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6 tips to help land your dream job in the oil sands

6 tips to help land your dream job in the oil sands

The oil sands is a great place to start your career, advance to a new level or try something new. Here are 6 steps to help you find a great job or fulfilling career in the oil sands:

STEP 1 | CREATE A GOOD RESUME

  • Make sure your resume lists all relevant work experience, including all courses & any volunteer work.
  • Keep it concise; ensure the formatting is clear & easy to read; double-check grammar & spelling.
  • Consider adding a short overview or career objectives section on the top of the first page. 
  • Be sure to prepare a plain text copy of your resume, with all relevant keywords, to enter into perspective employer databases.

STEP 2 | MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT QUALIFICATIONS

  • For non-Canadians, make sure you have the appropriate work visas or Temporary Foreign Worker permits.
  • Skilled trades workers requires a Technical Trades diploma or certification in the province of Alberta.
  • Engineers require a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering or Applied Science from an accredited university.
  • For applicants with no certification or formal education, consider applying for field labour or administrative work. Alternately, consider applying for an apprenticeship or enroll in one of Alberta's many trades schools.
  • Don't be afraid to start at the bottom; hard-working employees can quickly progress to better opportunities within the corporation.

STEP 3 | FIND OUT WHO'S HIRING & GET YOUR RESUME INTO THE CORPORATE DATABASES

  • Check out the career sections of the various oil sands operators. Be sure to upload your resume & cover letter into the respective human resources databases.
  • For construction & trades jobs, send your resume to one of the many site contractors employed in the oil sands.
  • For engineering & design careers, search the career section of the many EPCs who design & retrofit the oil sands facilities.
  • For university students, consider an internship, co-op or summer job at one the major oil sands operations. This can be a great stepping stone to full time permanent employment.
  • Don't forget that there are thousands of manufacturing companies throughout Canada & the world that are busy supplying equipment, materials & supplies to the oil sands. Check out their job sites for work in one of their manufacturing facilities.
  • Don't know where to start? Check out the career pages of our Corporate Directory.

STEP 4 | PREPARE FOR THE INTERVIEW

  • Always look clean & professional; dress more formally than required by the job, regardless of position.
  • Show an interest in the job, the company and the industry in general; do some research ahead of time.
  • If the job requires relocation to a new city, show an interest and openness in moving to a new town.
  • Arrive on time, be polite, turn-off the cell-phone, and don't forget to smile :)

STEP 5 | BE SURE TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

  • Ask about the benefits & any allowances or bonuses offered to employees; do not make any salary demands during the interview.
  • Inquire about the typical work schedules, particularly for trades or construction work; ask about any overtime policies.
  • If the job requires relocation to a new city, ask about what assistance is offered, including housing allowances.
  • For young professionals or recent graduates, ask about career development & opportunities for progression within the company.
  • Show an interest in the job - ask about the work environment, organizational structure and any company expansion plans.

STEP 6 | HAVE A PLAN TO RELOCATE OR COMMUTE TO YOUR NEW JOB

  • If relocating to a new city, research the differences in home prices or rental costs.
  • If relocating to a new city, consider renting in the short term; this will allow more time to explore the different neighbourhoods.
  • If relocation is not feasible, consider one of the many fly-in fly-out opportunities that exist in the oil sands.
  • If opting for a fly-in fly-out assignment, make sure the schedule works for your family & lifestyle. Don't forget the Canada Revenue Agency residency guidelines & tax implications of not relocating your primary residency. 
Do you have the right qualifications?

Do you have the right qualifications?

Canadian oil & gas workers salaries averaged $130,000 in 2013

Canadian oil & gas workers salaries averaged $130,000 in 2013