Your guide to employment We’ve got the advice you need to help you get hired.

From job hunting to interviewing to asking for a promotion, we'll coach you on how to build and advance your career.

Written by: James Battiston

Fact Checked by: Cadeem Lalor

Last Updated: January 13, 2023

Advertiser Disclosure

Written by: James Battiston

Fact Checked by: Cadeem Lalor

Last Updated: January 13, 2023

Advertiser Disclosure

The job market is a big pond that can make you feel like a small fish. You might be looking to change careers, or wanting a higher-paying job in the same industry. You might be an employer trying to find the perfect candidate for your company, navigating through application after application until one clicks.

Whether you’re looking for a job or are just figuring out your next career move, we’re here to help you become the catch-of-the-day.

How to find a job in 2023

The job market has evolved and continues to change with each passing year. While the pandemic brought a surge of work-from-home opportunities, some employers are moving back to in-office.

You may have heard the term “gig-economy” before. This is when a single person works multiple temporary jobs (such as freelancing or a short-term contract) in order to make a living. They may freelance for a website, while driving for a car-sharing service, which they further supplement by selling candles online.

The gig-economy has brought with it a change in workers’ attitudes towards the job search. Instead of having one job to make ends meet, multiple opportunities can come together. However, there is also less job security and less benefits, such as health insurance.

In December 2022, the U.S. unemployment rate stood at 3.5%. With a low unemployment rate and high inflation, fears of a recession remain. That may make the idea of finding a new job intimidating, but remember: there are opportunities everywhere. The trick is finding them.

Here are some tools to help you on your way.

Getting your resume right

You only get one first impression, which is why you want to get your resume right.

But let’s face it: selling yourself isn’t easy. You want to get all the necessary information into a one or two-page document, while at the same time not coming off as overzealous or overqualified.

When applying for any position, tailor your resume to the position you’re applying for. Some experience you have might be important to you, but it’s not necessarily worth including on your CV.

You want to put your best qualities forward, so you want your resume to reflect these skills and accomplishments. Some of the most important things to highlight are:

  • Communication skills. The ability to clearly communicate both written and verbally is an asset in every industry.
  • Problem-solving skills. Frame your ability to solve problems by providing concrete examples where possible.
  • Interpersonal skills. Your ability to relate to others and effectively communicate objectives to coworkers is an essential attribute to highlight.
  • Hard skills and technical skills. A “hard skill” is a specific technical skill related to your job. For instance, you might have trained as a stone mason, or you might be proficient at using a particular computer program. 
  • Specific metrics. You can stand out to recruiters and employers if you can put a number to some of your accomplishments e.g. “I increased sales in my organization by 25%.”

Getting your cover letter right

If a resume presents your accomplishments, a cover letter is your opportunity to show your personality.

Take time to review the job posting, and tailor your cover letter to specifically answer the “whys” and “whats”: why you are the one to perform the job, and what you bring to it that sets you apart from your competition.

Keep your cover letter concise, but keep it interesting. This is the start of the conversation with the company you’re applying to. You don’t want to be boring, but at the same time, you don’t want to overshare. If you are able to leave them impressed and wanting to know more, all the better.

Remember: proofread your cover letter to make sure there are no grammar or spelling mistakes. 

Write a first draft that gets all your ideas out, then set it aside for a while. When you revisit it, make sure you’ve captured everything you want to say. Then have someone else read it over to provide a second opinion. Any reader of your cover letter should be impressed, so you want to make a lasting (positive) impression.

Test your employment knowledge icon

Test your employment knowledge

Approximately, how many people switched jobs between January to March 2022?

Find the perfect job for you

Finding the right job can feel like a Herculean task. But with some patience and perseverance, you can find the ideal opportunity.

At different times in your life, you might need to employ different strategies to find the right job. Here are some ways that you can go about finding that perfect fit.

Remote job seekers

The pandemic brought with it a surge of remote workers. While some of the changes were temporary, a Pew Research poll found that approximately six in 10 workers (59%) who are able to work from home all or most of the time continue to do so. If you’re looking for remote work, you can try the following strategies.

Online: When searching for a job, try filtering your results for remote employment. If a filter isn’t available, you can try adding keywords like “remote,” “virtual,” or “online” to your search. You can also search for hybrid opportunities that generally offer you the opportunity to work remotely most of the time.

Negotiate: If you see a job you’re interested in applying for, apply for it regardless of whether the position is remote or in-person. Take time to create a resume that will make you rise above the competition, and be sure to tailor your cover letter to the specific job posting. If you’re offered the position, negotiate your terms of hiring so that you can work remotely at least most of the time. You may even realize you can afford less of a salary since you won’t be commuting, which you can use as a negotiating point.

