Applying For A Job

Click the links below to view self-directed workbooks, webshops and learn about workshops that can support you with your respective employment needs.

Employment Scams: Protect Yourself

When you are looking for work, it’s crucial that you are aware of employment scams and know the common signs. Learning how to recognize scams and fraudulent recruiting will help you protect your personal and financial information! Follow these tips and trust your instincts. If a job sounds too good to be true, it usually is!

Common Employment Scams

Employment scams begin with experienced con artists posing as recruiters or employers who offer appealing employment opportunities. These scammers sometimes even pose as well-known companies as part of their attempt to trick individuals with fake job offers in order to gather personal and financial information. Throughout their process they often:

  • require job seekers to make an initial investment or pay them money in advance. Or the fraudulent employer may provide money to the job seeker (via a fraudulent cheque) and then ask for money (in the form of your legitimate personal funds) to be “returned” or “repaid” to them;
  • indicate individuals can work at home;
  • utilize internet phone or VoIP systems throughout their recruitment with little to no direct conversation;
  • offer a higher salary than most comparable positions;
  • indicate no prior or related experience is needed;
  • require you to work on your own and may ask you to shop or run errands while they are away on a special vacation or traveling on business.

If you are unsure if your job offer or company of interest is legitimate, please contact Career Services to speak with a Career Consultant! The tips and resources below will also help you to recognize and avoid employment scams.

Recognize the signs. Be cautious of...
  • People recruiting from out-of-city/province, or overseas "while on business" and who are unwilling to meet in-person.
  • Contact email addresses that are generic and do not match a business’ legitimate e-mail domain.
    Tip: If someone claims to be hiring for a company, check the legitimate business’ website to see what e-mail domain name is generally used for company or employee emails.
  • Emplyers using internet phone or VoIP systems.
  • Employers planning to pay wages via a wire service, courier or a 3rd party (e.g. their lawyer or friend).
  • Job ads or email communications written with poor spelling and grammar, syntax errors, or with text in all caps or in bold font.
  • Employers who are local to Winnipeg but who cannot meet you at the place of business for an interview.
    If you do not have an opportunity to meet with someone from the organization in-person before accepting the job, you are taking a huge risk.
Never...
  • Pay money up front. You should never have to pay an employer to work for them!
  • Provide a potential employer with financial information during the job application process; this includes your credit card number, Social Insurance Number (SIN), or bank account information.
    Note: Companies should not ask for financial information over the internet or phone to process payroll. It is common practice to provide this information in-person and at the place of work ONLY after you have accepted a job offer. You should only complete federal forms authorized by the Governments of Canada (i.e. TD1 Personal Tax Credits Return).
  • Accept payment for services you have not provided (i.e. as a pre-payment for future work).
    Note: In many cases, a fraudulent employer will send you a fake cheque and then days later ask for some or all of the money back. Do not send any money back to the employer. You should also never spend money from a deposited cheque until it officially clears your bank account; it can take several weeks for a fake cheque to be discovered.
  • Accept a position without a phone or in-person interview. You and the employer need to make a mutual decision about employment.
    Note: that while it is normal for out-of-province companies to use phone interviews or Skype interviews, you should always verify the employer is legitimate before you accept the position. View the tips and resources listed in the section below.
Investigate...

Not only is employer research important in creating a strong job application, but it is also a step that can help you to ensure that an employer and job offer is valid. The following tips may help you verify an employer's legitimacy:

  • View the company website to verify contact information and phone the organization directly to confirm the posting and hiring practices.
    Note: If the company phone number provided is a VoIP Service (Phone over Internet or Telephony), take the time to call the main company line (not the one provided in the posting) and verify that the company made the posting.
  • Are company staff members on LinkedIn?
  • Is the company a member of a known industry sector council?
  • Check to see if the company is listed with the Manitoba Business Information Service or Canadian Corporation Database.

Trust your instincts. Ask yourself...
  • Does the job seem too good to be true: high pay and minimal expertise required?
  • Is the application and hiring process different from other employers?
  • Does the employer want to hire me without an interview?

If yes, be cautious and be sure to investigate!
Your intuition or gut-reaction can be your first and last line of defense against employment scams. Talk with friends, family and a career consultant if you're skeptical of a posting or employer.

