Category Archives: Job Search

Canadian Economy: Fall 2017

Canadian Economy: Fall 2017

Employment

Canadian full time employment for core-age workers (25-54) strengthened through the first half of 2017 and is continuing into the third quarter although at a slower pace.  Annual Canadian employment growth strengthened to above 2% during the summer months lowering the national unemployment rate.

Total employment rose by 186,000 (+1.0%) during the first half of 2017, led by gains in full-time work and among core-age individuals (aged 25 to 54). Gains in professional, scientific and technical services and in health care and social assistance, accounted for over two-thirds of the overall increase with manufacturing leading the goods sector growth.

BC Led Employment Growth

British Columbia led employment growth among the provinces during the first six months of the year; overall full-time employment in British Columbia rose by 78,000.

National Real GDP

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in a number of goods and services industries from November 2016 to June 2017, with increases occurring in mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, construction wholesale trade, retail trade, and finance industries.  Overall, real GDP growth, measured year-over-year, increased steadily from January, before rising above 4% in May and June.  Over the past four quarters, economic growth in Canada has outpaced growth in the United States

Despite this robust economic growth, the consumer price inflation decelerated from 2.1% in January 2017 to 1.0% in June.  This reduced inflationary pressure appears to influence consumer spending supported by higher outlays on automobiles, clothing, footwear and housing-related expenditures.

 

Retrieved and adapted October 19, 2017 from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-626-x/11-626-x2017075-eng.htm

Looking for a job?

Job Vacancies, 2017 (2nd Quarter)

An indicator of a positive and growing economy is the number of job vacancies in a labour market.  Since the 2nd quarter of 2016, BC has recorded 14,000 job vacancies with the majority concentrated in two of the seven economic regions of the province: Lower Mainland—Southwest (+10,000) and Vancouver Island and Coast (+1,900).

As such, British Columbia continued to have the highest job vacancy rate among the provinces at 4.0%, up from 3.5% one year earlier.

The job vacancy rate is defined as the portion of jobs that are unfilled out of all available payroll jobs expressed as a percentage of labour demand.  A positive value means there are a number of jobs unfilled in a labour market.

In many sectors, British Columbia had a job vacancy rate above the national average, notably in accommodation and food services (6.4%), administration and support services (5.9%) and construction (5.2%) which means if you are looking for a job, employers in these sectors are very eager to hire qualified new employees.

10 Economic Regions with the Highest Job Vacancy Rates in Canada

This table shows which regions in Canada had the greatest number of job vacancies (level of unoccupied positions) for the last quarter of 2016.  (Note 5 of the ten are in BC).  According to StatsCan there were 402,000 jobs vacant in Canada at the end of 2016 with a portion of those in BC.

Now past rates don’t indicate future trends but if these regions have had a difficult time finding employees a few months ago, that trend may continue for a while. So, if you are looking for work and are open to travel to a different region, these 10 are good options. Employers are looking for smart, educated employees, self directed and willing employees.  Take time to research each region through a local Labour Market site.

 

 

7 Summer Job Search Strategies

Summer has arrived and it’s the time of year when students and graduates are looking for work.
The Canadian unemployment rate among returning students aged 20 to 24, was 14.4% in May 2014, little changed from May 2013. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/140606/dq140606a-eng.htm
So what can you do to improve your chances of landing a summer or post-graduation job?

Think critically and act strategically.
Common sense may suggest that you apply for as many jobs as possible; however, this approach may prove counterproductive. If this is your current strategy, you may not realize how much time you’re wasting in your job search.
Job search experts often state that only 15 – 20% of jobs are ever advertised, and the typical jobseeker spends a majority of their valuable job search time and energy competing with other job seekers for these limited number of posted jobs.
A more successful approach would be to critically think about what you would like to do and carefully research the positions and employers that seem the best fit in your chosen arena. Strategically begin networking to locate the unadvertised positions and to learn about the key people who work there. Target those appropriate employers and customize (target) your resume and cover letter to each employer and politely follow up each and every contact. This strategy requires you explain your relevant skills and experience for each position and how you qualify or meet the needs of the position. Although this might be more time consuming, this is a much more effective approach then blasting your resume to every email address you can find at your dream company.

