Canada's Service Sector is Bustling with Jobs
By the Monster Career Coach
They work in restaurants, hotels and retail stores. When you’re on a bus or subway the driver is one. Teachers and healthcare workers are too. They all fall into Canada’s service sector, a category so large and wide-ranging that it employs more than 10,000,000 people!
Services are all about providing solutions to the needs of individuals, businesses and the public sector (government agencies). Some of the more recognized services are banking, wholesale, retail, transportation and warehousing, real estate and rental leasing, education, tourism, healthcare and social assistance. You probably couldn’t imagine getting by without them.
Similarly, the folks who provide you with phone and TV reception are offering a service. Your insurance broker and personnel placement agency employees are as well. You can also find services geared mostly to organizations, such as engineering and architecture.
Are you an IT consultant or chef in a restaurant? Accounting specialist or cable installer? You’re already part of the services club.
With such a diversity of opportunities available at every level in the service sector, how should you be marketing yourself to have the best chance of finding a satisfying job? Not surprisingly, you can really stand out in your service industry job search by demonstrating your service mindset at every stage.
Adopt an “I Can Help You” Attitude
Here’s an easy way to relate. You know how when you’re having lunch with friends at a restaurant and the waiter is exceptionally attentive to your needs? Or you’ve visited a hospital and the nurse made you feel so looked after it was like you were the only patient in the whole building?
That’s the kind of service that makes a great impression. If you’re the sort of person who gets satisfaction from assisting customers, patients, students, or whoever it is your charged with helping, you don’t mind going the extra mile.
Prove That You Are Service Focused
Bring this same level of caring to your job search. Any time that you can put the employer first is a sign to them that you have a true service nature.
Let’s say you are writing a cover letter for a job that you’ve seen on Monster. Before submitting the cover letter, take a few minutes to contact the employer’s receptionist to see if you can find the name and title of the person who might be associated with the job posting. By getting the correct spelling of their name and title, then including this in your cover letter, you demonstrate your service stance.
This type of “I put you first” approach can be applied in many subtle ways. Here are some suggestions for you to consider in your own work search:
- If you have voice-mail for the phone line that you’ve listed on your resume, re-record your incoming message to be as cheerful and professional as you can be.
- When you are visiting an employer for an interview, treat everyone you meet as if they are going to be your new boss. For instance, if you’re waiting in the reception area of an employer, offer to buy the receptionist a coffee or soda. And when it comes time to writing thank you letters after your interviews, make sure to include one for that same receptionist.
- For those special job postings that come up where you want to make the absolute best impression, you may want to hand deliver a copy of your resume to the employer in a nice envelope, with the words “hand delivered” written on the front. This is in addition to the electronic resume you may have submitted as well.
If you already have a service-based way of doing things, then everything that’s been mentioned above likely comes to you naturally. You’re the kind of person who will add little extra touches to each activity in your job search just because you know it will be helpful. Over time this way of setting yourself apart is appreciated by potential employers. One of them may well be impressed enough to offer you that service job where you have a chance to shine.