Dont Stay Silent! Speak Up!

Report any suspicious or fraudulent postings or employers to the organization being impersonated and the job board host. When you report suspected fraud you protect yourself and others! The organizations listed in the section below can also provide support. The BBB and Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre provide notice of past and current employment scams.

Anti-Scam Resources

If you have questions or require support, contact:

Career Services - University of Manitoba
Room 474 UMSU University Centre, 65 Chancellors Circle
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 2N2

Phone: 204-474-9456
E-mail: cs.receptionist@umanitoba.ca

Job Search

The first step in looking for work is knowing what type of work you are looking for. If you are ambivalent, it will be hard for an employer or people assisting you in your job search to help you. If you are unsure about the type of work you want, click here to access career planning tools.

Need some extra money to help pay for university? Looking for a summer job? Looking for work after graduation? Our Job Search workbook, webshop and workshops will guide you through the important steps to achieving your employment goal.

Job Search Webshop

Job Search Workbook

Job Search Workshops

Hidden Job Market Resources

If you have never worked before, volunteering is a great way to get experience that employers are looking for and to get references that can talk about your work ethic and style, punctuality and other related issues. Click here for information on volunteering.

Resumé Development

If you have never written a resumé before, or need to re-vamp your current resume for a more career related opportunity, we can help! You can complete our online webshop that will introduce the resumé development process, or attend one of our in-house workshops. Use our Resumé Workbook to take you step-by-step through the resumé writing process.

What is the difference between a Resumé and CV?

In Canada, a resumé is generally 1 to 3 pages in length. It depicts your education, skills and work experience to a potential employer. It is customized for each job application and describes work achievements rather than simply the duties of previous work. It does not contain personal information such as age, marital status, religion, or photos.

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a term sometimes used synonymously with the term resumé. A CV communicates your research experience and publications. It is often required for academic or research positions within universities or some industry positions. There is no set length or number of pages for a CV. For support with your CV, view the resources within the link at the very bottom of this page.

Resumé Webshop Resumé Workbook Resumé Workshops
Cover Letter

The purpose of the cover letter is to pique the employer’s interest and to introduce your resumé. The cover letter should highlight the skills you possess which are most important to the employer. It should be focused on what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you.

Cover Letter Webshop Cover Letter Workbook
Interview Preparation

The key to a successful interview is preparation and practice. Think of the interview as a two-way exchange of information between you and the employer – each party is evaluating the other to determine if they are the right fit.

To learn more about interview preparation, you can view our Interview Webshop, read through our Interview Workbook, look at some sample interview questions, and finally, book an Interview Skills or Interview Preparation appointment with a Career Consultant.

Interview Webshop

Interview Workbook

Interview Workshop

Book an Appointment

Below are Samaple Behavioural Descriptive Interview Questions (grouped by skill) and Traditional Interview Questions, and a video interview with employers to inform you what they are seeking in students. Click on the headings to display the sample questions for that category.