Headhunters

Recruiters or headhunters excel at finding the right person for the right job. Connecting with a recruiter who works in your field can open unseen doors for you. Be sure that the headhunter you work with has experience in your industry, and understands what type of career you’re looking for.

Teenagers

Life as a teenager is busy. School, clubs, friends, family obligations — your schedule is full of things to do pretty much every minute of every day. 

If you’re looking for a part-time job to get some extra spending money or to help you out with post-high school education, there are plenty of opportunities you can take on that let you work from home.

You might be able to monetize things like blogging, vlogging, or other social media endeavors. Alternatively, you can look at data entry positions, telemarketing, online tutoring, or customer service positions.

If none of those hold appeal, consider what special skills you possess that you can offer to others. If you’re great at writing, consider looking for an editorial assistant or proofreader gig. Great at visual arts? You might be able to get freelance graphic artist or design work.

Retirees

You’ve developed a lifetime of skills in your career, but aren’t quite ready to settle down for retirement. You may have been in the same job for decades, or you may have worked at a variety of positions. No matter your experience, you possess knowledge that can benefit others.

Jumping back in the job search might be daunting, but there are resources out there to help.

Online job search: Sites like ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn offer access to numerous job postings - and a vast network of employers. Set up a profile, fill out your experience, and start to connect with people who can help you on your way.

Networking: You’ve met a lot of people through your career. And those people can help you find new work. Take advantage of some of the contacts you’ve made and inquire about any job opportunities they might be aware of. 

Consulting: All that experience you’ve gained can be an asset to others. Consulting is one way you can monetize your experience and knowledge while helping the next generation get a foot ahead. There are websites you can use to help you find freelance work, like LinkedIn and UpWork, or you can use your network of connections to build your brand.

Executives

Transitioning to an executive role presents a unique set of challenges. Openings aren’t always posted, and you might need to rely on a headhunter or personal connections to find the jobs. Here are some ways you can navigate the search for an executive position.

Online: As with any modern job search, there are websites designed to help you out. Executive jobs may not be posted on conventional sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter, but they’re always worth checking out. Just because a job isn’t listed doesn’t mean it’s not there — and these sites are also an opportunity to get noticed by recruiters. You can also try an executive oriented website like ExecThread or Ladders, or try using a staffing agency like Robert Half.

Getting the interview

Landing an interview requires the perfect job application. You’ve spent time crafting your cover letter, tailoring it to the company and position you’re applying to. You’ve polished your resume, taken out any unnecessary job experience and emphasized your strengths as they relate to the job.

Since you’ve spent so much time preparing your application, why wouldn’t you spend as much time preparing for the job interview?

  • Practice a short, concise elevator pitch that says why you’re the best candidate for the job. Focus on the job description, your experience and what you know about the company.
  • Study the company's mission and values, and link those to your past accomplishments and the job responsibilities.
  • If you're asked "tell me about yourself" use the company information to help form your response. Tailor what you say to fit the company's mission and job responsibilities.
  • Rehearse in front of a mirror or camera so you can nail your delivery and body language.
  • Act confident. If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, answer with your personal experience.

Keep in mind that there are some things you shouldn’t say in a job interview. You don’t want to come off as desperate by saying things like “I really need this job,” or unprepared by asking about what the company does. You also don’t want to ask any questions that you could have answered with a simple Google search, such as how old the company is. 

Take time to ask friends and relatives about their job interview experience. If they’ve interviewed candidates themselves, find out what types of attributes they look for.

Ask the eight ball

Want to learn more about the world of employment. Shake the sphere for eight financial facts.

For fun employment facts

Tips for freelancers/gig economy

If you’re a freelancer or are working in the gig economy, you’re always hustling for the next job. Yes, there’s a lot of freedom in working according to your own rules, but it also brings uncertainty about where your next paycheck is coming from.

There are a number of side-hustles you can take on working from home. Things like selling products, telemarketing, and completing online surveys can bring in some extra cash if you need it.

But regardless of how you make your money, there are ways that you can optimize how your dollar works for you.

Being a part of the gig economy can put you in a precarious position in terms of your taxes. Unlike a full-time job, taxes won't be pulled from your paycheques automatically. You will need to track how much you owe to the government, and it may be best to utilize tax software or even pay an accountant. 

Once you have money set aside for taxes and expenses, you can then use some of it for investing. With a diverse investment portfolio, you can optimize the amount of return you get on the income you receive. Putting your money in stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), or even investments like real estate and farmland will provide a greater return on your money than simply putting it into your bank account.

Likewise, you want to ensure that you are setting money aside for retirement. Setting up a 401(k) or another defined contribution plan allows you to know that when it comes time to step away from the working week, you’ll have money available to you.

