COVID-19: Employment Tips and Resources

(updated August 10, 2020)

Support for Students and Recent Graduates (International Students, see tips here).

Looking for work, managing finances, and staying healthy can be challenging during the best of times. The COVID-19 pandemic has made things much more difficult, but the UTM Career Centre is here to support you. If you have any issues accessing the internet, please call us and we can discuss alternatives. For additional virtual services from UTM Student Affairs please click here.

Below are some tips and resources we’ve gathered for you, and please feel free to reach out to us for help. Contact us Monday-Fridays 10am - 4pm at 905-828-5451 or 905-828-5264 or ask a question via our Live Chat!

 

Job Search in Summer 2020

Ontario Labour Market Information

Employment Opportunities for Students

Volunteer Opportunities for Students

Financial Support

Physical and Mental Health

 

Job Search in Summer 2020

Smart Job Hunting Virtual Conference Slides

Did you miss our Smart Job Hunting Virtual Conference? We saved the presentations and resources onto Quercus. Get access by logging in with your UTorid and add the Smart Job Hunting course. https://q.utoronto.ca/courses/158997  

Research Careers

  • Considering your options? You can learn a lot about careers online which will help as you reach out to employers. Check out our online career exploration resources.
  • Make a remote appointment to speak with one of our career counsellors by calling 905-828-5451 or 905-828-5264.
  • Use the Vault to access their Career Guides and Career Blogs to learn more about career options and how to deal with the job market changes caused by COVID-19.

Update Your Job Search Documents

  • To stand out from the competition, it’s critical that you create tailored, accomplishment-based resumes and cover letters. Check out our resume and cover letter resources.
  • Most job seekers choose to have a LinkedIn profile. Check out our LinkedIn information page. To help you get started in building your profile, view the UTM Career Centre webinar titled LinkedIn Essentials for Job Search on Quercus.
  • If you would like a resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile critique, contact the Career Centre at 905-828-5451 or 905-828-5264.
  • Be sure to attend our Now That I'm Graduating What's Next (NTIGWN) online workshop via Quercus to gain access to full-time jobs on CLNx.

Email Templates for Communicating with Employers

  • During this time, you may be wondering about how best to approach employers regarding work.
  • You may have applied for jobs, internships, accepted roles or were invited for an interview which may need to be changed due to social distancing.
  • The Career Centre has put together a couple of e-mail templates that you may consider using if you are unsure about how best to approach a potential employer.
  • https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/careers/jobs/resources-links#info

Find Advertised Remote Jobs

Other Ways to Find Opportunities and Explore Careers

  • Reach out to professionals in the field and ask for informational interviews to get up to date career and industry information. Find alumni professionals through Ten Thousand Coffees (access through the Resources section on CLNx) and LinkedIn.
    • Not sure what to say when meeting new people online? View the UTM Career Centre webinar titled Learn to Network on Quercus.
    • Use the Group section on Linkedin to join professional networking groups.
  • Check out these three tips for UofT students seeking summer jobs amid COVID-19.
  • Career Exploration & Education and the Sexual & Gender Diversity office have launched a Trans-inclusive Career Guide for trans and nonbinary students. Your Journey: A Career Guide for Trans and Nonbinary Students is available for download here.

Prepare for a Job Interview

  • Video and Skype Interview Tips.
  • Interview Preparation Tips.
    • In the latest Linkedln study, recruiters seem to ask pandemic coping interview questions: learn how to tackle them here
  • Phone Interview Tips -as more employers begin to conduct remote interviews they will often pre-screen candidates with a phone interview.
  • Big Interview – use it to get training and practice(access through the Resources section on CLNx).
  • Call us at 905-828-5451 or 905-828-5264 to set up a practice interview.

Build Your Skills

  • Develop your skills online using the many available free resources, including:
    • LinkedIn Learning offers thousands of courses and tutorials on a wide variety of technologies and disciplines. University of Toronto students have free access.
    • edX (take free and paid online courses from top universities and leading companies). Open enrollment ends on June 30, 2020. 
    • GitHub and GitHub Learning Lab (develop and showcase your coding).
    • The School of Continuing Studies has a wide range of skill-enhancing and career-boosting options offered online. UofT graduates from June 2018 or later qualify for an alumni discount of $550 to use towards any one course.
      • The School of Continuing Studies (SCS) has launched an Opportunity Fund to support learners dealing with financial challenges due to COVID-19.
      • Students can apply for a one-time bursary of up to $750 to finance SCS course tuition costs. The bursary is available to both new and returning students. Full details here.
    • Harvard is offering 67 courses for free online. The duration of these courses varies from 1 week to 12 depending on the course and its syllabus.