What Employers Look For - Video
Adaptability
  • Tell me about a situation in which you have had to adjust to changes over which you had no control. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a classmate’s or colleague’s working style in order to complete a project or achieve your objectives.
  • How was your transition from high school to college? Did you face any particular problems? How did you handle them?
Analytical Skills / Problem Solving
  • Describe the project or situation that best demonstrates your analytical abilities. What was your role?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to analyze information and make a recommendation. To whom did you make the recommendation? What was your reasoning? What kind of thought process did you go through? Why? Was the recommendation accepted? If not, why?
  • Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. What did you do? What was your thought process? What was the outcome? What do you wish you had done differently?
  • What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision? Why?
Communication
  • Tell me about a recent successful experience in making a speech or presentation? How did you prepare? What obstacles did you face? How did you handle them?
  • Have you ever had to "sell" an idea to your classmates or co-workers? How did you do it? Did they accept your idea?
  • Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). How did you handle the situation? What obstacles or difficulties did you face? How did you deal with them?
  • Tell me about a time in which you had to use your written communication skills in order to get an important point across.
Creativity
  • When was the last time you thought "outside the box" and how did you do it? Why?
  • Tell me about a problem that you’ve solved in a unique or unusual way. What was the outcome? Were you happy or satisfied with it?
  • Give me an example of when someone brought you a new idea that was odd or unusual. What did you do?
Decision Making
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information you needed. How did you handle it? Why? Were you happy with the outcome?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to be quick in coming to a decision. What obstacles did you face? What did you do?
  • What is the most difficult decision you’ve had to make? How did you arrive at your decision? What was the result?
Goal Setting
  • Give me an example of an important goal which you have set and tell me how you reached it. What steps did you take? What obstacles did you encounter? How did you overcome the obstacles?
  • Tell me about a goal that you set that you did not reach. What steps did you take? What obstacles did you encounter? How did it make you feel?
Initiative
  • Describe a project or idea (not necessarily your own) that was implemented primarily because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?
  • Describe a situation in which you recognized a potential problem as an opportunity. What did you do? What was the result? What do you wish you had done differently?
  • Tell me about a project you initiated. What did you do? Why? What was the outcome? Were you happy with the result?
  • Tell me about a time when your initiative caused a change to occur.
  • What was the best idea you came up with during your professional or college career? How did you apply it?
Integrity / Honesty
  • Discuss a time when your integrity was challenged. How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time when you experienced a loss for doing what is right. How did you react?
  • Tell me about a business situation when you felt honesty was inappropriate. Why? What did you do?
  • Give a specific example of a policy you conformed to with which you did not agree. Why?
Interpersonal Skills
  • Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. How/why was this person difficult? How did you handle it? How did the relationship progress?
  • Describe a situation where you found yourself dealing with someone who didn’t like you. How did you handle it?
  • Describe a recent unpopular decision you made. How was it received? How did you handle it?
  • What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients in guiding and maintaining successful business relationships? Give me examples of how you have made these work for you.
  • Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). How did you handle the situation?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work on a team with someone you did not get along with. What happened?
  • Describe a situation where you had a conflict with another individual, and how you dealt with it. What was the outcome? How did you feel about it?
Leadership
  • Tell me about a team project when you had to take the lead or take charge of the project? What did you do? How did you do it? What was the result?
  • Describe a leadership role of yours. Why did you commit your time to it? How did you feel about it?
  • What is the toughest group that you have had to get cooperation from? What were the obstacles? How did you handle the situation? What were the reactions of the group members? What was the end result?
Planning, Organization and Time Management
  • Describe a situation that required you to do a number of things at the same time. How did you handle it? What was the result?
  • How do you prioritize projects and tasks when scheduling your time? Give me some examples.
  • Tell me about a project that you planned. How did your organize and schedule the tasks? Tell me about your action plan.
Teamwork
  • Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked with a classmate or colleague who was not doing their share of the work. How did you handle it?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or help others to compromise. What was your role? What steps did you take? What was the result?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work on a team that did not get along. What happened? What role did you take? What was the result?
Traditional Interview Questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength? Weakness?
  • Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
  • How would a friend or teacher describe you?
  • What courses do enjoy most? Least?
  • If hired, what abilities would you bring to this position?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What did you like the most/least about your last job?
  • Can you give me some examples of things you’ve done in previous jobs that demonstrate your willingness to work hard?
  • Do you enjoy working more with people or with things? Why? What do you feel you have to offer the job?
  • How do you feel your course work prepared you for the position you are seeking in our organization?
  • Do you think your grades reflect your true abilities?
  • How much do you know about our company?
  • What do you think about working overtime?
CV

Use the resources here to prepare your CV (Curriculum Vitae) and personal letter to apply for academic positions, prepare your application for a professional program or graduate studies and to apply research based positions.

What is the difference between a Resumé and CV?

In Canada, a resumé is generally 1 to 3 pages in length. It communicates your education, skills and work experience to a potential employer. It is customized for each job application and describes work achievements rather than simply the duties of previous work. It does not contain personal information such as age, marital status, religion, or photos. Use the resources within the link above to support your development of a resumé.

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a term sometimes used synonymously with the term resumé. A CV communicates your research experience and publications. This type of document is often required for academic or research positions within universities or some industry positions. There is no set length or number of pages for a CV.

CV Workbook


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Career Services at the University of Manitoba, along with 43 other partner career centres across Canada, co-won the Excellence in Innovation (Student Engagement) award at the CACEE conference for the It All Adds Up campaign.