Volunteering may be the shortest and most direct way to paid employment. A bonus is that many organizations offer some training for the jobs where you volunteer. Most of the skills you learn in such training are the skills you need for a successful career.


Be aware that relocating may dramatically increase your chances of finding a job. There may be more opportunities in another geographic area or considerably less competition.

Employers in the urban regions have their choice of experienced professionals. Smaller, rural organizations have more difficulty attracting seasoned professionals., which increases the possibilities for a new graduate who is prepared to relocate to get that much-needed experience.

Generating Job Leads

Labor Market Information

It is imperative to be aware of the current job market both in your area and in other geographic locations, which will help you determine where you have the best chances of succeeding in your job search. Resources for research include:

– Newspapers
– TV news and documentaries
– Career Centers
– Chambers of Commerce
– Business and professional organizations
– Business magazines (Canadian and American, including entrepreneurial publications)
– Libraries
– Family, friends
– Personnel agencies
– Internet

The following are particularly useful sources of job information, leads and ideas:

  1. Classified and career ads. These require daily scrutiny. Remember: the early bird gets the worm.
  2. News stories. Research news stories for job ideas. For example, an unemployed auto-body mechanic got a great idea when a hailstorm hit and hundreds of cars damaged. He approached a large, established firm and proposed an aggressive outreach to motorists promoting the company’s quality bodywork and fast turnaround. He increased sales for the company and created a job for himself.
  1. Online directories. These are useful for developing job leads. For example, an unemployed teacher, social worker or other helping professional will want to consult the Yellow Pages for lists of all the helping agencies and not-for-profit organizations which employed people with his or her skills. Some geographic regions have specific directories. In Alberta, one list of this kind is Community Connections, found in public libraries.
  2. Your public library. The public library can be an excellent resource. It stocks industry and trade publications that give names of employers, in particular, sectors.
  1. Career Development Centers and Canada – Alberta Service Centers. These centers offer job leads in the form of posted job orders on electronic kiosks, which you should not overlook.
  2. Personnel agencies. Gather information about the companies in your area. Research where occupational groups or industry clients specialize. Add to your list the ones who are most relevant. It’s critical to understand that personnel agencies don’t find you a job. Instead, their purpose is to source the right employees for their employer clients. Companies pay a fee to the agency that is usually a percentage of the annual salary of the position they’re filling. The agency maintains an inventory of applicants from which they refer job-seekers when there appears to be a match.

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