Mainstream and popular job banks (and/or sites) can be extremely daunting. Hundreds of jobs are posted daily, and the task of sorting through them all can seem incredibly difficult. Most people have a favourite (large) job bank site they visit regularly (or have a profile on, have a membership to, etc) with a few smaller ones targeted more specifically to their interests to fill in the gaps. Finding the job bank that works for you can be tough, so this post will be focused on comparing and contrasting major Canadian job banks (and/or websites) and their features.
The aesthetics of Workopolis work in its favour, and its simplicity is welcome. The actual job search is centered and in the foreground, while the rest of the homepage is composed of relevant highlights and ads. The site’s main page is home to opinion polls, employer spotlights, job hiring tips, and relevant articles. This is one of the reasons why Workopolis is my personal go-to website – there’s always something interesting and relevant on the home page that isn’t a simple job posting or list of job postings.
Clicking on the “Jobs” section of Kijiji’s classifieds leads you directly to the latest postings in your detected area. It’s quite a simple-looking site, standard classifieds. The ‘Sponsored Links’ take you to company/organization websites, while the ‘Top Ads’ take you to a specific ad on Kijiji itself. Based on an initial reaction to the ‘Jobs’ homepage and the ads posted (which are based on most recent listings), people might generally assume that Kijiji’s job filtering functions are nonexistent (which I’ll discuss later in this post).
The ServiceCanada website is one of the Government of Canada’s websites, designed to help people get their foot in the door in the Canadian job market. Despite its relatively unappealing aesthetic, the site has a decent home page. The first thing you see on the home page is a ‘Job Alerts’ service, bright blue compared to everything else on the page. This is sandwiched between a ‘Job Seekers and Workers’ subsection and a ‘Related Links’ subsection, with other links to ‘Training and Careers’, FAQs, ‘Employment Standards and Regulations’, ‘Accessibility’, etc. The functionality of the site is evident in the home page, but it could have been configured to make much more sense.
Ease of Use
To search for jobs on Workopolis, you can either search for a specific job title (Administrative Assistant, etc) or browse their jobs based on general field. For my purposes, their “Student/Entry Level Jobs” category is perfect. Their filtering system is complex as well, allowing for custom searches of tags like “Entry Level Jobs in Toronto – Part Time”. Once you create an account on the site, it allows you to create custom searches (with email notifications) and save job posting, which is useful if you are applying to multiple jobs over a lengthy period of time. Their job search and filters are some of the best, making it easy to find the most relevant jobs (and the ones you’re most qualified for).
While using Kijiji, you can filter the classifieds you see with a multi-level filtering system. Clicking on “accounting/mgmt” jobs will lead you to all the jobs with that tag, and from there you can filter your results further (for example, ads tagged both “accounting/mgmt” and “contract”). One of the downsides to Kijiji’s system, however, is that there’s no way to sort the results based on the date the application is dues – with more job-specific sites like Workopolis, that’s an option.
The jobbank.gc.ca website is pretty straightforward. Clicking on the “Student/Youth Job Search” will get you to a page that asks for your location, followed by a page that asks for more search criteria (including specific location, desired occupation, etc) – this is fairly standard. The results of the search are shown with minimal information – it does, however, provide a salary range in the search results, which is not often seen (most sites will have that information in the specific job posting/ad).
How to Apply
In order to apply for a position, you must have an account with Workopolis. Once you get one, however, it’s simple to apply for most jobs – simply uploading and submitting your resume usually does the trick. Some postings may ask for additional information, but it’s rare to see. This can be a pro or a con in terms of likelihood you’ll get a phone call, as it makes it easy for potential employers to simply search for keywords and pass over a large number of resumes. It also, however, means that the content of your resume is king.
Applications of Kijiji can be extremely varied, as the site does not have any kind of application function built in. Most employers ask you to email them your resume and/or cover letter, while others direct you to a SurveyMonkey ‘application’. Kijiji can have some extremely dubious postings, so before you send someone your personal information it’s always a good idea to Google their organization (or investigate in other ways).
ServiceCanada is similar to Kijiji in that their applications aren’t standardized, but email seems to be the most prevalent option.
Using major job banks like Workopolis, Kijiji, and ServiceCanada offers you complex filtering, something that other methods of job searching don’t necessarily do all that well. Having one or two major sites that you check regularly, with a few smaller ones for niche jobs, will ensure that you are covering all of your bases. People have even started to use Twitter and Facebook to search for jobs, and as Pete Peluso notes, it can be easier to connect directly with someone at that company through Twitter than by simply submitting a resume through Workopolis (to be discussed further in next week’s post).