Getting a Job

Q.1. What are the first steps in looking for a job?

There is a basic six step process to prepare for a job search:

a)     Identify your skills

b)     Think about work that interests you

c)     Get organized

d)     Prepare an effective résumé

e)     Plan your strategy

f)      Start early.

Once you begin your search, be certain to avoid the common mistakes that many people make.

Q.2. What do I need to know if I am seeking a job in Canada for the first time?

Before seeking a job in Canada you should know if the job is a regulated occupation and whether or not you need to be certified, registered or licensed.

Q.3. What is a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and why do I need one?

A Social Insurance Number is a nine digit number that you need to work in Canada or have access to government programs and benefits. In order to get a Social Insurance Number you need to provide an official document that proves your identity and status in Canada. You can apply for a Social Insurance Number by taking those documents to a Service Canada Centre or you can apply by mail.

Q.4. What is a résumé and how do I prepare one?

A résumé is a summary of your skills and experience. It should also be viewed as a way of marketing yourself and it should be structured to address the job for which you are applying. There are a number of ways that a résumé can be structured so pick the one that you feel is most appropriate for you.

Q.5. What can I expect when I go for an interview?

You may be interviewed by one person or by a group of people depending upon the position being advertised. During the interview you will be asked a number of questions that are designed to learn about your appropriateness for the job. These might involve questions about your experience, training, job history, adaptability, and leadership. You may also be asked to perform a task that would demonstrate your skills. If possible, determine ahead of time the number of people doing the interviewing and the nature of the interview.

Q.6. How do I prepare for an interview?

Always know how many people will likely be interviewing you and have a copy of your résumé for each of them. Gather any letters of recommendation, awards etc. that you may have and take them with you. Dress appropriately (do some research to find out how people dress in the workplace you are hoping to join and dress like they do).

In planning for an interview you should anticipate the types of questions you might be asked and rehearse your answers to those questions. Canadian employers frequently use a process called behaviourial interviewing where, through questions, you are asked to demonstrate impactful behaviours (application of skills, abilities and knowledge). Have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview with you by asking you the questions and giving feedback on the answers. You should also decide what you need to know about the job from the interview and be prepared to ask questions if you are not given the information.

Q.7. What kind of deductions can I expect to have from my wages?

Your pay stub will likely show a number of deductions. You will have deductions for Income Tax, Canada Pension, and Employment Insurance. In addition, your employer may offer you benefits that require a payroll deduction such as medical and dental plans, private pension plans and life insurance. If you belong to a union or professional organization there may also be a deduction for fees.