Job Search

This section will help you understand what you need to do to find employment in Peterborough. Finding a job requires time and dedication, and being organized and prepared will make this process easier.

The following guide will help you achieve your career plans.

Before You Start Your Job Search

Occupation

Learn the name of your job to avoid confusion with employers. Working in Canada provides job descriptions, and other names for your occupation.

There are two types of occupations: regulated and non-regulated. Regulated professions have a governing body that ensures that its practitioners are qualified for the position. See a list of regulated professions. Non-regulated professions do not have a governing body.

If your career is in a regulated profession, ensure you know who the regulatory body is and check what the requirements are to become a registered professional in Ontario. The Foreign Credentials Referral Office website provides information on how to get your credentials recognized. The Ontario Immigration website details your career map. This will give you a step-by-step explanation about what your particular profession's requirements are.

Job Search Strategy

Treat your job search as your full time job. Try to keep all information filed and organized to make it easier for you to follow up on possible job opportunities.

To work legally in Canada you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). The SIN is a nine-digit number that allows you to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits.

  • You can apply for a SIN if you are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a study permit holder, a work permit holder or a conventional refugee. Refugee claimants with an approved work permit can apply for a SIN as well.
  • People of any age can obtain a SIN. Children who are 12 years of age or older may apply for their own SIN. Parents and legal guardians can also apply for a SIN for children under the age of majority in their province (18 for Ontario)
  • The documents that you need to provide when applying for SIN include: birth certificate, certificate of Canadian Citizenship, certificate of Indian Status, Permanent Resident Card, or a work or study permit. You can apply for, or replace, your Social Insurance Number by visiting Service Canada's Social Insurance Number page, in person at your nearest Service Canada Centre, or by mail.

Employment Standards

The employment standards in Ontario are regulated by the Employment Standard Act 2000 (ESA). You can find a guide to the ESA on the Ontario Government site.  

Helpful Job Websites

In addition to utilizing employment resource centres, you can use the following websites to look for advertised positions:

Employment and Placement Services

What is an employment resource centre?

An employment resource centre is an organization that helps people who are looking for a job and assists companies who want to hire new staff.

For job seekers, the services they provide are:

  • Computers with high-speed internet
  • Access to printers, scanners, photocopiers, telephones, and fax machines
  • Information on job search strategies
  • Assistance writing resumes and cover letters
  • Assistance preparing for job interviews
  • Workshops and information sessions regarding employment
  • Information on external services and programs regarding employment

For organizations or individuals looking to hire new staff, their services include:

  • Corporate training on HR practices
  • Recruiting assistance

An employment resource centre is an essential tool when conducting your job search and you can greatly benefit from their services. However, it's not their responsibility, and they don't guarantee that they will find you a job.

What is a placement or temporary agency?

These agencies help organizations hire new staff. You can submit your resume to one of these agencies, and if they have an opening that matches your qualifications they will contact you. In each situation the type of employment they can help you with can vary, meaning it can be for full time, part time, contract, etc.

Some placement or temporary agencies charge a fee-for-service. This is typically charged to the employee once and only if they help them secure employment. Before you submit your resume for a position with one of these agencies, make sure to check their individual policies. Some placement agencies take a portion of your wage. An example of this would be an organization in need of an administrative assistant to fill a temporary vacancy for three months. The organization would pay the placement agency $20/hour for the worker and the placement agency would pay the worker $12/hour. Naturally, you can sense that many workers might feel exploited in situations like these. Again, be sure to ask what the arrangement for pay is before committing to work with them.

Like employment resource centres, placement agencies can help you in your job search, but it is not their responsibility, and they don't guarantee that they will find a job for you.

Local Employment Services

There are several employment agencies in Peterborough that can help you with your job search. Schedule an appointment with an employment counsellor to receive further assistance.

Types of Employment

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the nationally accepted reference on occupations in Canada. It organizes over 40,000 job titles into 500 occupational group descriptions. Jobs are classified into 9 professional groups that are each subdivided into 5 skill levels. You can conduct an alphabetical search of occupations in the NOC

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), in partnership with Statistics Canada, update the NOC according to 5-year Census cycles. Revisions are based on extensive occupational research and consultations conducted across the country, reflecting the evolution of the Canadian labour market. They provide descriptions of job duties and responsibilities for a wide variety of occupations.

