COVID-19: Employment Tips and Resources

(updated May 29, 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 Spring 2020

Employment Opportunities for Students

Volunteer Opportunities for Students

Financial Support

Physical and Mental Health

 

Job Search in Spring 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.

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). Need some ideas? Check out this article on 54 free online courses from the best colleges in the US.
    • 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.
    • Coursera is offering 100 free courses spanning a vast majority of categories like mental health and well-being, career development, and many more till May 31st.
    • 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.
    • edX lists almost 2500 online courses from around 140 top institutions including subjects like computer engineering, data sciences, and many more.
    • Udemy is offering special daily student deals on multiple courses such as learning computer python, machine learning, and many more which allows you to learn at your own schedule.

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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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.

Summer Work-Study (University of Toronto)

  • 1500+ remote jobs available across UofT this summer. Applications open from April 30 – May 29, 2020.
  • UofT students enrolled in at least .5 credits in either of the summer sessions may be eligible to apply. Full details can be found on CLNx > Jobs & Recruitment > Work-Study.
  • Postings include: Research Assistant; Assistant Developer, VR Research; Outreach and Marketing Assistant; Physics Lab Assistant.
  • Questions? Need help with your application? Give us a call or chat with us.

Shopify

PepsiCo Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart Dollarama Amazon 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

Dialogue

InkSmith

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

Cornershop Shopper

Chartwells Retirement Residences

Metro

Our Place Peel

Slack

24/7 Intouch

CanCOVID: Canada wide network

  • A rapid-response network for facilitating the nation’s COVID-19 research effort
  • CanCOVID is linking up Canada’s research network using Slack, an online messaging platform that organizes real-time group discussion into team-specific and topic-specific channels. Using the Slack platform, CanCOVID members can collaborate across critical research and development areas, from clinical trials and testing to diagnostics and treatment. 
  • The CanCOVID network is by invitation and is restricted to verified members of the COVID-19 expert research and response community. This includes, for example, researchers with recognized expertise in:
    • Diagnostics
    • Vaccines & Therapeutics
    • Modeling
    • Fundamental Science
    • Clinical trials
    • Cohort studies
    • Social & behavioural sciences
    • Healthcare
    • Policy decision-making
    • Indigenous knowledge
    • Medical devices
    • Patient perspectives
    • Community health

To be considered a recognized expert, you must have a professional affiliation with a university, hospital, clinic, government office, non-profit association or business. All prospective members will be vetted to ensure that they are legitimate members of the research and response effort. This will include verifying email addresses and professional affiliations.

  • Post-Doctoral and PhD Traineeswill qualify for membership ONLY if serving as representatives for faculty supervisors who are actively researching COVID-19, or if they can demonstrate substantial prior research experience on COVID-relevant topics.
  • For more information: https://cancovid.ca

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

RBC - General Application

Sunnybrook Health Sciences

Randstad

Ubereats

D2L - Desire to Learn

Top Hat

  • Hiring students for various job positions covering aspects such as customer success, engineering, finance and marketing in Toronto region
  • For more information: https://tophat.com/company/work-with-us/

Amazon - Warehouse

Northern Dock Systems

Altis Technology Recruitment’s 

ABL Employment

Closing the Gap Healthcare - Mississauga 

Jobs in Long-Term Care (Government of Ontario)

  • Qualified students can now register to be connected directly with long-term care homes facing critical staff shortages due to COVID-19.
  • Students in the healthcare field and those with volunteer experience in healthcare can register via the Ontario Long-term Care Association's Link2LTC.
    • More information here.

DoorDash Delivery

Canada Survey Job

UpHabit Inc.

UPS Delivery

MindBeacon

JOEY Sherway Restaurant

McDonald’s Restaurant 

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

Longos 

Canadian Tire

University of Toronto

LOWE’S

Trillium Health Partners

Giant Tiger 

The Miller Group

Shoppers Drug Mart

 

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Volunteer Opportunities for Students

On April 22nd, it was announced that through CERB, 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

Reconnect Community Health Services

Free For All Foundation 

Second Mile Club - Kensington Health Centre

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Financial Support

University of Toronto

Provincial Government Support

  • Four Social Assistance programs.
  • OSAP repayment will be paused until September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

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
  • 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. 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
  • If you owe any money to the Canada Revenue Agency, you now can delay the payment until August 31 without incurring any interest or penalties.
  • 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

 

External Support

  • The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada have created a short-term relief fund to pay Canadian artists for their online performances affected by COVID-19 closures
  • https://nac-cna.ca/en/canadaperforms/apply

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.

 

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Physical and Mental Health

  • 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.
  • Volunteer online to feel better, help you cope, and provide valuable services to others.
  • Reach out if you need any help or just want to talk to somebody.
  • Hart House is leading online fitness classes daily. See the schedule here.
  • 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 stories about how they are coping with their new reality. Students can sign up with their U of T email address to join the online discussion board or view the topics and follow along without signing up. The forum will be monitored by social workers who can volunteer advice and refer students to additional mental health resources.
  • Sitting for most of the day can affect our muscles, joints, and postures. A webinar held by UofT Human Resources and Equity centre on May 29 will demonstrate stretches and mobility and strengthening exercises that are best for everyday life and that can be done from home. Register online.
  • 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.

 

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