Tips for Job Hunting
- Research Companies Before Applying to Them - Do your homework and research a firm to better understand their needs. If you are unable to find information about a particular employer, write them and ask to be sent literature such as an annual report.
- Have a Professional Résumé - Nothing puts your résumé more quickly at the bottom of an employer’s pile—or worse, in their garbage can—than a hand-written or illegible résumé.Your résumé must be in a concise and easy-to-read format.
- Put Yourself in an Employer’s Shoes - If you were looking to hire, what strengths and qualities would you look for in a candidate? What characteristics would lead you to choose one applicant over another? These are the same traits that you should market to employers.
- Looking For a Job is Hard Work - Understand from the beginning that looking for employment is a full-time job in itself. It requires a tremendous amount of dedication, hard work and patience. Be prepared to stay on track!
- Give Thought to Your References - Ensure that your references will complement your job search. Make sure that your references are aware of your job search and ask each for his or her permission to be used as a reference.
- Be Realistic in Your Expectations - Don’t turn down employment simply because it isn’t your ‘ideal job.’ Also, don’t apply for positions that you’re not qualified for. Keep an open mind and realistically assess all job opportunities.
- Keep Track of All Contacts - Make a list of every résumé you send, every phone call you make, and the name and title of everyone you talk to in your job search. This will help you in your follow-up efforts and allow you to closely monitor your progress.
- Create Your Own Job - A wealth of experience and skills can be gained from starting your own company. Consider this option in your job search. There are many useful books and Internet resources to help you on this exciting career path.
- Do a Little Bit Each Day - If you are searching for employment, don’t try to cram your day full of tasks. If you set aside a little bit of time each day you can accomplish a lot. Spread out the workload, but make sure to keep at it!
- Always Include a Cover Letter - Nothing is more frustrating to employers than receiving a résumé with no indication of its purpose, what position is being applied for, or to whom the résumé should be directed.
- Look Towards Industries with a Future - It is important to think and plan strategically. Be sure to consider a career in an industry with a strong future and potential for growth. Which industry sectors are more promising than others?
- Tailor Your Cover Letter to the Job - When preparing a cover letter make sure that you tailor it to the specific job you are applying for. A cover letter that has been sent out in bulk, or involves ‘filling in the blanks,’ will be the first to be thrown out!
- Don’t Give Up! - If your résumé is not getting you any interviews, consider rewriting it or asking people you know and trust to review it. Don’t allow rejections to deflate your self-confidence and your sense of self-worth!
- Believe in Yourself - Self-confidence is important to any successful job search. You have to believe in yourself before you can get others to believe in you. Remember: you have a lot to offer a prospective employer!
- Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up - Every contact you make should be followed up in some way. Whether it’s with a phone call, a thank you letter, or a card, following up will make you stand out in the mind of a potential employer and help to get you noticed.
- Expect Some Rejection Before You Get Hired - Expecting rejection may appear self-defeating, but nobody can land a job on the first try every time! Learn to accept from the beginning that you will encounter rejection and that it should not be taken personally.
- Network as Much as Possible - The saying, ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know’ contains a good deal of truth. Talk to friends, relatives, teachers, etc. Get out into your professional and local community and meet people who share similar interests.
- Apply to Small-sized Firms as Well as Larger Ones - Don’t restrict your job search just to the larger, better-known firms. In many cases, it’s the smaller companies which are expanding and in need of more employees. For info on smaller firms have a look at business directories.
- Visit a Human Resource Centre of Canada - Human Resource Centres of Canada provide employment counselling and placement, job training, labour market information, services to employers, and Unemployment Insurance administration.
Source: The Government of Manitoba [Copyright Notice: www.gov.mb.ca/legal/copyright.html; Disclaimer Notification: www.gov.mb.ca/legal/disclaimer.html ]
Sample Questions Employers May Ask in a Job Interview
- Why do you want to work in this field?
- Why do you specifically want to work for this company?
- What do you know about our company?
- Why do you feel you are the right candidate for this job? What do you think you can bring to this company?
- What things are important to you in the type of position you want?
- How has your education prepared you for this type of job?
- Which school courses did you like most and why?
- Do you plan to continue your education?
- What are your short-term goals?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What do you like to do in your leisure time?
- What are a couple of accomplishments in your life that have given you the most satisfaction and why?
- What are some skills that you feel you have gained from your past employment and education?
- What motivates you to put forth your best effort?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What hours are you willing to work?
- Are you flexible in these hours? Can you work overtime if necessary?
- Are you willing to travel?
Source: The Government of Manitoba [Copyright Notice: www.gov.mb.ca/legal/copyright.html; Disclaimer Notification: www.gov.mb.ca/legal/disclaimer.html]
Questions Employers May Not Ask in a Job Interview
- What health problems do you have?
- Do you have any disabilities?
- Have you ever been denied health insurance?
- When were you hospitalized the last time?
- Is any member of your family disabled?
- Do you have AIDS?
- Have you ever been addicted to drugs?
- When was your last medical checkup?
- How old are you?
- When were you born?
- When were you married?
- How old are your children?
- Where were you born?
- What church are you a member of?
- Does your religion prevent you from working weekends or holidays?
- Are you a member of any religious group?
- What’s your sexual orientation?
- Are you married, divorced, separated, or single?
- Were you ever arrested?
- What is your economic situation or status?
Information on Job Search Sites
Federal Government Service Centres
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