June 9, 2015

How to use the Government of Canada's Job Bank website

Note: full disclosure before I begin ... I previously worked for the Government of Canada back in 2005 and from 2006-2007 and used the previous Job Bank extensively. My views reflect my personal opinion on the user friendliness of the new Job Bank website. 

Recently, I received an email message from a reader wanting to know how he should navigate the Government of Canada's new Job Bank website. I wasn't familiar with the new website so I decided to check it out. While using the new website, I saw why many might struggle to use the site. It's not very user-friendly, it's frustrating to use, and many of the easy-to-find features of the previous Job Bank website are gone.

But despair not, I've spent some time working through the new website and have developed a short guide to help you navigate the site when searching for a summer job.

First thing you'll want to know is that the old, archived version of the Job Bank website is still active - that's already a sign that the usability of the new government site isn't all that great. That means you can still use the old site and to be honest, if the new site is just too much for you, I'd recommend sticking to the old site for now.

If you're using the old website, on the homepage, click the "Student/Youth Job Search" link and then the province you reside in. The following page is a little crazy, but scroll down to the "Text" heading for an input area where you can type in any specific key words (e.g. office assistant, retail, restaurant, CNE, etc.) and if needed, use the "Location" heading option to narrow your search to a specific city. Then click the "Search" button and you'll see a list of the summer jobs available in your chosen city/province.

If you've decided to use the new website, visit the homepage and in the "Job Search" area, do one of the following:

Option 1: Type in the type of job you're looking for and location. So for example, you might type in "student jobs Toronto" or "summer jobs Sudbury".

Option 2: Type in "student jobs", "summer jobs", or "youth jobs", and then filter by province using the list on the right-hand side of the results page.

Option 3: Type in the type of job you're looking for (e.g. "retail associate", "summer camp counsellor", "CNE ticket seller") and on the right-hand side of the results page, scroll down and filter results by "Student & Youth", which you can find under the "Additional Job Filters" heading.

One piece of advice if you're using the new site ... if you live in a smaller city or town, I wouldn't recommend using option 1. Instead, use option 2 or 3 to see a larger list of summer jobs which you can then filter manually by scrolling through the list. Yes, it's more time intensive and not very user-friendly, but you might miss some opportunities if you use option 1.

Regardless of the method you use, you'll see a  list of summer jobs available in cities across Canada. There are some really interesting opportunities available and a range of companies and organizations are hiring for full-time, part-time, and summer/seasonal work.

I recommend spending at least an hour or two going through the job bank and use the 2015 Summer Job Application Tracking Sheet to keep yourself organized and to track your progress. And be sure to copy and paste the link of the job ad in the notes box so that you can refer to it later.

Good luck!