Freelance Work

  • Develop your skills and pick up some additional work that works flexibly around your schedule.
  • ​Learn how to Get Started as a Freelancer.
  • FreelanceWriting and LinkedIn Profinder are sites to find and post freelance work.

Recruiters

  • Recruiters can provide you with industry updates and job opportunities on a regular basis
  • Recruiters are specialized in certain industries and can provide tips that are specific to the employer you are applying to
  • Due to COVID-19, recruiters may not have as many opportunities as normal
  • It’s good to reach out now to create an action plan and they will begin to contact employers to network on your behalf.

International Students

  • International students can now work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session as long as they are working in an essential service (health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food/goods), hold a study permit, and are eligible to work off-campus. 
  • If your classes have moved online, you are still eligible for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP). If you have a study permit or have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in May or June, but you can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions, you’re also still eligible for the PGWPP.
  • The IRCC provides information on how COVID-19 will affect applications for international students
  • Connect with UTM’s International Education Centre (IEC) for support.

Recent Graduates

  • Tips from former graduates on how to adjust your job search when you graduate during a recession.
  • Some universities have begun doing virtual tours, networking, and open houses in place of in-person events.
  • UofT graduates from June 2018 or later qualify for an alumni discount of $550 to use towards any course at UofT’s School of Continuing Studies (SCS).

 

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Ontario Labour Market Information

The following is a summary of Ontario’s Labour Market Briefing (July 2020):

Employment Outlook

  • Employers will seek the following qualities in new employees:
    • flexibility and adaptability
    • resilience
    • comfort tackling multiple roles
    • willingness to pitch in wherever needed
    • creativity to solve shifting challenges
    • eagerness to learn new technologies

Build Your Skills online, or chat with us to learn more!

  • 25 occupations with the brightest outlook post-COVID:
  • Search job profiles by NOC code on the Government of Ontario website. To learn more about researching career options, speak to our Live Chat agents, or call to book an appointment.
    • NOC 2000: Natural and applied sciences and related occupations (i.e. computer network technicians, industrial designers, health inspectors, etc.)
    • NOC 3000: Health occupations (i.e. medical lab technicians, paramedical services, etc.)
    • NOC 4000: Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (i.e. social and community service workers, early childhood educators, etc.)
    • NOC 7000: Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (i.e. electricians, carpenters, plumbers, etc.)
    • NOC 9000: Occupations in manufacturing and utilities (i.e. supervisors in mineral and metal processing, forest products, petroleum, gas and chemical processing, etc.)

 

  • ​Canada is seeing a gradual recovery of job postings since the sharp decline in March. Smaller than average declines found in nursing, loading and stocking, construction, and software development jobs.
  • The decrease in posted positions and an increase in laid-off workers results in greater competition for available jobs. Employers are facing increased pressure to be more selective when hiring.
    • Individuals who are seeking their first job, lack training or qualifications, or who face additional barriers to employment are recommended to seek alternative job search strategies.


The Career Centre offers several workshops, services, and resources to assist with your job search. Speak to an Employment Strategist or chat with us to learn more.

  • The Government of Canada will introduce a program that creates short-term employment for young Canadians in STEM fields.
    • 500 job or internship opportunities (ranging from 6 months to a year) will be available for recent graduates and youth in fields involving STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Placements will occur in five sectors: Energy, forestry, mining, earth sciences, and clean technology. More information to come.
       
  • 47% of Canadian businesses are currently fully open. For every two businesses that laid-off employees temporarily at the beginning of COVID, roughly one has rehired laid-off employees.
     
  • From an unpredictable labour market, we can expect: remote work will stay, increased skill levels of workers, new necessary soft skills, and new industries and occupations will emerge.
     

Post-Secondary Education

  • The March-transition to online learning proved that most students can learn from anywhere, and educational institutions have the ability to transform quickly.
     
  • Anticipate a modernization to the credit transfer system that recognizes micro-credentials and experiential learning as completion towards a diploma or degree.
     
  • Anticipate changes to the traditional academic calendar.
     
  • Anticipate new forms of engagement with international students, and developing a pedagogy that adds AR/VR to student learning.
     
