The Process for Job Seekers
Following our mandate under the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development we offer two types of service depending on the client’s circumstances.
Resource & Information
You may qualify for Assisted Services (one-on-one) if:
You are unemployed
You work less than 20 hours per week
You are not in school full time
You require more intensive support
You need access and referrals to other services or training supports, such as
Literacy & Basic Skills; Pre-Apprenticeship Training; you have been laid off and want to discuss Better Jobs Ontario training;
*Some exceptions may be made for Assisted Services if you are not eligible due to full time employment, etc. Exceptions are based on an assessment of other suitability and service need factors but will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and require the Manager’s approval.
UNASSISTED SERVICES (Self-Directed):
You are employed full time
You are in school full time
Your Social Insurance Number begins with 9**
You are independent and have job search skills
**Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) that begin with a “9” are issued to individuals who require a SIN for employment purposes but are not Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents. If you have a 900-series SIN and an open work permit awaiting your official documents for permanent residency you are eligible to apply for the full range of Employment Ontario programs, depending on the program’s eligibility and suitability requirements. These individuals include:
Protected Persons: those determined by the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board to be either:
• A Conventional Refugee; or
• A person in need of protection
Those in Canada on a temporary work permit who have been granted Permanent Resident status.
Refugee claimants with a 900-series SIN and an open work permit are eligible for consideration for supports under the following Employment Ontario programs provided all other program criteria is met:
Employment Service, including Ontario Assistance Services
Youth Job Connection
Literacy & Basic Skills
Ontario Job Creation Partnerships
Ontario Bridge Training Program
International students and temporary foreign workers with a 900-seroes SIN may access self-directed components of Employment Service (i.e. Resource & Information) but may not access other assisted service components of the program. International students who require career and employment assistance should connect with the career services support at their educational facility.
If you have questions, please contact the Employment Ontario Contact Centre:
Call Toll-free: 1-800-387-5656
TTY Number: 1-866-533-6339
Email: contact EO@ontario.ca
List of Services Available to Job Seekers
At ReStart, we can provide professional employment counselling to help you achieve your career goals. Through collaboration, you will work one-on-one with an Employment Consultant to create a customized service plan based on your needs, qualifications and interests. Your plan will include S.M.A.R.T (Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Time-bound) goals with the on-going support, problem solving and coaching needed to successfully gain employment.
During, and in between appointments, job seekers can access assistance with any of the following activities:
Creating a resume and cover letters
Searching for and submitting job applications
Developing strong interview skills
Work with your Consultant on sharpening your interview skills through one-on-one and panel styled mock interviews. Practice job specific, common and tough interview questions that will prepare you for most interview situations. Your Consultant will help give you an in-depth understanding of the interview process and how normal it is to feel nervous before and during your interview.
Researching the labour market
Exploring retraining options
Research what potential retaining options are right for your current situation. Your consultant can help you navigate your eligibility and provide you with information on Better Jobs Ontario, apprenticeships, academic upgrading and college/university programs. Alternative financial support for retraining, such as OSAP or bursaries can also be discussed with your Consultant.
Referrals to outside resources
Paid job placement and client supports
Computer access and assistance
Frequently Asked Questions
I just lost my job. What resources are available to help me make ends meet until I find more work?
There are a number of programs funded by both the federal and provincial governments that can help you during difficult times. Each program is catered to helping in specific ways for specific populations, so you should take time to look into each program to see which will best suit your individual needs.
Ontario Works (OW) is a provincially-funded program that helps those in financial need cover the cost of basic necessities. Eligibility is based on individual financial circumstances and willingness to actively search for employment.
The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is another provincially-funded program that assists those with a disability who are in financial need to cover the cost of necessities. Applicants must prove that they are in financial need and meet the program’s definition of a person with a disability.
Employment Insurance (EI) benefits are available to those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are willing and able to return to work, but are unable to find another job. Applicants for EI must also have worked the required number of insurable hours in the last 52 weeks in order to qualify for this program. Recipients must provide proof of an active job search to continue receiving these benefits. EI can be received from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks. The amount of financial assistance provided is based on an individual’s average insurable weekly earnings up to a maximum amount.
How long will it take me to find a new job?
The amount of time it can take to find a new job is dependent on many different factors. Due to this, it is very difficult to say how long it will take any individual to find work. The best way to get a better idea of what to expect is to research local labour market trends. Ontario’s labour market webpage offers monthly updates regarding the labour market in Ontario. This is broken down further into the amount of jobs created for people at various levels of education and within various fields of employment. Using this resource will give you the most up-to-date information so that you know what to expect in your job search.
