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Find a Job

A Student’s Guide to Employment and the Workplace

Whether you’re looking for part-time work throughout the school year or a full-time job during the summer months, Get a Job: A Student’s Guide to Employment and the Workplace will help you plan, prepare and find a job that’s right for you.

Quick Job Tips

Read this to find out how to add depth to your cover letter and résumé, how to build a portfolio, how to search for the perfect job and how to get ready for a job interview.

Cover Letter/Résumé Writing:

  • Cover letters and résumés should always be positive and error free.
  • Always identify yourself – include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address.
  • Keep in mind that cover letters and résumés are short reports on you – on your abilities, strengths and accomplishments.
  • Cover letters should show your education and career interests.
  • Cover letters should highlight your key accomplishments, qualifications and work experience.
  • Always remember, cover letters are meant to explain things that résumés can’t.
  • Include a job objective section at the beginning of your résumé.
  • Include a section that highlights your education.
  • You could also highlight your grades, certificates of accomplishment and any scholarships, bursaries and awards received.
  • Include any work experience you have that might be considered by a potential employer.
  • Make sure to properly list your experiences, starting with the most current.
  • List any special skills, interests and hobbies you may have that are relevant to the jobs you are applying for (this is an optional section).
  • You should also include a reference section, including a brief statement saying that references are available upon request.
  • Keep your résumé brief and uncluttered – 2 pages maximum.
  • Print your cover letter and résumé on standard-size (8.5 x 11) white paper.

To learn more about cover letter and résumé writing, including samples, please click here.

Building a Portfolio:

  • A portfolio tells the story of your professional/work life – a story of your abilities, strengths and accomplishments.
  • Your portfolio should showcase projects and assignments, certificates, awards and letters of reference.
  • Be original by using different media forms.
  • You can present your portfolio using the traditional method – in a neat-looking binder or brief case.
  • You can also create an e-portfolio using CDs or other electronic forms.
  • Keep in mind that great portfolios are never complete – they are a work in progress.
  • It’s always a good idea to show your portfolio to a potential employer after a job interview.

Job Searching:

  • Before you start your search, make sure you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada.
  • Make a list of tasks and activities you would like to do in your job.
  • Determine what type of job you want based on your personality, interests and skills.
  • Look for jobs everywhere – at school career fairs, on Internet job sites and company websites.
  • Keep track of where and what positions you applied to.

Interview Preparation:

  • Before the interview, research the company or employer.
  • Ask your parents or friends to take part in a mock interview a few days before the actual interview.
  • Make sure you are neatly dressed and groomed.
  • Remember to shake the employer’s hand before and after the interview.
  • Always be polite, courteous and positive.
  • It’s always a good idea to bring extra copies of your cover letter and résumé as well as a pen and note pad.

Workplace 101

Gives you access to information you need to protect your health and safety and understand your employment rights and responsibilities.

Health and Safety at Work

As a young worker in Ontario, you have rights that protect your health and safety in the workplace.  For starters, you have the right to be informed about health and safety requirements on the job.  You also have the right to participate in workplace health and safety issues and to know about any potential hazards.  As well, you have the right to refuse work that you believe is hazardous and even stop work in dangerous situations.

Employment Standards

Employment standards provide the minimum standards for most employees, including young workers in Ontario.  The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) is the law that sets out the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers for most workplaces in the province.

Minimum Age Requirements for Working in Ontario:

14 Years Old: Establishments such as offices, stores, arenas and restaurants
15 Years Old: Factories (except logging operations), including kitchens and warehouses.
16 Years Old: Construction, surface mines (except the working face), logging operations and mining plants.
18 Years Old: Underground mining or the working face of a surface mine, window cleaning, etc.

For more information about health and safety in the workplace and employment standards, please visit the many links below.

Workplace Health and Safety Links:
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Ontario Ministry of Labour
The Occupational Health and Safety Act
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
YMCA Employment Services
Ontario School Counsellors Association