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

  • RBC joins list of banks deemed 'too big to fail'

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Royal Bank has been added to the Financial Stability Board's list of global systemically important banks. The board added the big Canadian bank (TSX:RY) as it removed French bank Groupe BPCE to keep the total number of institutions on the list at 30. Source
  • Ikea reminds about Malm dresser recall after 8th child dies

    Economic CBC News
    Ikea relaunched a recall of 29 million chests and dressers Tuesday after the death of an eighth child. CEO Lars Petersson said Ikea wants to increase awareness of the recall campaign for several types of chest and dressers that can easily tip over if not properly anchored to a wall. Source
  • CCPA report calls for expansion of pension regulations

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - A report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recommends that payments to shareholders such as dividends and share buybacks by companies should be limited if their pension plans are underfunded. The report says pension regulations must expand to consider broader financial decisions within companies. Source
  • Ikea relaunches dresser recall after death of 8th child

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Ikea is relaunching a recall of 29 million chests and dressers following the death of a eighth child. Ikea CEO Lars Petersson said the company wants to increase awareness of the recall Tuesday for several types of chest and dressers that can easily tip over if not anchored to a wall. Source
  • Loblaw Companies shrug off industry-wide price-fixing probe, profit up from a year ago

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN) says it third-quarter profit was up from a year ago, boosted by its Loblaw Companies Ltd. business, offset in part by its Weston Foods operations. The company says it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $420 million or $3.25 per diluted share in the quarter ended Oct. Source
  • Top safety rating given to 13 new booster seats, only 1 rated 'not recommended'

    Economic CBC News
    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the vast majority of new booster seats released this year got top marks in terms of safety, and only one brand on the market today should be avoided. The IIHS says 13 of 16 new brands of car booster seat earned the safety agency's designation of "best bets," which means they will provide good fit for typical four- to eight-year-olds in almost any car, van, or SUV. Source
  • Keystone XL clears final hurdle only to see more hurdles

    Economic CBC News
    Nebraska's decision on Keystone XL's final route was billed as the key regulatory ruling that would pull the long-delayed pipeline proposal out of a nearly decade-long limbo. Supposedly, the sound of bulldozers breaking ground would soon bring a giant sigh of relief from Canada's energy industry, and from both Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who could both sell the pipe as evidence they really do care as much about industry as they do the environment. Source
  • Asian stocks rise as Wall Street regains ground

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO - Asian shares edged mostly higher Tuesday after Wall Street regained lost ground overnight amid subdued trading ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1 per cent to 22,488.38 in morning trading, while the Kospi in South Korea added 0.1 per cent to 2,530.64. Source
  • European markets brush off worries over German uncertainty

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- European stock markets pushed higher Tuesday as investors brushed aside concerns over the political uncertainty in Germany following an upbeat session in Asia where Hong Kong's main index enjoyed its biggest advance in nearly two months. Source
  • TransCanada to test water in drainage ditch near spill

    Economic CTV News
    AMHERST, S.D. -- A South Dakota official says TransCanada Corp. plans to test water from a drainage ditch near the site of a 210,000-gallon oil spill from the Keystone pipeline to determine if it is polluted. Source