For over a year, oil prices have been on the decline due to surplus supply to the market. This has diminished profitability for oil producing countries like Canada. The reduction in margins has also reduced capital investments in major projects, directly affecting the number of people being hired to execute the work.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) says Alberta has already lost 35,000 oil patch jobs since oil prices started to fall. These combination of reduced investments and mass layoffs will inevitably have cascade effects across the country since Oil and Gas drives demands for products and services throughout Canada.
The greatest challenge of the oil collapse is the uncertainty associated with it. If you ask two renowned experts when oil prices will rebound they could both give you two completely different responses. This uncertainty has led to organizations taking a much more conservative approach towards hiring.
What does this mean for job seekers and new graduates?
People looking for work in this environment will face much more competition as there are fewer jobs available and more people in the market applying for them. It also means it may take a longer time to find a job. Companies have the luxury of picking from multiple qualified candidates since there are more people competing for job openings.
How can we help clients through this period?
In my work as a Career Development Professional, I recently met a new grad that had completely lost hope in finding a job, he graduated with an Engineering Degree and had been looking for a job for several months. I helped him fix his resume and cover letter but he was so demoralized that he stopped applying for jobs all together.
Stay Positive – The best resume cannot help someone who refuses to apply and there is no substitute for patience and resilience during the job search. It can be very frustrating when you invest time and effort and receive zero feedback but you can’t get a job you don’t apply for. The solution that I found works best for my clients is to help them get into a routine. It is like going to the gym, in the sense that you may not see instant results but if you do the right things repeatedly you will inevitably succeed.
Have a well written resume – With hundreds of people applying for the same positions, employers are looking for any reason to eliminate applicants. We know that a mistake in a cover-letter may be what stands between being shortlisted and getting tossed aside. I strongly suggest that clients have their resumes professionally written or invest the time and effort in learning how to write their resumes for success. If you have the ability to help a client write a strong resume and cover letter for your clients, always ensure authentic, original content. Otherwise, refer them to a professional resume writer.
Network – Job openings are becoming scarce and many job seekers are reporting that they can’t find appropriate positions online. With more people applying to the few advertised opportunities, it can become a crowded space. Having an internal recommendation can give a client a competitive advantage over other applicants. Networking will help clients hear about job openings before they are broadcast to the public which will allow them to skip the line. So, ensure that you focus on this important step when providing career services.
I have applied these techniques effectively with clients and I hope that you find them helpful. How do you help clients to find a job in our weak economy?