For temporary foreign workers it is important to identify what skill level your job falls into. Only those in 0 Management, Skill level A, and Skill level B will qualify as Work Experience if you apply for Permanent Residency in the future.

Employment arrangement types

It is important to understand that different types of employment exist in Canada within any given field. When applying for a job, or accepting a job offer, be sure that you are clear into which type of employment you are entering. If you need further information or clarification, be sure to ask or research the position. Knowing your rights at work is an important step to protecting your rights. Workers’ Action Centre in Toronto provides helpful information on your rights at work.

Jobs are classified as:
  • Permanent (full time or part time)
  • Contract (full time or part time)
  • Freelance
  • Self-employed
  • Casual labour
  • Temporary employment (seasonal or interim)
  • Piece work
  • Independent contractor
  • Commission

Permanent Employment

You have been hired for an indeterminate time period to fill a position. Your job will be perpetual until you transition to a different role internally, to a different organization, or you are laid off or ‘fired’ from your role.

Full time employment
Characteristics of full time employment include:
  • Specific hours, typically 40 hours per week (8 hours/day and 5 days/week)
  • Generally a specific location
  • A specific job title with assigned duties and responsibilities
  • Regular payment periods (typically bi-weekly, but can be weekly or monthly as well)
  • Generally paid vacation time
  • Some full-time positions have benefits (health and dental care)
  • Compensation for business-related expenses
  • The employer makes deductions for income tax, employment insurance, etc.
Part time employment
Part time employment is similar to full-time employment. The main difference is that the amount of hours you typically work is less than 40 hours/ week, typically 20 or fewer hours/week. Characteristics of part-time employment can include:
  • Irregular hours, which may vary on a weekly basis
  • Generally a specific location
  • A specific job title with multiple responsibilities that may vary as per company need
  • Regular payment periods (typically bi-weekly)
  • Paid vacation time
  • The employer makes deductions for income tax, employment insurance, etc.
  • May or may not offer benefits

Contract

The main difference between contract and permanent employment is the length of period for which you have been hired. This can vary from a month to six months, or a year. Characteristics of both, full time and part time, contract employment are:
  • Specific hours
  • Generally a specific location
  • A specific job title with assigned duties and responsibilities
  • Regular payment periods (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly)
  • Taxes may or may not be deducted by the employer and, in some cases, you will have to pay your own taxes
  • There is no guarantee that a contract will be renewed, but it is a possibility

Freelance

Freelancers typically work on projects smaller than people who are hired on contract, although this is not a rule. Characteristics of freelancing can include:
  • Working with multiple contracts/employers simultaneously
  • Working from home
  • Scheduling your own hours
  • Negotiating your pay rates
  • Payment is based on deliverables
  • Tax payments are your responsibility

Self-employed

It includes doing freelance, contract work, or owning your business. Characteristics of self-employment include:
  • Choosing the projects you work on
  • Irregular and unstable hours
  • Negotiating your pay rates
  • Tax payments are your responsibility

Casual labour, Independent Contractor, Temp Agency Worker or Consultant

Casual labour employment is a job you do on an irregular basis, as needed. Characteristics are:
Temporary Employment
Temporary Employment refers to a situation where the employee is expected to leave the employer within a certain period of time.
  • Seasonal employment 
    • Employers hire seasonal staff to fill a particular need that is generally not expected to last more than a few weeks or months. The timeline is usually set out at beginning. Students and others with structured obligations often enjoy the fixed time period of these jobs, as it allows them to earn money when their schedules permit without having to commit to year-round availability. Seasonal employment can be both full and part time. 
    • Examples of seasonal employment include retail jobs in December, hospitality, tourism, construction and agricultural jobs in the summer.
  • Interim 
    • Interim employment refers to positions that are available during a specific period of time to cover for the position of the permanent employee. The most common type of interim employment is when an employee takes maternity leave and the organization needs someone to fill in this position while the staff member is away. Characteristics of this type of job include: 
    • A detailed contract with duties and responsibilities 
    • Employment for a specific time period

Piece work or Homeworkers

Piece workers are employees who do paid work out of their own homes for an employer (such as online research, preparing food for resale, sewing, telephone soliciting, manufacturing, word processing). Independent contractors are not homeworkers under the Employment Standards Act.