  • Starting in July 2020, some in-person education will reopen to students in essential, front-line, and high labour market demand areas such as nursing, personal support workers, engineering, etc.

 

 

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Employment Opportunities for Students

U of T is reaching out to the over 10,000 employers registered on CLNx to encourage them to continue posting available opportunities  (remote where possible) and to plan their future recruitment, even in these uncertain times.  Keep checking CLNx.

 

PepsiCo Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart Walmart Canada Domino’s Pizza
  • Hiring full and part-time team members, including pizza makers, delivery experts and customer service representatives
  • http://www.dominos.ca/careers
Sobeys

HYR App

  • This is an app that allows restaurant owners and retailers to hire temporary and on-demand shift workers, allowing people the opportunity to pick up shifts whenever they want
  • https://hyr.work/work-a-shift-3/

Task Rabbit

  • Perform jobs and errands for customers based on your own availability
  • Now implementing a category for contactless tasks and virtual help to encourage social distancing
  • https://www.taskrabbit.ca/become-a-tasker

Instacart Shopper

Chartwells Retirement Residences

Metro

Slack

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

Ubereats

D2L - Desire to Learn

  • Submit a general application or apply to positions in software development, project management, consulting, research, etc. 
  • For more information: https://www.d2l.com/careers/jobs/

DoorDash Delivery

Canada Survey Job - Remote Data Entry 

CareerUp - Remote Internships 

  • CareerUp is an internship placement program now hiring for remote summer internship positions in Finance, Marketing, PR, Accounting, Advertising, etc. 
  • Companies offering positions include Tesla, Microsoft, and Amazon. For more information: https://remoteinternships.com

LOWE’S

Teaching Gurus

Padget Business Services

Toronto Premium Outlets - Michael Kors

Single Mothers in Progress

Ross Video

PRESSURE CLEAN POOLS - Oakville

Humber River Hospital

LeapGrad - Toronto

InComm - Mississauga,ON

SYNNEX Corporation - Toronto, ON

  • Hiring Sales Trainee Representative
  • As our full-time Graduate Sales Trainee, you are a recent college or university graduate (within the past two years) with a strong interest in starting your career in Sales and an interest in learning Product Management and Business Development
  • Spending six to nine months in this role, you will gain experience working on meaningful accounts, sales quotes, sales pipeline activities and other business projects as a part of the department. Following your sales training, successful Trainees will be able to apply for a permanent role in Sales, Product Management, Business Development, Marketing or another area of the business as appropriate.
  • For more information: https://synnex.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/synnexcareers/job/Toronto-ON/Sales-Trainee-Representative--Discovery-Rep-_R5218?__jbsrc=A9CCFE96-1C8D-4BEF-B025-AE0CD3EB53FA

EMCO Corporation

  • Hiring Strategic Development Program
  • Our Strategic Development Program teaches new hires with little-to-no industry experience every aspect of the business. You’ll work in the Mississauga Profit Centre learning exactly how the business operates across the country from two physical locations (Edmonton and Mississauga) – from shipping and receiving, to operations management
  • Then you’ll get to know our customers and vendors. spending time learning inside sales and outside sales, all parts of the Project Manager role. By the end of it all you’ll be a complete Water Business Ninja.
  • For more information: https://ca.indeed.com/viewjob?jk=c975e459389a11c2&q=Recent+University+Graduate&l=Mississauga%2C+ON&tk=1eeiu4ebk440r800&from=web&vjs=3

Spectacle - Toronto, ON

  • Hiring student optician and sales representative 
  • A Student Optician's purpose is to exceed client expectations while promoting the Spectacle culture with great client service and demonstrating comprehensive knowledge of all eyewear, sunwear, and vision care products and services
  • With a clear understanding of Spectacle’s mission and vision, your role as a Student Optician will  be to ensure each and every store visitor is served with enthusiasm, expertise, friendliness, and honesty.
  • For more information: https://ca.indeed.com/viewjob?jk=88ed0a98b8415050&q=Part+Time+Student&l=Mississauga%2C+ON&tk=1eetekrbqnn0h800&from=web&vjs=3

MaskerAide - Toronto,ON

  • We are looking for a highly creative, on-trend and beauty-savvy individual to join our small team as our Social Media and Marketing Intern. This is an exciting opportunity for an individual who is creative and has an interest in content creation and communications. 
  • As our Social Media and Marketing Intern, you will assist in social media content creation, quarterly marketing calendars, scheduling and posting, competitive brand research and analysis, and other various marketing and public relations tasks.
  • For more information: https://ca.indeed.com/jobs?q=part%20time%20student&l=Mississauga%2C%20ON&radius=25&vjk=6218de46d82900ed

