How To Work With Toronto Employment Agencies To Find A Job
If just arrived to Toronto and want to start your job search, Toronto employment agencies can be og great help. You have to realize, however, that their REAL clients are employers, and NOT candidates. Agencies do not owe you anything - their job is to find the best candidate possible for a certain job.
So YOUR job is to become the best candidate. Then the headhunters will be looking FOR YOU, and not the other way around. So if you are confident about your skills and previous work experience, it doesn't really matter if you are an immigrant or not - use these job search tips, and finding your fist and next jobs in Toronto will become a breeze!
I had a total of 2 jobs since I came to Toronto in 2004. Both of these jobs I found through Toronto employment agencies. To be exact, they were York University temporary agency and Procom. Both times I was found by these agencies - I did not apply for any jobs with them.
I was "discovered" by many more other headhunters in between these 2 jobs, and I keep getting discovered even now when I am not really looking for a job. On the other hand, I applied for plenty of advertised positions with many, many other recruitment agencies and all they did was interview me, test my computer skills and they never called back, even though I passed the tests with flying colors!
This leaves only one conclusion: In order to find a job through Toronto employment agencies, you should be found by them. Certainly, this is not the only way, read about some other ways to find a job in Toronto!
Here are a few things I learned about working with employment agencies. If they find you - they have a position that they need to fill in, and they are looking for the best candidate. In this case, they will interview you with that position in mind and see if you are a match. Then they will recommend you to the employer, along with a couple of other candidates they will find.
If Toronto employment agencies ADVERTISE positions, whether on their own website or on workopolis.com - they usually do not have a specific position in mind, and all they want to do is collect resumes. Sure, you can apply - but keep in mind that if you do apply for a position advertised by a recruitment agency, they might call you for an interview, but this interview will be mostly to learn more about you and to test your computer skills.
Toronto employment agencies usually advertise the same positions over and over, with only one purpose - to collect resumes. I might be wrong, but this is the impression I've got after reading the same job descriptions "our client, an industry leader located in Downtown Toronto blah blah blah" month after month. I believe that when they DO have an actual position to fill, they will NOT advertise! They will search for candidates among the resumes that they already collected.
Therefore, if you do get a call from a Toronto employment agency and they want to interview you - always ask if they have an actual position to fill and ask them to describe the position to you to see if you are interested. If you would like to practice your interview skills - then go to any interview. It is a great exercise. So the call is yours - if you feel confident - do not let them waste your time.
In fact, I was interviewed at least 3 times by Toronto headhunters, and those were simply "general" interviews. The first 2 were a pretty good practice for me, while after the third one I was really mad.
The recruiter actually told me at the end of the interview that she "will call me back IF a position becomes available", while I was confident for some obscure reason that I went for an actual job interview! I actually already worked then and had to invent an excuse for my employer to go to that silly interview! Since then I always asked upfront if they had a position in mind.
How To Get "Discovered" by Toronto Employment Agencies
Toronto employment agencies are always on the lookout for great candidates. If they have a position to fill, they start by looking in their resumes database. If they don't find any suitable candidates, they go online!
I was "discovered" by Toronto employment agencies this way at least 20 times, which resulted in 3 job interviews and 2 job offers - all the while without looking for a job. And I still keep getting calls from them, although it's been a while since I pulled out my resume from some job search websites. It's like a snowball effect - once they find you, they will keep finding you and calling you to tell you about job opportunities, even if you start hiding.
This is your ideal opportunity to be found by them! It's a passive job search: you do not spend much time by monitoring job ads or tweaking your resume and cover letter. You prepare everything - and relax, continue working where you are, and you get to choose to go to an interview or not, when they call.
Here are a few tips on how to get found by Toronto employment agencies:
- Prepare a knock-out resume. Ask your friends, community career coaches or even me to check out your resume. Make the recommended changes. Have 2 versions of your resume - a beautifully formatted PDF version (1 page only!) that you can email in response to job ads and tweak as necessary; and a longer, key-word rich text resume.
- Create profiles on Job.com, HotResumes.com, workopolis.com, monster.ca, and careerbuilder.ca. In MY experience, workopolis.com is the best. It was actually the only website I was found on, but I heard about people being found on other two websites also. Upload your resume on those websites and make sure you mentioned ALL your computer and other skills and languages that you know.
- Create a complete profile on linkedIn, identify Toronto employment agencies you might be interested in and "follow" them on linkedIn. If they have a group - join it. Also join other groups and follow other companies you might be interested working in. LinkedIn is the most powerful professional social media website, and you shouldn't ignore it. If you want to learn to use it successfully in your career, I recommend you the LinkedIn Influence Guide. It's a really powerful guide that will teach you the advanced professional networking skills (do NOT confuse with schmoozing!), that anyone needs to be able to advance their career.
- Optionally, you might create a web-version of your resume. Make sure it is key-word rich, shows that you are located in Toronto. If you are a web designer, create a portfolio - it's always a plus to send a link to your portfolio along with a regular resume!
- When you have a GREAT resume, identify the Toronto employment agencies you are interested in and send a text (unformatted) version to all of them. They will keep them on file and if a position becomes available, they will call you AND ask you to send an updated version of your resume! DO NOT APPLY for advertised positions! - you will waste your time on tweaking your resume and cover letter for something that does not exist!
That's all it takes to be found by Toronto employment agencies, and it certainly will take much less time than applying for every single job advertised by recruitment or temp agencies, while you do not actually know if this is an actual position or a bait to get more resumes.
Do not relax, however, you might get discovered by a headhunter in a week, a month, or a year, and that might be THE job for you. In the meantime, use other methods to find jobs and apply for positions ONLY advertised by employers and do not waste your time on applying with agencies!
Here are a few Toronto employment agencies you could send your resume to: