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Looking for Work

Looking for work, aka Job Search has changed in the last 10 years.  You used to see ads only in Newspapers or Industry-specific newsletters or journals published by an association.  Then along came the Internet.  The assumption made was the Internet would make newspapers and Industry-specific newsletters or journals obsolete.  That is not the case.  Many associations have created electronic versions of their publications and post job advertisements there.  While the internet job boards work for some people, they don’t work for many, as local jobs can be hard to find and the best jobs are not usually posted on those job boards. 

So, where do you find the majority of the jobs?  The majority of the jobs are in the Hidden Job Market or simply put, jobs that are not advertised.

How do I access the Hidden Job Market?

Research, Research, Research!

Rather than focus on looking for a specific posting, which may or may not exist at this time, try researching industries you are interested in, followed by companies in those industries. While you will be able to do some of your research on the Internet, know that not all materials are made available to the public online, or if they are, they are not always free:

  1. Consider going to your local Library’s Information Session about their Career Resources Section. Librarians have, at their fingertips, access to a lot of information that you would not likely be able to access on your own.

    • Attend a seminar where the library staff will show you how to access information more quickly and easily at both the library and on the Internet.  They will often show you ways to narrow your search so you are not overwhelmed with information.

    • Simply ask the library staff to show you their available resources the next time you visit the Library and check for printed handouts.  Librarians are always happy to help provided they have the time, so visit during off-peak hours early in the morning or in the evening.

  2. Research the industries that interest you.  The library staff will know of many publications that can give you a lot of information about an industry that you may not be aware of, and some may only be available at the library.  These can tell you about the recent history of, and your future prospects in, a particular industry.

  3. Once you have narrowed down the industries to a manageable amount, briefly research those organizations or companies that interest or intrigue you. 

    • Librarians can often access lists of the top employers in a given field to help narrow your search and demonstrate what you should be looking for.
    • Ask the librarian how to obtain more information about a specific company.  More and more library information is freely available from home online once you learn about it, including articles from local, national and international newspapers, annual financial reports, business magazines and industry and professional journals, but there is still much unique and valuable information that is only available within the library in print or electronically.

    • Ask about Newspaper and Industry-Specific Newsletters.  Many are archived at the library making your search easier.
  1. Once you have narrowed down your search to a manageable number of organizations (three – five is a good number to start with) research the individual organization’s in more detail.  Be sure to check out their websites:

    • If you find a job posting and feel you are qualified, apply
    • If there are no postings but you are really interested in the company, consider conducting an Information Interview or send your resume with a letter of inquiry.

    • Look to see if they will be attending any trade shows or career fairs in the near future that you could attend

As you review the organizations website, be curious. 

  • Be sure to read the Press Releases and the About Us sections
  • Note down what interests you about this organization
  • Think of questions you could ask in a job or information interview.
  1. Attend industry functions and connect with the people you meet.  People do business with people, not business cards, so check out the networking section for more information on how to make the best use of your time.  Contact industry associations or review your local papers for upcoming events.

It is important to remember, while there may be no job posting at this time, there may be one coming up.  By spending time doing research, you will:

Keep records of all contacts, correspondence, interviews, etc.

Job Search Resources

Many job search resources exist on the internet and at your local library.  Check out the Finding Work Page for access to many of these resources.

If you recognize that you need help with career exploration or development; preparation for and/or implementation of job search, know that Career Coaches, Job Finding Clubs, Employment Counselling Services and/or products are available.  Check out the Resource Links section on the Job Links Page.

If you are unemployed, many of these resources are available at no cost through federal and provincial government sponsored programs.  These programs can help you with writing your resume or cover letter, interview preparation and practice, as well as, job search support.

If you are employed, consider:

Many of these resources can be found in your local Yellow Pages or on ASTTBC’s Finding Work or Resources Links section on the Job Links Page.

Internet Job Search Strategies

The Riley Guide notes on their website:

Using the Internet in your job search is not necessarily easy. It crosses a variety of services and information resources. No single list, network, or resource will contain everything you need for a fully effective online job search.

The Riley Guide and other internet websites, such as’s Job Hunt Strategy Advice are helpful.  However, we do not suggest focusing on the Internet for job search other than using it as a tool for accessing websites of interest such as specific organizations you are interested in, Federal, Provincial or Local Government websites if you are looking for government jobs or industry-specific job search databases.  An example of an industry-specific job search database is the Canadian Technical Employment Network (CTEN):

CTEN is an online job posting and applicant screening service. It brings together certified engineering technicians and technologists and prospective employers.

Candidates who post profiles on CTEN have met academic and technical experience standards, creating a valuable database of résumés. Registration with CTEN is free for members of organizations participating in CTEN, such as ASTTBC.  Be sure to use Google Search as a source of job listings as well.

Staying motivated

It is easy to get discouraged while conducting a job search.  Many friends and family will be full of advice about things you “should” do to find work.  Sometimes the advice is very helpful, sometimes it is incorrect and sometimes it is discouraging.  In order to find work, you need to first be clear with what you are targeting.  If you are not there yet, go back to the Hidden Job Market section and conduct some Research, possibly followed by Information Interviews to help you gain some clarity.

To stay motivated: