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JOB BOARDS

Job boards have been the go-to job hunting resource for some time now. Though they can seem daunting, they are full of opportunities. We collected some of the biggest boards as well as smaller, industry-specific ones.

All industries

 

Industry-specific boards

Academic

Accounting

Aerospace

Agriculture

Anthropology

Automotive

Charity

Engineering

Environment

Fashion

Forestry

Hospitality

IT / Technology

Law

Manufacturing

Media

Mining

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Because they allow users to communicate, connect and share information with a large audience, social networks are an asset for both job seekers and employers prowling for new talent.

Employers use social media to gather more diverse information about candidates that might be omitted in their resumé or cover letter. Through social networks like LinkedIn, employers have access to your previous job roles and descriptions of each position. They can see your volunteer experience and whether you are engaging with others in your field. They become informed of your knowledge within the industry and gain insight into your work ethic and personality.

“It’s a tool that students can use in addition to other job search strategies,” says Tang Choy, an employability support counsellor at Ryerson University. When it comes to using social media effectively, Choy suggests an 80/20 rule: 80 percent of your posts should be beneficial to your community, and 20 percent can be self-promotional.

To target a specific community, think about useful articles or videos you’ve seen that relate to your field and could help others learn about the industry. This shows that you understand what type of content is valuable to your industry, and that you are actively keeping up with the latest news and trends.

To ensure that your self-promotional posts don’t come off as bragging, keep your messages simple. Gently remind your network that you’re seeking opportunities. Post an update once you’ve completed a course or received a certification in your field. Casually let your network know about your most valuable skills and achievements.

Personal branding

As it is up to a company to provide you with information about an available position, you too need to provide them with information about who you are and what you’ve done. A great way to do this is through personal branding.

Your brand is the way you package yourself, says Mayolyn Dagsi, job search advisor at York University. It is a combination of your online presence, cover letter and resumé, which need to be consistent with one another.

For example, if your cover letter says you are interested in human rights, then your Pinterest page should show books and infographics related to human rights. If your social media presence doesn’t support your resumé, then there’s a disconnect in your brand. This can be troublesome for employers who are looking for reliable workers to keep their company’s reputation intact, says Dagsi.

Red flags

When looking through social media profiles, employers tend to react negatively towards poor grammar and spelling. They tend to think, “What if our clients were looking at this profile? What kind of impression would it give?”

Students should also be weary of sharing questionable posts or promiscuous photos through social media. On sites like Facebook and Twitter it’s easy to get carried away with personal updates. But unlike your friends, employers will not be impressed by that photo of your keg stand. Employers look to social media for signs of professionalism and maturity, so don’t let posts with swearing, alcohol, illegal drug use or sexual references overshadow your engagement in the field.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the dominant social network for employers who are looking for new talent.

LinkedIn uses “Connections” to help users communicate with others in their field. But to ensure you make quality connections, you need to be professional. When asking someone to connect on LinkedIn, it’s important to change the default message.

Once you make a new connection (or even if you haven’t—your profile could come up in a Google search) and that person can view your profile, your picture is one of the first things that they see. Choy emphasizes the importance of using a professional headshot, as opposed to a cropped photo or a picture with friends or family.

Attention will naturally move from the picture to your summary. Write in first person, and apply your creativity and personality. Instead of merely listing the companies you’ve worked for, show off what you did for those companies by highlighting major achievements and using key words from your target industry. You should list both your soft and hard/technical skills so that employers can see what you have to offer.

Facebook

Facebook can also be a useful tool in the job hunt. Company profiles do a good job of showing the environment and culture of a workplace. They’re also a great place for employers to post job opportunities and provide links to applications. To stand out, you need to engage with the company through its Facebook page. Occasionally post comments, videos and links on its profile so that the person in charge of hiring can see that you’re serious about the company’s work.

