Laid-off oil and gas workers confront steep competition and 'branding' woes

CALGARY -- Tens of thousands of people who have lost their jobs in Alberta's oil-and-gas sector are confronting a rapidly changing job market.

See Full Article

Not only has competition become fierce for the few jobs available, but the way people find and get those jobs is also changing, says Alan Kearns, founder of career firm Careerjoy.

"Now it's about marketing yourself more than it is about just sending out resumes," said Kearns.

Job seekers need to think of themselves as independent business people trading on their skills, just like an actor or an athlete, he said.

"The difference between getting an interview and not -- a lot of it is going to be branding," Kearns added.

He said it's a new reality for many people in the energy sector.

"A lot of people, particularly in the oil and gas sector, have never had to worry about marketing themselves," says Kearns. "They basically graduated from university or college and they had 12 job offers."

Jackie Rafter, president of career-counselling firm Higher Landing, says people need to take the time to figure out where their skills might fit well rather than just applying for any opportunity they find.

"Thousands of people are now playing the job lottery, and that's just submitting endless resumes and online applications hoping someone's going to call them back. That's just an endless game of frustration," said Rafter.

Social media is important in finding the right opportunities, she says, since it's essentially replaced the traditional job board. And an updated, keyworded Linkedin profile can make the difference in getting an interview.

But to actually get in the door, Rafter says people need to answer the question of what they offer and what problems they are going to solve for the company.

"Don't look until you do the work, because this is where a lot of the frustration comes in and people just get depressed," said Rafter.

Matthew O'Donnell, director for the Calgary office of recruitment firm Michael Page, says he sees too many job-seekers applying for positions that aren't suitable for them.

"A lot of people are just applying for jobs rather than thinking about whether they can specifically do those roles," says O'Donnell. "Candidates really have to make sure they tick every box if they want to be considered for a lot of roles at the moment."

While hiring is clearly down, companies are still looking for people who can boost efficiencies or streamline operations, people who can deliver services faster, and strong sales people, he adds.

Jim Fearon, vice-president of central Canada for Hays recruitment, said it's especially important these days to make extra connections through phone calls, personal connections, email and Linkedin because of the flood of applications for positions.

He said one client received 2,000 applications for a single office administration job, meaning many resumes likely weren't given a proper look.

"They should be trying to make a personal connection with the people they're applying for jobs with," said Fearon.

Rafter also emphasized that while social networks and online interactions are helpful, ultimately they're there to help build the personal network that will get you a job.

"You don't get a job online, you get a job through some sort of network connection," said Rafter.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • No suitors emerge for Trans Mountain pipeline project stake as deadline looms

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - With just over a week remaining until the May 31 deadline set for abandoning its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, no suitors have publicly emerged to step into builder Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.'s shoes. Source
  • Looking for a better work experience, millennials may be saving the franchising model

    Economic CBC News
    Millennials are showing increasing interest in a traditional sector of the economy, as young Canadians buy into franchise brands and create new franchise concepts. Though jobs numbers in Canada are generally improving, many millennials continue to face the prospect of precarious employment. Source
  • Tens of thousands of Las Vegas casino workers vote to strike

    Economic CTV News
    Las Vegas casinos could watch tens of thousands of employees walk off the job for the first time in more than three decades after union members voted to authorize a strike at any time starting June 1, a move that could cripple the city's world-famous resorts. Source
  • Asian shares drop amid worries over U.S.-China trade

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO - Asian indexes were mostly lower on Wednesday as investors shifted their attention to uncertainties over a planned U.S.-North Korea summit after the perk from eased U.S.-China trade tensions faded. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 1.3 per cent to 22,661.88, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched down nearly 0.2 per cent at 6,031.40 in early trading. Source
  • Toronto Millennials dream of backyards but are stuck in condos: report

    Economic CTV News
    Toronto Millennials are the most educated group in Canada, but high housing costs are keeping some of the country’s most qualified workers in their parents’ basements or pushing them out of the province altogether, a new report suggests. Source
  • Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg apologizes to EU lawmakers over data leak

    Economic CBC News
    Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg apologized to European Union lawmakers on Tuesday for a massive data leak, in his latest attempt to draw a line under a scandal that has rocked the world's biggest social media network. Source
  • What your kids should know about money in kindergarten, grade school and high school

    Economic CTV News
    Too many Canadians are reaching adulthood without the skills to successfully manage their financial futures, according to personal finance coach David Lester. The best way he sees to build that knowledge is for parents to start schooling their kids about money as early as possible. Source
  • The New York Stock Exchange just named its first female president in its 226-year history

    Economic CBC News
    The New York Stock Exchange for the first time in its 226-year history will be led by a woman. Stacey Cunningham, who started her career as a floor clerk on the NYSE trading floor, will become the 67th president of the Big Board. Source
  • New York Stock Exchange just named the 1st female president in its 226-year history

    Economic CBC News
    The New York Stock Exchange for the first time in its 226-year history will be led by a woman. Stacey Cunningham, who started her career as a floor clerk on the NYSE trading floor, will become the 67th president of the Big Board. Source
  • Ex-Valeant, Philidor executives convicted of kickback scheme

    Economic CBC News
    A former Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc executive and the former chief of mail order pharmacy Philidor Rx Services were found guilty on Tuesday of defrauding Valeant through a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme. The verdict, handed up by a jury in Manhattan federal court, comes on the heels of Valeant's announcement that it will change its name to Bausch Health Companies Inc as it seeks to distance itself from a series of scandals under its previous management. Source