Three tips to break into a tough job market

Job hunting can be stressful, especially when you face a competitive market in a big city or limited opportunities in a smaller community. Whether you're a recent graduate, a millennial looking to take the next step in your career, or a middle manager hoping to climb the corporate ladder, here are some tips that can help set you up for success.

1. Remember all experience is relevant. If you recently graduated or are applying for a position where you have little direct experience, think outside the box and you'll likely find you have plenty of ways to show you're qualified. Think about your transferrable skills. That community improvement project you ran for your neighbourhood on a volunteer basis? It can show leadership and management skills. That industry conference you attended? It proves your commitment to learning and keeping up-to-date with trends.

2. Build your personal brand. In a digital world, career success is all about marketing yourself online and off. Take time to consider the unique skills and attributes that you bring to the table and how you can showcase them in your resume, cover letter and in-person interviews. Don't forget to review your social media presence on all platforms to make sure these attributes shine through, and delete any posts or photos that can hurt your chances of landing a job if an employer or recruiter were to see them.

3. Explore international opportunities. You can stand out from a pool of applicants if you have a global mindset and the cultural knowledge that comes from working abroad. In fact, research shows that youth with international experience are more likely to be employed later on. If you're between 18 and 35, check out International Experience Canada (IEC), a government-run program that offers youth the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while travelling abroad. Because Canada holds agreements with more than 30 partner countries and territories, work permits under IEC are generally less expensive, more flexible and processed more quickly!

Find more information on work and travel abroad at