Facebook can also be used for networking, says Choy. “We often think of LinkedIn as the go-to resource, but Facebook can also be a platform where users can leverage their network.” She points to the new Graph Search feature which allows users to narrow down their network based on parameters they indicate. “This is useful for determining individuals within your network that could potentially have leads on industries or companies.”

Twitter

Companies and recruiters on Twitter tend to tweet updates, job openings and networking opportunities, making it more convenient for job seekers who would have previously had to scour company websites. It also helps to use hashtags. For example, if you’re looking for a job in digital marketing, search for the hashtag “#digitalmarketing.” You’ll find a variety of tweets about the topic, and if you’re lucky some of those tweets will be about job opportunities.

In an article for mashable.com, Elisha Hartwig writes, “Don’t just retweet what others are saying; create meaningful content that people care about. Be a thought leader.” By following the industry you are interested in and participating in live discussions, you prove how much you care about being a part of that community.

By Megan Rudson

 

NETWORKING

Networking, in the employment sense of the word, can be a tiresome task. It’s most often an obligation, not something you really want to do. The word evokes images of meaningless small talk, stiffly formal handshakes and business card exchanges. The act can feel competitive, inauthentic and even irritating. In other words, networking is pretty much the worst.

Merriam-Webster defines networking as “the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.” Words like “productive” and “business” combine to form a discomforting recipe for most students and job seekers. However, it’s not the words in the definition that are the problem—of larger concern are the words that are absent.

Students often say that it’s important to them to be doing something meaningful in their careers. They want to be fulfilled at some level by their work, whether that means making a difference in the world or in someone’s life, or satisfying some other deeply held personal value. In a way, their choice of career represents a manifestation of their core values. They don’t just want to do, they want to be. Where is that sentiment expressed in the “cultivation of productive business relationships”? How does an hour of small talk and a stack of business cards at a career fair fit into the cultivation of a meaningful career?

It doesn’t, unless drastic changes are made to the definition of “networking” for job seekers. Better yet, we can ditch this traditional business lingo altogether in favour of a term far more descriptive of what we’re actually trying to do and how it fits into our own bigger picture. That term is “relationship building.”

Where networking is about quantity, relationship building is about quality. Where networking is superficial, relationship building is inherently genuine. Where networking is something you have to go out and do, relationship building is something you’re always doing. Where networking is something people do to get ahead, relationship building is about mutual benefit and the sum being greater than its parts.

We are social creatures, even the introverts among us. Our desire to seek, build and maintain relationships with other humans is innate. “Networking” as it’s traditionally meant in the business sphere is a perversion of this natural tendency, one that fundamentally pits us against each other in a perpetual quest for the almighty dollar. There is no such core motivation when it comes to relationship building, which is fundamentally collaborative.

So, how can you stop networking and start relationship building? Here are three quick ideas:

Focus on quality, not quantity.

Building meaningful relationships is not about the number of business cards you collect or the number of LinkedIn connections you gain. If you don’t know anything constructive about a person, what value does the “relationship” have for either of you? In contrast, if you are able to have a few meaningful conversations with people who share some of your values, it’s far easier to see how cultivating those relationships could lead to something mutually beneficial down the road.

Focus on what you can do for others, not the other way around.

When you do this, you’ll notice that people eventually start to return the favour. This results in great things like collaboration, mutual referrals and moral satisfaction. When you’re more concerned with getting ahead and how other people fit into your carefully constructed career plan, not only are you focusing on an incredibly narrow portion of each person’s value, but you’re creating one-dimensional relationships that are likely to collapse as soon as you get what you were after.

Be genuine about your personality and values.

Forget about “being perfect,” or making the perfect first impression with your flawless appearance, impeccable manners and memorized introductory script. If you want to create a genuine relationship, it has to start with you sharing an authentic piece of yourself. Embrace your personality and share a bit of your core values—if there’s a wide enough gap between your genuine self and someone else’s, it’s probably not a relationship worth having for either of you, anyway. In short, respect what you’re bringing to the table.

By David Lindskoog