Commission

This refers to jobs in which you get paid on commission, generally on top of a base salary or hourly wage (some exceptions may apply). The amount of money you earn depends ultimately on how much you are able to sell or how many clients you are able to sign up to a program. This is typically seen in the financial industry, auto or real estate sales.

*** Probation period Most jobs hire you under a conditional probation period. This means that for the first 3-6 months, the employer can legally terminate your employment without giving you notice and for any reason. When receiving a job offer you should inquire how long the probation period is.

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

The Occupational Health & Safety Act sets out the rights and duties of workers, supervisors, employers and others for safe and healthy workplace.

As a worker, you have the right to:

  • Know about workplace hazards
  • Refuse unsafe work
  • Participate in addressing workplace health and safety issues

Some examples of employer duties are to:

  • Provide basic health and safety awareness training to workers and supervisors
  • Provide information, instruction and supervision to workers on how to work safely
  • Do everything reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers from being hurt or getting a work-related illness.

There are a series of training tools to help you learn how to work safely – several available in different languages at ontario.ca/learntoworksafe.
 
For more information: ontario.ca/HealthAndSafetyAtWork, email: webohs@ontario.ca, or call: Health and Safety Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-202-0008

Research

You can start your job research before you arrive to Peterborough. Visit the Labour Market Information section to learn more about your position specifically in a Peterborough context.

For overall information about careers, job opportunities, and labour trends in Canada visit Working in Canada. You can commence your search either by your desired profession or by selecting Peterborough as your location.

To do a local search, the Greater Peterborough Area Chamber of Commerce website is a good place to start. The website has Business Directory of all the organizations affiliated with the Chamber. The directory is divided into categories based on industry. Identify which is the one you are interested in, and go through the business names listed therein. This will give you a broad perspective on how big the industry is, and organizations to which you can apply for jobs.

Two more important sites you should visit in order to identify potential employers are:

Create a log where you can keep track of the companies you are interested in. Record their name, phone numbers, email address, website, and any other contact information you can find. Before contacting them to ask for information on potential employment opportunities make sure you do your research. Become as familiar as possible with the organization, and analyze if you think you are a good fit to work there.

Asking for information about potential job opportunities is just like writing a cover letter. You will want to:

  1. Introduce yourself and your reason for contacting the organization.
  2. Briefly explain how you became aware of the organization.
  3. Give a short and clear explanation about your main qualifications.
  4. Request an informational interview (explained below).
  5. Thank the employer.

An informational interview is not a job interview. It is a meeting you request with a potential employer that gives you the chance to introduce yourself, inquire about potential job opportunities, industry trends, and other career-related questions you may have. You can schedule informational interviews before you arrive to Peterborough. Many employers are willing to meet, so it is important that you are well prepared in advance. Research the organization as much as possible and come prepared with a list of questions you want answered. This can be a way for you to get noticed so look and act professional, be mindful of the employer's time - ask questions that you cannot find the answer to on their website.

You can make your initial contact via email, and then indicate that you will be phoning them upon your arrival.

The employer's website isn’t the only way for you to learn more about an organization. Many Peterborough businesses use Twitter, an online social networking and micro-blogging service. It lets users send and read short messages made of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". You can become more familiar with a company by following them on Twitter. To start using Twitter, click here.

After you join, or if you already have an account, we recommend you follow these accounts and/or conversation topics:

These organizations provide information related to the community, employment opportunities, and services for immigrants in the Greater Peterborough Area.

Networking

Networking means meeting people and establishing relationships. There are many jobs that are not advertised to the general public but communicated through "word of mouth". You learn about these opportunities by meeting and talking to people. This is a very important aspect of your job search, so it should not be ignored.

Peterborough has a very welcoming business community that hosts monthly events that you can attend. Check the following websites for up-to-day calendars of activities: