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How to Find the Work You Want

Organizations are hiring all the time, even when they choose not to advertise. The trick is finding these hidden jobs. Here’s how.

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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:

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.

Search online

  • 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.

Go offline

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

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.

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