Job Search Tips

Click on the links (PDF) below for our top 10 Tip Sheets:

Visit our self-service resource center for more Tip Sheets, other tools and resources to help you in your job search.

Ensure that it is easy to find. Put your cell phone and your home number on your résumé.

Make sure the response on your voice mail(s) sounds professional, is well-recorded, grammatically correct, easy to understand and is in English

Checking your résumé to catch any mistakes is important when job searching. The smallest mistake can cost you an interview.

  • Check your résumé several times for correct punctuation and word use.
  • Before you send it to an employer, ask a friend who has good English skills to check for any mistakes you may have missed.
Work hard: Focus on your job and give your employer the time you’re being compensated for. When it comes to making lay-off decisions, and the company has to choose, the most productive employees will get to keep the job.

Be on time: employees who show up late to work, take long lunches, use lots of sick time, and/or leave early every day aren’t going to win points with the boss. Be punctual and be present, instead of making excuses for why you can’t be at work.

Be a team player: the employees who don’t get along well with others, who gossip about other workers, or who are not willing to pitch in to help won’t be appreciated by colleagues.

Be flexible: flexibility can be a key component of hanging on to your job. When the company needs someone to change shifts, work weekends, put in some overtime, or work a different schedule, think about volunteering if your personal schedule permits.

Offer to help: one of the best ways to get (or keep) job security is to volunteer for new initiatives, to offer to help with projects, and to take on more responsibility.

Be approachable:  This may mean saying “Hi” to everyone in the morning or going out to lunch with the crew every once in a while.

Keep your thoughts to yourself: Even if you don’t like your job, keep it to yourself and your family or close friends. Don’t tell the world, because the wrong person may hear about it and that can cost you your job.

Be Positive. Negativity is contagious, but so is a positive attitude. The more you stay positive, even if you’re in a tough situation, the better you’ll be able to manage. Even if it’s not your favorite job, it is better to stay employed until you secure a new position.  Your performance at any job may impact future job opportunities .

Be Appreciative: thank those who have helped you out and express appreciation for the assistance, input and advice you are given .

When hiring, employers usually look for the best candidate to fill the position.

Some of the major considerations are:

  • Appropriate appearance suitable to the position
  • Education/knowledge related to the job
  • Experience in the field
  • Good critical thinking skills
  • Energy
  • Stability and dependability
  • Ability to handle change, to cherish it and use it for growth
  • To see obstacles as challenges rather than problems
  • Team player
  • Passion for what you do and the benefit it brings to others
  • Agreement and alignment with the organizations goals and objectives
  • Good communication skills oral/written
  • Self Starter
  • Sincerity
  • Ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome (appropriate aggressiveness)
Greet the receptionist in the same way you would the interviewer. The receptionist may be asked to comment about you as part of the interview process.
If you see a job posting that interests you and closely matches your skills and experience, apply right away instead of waiting until just before the deadline.
It can be tempting to answer the cell phone when driving, especially if you are actively job-searching and anxious for the opportunity to talk with an employer.

Let it go to voicemail. An employer may have some pre-screening questions and you’ll need to stay focused for a chance at that interview.

A positive first impression can contribute to a successful interview.

  • When you are going for an interview, take care with your appearance. Keep your clothing simple, shoes polished and accessories to a minimum.
  • A firm handshake shows confidence. Practice and ask for feedback to get it right.
  • Did you know? Some people have allergies to scents and fragrance that can produce symptoms such as headache and difficulty breathing. If you are going for an interview you may decide not to wear perfume or cologne.
Your work is not done when the interview ends. Following-up can give you an added advantage over other candidates.

  • Ask for the interviewer’s business card. This will provide the correct spelling of the person’s name and contact information.
  • Write an individual “Thank You” note within two days of your interview stating your continued interest in the position and a brief comment on why you are the best person for the job.
  • Although thank you notes are now acceptable by email with the increase in technology use during the hiring process, many employers are still impressed by a handwritten note and some employers prefer this over the electronic version.
Many Internationally Trained Professionals face barriers to getting a job because they do not have “Canadian Experience.”

This requirement may be requested due to:

  • language and communications skills
  • knowledge of Canadian standards
  • ability to fit into Canadian workplace culture
  • doing things the “Canadian way”

Overcome these barriers by gaining Canadian Experience:

  • Learn as much as you can about a job you want by asking someone who works in that field
  • Every industry in Canada uses special terminology or “jargon”. It is a good idea to go to the library and the internet to learn the jargon your industry uses
  • Create an English-language résumé
  • The best way to find out about jobs is networking and making cold calls. “Networking” is a word for getting to know people in the industry. A “cold call” is when you go to a company that is not advertising any jobs, to ask if they are hiring
  • Look for jobs that are related to the work you know how to do. Once you are working for a company, you will have a better chance to learn about, and get the job you really want
  • Through volunteering, you will be able to prove your skills to a Canadian employer, learn about the Canadian workplace, gain “Canadian Experience” and build your network
  • Before an interview, learn as much as you can about the company and the job. Sell yourself to the employer by telling them stories about what you have done.
Practice your interviewing skills!

  • Prepare by practicing responses to commonly asked interview questions such as “What are your strengths.”
  • Provide a strength that speaks to a skill or experience listed on the job posting. You can also talk about a “soft skill.” For example if you work well with people.
Practice your interviewing skills!

  • Prepare by practicing responses to commonly asked interview questions such as “What are your strengths.”
  • Provide a strength that speaks to a skill or experience listed on the job posting. You can also talk about a “soft skill.” For example if you work well with people.
What does LMI mean for Internationally Trained Professionals?