Untitled Artisan - Toronto, ON

Brisk Tax Financial Services - Mississauga, ON

CVH Immigration - Toronto,ON

Designs by Nature Gems - Toronto, ON

Junior Academy School - Toronto, ON

  • Hiring student support to provide 1:1 assistance to one student in junior division classroom between the hours of 8:30 - 12:30
  • The individual will support the student by providing cues and reminders of expectations and, as needed, work with the student in an alternate setting to complete assigned work.
  •  The individual will support the student in their ability to complete assigned curriculum, which may also include scribing, supporting voice to text and the use of assistive technology
  • For more information: https://ca.indeed.com/jobs?q=Part%20Time%20Student&l=Mississauga%2C%20ON&sort=date&vjk=4cdf26a079cbe94e

ALPHASHINE - Toronto, ON

 

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Volunteer Opportunities for Students

On April 22nd, it was announced that through CESB, students who volunteer could be eligible for $1000-$5000/month based on hours spent volunteering. 

Gain Experience Through Online Volunteering

COVID-19 Cyber Threat Coalition Volunteering

  • A group of international volunteers and organizations are sharing cyber protection advice and solutions to others due to an increase in remote work and cyber threats.
  • https://www.cyberthreatcoalition.org/

Agincourt Community Services

Centre for Grief and Healing

The Riverwood Conservancy

Single Mothers in Progress - Toronto

Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships

 

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Financial Support

University of Toronto

Provincial Government Support

  • The Ontario Government’s Emergency Assistance program has expanded under Ontario Works. Ontario residents with limited income, assets or credit who are in a crisis or an emergency situation can apply for short-term assistance.
  • OSAP repayment will be paused until September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest. The 2020-2021 application for full-time students is now available. Full details here.
  • Four Social Assistance programs

Federal Government Support

  • Employment insurance (EI) for individuals who lost their jobs.
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) offers income support to those who lost their jobs and don’t qualify for EI, sick workers who don’t have paid sick leave, individuals who are under quarantine, and those who have to stay home to care for children. 
  • To qualify for this: applicants must have earned at least $5000 in the past 12 months or in 2019 as a whole 
  • Update to CERB program announced April 15th: Prime minister Justin Trudeau announced that the CERB program is being expanded. The emergency fund will now be available for those making less than $1000 a month, seasonal workers and those whose EI benefits have run out. He also announced a wage boost for essential workers who make less than $2,500 a month
  • Update June 19: CERB applications have been extended for another 8 weeks lasting until start of September 
  • Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB): this program was recently proposed to help post-secondary and recent graduates who do not fall under CERB or EI category. Eligible students receive $1250/month, or $2000/month if they have dependents or a disability. Update May 13: Students can start applying for CESB beginning Friday, May 15th. For more information and application check here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/emergency-student-benefit.html
     
    • Before applying, students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
      • Students must ensure that they are not receiving/eligible for EI or CERB
      • Students must either be actively enrolled in a post-secondary institution or have just completed their degree after December 2019
      • High school graduates who were also due to enroll in post-secondary programs in the upcoming months and Canadian citizens studying abroad also qualify if their work employment got affected by COVID-19 and they meet the above criteria
      • International students do not qualify
      • Students are eligible if they are now earning less than $1000/month or have been unable to find employment due to the coronavirus during the 4 week period for which they are applying.
      • Also, students need to be able to prove that they have lost their employment either completely or partially if they are now earning less than $1000/month or have been unable to find employment due to the coronavirus during the 4 week period for which they apply CESB
      • Students with disabilities and dependents can receive an extra $750
  • The new Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) will assist students who choose to do national service and serve their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CSSG will provide up to $5,000 towards their education in the fall. 
  • If you owe any money to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you now can delay the payment until August 31 without incurring any interest or penalties. 
  • The CRA may ask you to provide information later to verify that you have been looking for work during the eligibility period(s) that you have applied for. It is recommended that you keep track of your ongoing job search activities.
  • COVID Programs and Deadlines (pdf document)

