Despite popular belief, Canadian employers are hiring right now. Are you prepared? That is the main message firms want to convey to job seekers. In fact, there are many things employers want to tell job seekers. Yes, they do get hundreds, sometimes thousands of resumes a year. However, if candidates only followed this basic advice, they’d be well ahead of the pact in finding that perfect job.

Most of the guidance from employers is common sense, but you’d be surprised how many job seekers neglect, or choose to ignore job basics. So, listen up! Want to impress employers? Before applying for any position, read ‘21 things every job seeker needs to know how to do’ and then keep reading this important advice from employers.

Ten things employers want every potential candidate to know:

Good Candidates are Always in Demand – Top employers are always looking for good people. Approach specific employers where you feel you can contribute and make a difference. Back it up with the proper qualifications and experience. Think about those industries that are growing and look for companies where you have something to offer. Yes, it’s about what you can offer an employer, not the other way round.

Tell me why you are the right candidate – Don’t expect an employer to search through your resume at length, or spend time trying to ascertain your strengths during a job interview. Prepare your three or four sentence ‘elevator pitch’ as to why you are the right candidate for the job. Practice it ahead of time and believe in what you are saying.

Communication skills are vital – Regardless of the position, employers need candidates who can communicate effectively. What good is being a computer programmer if you can’t understand and properly communicate important project specifications to others? Communication is of the most important skills in today’s job market.

Know your resume inside and out – During the job interview prospective employers will ask questions about your past work history. If your answers don’t coincide with what you’ve put on your resume you will come across as either being dishonest, or ill-prepared (both job killers!) Take the time to read your resume several times and think about how you would answer questions relating to its content.

Look to the hidden job market – The vast majority of available positions are never advertised. Don’t wait for an online posting, or job advertisement, before you decide to apply. If you love a company and want to work for them, let them know. While some companies are not keen on receiving unsolicited resumes, a targeted cover letter and resume to a company you know and love is worth the effort.

Do your research – Before applying to a company, take the time to research. You don’t need to know all the nitty gritty financials of a firm, but go to their website and learn the basics. What are their major products or services? Who are the firm’s competitors? What important issues are the company and industry as a whole facing? Be an informed candidate.

Have confidence in yourself – You may think of yourself as confident, but what do you portray to others? I’ve met many people who are truly confident, but they come across as indecisive when they speak, or often slouch during conversation. Pay close attention to not only what you say, but how you say it. What is your voice and body language conveying? Remember to smile.

Be a team player – Working well with others is a key component in many organizations. Employers want to know you are an effective team player. Relay those past instances where you worked in a team environment. Playing a team sport, or volunteering in a group event are great examples.

Show passion and personality – Employers are interested in your skills, qualifications and experience, but they are also interested in you as a person. Will you fit in with the company culture? Are you someone they can depend on? Let employers know that you are a well-rounded person who is eager to learn and grow with the company. Let your passion shine through!

Don’t take rejection personally – Firms want to hire you, but sometimes there is not a good fit. While never easy, try not to interpret job rejection as personal rejection. It’s a business decision. Learn from the experience and think about ways to improve for the next time. The most successful job seekers are the ones who persevere.

Canadian employers want to hire right now. Are you able to fill the position? Before applying for any job, take the time to learn, understand and follow these job principles that employers want every job seeker to know. You will separate yourself from the pact, impress employers with your determination and confidence, and eventually rise to the top. Good luck!


Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of He can be reached at



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