Labour Market Information can help you:

  • find the jobs that are in demand
  • understand job prospects in various occupations and industries
  • find information on how to get back into your field
  • learn how and where to apply for a job
  • make a career decision by understanding what qualifications are needed for various job opportunities

Labour Market Information is a variety of information on careers, occupations, and learning. When we talk about the labour market, we are referring to all the people who are able to work in relation to the number of jobs available in a particular area and all the jobs that are available in that area. It includes information such as: job descriptions; industry  trends; required skill-sets for the job market; wages and working conditions; standards and qualifications; job openings and unemployment rates; labour market programs; and labour regulations

Who else uses LMI?

  • Employers: to identify and locate potential employees and to ensure wage rates and working conditions are competitive
  • Governments: to understand and respond effectively to trends in the labour market and the economy

Where to Find Labour Market Information for BC?

A mentorship refers to the relationship between an experienced (local professional, accountant, engineer, information technologist, healthcare, etc.) who has been working in the Canadian workplace for a minimum of three years, and a less experienced individual (internationally trained individual) who has education/experience from his/her country of origin, but lacks the Canadian experience.

What does this mean to you? If you are an internationally trained individual who is struggling to integrate into the Canadian workplace, you might want to consider finding a mentor who can provide you with guidance and advice on best practices to integrate into the Canadian workplace. Here are some examples of areas a mentor can help you with:

  • Improve your professional English language skills and workplace communications
  • Learn how to integrate into the Canadian workplace culture
  • Set better goals helping you to define what you really want, using your own values, requirements and dream as a starting point
  • Reach your goals sooner by providing a reliable structure of support and offering pioneering strategies to reach the goal
  • Make important changes focusing on areas such as business, career and quality of life
  • Get ahead professionally using career progress strategies, reputation-building methods and business development tactics
  • Make better decisions
  • Have someone to collaborate with

How can you get started? Contact the Workplace Connections Mentoring Program at MOSAIC to connect with a Volunteer Mentor.

When trying to build your network, be persistent but mindful that people have many other priorities.

  • Keep in touch with your network regularly, not just when you are job searching.
  • Be patient. Networking does not always provide immediate results.
When trying to build your network, be persistent but mindful that people have many other priorities.

  • Keep in touch with your network regularly, not just when you are job searching.
  • Be patient. Networking does not always provide immediate results.
When you have a positive attitude, you are a happier person and this will show. It is proven that those who have a positive attitude will have better chance of FINDING a job.

Employers generally prefer to hire people who have positive attitudes as they equate this with better performance.  An unknown author once said “Don’t hire the person who is most qualified…hire the person who has the best attitude and you can train him/her to do anything”.

Be prepared to answer questions such as, “What do you know about our company?” and, “Why do you want to work here?”

Knowing as much as possible about the company’s past performance and future plans will not only impress the employer but provide you with an opportunity to speak about how your skills and experience can be an asset.

Did you know that many employers these days google candidates before making a hiring decision? Facebook is not only a job search tool. It’s also something recruiters and hiring managers use to qualify or disqualify candidates. That’s why there are a few things to consider when you are using social media sites.

  • Posting inappropriate content
    Posting inappropriate photos: The danger for the job seeker is that you may not want a hiring manager to see certain pictures.
  • Being too vocal in your viewpoints
    Your viewpoints could be another red flag for hiring managers. While you’re entitled to your opinions, if you’re overly vocal and outrageous in your comments, it may scare away some employers who do not agree with your viewpoints.
  • Avoid loud political arguments online or posting vitriolic attacks on others. If you are being loud, unreasonable, or mean online, the assumption is you’ll be loud and unreasonable in the workplace too.
Attach the job posting, cover letter and résumé together, then file them in a binder or folder. You may need to refer to this when an employer calls.

  • Have a pen and notepad ready to write down information an employer provides when calling to arrange an interview.
  • When job searching, it’s important that you check your e-mail and voicemail regularly, at least twice a day.
  • Follow-up immediately with an employer. Be as flexible as possible for booking interviews to show the employer you really want the job.
Do your research. If you are new to Canada you will want to find out what kinds of résumés are used in the local labour market.

  • Information that doesn’t go on a résumé: your age, marital status, religious affiliation (unless it’s related to the job you are applying for), Social Insurance Number or picture
It is important to have a voicemail service or answering machine where an employer can leave a message.

When job-searching, voicemail is an important tool. Whether you are using a cell phone or home phone number on your résumé, you won’t always be available to answer the phone, so it is important to have a voicemail service or answering machine where an employer can leave a message.

There are many ways to find jobs, listed below are some that can help you find the right job for your skills and experience:

  • Internet job searching sites
  • Letting your network – including friends and family – know you are looking for a job.
  • Researching the type of company you would like to work for and then checking the website to see if there are job openings
  • Cold calling – phoning a company to ask if they are hiring
  • Conducting informational interviews with key staff at a company
  • Dropping off your résumé to companies that hire staff with similar skills and experience to your own.
Use a professional-looking e-mail address. A version of your name works very well. You want to project a professional image to any prospective employer.

If you have an e-mail address that is quirky or fun, use it for your personal e-mails and set up a special e-mail account for job searching. You can set up a free e-mail address through gmail, hotmail or yahoo, for example.

Call your references. It is better to contact them before you go for an interview.

  • Tell your references about the position you have applied for, and if possible
  • provide them with a copy of the job posting.