Personal Job Guide Search: Your One-Stop Shop

Welcome to the first edition of the Career Colleges Ontario Personal Job Search Resource Guide. It is our view that the process involved in finding the right job involves at least four key steps.
1. Identifying your key strengths and interests (please speak with any OACC member school for information on this step
2. Determine which career to pursue based on your strengths and interests
3. Ensure you have the necessary skills/education. (To begin your search for a program offered by a private career college, go to the “Programs” tab and select the area of study you wish to learn more about)
4. Execute your job search
The focus of this edition is on the final step: The Job Search. Specifically, we have attempted to provide students with a one-stop shop to the vast resources available on the internet.

Resume, References & Cover Letter

Almost all job searches require candidates to begin with, at minimum, at resume and in most cases a cover letter and references.
Although it is unlikely that a resume alone will get you a job; a good resume can help you get to the interview stage. A resume should tell potential employers enough to make them eager to meet you; however, keep in mind that in many cases, employers will have many resumes to review so it is important to keep resumes succinct.
The links set out in the right sidebar contains a plethora of tips, tricks and examples of effective resumes, cover letters and reference forms. Choose one that best suits your own personal style and take into consideration some of the following tips:
Personal content: Stay away from mentioning anything personal that is not related to the job including your date of birth, health status and Social Insurance Number.
Paper Choice: The safe choice for paper colour is always white or off-white. Avoid bright and unusual colours and, if possible, try to use high quality bond paper. When printing, laser printers still produce best results and always select a type style and size that are easy to read.
Photos: The use of photographs is not recommended unless specifically requested.
The Final Check: Have at least one family or friend member proof read your resume to ensure 100% accuracy and correctness.

Job Search Resources

There are at least two primary sources of potential jobs.

1. The advertised job market

This is the most common resource used by people looking for jobs. The benefit of searching for a job that has been advertised it that there are MANY places students can go to search. We suggest you start your search by going to the websites listed in the following table. In addition, you may wish to search in your local newspaper’s classified section. The links below also contain very valuable information on resumes and other job search techniques.
Job Search Links

Note: The following listings in no way indicate recommendations or endorsements by the OACC. These references are informational in nature only.

2. The hidden job market

According to some job search experts, up to 80% of all jobs are available through what is known as the hidden job market. The hidden job markets are jobs that are not advertised. Rather, they are jobs that are circulated through managers’ network of co-workers, business associates, friends and acquaintances. Accessing this market should be a key element of any job search.

How can you find out about these jobs?

1. Research potential employers. The Information Interview (click on the following link: can be a useful way to find out more about the kind of industry or company you would like to work for. While this technique is not designed for finding a job, the contacts you make may lead you to job openings.

2. Contact potential employers. You have a list of potential employers, but you don't know if they have any job openings. It's time to phone Personnel or a hiring manager.

• Prepare by reviewing your resume and practice what you're going to say.
• Write down your opening words in case you get flustered. Here is a sample "script."
"Hello, my name is ____________. I understand that your company does _____ and that's my area of career interest. I was wondering if you had any current job openings."
• If the contact says no, ask if they anticipate any openings in the future or if he/she knows of anyone in the same line of business who does.
• Make sure that you get the full name and title of the person you're speaking to.
• Keep your resume in front of you in case the manager asks you questions.
• If the manager seems interested, ask if you could meet with him/her to discuss possibilities in more detail.
• If the manager can't meet with you, ask if you can send in your resume.
• Whatever happens, thank your contact. Send a thank-you note and re-state your interest in working for his/her organization.
• Keep the information on your contact and his/her organization. You never know when you might need it again.

3. Visit the employers' home page to see if it has a job-posting section.

4. Use your network. Networking can be your best strategy for finding work.

• Call everyone you know and tell them you're looking for work.
• Ask each person if he/she can recommend someone else you could talk to.
• Contact associations related to your occupation/industry.
• Go to Networking Know-How link for more information (

5. Do a letter-writing campaign. Network through personal letters to acquaintances or former co-workers.

• Begin with a friendly reminder so the person can place you.
• Indicate the kind of work you're looking for. Be as specific as you can.
• Briefly state why you're qualified. Your contact may be able to provide more help if he/she knows a little about your background.
• Include a note card with spaces for your contact to write the organization's name, address, phone number, and who you should write or speak to in the organization.
• Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
• Thank your contact for his/her help.

6. Join a job-finding club. These clubs provide employment leads and help with resumes, cover letters and interviews. Contact your local municipal offices or YM/YWCA as a starting point.

7. Visit job/career fairs. At these public events, organizations send representatives to talk to work searchers, providing you with a great opportunity to network with several employers at once.

• Check with the sector councils or professional associations in your areas of career interest. To find the contact information for associations consult your local librarian.
• Call the Career Centre at your local career college, university, community college
• Check with your Board of Trade or Chamber of Commerce.
• Search the Internet.

The Interview

Rather than “re-inventing the wheel”, we refer you to the link below which we believe is a good guide to preparing for your interview, what to do while being interviewed and how to follow-up. Some of the websites set out in the Job Search section above also contain Interview guidelines.