Job Search: Starting From Ground Zero

What’s so challenging about a job search? You just apply for a job, get an interview, tell them everything great about yourself, wait for the job offer, and find out when you start—right?

Unfortunately, the process of finding a job is rarely that simple. Before you even start looking for a job, there are a number of things to consider. Assuming you haven’t got an “in” with a company’s recruiter, how do you make your resumé stand out from those of hundreds of other job applicants to land an interview? How do you know if your skills are developed enough to merit mentioning? If you’ve always just done your job well enough to keep it, how do you make an employer excited about hiring you? How do you convince them of your potential value to the company? Where do you even begin?

What Do You Bring To The Table?

In my role as CPABC’s career advisor, I speak to members at various career stages. It’s not just those starting out who seek guidance. Some are established in their careers but looking to transition to a different sector. Others are new to Canada and unsure of our job search methods and etiquette. Some are looking to get back into the workforce. Others are looking for new opportunities after being with one company for many years.

One piece of advice holds true for everyone: There is no better place to begin your job search than within. Without having a clear idea of who you are and what you’re good (or great!) at, your job search won’t have the stable foundation it needs to connect you to the right opportunities.

There’s an analogy that searching for a job is very much like opening your own business, and that couldn’t be more true. Of course, in this instance, you are the product of the business, and you must be your own sales team—consider yourself a “business of one.”That means that your ability to sell your product (your skill set and your character) is only as good as your ability to market it. And you can only know what you are marketing if you know who you are. The key, as they say, is product knowledge.

So how do you gain that knowledge? Well, there are different ways to find out who you really are and what you have to offer. Some career experts will suggest doing personality inventories and skills assessment tests. These can be very helpful tools since they require self-reflection, but storytelling is also a powerful means of self-discovery.

Learn more about the value of storytelling and what your stories say about you. Read the full article on

Content contributor: Suzanne Berry