectors can be difficult to differentiate. The following descriptions will help you understand the mandates and roles of each sector.
The public sector is spread across three levels of government: federal, provincial or territorial, and municipal or local. Each level exercises its power through ministries, agencies, and departments, as well as Crown Corporations in keeping with the collaboration of the different levels of governments and legislatures towards the common good.
For more information on the public sector, visit:
The Public Service Commission of Canada’s Web site
The Careers in the Federal Service’s Web site
The private sector regroups organizations that are not owned or controlled by the state or government and whose main function is the production of marketable goods and services. These businesses are owned by individuals or by groups of investors. Although not operated by government, private sector organizations may be regulated by municipal/local, provincial/territorial or federal law.
For more information on businesses in the private sector, visit:
The on line Yellow Pages
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Company Directories by Industrial Sector Web site
The non-profit, non-governmental or volunteer sector, also referred to as the civil sector, belongs to the sphere of social activity undertaken by independent citizens or organizations that help focus attention on social, religious, charitable, educational, athletic, literary or political objectives. These local, national and international organizations vary in size, may or may not be incorporated, and be run by paid employees or volunteers.
For more information on the non-profit sector, visit:
The Canada Business’ Business Startup Assistant Web site
The online Directory of Ottawa Community Services E-Blue Book
A résumé is a marketing tool. Use it wisely to promote yourself and as a potential employee, to showcase your skills, aptitudes, work history and interests. There is no one way of organizing the sections of your résumé, however it is important to include the information that best highlights your skills. The main objective of the résumé is to secure an interview, therefore adapt your résumé to each position you are applying for and illustrate your potential with convincing examples.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while writing your résumé:
*Consult Faculty-specific résumé models.
The cover letter is an opportunity to add a personal touch to your résumé. Since many candidates apply to the same position, the cover letter is designed to make you stand out from the lot.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while writing your cover letter:
*Consult our cover letter models.
The portfolio is a selection of documents that provide proof of your educational and professional history. It can prove particularly useful when you need to:
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while assembling your portfolio:
*Consult our portfolio assembling tips.
An estimated 80% of jobs are not advertised but are made known through informal channels. The way into this hidden job market is through networking and maintaining contacts.
Interact with former employers, colleagues and professors. Let them know that you will be graduating soon and ask them about employment possibilities.
Research the organizations and companies that you would like to work for; look up phone numbers of hiring managers and organize information meetings with employees, supervisors or staff in their human resources department.
Attend conferences, symposiums, or any other event that bring together experts who share knowledge and best practices in your field.
Do some canvassing in person or by phone.
*Consult our Tips on Cold Calls to better prepare yourself.
Career Development Centre organizes career fairs, recruitment receptions and employer presentations throughout the academic year. For the current list of events, visit the career fair section of our Web site. Employers participate in these events to promote their organization to the general student population, generate awareness of career opportunities within their business, and encourage applications from soon-to-be graduates. Such events are excellent opportunities to network, i.e., to establish new contacts and meet professionals in your field of interest.
Information meetings are great opportunities to meet with company representatives who can provide you with inside information on career paths and occupations, on the corporate culture and on upcoming vacancies. Even if these are not actual interviews, it they remain your first contact with a member from the organization, which is why it is so important to be prepared. Plan a list of skills and qualities, have concrete examples illustrating your past experiences and answer all questions honestly.
The Academic GPS partners with faculties and coordinates networking activities with professors, employers and alumni.
*Consult our list of useful questions to ask during an information meeting.
You have an interview? It is now time to prepare for the screening and hiring process. Interviews can be conducted on a one-on-one basis, by panel or committee, by telephone or by video conference. Here are a few suggestions that apply to all of these types of interviews.
According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, there are various categories of questions that can no longer be asked by an employer. These questions relate to ancestry, ethnic origin, and place of origin; sex and sexual orientation; marital status and family status; age; race and colour; religion and creed; citizenship; education; record of offences; disabilities; references and membership in organizations. For more information on these inappropriate, even illegal questions, visit the Ontario Human Rights Commission's Web site, where you will find information about the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Every employer must respect these federal and provincial rules and regulations. If, however, the interviewer is asking political or controversial questions, stay as neutral as possible. In case such a situation would arise, it is a good idea to plan ahead:
Do not hesitate to ask for feedback after the interview. The employer can make useful comments on your strengths and weaknesses during the interview. This feedback will be useful for future interviews.
Immediately after the interview, make notes about the job, the employer and how you responded to the questions. This will be useful for your thank you letter and a potential second interview.
*Consult our thank you letter model
If you haven’t received a response within one or two weeks, follow-up either by phone or by e-mail.
You have completed your search and found a job that interests you? Then go to the guide’s next section: Thriving in your Career. (Remember that you can come back to this section at any time to pursue your job search further.)