Meet professionals for coffee.
In addition to searching for jobs, successful professionals leverage and build personal/professional networks. Society today relies heavily on technology to make connections (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.) While it definitely helps to send networking emails and interact with professionals on social media, there’s an added value when you meet a person for coffee.
Successful job seekers realize the importance of in-person connections; therefore, they take advantage of every opportunity they can to meet professionals for coffee. Meeting professionals’ in-person increases value to your job search. Potentially you multiply the number of people supporting you in a job search, these professionals may not have a position to offer you, but they may know of an opportunity or someone in their network who does.

Understand your job search limitations.
Are you fixated on finding the perfect job? Are you overwhelmed when it comes to writing a perfect resume and cover letter? Does taking someone for coffee cause you to panic? Moving out from your computer traumatize you? Do you feel over or under qualified?
When stressed, successful job seekers face the problem instead of avoiding it; they realize they are not the perfect candidate. However, when there is an obstacle or stressor blocking them from finding a job, they do their best to remove the problem from their search. They seek support from others, tackle one task at a time, and acknowledge their limitations.
Paying attention to your weaknesses creates the self-awareness required to keep you moving forward in your job search rather than taking steps backwards.

Exude a positive attitude.
When your job search doesn’t materialize as planned, it can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Discouragement can emerge even to the most prepared and optomistic, whether you’re not landing interviews or you’re getting interviews but no one wants to hire you.
Successful job seekers who experience low points in their job search don’t allow it to consume their search or their positive attitude. They realize every employer has a specific candidate in mind and you can’t always be all things to all employers. If an interview doesn’t end in a job offer, consider using it as an opportunity to learn how you can improve for next time.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, successful job seekers adopt a proactive and professional approach through requesting a five (5) or ten (10) minute follow-up discussion with the interviewer to explore ways to improve interview skills or to prepare for future opportunities. This exudes a positive and professional attitude that may not turn the “No” to a “Yes you’re hired,” but it does present you as a positive person. Most employers like to hire positive professionals.

Persist and remain patient.
No one can predict how long your job search will take, but you have to remember to be patient and persistent. Successful job seekers realize it could take weeks, months, or even a year to find a job that meets their goals. However, they don’t let time get the most of their job search.
Although you feel the pressure to find a job, and even if you’ve continuously applied for jobs for six months and haven’t had any luck, you need to stay focused. Don’t give up on your job search and change your plans just because you haven’t found a job. If you’re struggling, reach out to your alumni networks, mentors, and friends who might be able to connect you with a job.

Consider an internship, co-op or volunteer.
Especially if you’re in university/college or a recent grad with little experience, it can be difficult to land an entry-level career position right away. An internship or co-op may provide some of the very valuable experiences that augment your education.
Occasionally, successful job seekers realize they may need to go the extra mile to land a job and volunteering in the community or with a company provides the experience, validates skills and makes professional connections that facilitates an entry way into a career.

Maintain an open mind.
Landing your dream job is definitely a goal for most students or grads. Although it’d be awesome to land the perfect job that fulfills your passions and provides a nice paycheck, you might not find that job for a few more years.
Successful job seekers realize finding your dream job is a journey. Just because you don’t land your dream job immediately after college doesn’t mean you have to give up on your goals or should stop your job search. Every professional needs to start somewhere, which is why it’s important to maintain an open mind when searching for your first job. Keep yourself open to other opportunities, keep connected with your network, update your skills, take professionals for coffee, exude a positive attitude, remain persistent and keep an open mind.

What are your thoughts to these strategies?
What have you done to be successful?

Blog post influenced by The Brand Muse

LinkedIn Gaffes

Maybe you’ve heard or read about people raving about LinkedIn as a job search tool – mentioning recruiters have contacted them through the site, or that they’ve been approached by hiring managers, just on the strength of their profiles.