Of course, to make any of these plans work for you, you need to save money. While the cost of living is on the rise, and inflation is making everyday purchases more difficult to manage, this can be difficult. But every dollar you save from your freelance job helps you in the future.

Setting up a secondary bank account as an emergency fund is a great first step. Set up automatic deposits (with a pre-determined amount) from your main account. Depending on your pay schedule you could set up weekly, biweekly, or monthly deposits. This takes the thinking out of saving money, making it easier to manage.

Employers: How to find the right employees

Growing your business requires the right mix of profit, timing, and workforce. Finding the right employees to fill out your team is an art, and ensuring that you offer the right perks and benefits to keep them happy and engaged is more and more important in the post-pandemic era.

Using the right platform

 Services like ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor make finding the best employees for your business simple — no matter the size of your company.

If you’re a larger business, you can consider using a recruiting agency or headhunter to help you find the perfect candidate. While these services will cost you more, they take the legwork out of searching for the unique qualifications that your company requires.

No matter how you go about finding the talent, offering an attractive benefits package that provides the perks employees are looking for can ensure you find — and retain — the perfect workers.

Flexibility to work from home — wherever that home may be — is a major perk that individuals seek these days. Since the pandemic, the number of people working from home nearly tripled. This is something that’s difficult to give up, as it allows greater flexibility in the work day, the advantage of not having to commute, and the benefit of having more time to spend with family and friends.

What do workers want?

Not only do people want to work from home, but they also want to be able to move around and work according to their will. If your office is in New York, but you don’t require employees to physically come into the building, it makes sense that your employees might want to work from a different city. Providing that flexibility lets employees know that you respect their freedom and trust them to get the work done. 

This leads to the fact that employees also want autonomy in today’s workplace. Most American workers now consider flexibility more important than salary or monetary benefits, according to a recent Harvard Business Review study.

Is there a need to have employees in office if the job doesn’t require individuals to be meeting face-to-face with clients and partners on a day-to-day basis during regular hours? Consider if the role you’re looking to fill can be done with a flexible work schedule. If the job is completed properly, on time, and within budget, do you need your employee to be working between 9-5, or can they make their own custom hours?

Making a position attractive to new employees now requires more than just a generous sick leave and holiday time. Consider innovative ways you can make a job attractive to prospective hires, and be creative when it comes to considering your employee’s best interests.

Job site reviews

Whether you’re a job seeker or employer, there are countless sites out there to help you on your employment journey.

As an employer, using the right platform will save you time and money on your search. You want to find someone with the right skills, knowledge, and experience to fill the role, and you want them to fit in with your company culture.

As a job hunter, you want to know your application is getting into the hands of the right people, and getting noticed by recruiters who can help you on your way.

Ziprecruiter

Pros

Pros

  • One of the more popular sites
  • Offers the ability to ask “screening questions,” so you can find the right personality for your company
  • For job seekers, the large pool of business and advanced AI matching means greater opportunity for the right job to find you
Cons

Cons

  • Pricing tier may be prohibitive to smaller companies
  • Resume database not necessarily updated to reflect users not looking for work
  • High number of job seekers is great for businesses, but increases competition for job seekers

Careerbuilder

Pros

Pros

  • Free to search job listings
  • Easy to apply for jobs
  • Competitive pricing for employers
Cons

Cons

  • Limited resume searches per day in certain plans
  • Not as significant market share as competitors' sites

Monster

Pros

Pros

  • One of the best known job sites, with roots dating back to 1999
  • Available as a mobile app for on-the-go job searches and hiring
  • Employers can track job applications
  • Site is streamlined and easy to use
Cons

Cons

  • Limited number of resume views unless you create a customized plan
  • Some reviews on ConsumerAffairs suggest that the platform isn’t as effective as other hiring sites

Glassdoor

Pros

Pros

  • Offers job seekers anonymous reviews of workplaces, posted by current and former employees
  • Honest, favorable reviews draw ideal candidates to your business
  • Helpful when looking for specialized, niche employees
Cons

Cons

  • Reviews can be inflated by employees who are encouraged to leave favorable reviews, or bombed by negative posts by disgruntled workers
  • Pricing not published for the paid plans- must fill out a form and have a representative contact you
  • More focused on reviews of workplaces, instead of job postings

Craigslist

Pros

Pros

  • Good outlet for more creative, unconventional job postings
  • Can respond to applicants through the site, so you can remain anonymous
  • Well-known name in the classified business
  • Cheap to post jobs
Cons

Cons

  • Interface can make it more difficult to screen for job postings and potential hires
  • More prone to scam postings than other sites
  • Job applicants often have less experience, so you’ll receive fewer senior job seekers
  • Job posts are more regionally limited, so not ideal for remote jobs

Best jobs

What is your definition of the best job? Is it the freedom to work wherever you want? Do you want something where you’re constantly challenged? Is pay more important to you than the type of work?

