Organizations are hiring all the time, even when they choose not to advertise. The trick is finding these hidden jobs. Here’s how.
Sometimes you need to be a bit of a detective to find work. This is especially true if you’re looking for jobs that truly fit your skills, accomplishments, and preferences. And you'll need to use different work search strategies that suit your situation.
Know your skills and preferences
Before you start looking for work, list the skills and accomplishments you can offer an employer. Also, figure out what kind of work you prefer. This way you’ll save time by applying for jobs that match the skills and preferences you have.
Do you know what your skills, accomplishments, and work preferences are? If you don't, these articles and the exercises in them can help:
- Identify Your Work-Specific Skills
- Know Your Core Skills and How to Sell Them
- Recognize Your Accomplishments
- Understand Your Work Preferences
Work search strategies
You can find work in many ways. Don’t rely on a single method or source. Using several strategies increases your chances, especially if the job is open, but not advertised.
Use your network
Someone in your network could know someone who is hiring. So tell everyone you know that you're looking for work. This includes friends, family, and personal contacts. Networking works because employers prefer to hire people they know or hear about from their own network. Learn how to develop and use your networking skills.
- Work search. Find out where and how to look for job opportunities in Alberta.
- Search Alberta Job Postings. Use keyword search and filters to narrow your results. Sign up for job alerts to get notified of the newest postings.
- Search other job banks and job search engines.
- Research employers. Most employer websites have a page dedicated to job openings, usually called “Careers,” “Jobs,” or “Working for Us.”
- Use industry and professional or trade association websites. Look for job leads and job postings. You can also check if they send out newsletters or publish magazines.
- Contact employers directly to ask about unadvertised jobs. You can also do this by phone, email, or by dropping off your cover letter and resumé.
- Attend career or job fairs, workshops, and other events that bring employers and employees together.
- Watch for “help wanted” or “now hiring” signs when you walk or drive around your area.
- Build strong relationships to help you find work in rural areas.
Follow news media
- Look for ads in classifieds and career sections of local, national, or even international news organizations. As remote work becomes more popular, borders are less relevant.
- Pay attention to news reports. Are new projects starting or new companies opening near you? Think about the jobs they might create.
Work with placement agencies
- Use the services of the career centre at the post-secondary institution you attended.
- Register with a private employment agency or recruitment firm. Keep in mind that they may charge fees for some services.
- Check the Government of Alberta’s Employment and Training Services Directory to find a program or service that can help you find a job. If you’re in Calgary, you can also check the Calgary Employment Services Directory. Edmonton residents can go to the Edmonton Employment Services Directory.
Choose the right work search strategies
Employers promote their job openings in different ways. You need to figure out how and where your target employers let people know that they’re hiring and then adapt your strategy to suit. A journeyperson looking for work in the oil and gas industry might rely heavily on personal and professional networks. A web designer may be more successful with online research.
Not sure which work search strategies to use? Ask the people who know best: those who work in the occupation or industry that interests you. Staff at Alberta Supports can also help with your work search.
The jobs you want are out there, if you know where to look. Use work search strategies that fit your situation so you can find work that’s a good match for you.