Gifts that keep giving

While the internet has made the information and resources we rely on for career and employment decision making much more accessible it has also made knowing where to look for that same information a little more challenging. The best career and employment research often comes from the conversations we have with people that are knowledgeable about the industries we are interested in, doing the work we would like to be doing, and working with the organizations we want to be working with. Networking is still the number one source of information for career transitioners and employment seekers however there also are some excellent online resources that can help direct you to your best fit work.

When was the last time you read the business section of a newspaper, or a scientific or trade publication? Industry information is the big picture information that employment seekers often overlook. This information is helpful in identifying the trends and issues in different industries and how those trends and issues impact the availability of employment in your geographic area. Industry information can be especially important if you are considering post-secondary education or training or perhaps relocation.

The Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) and Industry Canada websites have some great information about regional trends and issues in various industries.

Sector Councils are industry partnerships made up of employers, employees, educators, professional associations, and government that seek to address the skills development issues and human resource needs of various sectors. Each Sector Council website is rich with information regarding the industry, occupations within in the industry, and education, training, and certification requirements.

Chambers of Commerce member directories and community business directories provide job seekers with an easily accessible list of local employers that can generally be sorted by category. Knowledge of local employers allows employment seekers to further target their research, arrange for information interviews, and make direct and specific inquiries regarding employment opportunities.

Information about occupations in Alberta can be accessed through the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website. Occupational profiles contain valuable information about the occupation itself, job titles within the occupation, work duties, personal characteristics, education and training requirements, wages and salaries, and additional sources of information. You can search occupations by title, interest, subject, or industry.

The Working in Canada website is a one stop shop for labour market information in Canada. It provides employment seekers and career transitioners with information such as educational requirements, duties, wages and salaries, and employment trends and outlooks for various occupations in various industries across Canada. It also provides links to job postings!

Job search websites can be an excellent source of information for employment seekers who are in the process of short listing their employment options. Aggregator sites such as WowJobs, Eluta, Indeed, and SimplyHired allow you to search jobs across Canada (and abroad) by keyword, category, and even employer. Specific job postings can provide valuable information regarding the types of skills, experience, and qualifications that employers are looking for as well as details regarding the duties and responsibilities associated with different types of positions.

Have you narrowed list of prospective employers down to a handful of companies you are interested in working for? If so, you have a couple of options! You can either visit their website for specific job postings or career opportunities, or, better yet, you can arrange for an information interview by connecting with employees that are already working for that organization. LinkedIn is an online professional networking site that allows you to connect with individuals within organizations, join discussion groups, and identify employment opportunities based on your skills, interests, and education.

Information is power. The more you know about the industry you are applying for work in the more prepared you will be to seek out and secure employment in that industry. Your knowledge about particular occupations will enable you to prepare for entry into those occupations by way of education, training, and transferrable skill identification. Targeting specific employers for information interviews will ensure that you have the information you need to prepare a dynamite resume and dazzle your future employer in an interview. Happy researching!

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