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Working Wise: Supercharge Your Job Search

Dear Working Wise,

I’ve been looking for a job for over two months. I have sent out some resumés, but I’m not having much luck. What else can I do?
Signed, Want to Work

May 17, 2017

Dear Want to Work, 

Long job-searches can be disheartening, but don’t give up. There were nearly 20,000 new job postings in Alberta last month and over 80% of them were full-time positions.

Here are some ideas and tips to help you supercharge your job search and get back to work sooner.

  • Let your network of friends and family along with your former colleagues, classmates, supervisors and other business contacts know that you are looking for a new job. Many jobs are filled by word-of-mouth alone. Networking is a great way to tap into that hidden job market.
  • Send people you know an email letting them know what kind of job you are looking for along with a quick summary of your skills, training and experience. Include a link to your Linkedin.com profile if you have one.
  • Expand your job search. Many people make the mistake of limiting their job search to their specific occupation or industry. Take an inventory of your transferable skills and consider opportunities in related occupations and industries.
  • Polish your resumé. Recruiters spend as little as 30 seconds glancing at your resumé—does yours scream “I’m perfect for this job”? Check out the resumé articles on alis and put their free online Resumé Review Service to work for you.
  • Attend job fairs. Did you know that there are job fairs happening all year long around the province? Check out upcoming job fairs near you.
  • Follow your local Alberta Works Facebook page to get the latest hiring and job fair news.
  • Put your local Alberta Supports or Alberta Works Centre to work for you—there are over 50 throughout the province. These centres are staffed by professional Career and Employment Consultants and offer books and workshops on resumés and job interviews plus helpful job-search tools, like computers and photocopiers.
  • Get career and job search advice over the phone. Call the Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 (or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton). The hotline is staffed by career advisors weekdays 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Register with recruitment agencies. Agencies will not look for a job for you, but they will call you if you are a good match for a position they are recruiting for. Registering is free and is another great way to tap into the hidden job market.
  • Want to brush up on your skills or explore other career options. Check out Alberta’s Training for Work programs.

Good luck!

Photo Credit: © iStockphoto\asiseeit

Working Wise is a syndicated newspaper column prepared by the Government of Alberta to answer work-related questions from Albertans. Do you have a work-related question? You can send it to Charles Strachey (charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca), a manager with Alberta Community and Social Services.

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