What are my rights as a job-seeker and worker?
Whether you are looking for work or are already working with an employer, it is important to know what your rights are within these contexts. Both the Ontario Government and Government of Canada websites offer information on labour standards, workplace health & safety, and human rights in the work context. However, it can be difficult to interpret the legislation just by reading it. To address this issue, Steps to Justice is an excellent resource that puts Ontario’s legislation into plain language to better help you understand your rights within many different contexts. This is an excellent resource if you want to know more about the law as it applies to you.
Where is the best place for me to start my job search?
Starting a new job search can be a very daunting task and it is easy to get overwhelmed when you don’t know what your options are. If you don’t have much experience with writing a resume, completing a job application, or doubt your interviewing skills, attending an employment agency is a great place to start. Services at ReStart are catered to the individual needs of anyone that comes in looking for help. By assessing and listening to clients to develop individualized service plans, we are able to touch on the issues that are most pressing to each individual client.
If you would prefer to start your employment search on your own, there are a number of resources that can make your search easier. There are job boards available through the Ontario Government and Government of Canada that you can use to search for jobs based on field and location. Using these sites as a starting point is beneficial as they also provide information on the labour market in relation to your chosen career. Additionally, sites such as Indeed.ca provide a very broad set of jobs available based on your location. Sites such as these are readily used by employers, so they are a good way of getting a general sense of jobs available in the area and make applications very easy.
Finally, it is important to consider often-overlooked ways of searching for employment. Individual employers, especially larger corporations, usually have job boards posted on their sites. Researching employers you are interested in is an incredibly useful way of directing your job search more effectively. Also, it should be noted that using people in your network such as family and friends is the best way to get information about jobs that may not be posted online. The more people know that you’re looking for work, the more people are able to help you in your search!
What can I do to improve my chance of getting hired quickly?
Getting into an extended job search where you never get any call-backs can be a very demoralizing experience. No one wants to go through what seems like constant rejection with today’s norm of online job applications. With everything seeming so impersonal and superficial, it can be easy to get caught up in the cycle of using the same generic resume to send to every job posting you see. While you may get lucky and get a quick reply, you’re far more likely to get caught in that negative cycle using this method.
There are, however, a few important things you can do to improve your chances of getting an employer’s attention. The first thing you should do is make sure that your resume and cover letter (if necessary) include what the employer is looking for according to the job posting. Take time to read through job postings you are interested in and try to match your skills with what the employer is looking for. The better you are able to demonstrate you are a good fit for the position, the better chance you have of moving on to the next stage of the hiring process.
Another way to improve your chances of getting hired is to diversify how you are expressing interest in work. Online applications are the norm in today’s job market, but networking and face-to-face interactions with potential employers are still powerful ways to show your interest and competence. Telling friends and family that you are looking for work opens up the chance for them to tell you about opportunities they have heard of through their own network. Talking directly with a manager in charge of hiring will set you apart from the competition as long as you present yourself well. It is important not to ignore these strategies even with the majority of applications happening online.
I’m trying to plan my career, but I don’t know where to start. Where can I go to find information about career planning?
If you’re unsure of what kind of work you want to do as part of your career, there are resources that can help you select a path based on your individual values and personality traits. Career Cruising offers a self assessment that will help you develop awareness of these values and traits. It then provides a list of careers that best suit you based on the results of the assessment.
After you have narrowed down your possible career options, it can be helpful to research salaries and prospects for those careers. Both the Government of Canada and the Ontario Government offer tools that will help you choose your career path based on the likelihood of finding employment in your chosen field and your expected salary at the beginning, middle, and end of your career.
What resources are available to me if I want to start my own business?
There are resources available to prospective entrepreneurs in the Kingston area that are designed to help with finances, business planning and mentorship. The Kingston Economic Development Corporation’s website offers a wide variety of resources – from determining if your business idea is feasible to providing information on licensing and permits – to help you start a business. They also offer a program called Starter Company Plus which is funded through the Ontario Government. This program is designed to provide business training to those who are looking to start a new business or expand an existing business.
Rise is another organization in Kingston that is dedicated to helping potential entrepreneurs start their ventures. Rise is a national charitable organization that is dedicated to promoting independence through self-employment for those living with addictions and mental health issues. Their services include low interest small business loans, business training, and mentorship programs.