How to land a career in B.C.'s competitive job market

May 07,2015

In a competitive job market, finding a career can seem impossible.
"There's a lot of people out there who are struggling because they have very vague skills," Christian Saint Cyr toldBC Almanac'sGloria Macarenko. Cyr is the publisher of the BC Labour Market Report, a monthly magazine aimed at aiding job transitions inB.C. specific industries. He says it's important to recognize how the market is changing.
Cyr along with Tony Kirschner, a partner at Davies Park Executive Search, shared their five best tips for jobseekers.
1. Treat the job search like a full-time job
"We think that job search is just something you do off the side of your table. When it comes to job search people take eight minutes to write a resume and think that's enough." says Saint Cyr.
He says it's just as important to put time and effort into a cover letter and resume as it is to network and get to know people in the industry. It takes full-time work to find a full-time job.

2. Resumes should be written for the role
While Kirschner admits that there is no one right way to write a resume, he says it's most important for an employer to recognize that a candidate has the necessary skills immediately.
"Iwant to see that this person fits the job and has the core skill set. If I don't see that in the first 15 seconds of looking at a resume, I'm moving on to the next one."

3. Respect the technology
Kirschner stresses the importance of understanding howcompanies screen potential candidates.
"Usually it's the most junior HR assistant that's making the first cut of the resume. Generally that means it's someone who's quite young and unable todiscern different types of candidates, so they're looking for keywords. It's like making a website so that it gets better hits from Google, you have to have those keywords in there."

4. Avoid job jumping
Companies are looking to hire people who they feel they can invest in and grow, says Kirschner. He says candidates who jump from one job to another raise red flags during the hiring process.

"Typically the best candidates have longer tenures and get promoted through the same company. If you change jobs every six to 12 months, you're sending the wrong message to your employer."

5. Finda mentor
How do you obtain experience without first working in the field? Saint Cyr says the best way is to find a mentor.
"If you're trying to break into an industry without the experience, one of the best ways to connect is to find someone who is in the business to mentor you. Do information interviews and ask them to play a role in your life to get insight into that industry."
"When you work with someone you develop a relationship with them and it makes them want to see you succeed."

Date: Apr 17, 2015