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Since the major oil crash of 2014, Calgary’s job market has been….rough to say the least. Office buildings in downtown Calgary were left with entire floors empty. Thousands of employees lost their jobs at oil and gas companies scrambled to stay afloat in the light of the crashing economy. And because Calgary is founded and based on that oil and gas industry, the entire city was hit hard.
But the numbers have been steadily showing more promise. Job numbers are up, unemployment numbers are decreasing, and the workforce is slowly gaining traction. That’s not to say that finding a job is simple in this economy. It still takes work and effort to secure employment in this city. Here are some tips to remember when searching for employment in Calgary.
There is more to Calgary than just the oil and gas industry. High-paying jobs exist outside of that sector and Calgary is still the ideal home for many industries. Look for jobs outside of where you’re normally looking. Consider innovative approaches to get where you want to go. For example, are you looking to get into the financial sector? Restaurants, car dealerships, and even movie theatres need accounting personnel. Use this to get a foot in the door of the industry you need, gaining experience in the chosen field while continuing your search.
It’s not good enough to simply send in a resume to an online job posting anymore. You need something that will distinguish you from the 100 other people who are doing the same thing. What drives employers to throw one resume away while another catches their eye? Simple. Personalized responses. If you spend time researching the company, the position, and the industry, you immediately stand out as a motivated applicant with a desire to go above and beyond. Sites like Glassdoor and Indeed allow employees to rate places of business. You can use these transparent reviews to help narrow your search as well to the right place for you.
You are not an employee. You are a sole operator business looking for one client. And as such, think about who are as a brand that you can build. What would you do if you were looking to build a reputable brand that businesses can trust to hire? Start with your online profile. Make sure that you accurate and professional online reputations, building LinkedIn accounts and networking with trusted people. Consider your image and how you appear to the potential employer. Would they see your brand as a good fit for their environment?
Again, it’s always about who you know. That old saying isn’t fading away simply because it’s true. You need to use your network of people to search out jobs that you would fit. Better yet, use your network to source jobs that have yet to be advertised. A large percentage of jobs on the market are never advertised and are offered to friends and connections before ever making an online appearance. Let your network know of your search and your skills.
Employers are looking at your resume for more than just work experience. They want to know that you are a conscientious and trustworthy person. Spend some time volunteering and working for free for passion projects of yours. Volunteer at the Glenbow Museum or the Calgary Public Library, Contact the Calgary website to learn more about volunteer opportunities. Find ways to give back in your community. Not only will you have more to include on your resume, but you’re also building a better networking community.
Nobody wants to hire a robot. At least, not yet. You want to demonstrate that you are an actual person. That comes with creating a tailored resume for each position you apply for, writing follow-up requests after submitting an application, showing up on time for interviews, writing thank-you notes after the interview. People want to hire people. Show yourself to be a good person and that will cause your resume to stand out in an employer’s mind. Who was it that wrote that lovely thank-you note? Ah yes, that was YOU.
Calgary’s economy might still be fighting to get back to where it once was, but it’s not the end of your job search. Don’t let the economy define your ability to be a solid choice for a candidate. Be a better employee and employers will seek you out. Good talent is always appreciated in any organization. In the meantime, go have some fun with your family.