In the 70’s, you would walk into a factory and say, “I hear you’re hiring”, to which the employer would reply ‘yeah, sign here”. You would start work immediately and work there for 25- 30 years and retire, hopefully with a nice pension. Those days are gone. Jobs now last 3.5 -5 years, and it takes the average individual 4-9 months to secure employment.

When job searching, it is important not to rely solely on advertised positions because 350-800 responses are generated with each advertised posting. How do you stand out with those odds?

Remember Fit and Stick versus Spray and Pray.  The Spray and Pray method is when you send your resume everywhere and just pray that someone responds. The least effective way to job search. Fit and Stick refers to figuring out you and what you do best, and the right environment wherein you excel. Figure out the right fit for you, and you are more likely to stick with the job or company.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! There is so much information at your fingertips thanks to the internet. Google makes you brilliant, so use it to your advantage. As a ‘non-techy’, I say to people if I can do it, so can you! Almost daily, I read articles from, which breaks down information into categories including world, Canada, business, technology, entertainment, science and health. I pull these articles to determine how this translates into job opportunities, so that I can encourage my candidates to connect with those employers. It’s called sending a letter as an expression of interest.

Most industries have associations who all have websites available to the general public.  Most often, they also have a job board to target the specific skillset they require. Some sites even have the opportunity to upload your profile, kind of like online dating, so employers are checking out your skills and experience.  These organizations are in the know regarding your desired industry. Speak with them, ask them what they suggest.

For new grads, I suggest returning to your school, and your professors. You spent a lot on your education, now they can assist you with suggestions on how to enter into your field.

All areas have Chamber of Commerce, or Board of Trade. Google them to see what is new to your area, what is going on, where there is expansion and therefore potential.

For the trades, I encourage people to seek out request for tenders within your Region. Most towns/cities have Bidding Opportunities on their websites in which you can see what companies are going after bids, and even who is awarded these projects, and therefore who could be hiring.

Remember: Job searching is luck and timing, with a little smarts and know-how. If your job search is not working for you, be willing to do a 180 degree turn and incorporate new ideas. Good luck, and hope this helps you!

by Caroline Smaglinskie, Employment Counsellor and NLC Blogger 


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