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Whether you are looking for your first job or looking for a new one for the first time in years, understanding how companies recruit will help you conduct a more successful job search.
Here are some things to know:
Where to find jobs: Print advertising is much less common than in the past. Companies advertise on their own website, on for-pay job sites like Workopolis and Monster, on free sites like Kijiji and Craig’s list and on social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Professional associations often have job boards and ads for jobs in the non-profit sector can be found on websites like charityvillage.com.
Online applications: Most large companies use online applications. This captures key information in a searchable database. Therefore you should carefully fill out all fields and ensure key words within the job description are incorporated into your application. Uploading a professional quality resume that outlines your major achievements and volunteer experience is also important.
How long will it take? Payroll company ADP’s Sooky Lee says her company tries to fill positions as quickly as possible but depending on the type of position, 30 to 60 days is common. Two or more rounds of interviews is not unusual, and thorough reference checks take time.
Canadian experience: Lee says her company is not specifically looking for Canadian experience, but for experience that is relevant to the open position. It is important to concisely and clearly describe your relevant previous work history both in your resume and when you are called in for a face to face interview. ADP’s reference and other background checks are outsourced, and their vendor can validate both domestic and foreign educational credentials.
Related: Finding jobs for disabled Canadians
Probation: Because hiring is expensive and time-consuming, companies want candidates to succeed. However a probationary period is common. For example, debit and credit card payment company Moneris Solutions has a six month probation period for all new hires.
Other hints: Whether you did your homework about the company and the position you are seeking are things Lee looks for. She also says candidates should be able to articulate factors that differentiate them from all of the other people applying for the same job.
Moneris recruitment manager Terence Anton encourages candidates to practise for interviews in front of a mirror. “There are 1000s of possible questions you can find on Google.” He also says dressing well and dressing the part immediately creates a good first impression. “We will always do our job and ask probing questions but in the end, nothing would make us happier than to be able to go to the hiring manager and tell him about the great candidate we met.”