Whatever you consider to be the best type of work, there are countless opportunities for you to find the diamond in the rough.

Fun jobs that pay well: Did you know you can make up to $500 an hour as a voice actor? Or how about becoming a supercar driving instructor for $120k a year? There are countless irreverent and fun jobs you can tackle, no matter what your personal interests are.

Best paying jobs in finance: The financial industry offers the opportunity to earn a big paycheck, while accessing knowledge that can help you gain more wealth. Many jobs require only a bachelor’s degree, so you can start earning top-dollar right out of university. Whether it’s working a tax job for the government or becoming a personal financial advisor, there are many great ways to start a high-paying career in finance.

Highest paid trade jobs: The trades can provide an opportunity to secure a hands-on job and climb the career ladder. While they’re often physically demanding, many don’t require a four-year bachelor’s degree. Trade jobs also have the benefit of offering paid training.

Best jobs that don’t require a degree: College isn’t for everyone, and the high costs of higher education might make you think twice before submitting your application. Just because you don’t attend post-secondary school doesn’t mean you’re out of career options. From a job in the trades to becoming a firefighter, chef, or crime scene investigator, there are plenty of good paying career options available to you if you choose to go to the school of life.

Highest paying jobs in the U.S.: If you’re starting your journey through higher education and want to know what the return on your investment will be, or want to switch careers, it helps to know what the highest-paying roles are. A lot of jobs in the medical field — jobs that require many years of schooling — reward the years of hard work and skill and knowledge with high pay. These include careers as a dentist, orthodontist or surgeon. However, you can also make an above-average salary pursuing a career as an architectural manager or airline pilot.

Employment trends

Quiet quitting

This newly-named trend entails doing the bare-minimum required of your job. It means checking in at nine and checking out at five. It means not going beyond your job description, not working through your lunch break.

The trend of quiet quitting began as a way for burnt-out workers to restore some of their mental and physical health. Striking the proper work-life balance helps restore mental health, and can enable you to perform better at the job you were hired to do.

Critics of the movement suggest that dis-engaging is actually counter-productive. They believe workers who find the work load or stress level too high are better served by speaking with their managers, or looking for job opportunities better suited to the lifestyle they desire.

Retirees returning to work

Retirees returning to work is a trend that's been on the rise, with about 1.7 million of them returning to the workforce in the last year. The rising cost of living and inflation aren't the only reasons for returning to work though.

For some, having a “soft landing” into retirement is attractive. Returning to work also offers the opportunity to keep the social aspect of work alive, and can extend your health insurance if you work for a company that offers such benefits.

The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation began shortly after the start of COVID-19, when droves of workers left their jobs. Tired of feeling disrespected at work or that their salaries do not provide enough to manage inflation, workers left their current positions for other opportunities.

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, one in five employees is likely to switch their job in the next year, while more than 33% are planning to ask for a raise.

“Employers know that quit rates are high. They know that job openings are plentiful. And so they know their employees can be choosier,” says Andrew Flowers, labor economist at job advertisement firm Appcast.

If you want to transition your career, the window to act might be closing. With interest rates rising, the labor market may begin to slow, meaning fewer job opportunities. You might be better served asking your employer for a raise or other workplace benefit — like a work-from-home or hybrid model workplace.

Pay transparency in the workplace

Pay transparency in the workplace offers an opportunity for employers to level the playing field amongst their workers.

“I think we're in a moment of cultural change in the last few years, where employers are realizing that it's actually to their advantage to be more transparent about pay,” says Andrea Johnson, director of state policy, workplace justice and cross-cutting initiatives at the National Women’s Law Center, based in Washington, DC.

Experts like Johnson have advocated for these laws to help reduce racial and gender wage gaps — which often get swept under the rug when there’s less transparency in the workplace.

Women earn 83 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And Department of Labor data indicates most racial minority groups also earn significantly less on average compared to white workers.

Not only do employees benefit from pay-transparency, but so do employers. Johnson says by being more transparent, those companies will have an easier time building trust with employees.

About the author

James Battiston

James Battiston

Staff Reporter

Prior to joining MoneyWise, James Battiston was a frequent contributor to Ratehub where he wrote extensively on mortgages, home and life insurance, and has broadened his expertise to include retirement. Additionally, he has written content for companies such as Applied Systems, Access Storage and Aphria Inc. He holds an honours BA from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre. He loves to spend his spare time with his family and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

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