Canadian Summer Job Program 2020

  • Temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that will help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians access to the jobs they need during this unprecedented time. This program will help create up to 70,000 jobs for youth between 15 and 30 years of age. Students can now apply through Canada’s Job Bank
  • The temporary changes to the program for this year include:
    • An increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 % of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
    • An extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
    • Allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
    • Allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis​
  • New updates: The federal government announced on April 8 that it will cover 100% of wages for post-secondary students hired under the Canada Summer Jobs Program, which helps employers hire summer workers and gives young people access to jobs and experience.
  • The federal government will also extend the time period for job placements into the winter, since many jobs will start later than usual due to the pandemic and companies will be permitted to hire students part-time.
  • Meanwhile, the government has already announced a six-month, interest-free moratorium on Canada Student Loans, and a 75% wage subsidy for businesses that will help employers keep part-time employees and workers over the coming months.​

For more information: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/08/changes-canada-summer-jobs-program-help-businesses-and-young

#CanadaPerforms

  • Update May 22: The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada have extended the #CanadaPerforms initiative designed to help Canadian artists impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada.
  •  #CanadaPerforms now serves as a national platform for artists wanting to experiment with live-streamed performances and explore the future of digital engagement. Learn more here.

Other Tips

  • Ask your employer to work from home if that’s an option. If the employer is not considered an essential workplace, you must stay home and not go to work.
  • Job protection for workers.
  • Some businesses will offer temporary Hazard Pay wage increases to front-line workers.
  • Ask your bank for payment relief on credit obligations, if necessary.
  • If you rent, try to negotiate rent deferrals with your landlord.
  • Qualified homeowners can defer mortgage payments for up to 6 months.
  • Only spend money on the essentials (rent, food, medications). Avoid any unnecessary purchases.

Dealing with Losing Your Job

  • Apply for Employment Insurance
  • Apply for the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB), if eligible
  • Allow yourself time to process what has happened. Surround yourself with a positive, online support group of friends and family
  • It is a difficult time and it’s expected that employers may not respond as quickly as they normally do.
  • Use this time to refine your job search strategy and reach out to your network
  • Find tips to help deal with a career setback

 

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Physical and Mental Health

General Tips

  • Your health is always your number one priority.
  • Keep your loved ones safe. You must practice social distancing.
  • Listen to health experts.
  • Find tips to help stop the spread and take a self-assessment.  
  • The Office of the Vice-Provost has recent U of T updates and tips to help deal with the current situation.
  • Stay in touch with family and friends – call, text, and video chat.
  • Try to eat healthily and exercise where possible.
  • Watch movies, read books, draw, sing, meditate, do yoga, clean your home, play video games, or pick up a new hobby. Find healthy habits that work for you.
  • Volunteer online to feel better, help you cope, and provide valuable services to others.

Physical Health

  • Stay active with #MoveUTM Virtual Summer. Programming includes group fitness classes, consultations, personal training, e-sports tournaments and athlete development workshops.
    • Membership available to all UofT summer incidental fee paying students.
    • As of June 08, 2020 all UofT students not enrolled in summer courses and almost all graduate students, along with staff, faculty, alumni, and community members, must purchase the UTM Virtual Summer Membership to access UTM's summer programs.
  • Hart House is leading online fitness classes daily. See the schedule here.
  • Subscribe to #UTRAIN, UofT Sports & Recreation’s online workout program. Access live, interactive workouts, as well as a library of on-demand workouts. 
    • Includes yoga, family-friendly classes, run club, interactive challenges and more.
    • Provided at no additional cost to incidental fee-paying U of T students enrolled in summer courses. Program ends August 31, 2020. 
    • Graduate students can get 75% off a subscription with the SGS Summer Gym Bursary (UTSG).

Mental Health

  • Reach out to mental health resources in your area if there is any concern for the wellbeing and safety of yourself or others.
  • OISE Stay at Home Club is hosting a Twitter Live Series with alumni leading interactive lessons. See the schedule here.
  • Learn how important it is to take some time out for students to self-reflect during this pandemic. Check out this amazing column written by Peggy who works as a Career Counsellor at the Career Centre, University of Toronto Mississauga Campus.
  • UoFT has partnered with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to launch an online discussion board where students can share and view stories about how they are coping with their new reality. 
  • Sign up for Mind Control: Managing Your Mental Health During Covid-19 - A new online course launched by a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, which aims to help people manage their mental health during COVID -19.
    • Enrol for free starting June 05, 2020 on Coursera

 

 

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