Is this happening for you? Had any thoughts of why not? What’s wrong with your profile?

The following LinkedIn Gaffes could make the difference between having all the action pass you by or appreciating the full power of the site:

1. Adding Non-Work Info to the Experience Section
LinkedIn organizes and files the data in your work history in reverse chronological order, meaning that your most current experience will be shown first.
Therefore, if you added experience on a Board (or a consulting gig, or any venture that doesn’t represent your work experience) in this section, readers of your profile will see this activity first – listed as if it WERE your full-time job.
Besides confusing recruiters, showing this chronology can convince recruiters that you’re either unemployed or “fudging” your experience.
The Fix.
Move your Board roles all the way down under Additional Information, where there is a category called Associations.
If you feel you are burying this experience too deep, then mention the organization and your role in the Summary as well.

2. Divulging Too Much Information
Did you take LinkedIn’s requests for data too seriously? This is one of the most common LinkedIn Gaffes made by job seekers.
The Fix.
If an item does not belong on your resume, do not add it to LinkedIn! This goes for dates of degrees (especially if earned in the 1980’s or before), or positions held you normally would not show on a resume (because they were too short or are now outdated).
While date fields are used throughout the site for all kinds of career information, you can simply omit the years on everything from education programs to awards, certifications, and so on.
If you are unsure what should be included, remember the last 15 years of your professional life will be of most relevance to employers – then edit your profile accordingly.

3. Remaining Invisible
Are you, lurking in the weeds while others are updating their Status, posting blogs, and contributing to discussions? If you are like me, you may even think you have little to contribute. “My career life isn’t that dynamic.” “I do not have any significant updates and contributing to a discussion…I’m not sure anyone would appreciate my ideas or comments.” You might be surprised…I have been.
The Fix.
It’s time to try, even a little updating. Today take 10 minutes and accomplish one of the following.
Try updating your status; mention an event you’re attending, a book you’re reading, you can issue short “press releases” that note new product introductions or news items that you find complelling and relevant to your profession or career (assuming that these items aren’t confidential). Status updates may enlighten others of what you do in your day-to-day work, and they help you promote specific accomplishments or personal honours that might otherwise go unseen. Updates stay listed on your profile when others find it, displayed like a personal newsreel that continues to work for you 24/7/365.
You can comment on other blog posts (or publish your own) on LinkedIn, use Status Updates to post a link to an online article. All these activities inform your network on your area of expertise and interest.
LinkedIn Groups offer discussion boards that work in a similar fashion to Updates. You can post your comments on a relevant industry topic, or simply comment on others’ discussions.
Join some Groups, if you have not already. Occasionally LinkedIn will send you suggestions, see if any appeal to you and your career goals. Get going – LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50.

4. Not Accepting Invitations or Requesting Invitations

Do you have former employees, colleagues or friends send invitations that you have not accepted? Reconsider that logic. Think back, have you secured most of your previous jobs through a network? Likely you have and statistically so have most people. Think of LinkedIn as a very powerful networking tool. It does not replace authentic relationships but it does prove a valuable tool to professionally introduce yourself and interact with potential employers.
The Fix.
Sincerely consider the Invitations you have received, you can check in the Messages and Invitations tab. Look at each invitation and consider how you could be a support to the individual and what you could contribute to his/her network. If you think you could add value for them, it’s likely a great network connection.
LinkedIn also sends you People You May Know suggestions that you could send an invitation to. Look through the list and send at least one (1) invite today.
In summary, LinkedIn will not magically produce results in your job search – unless you have taken the time to review your profile carefully, with a solid strategy to display your experience and cultivate a following.

So, if others are not connecting with you on LinkedIn, be sure to go back and review your profile in detail for these mistakes – ensuring you have put your best foot forward online.
Article influenced by http://www.careerealism.com/linkedin-profile-back/#chitika_close_button