Job Search / Tips

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Job search requirements and eligibility for social assistance

To qualify for Ontario Works Assistance, an applicant, spouse/partner or dependant adult who is not in school must be willing to undertake any full-time, part-time, part-time casual or casual job which you are physically capable of doing and making efforts to secure full-time, part-time or casual jobs. Your Case Worker may waive or reduce this requirement if:
  • you have to remain at home to give personal care and supervision to one or more of your dependent children because no other reasonable alternatives are available ;
  • you are attending an approved education course or training program ;
  • you are already employed on a full-time basis and there is a distinct possibility of earning sufficient amounts in the near future to discontinue assistance.
You must report all of your job efforts to you Case Worker when requested to do so. This is normally done by submitting a JOB SEARCH REPORT. Your performance will be assessed according to the following criteria ;


You must make at least one contact per day with a potential employer ; weekends and statutory holidays excluded. This generally means a minimum of 10 contacts per month. You may be requested to do more, depending on your skill level, ability, experience, availability of jobs, and any other relevant factors. You may negotiate with your Case Worker on the exact numbers, time and manner in which the contacts shall be made.


Your contacts must include a wide range of jobs and activities. You must demonstrate that you are willing and available to accept any job. Your contact should include applications or interviews which are strong indicators that you are looking in the right places for employment. Do not limit yourself to those jobs which you have traditionally done in the past. No job is too small or insignificant to attempt. The variety of your contacts is a strong measure of quality.


Your Case Worker must be able to verify all of our efforts in order to continue your eligibility for social assistance, For each entry, you must specify the date, the name of the prospective employer, the name of the person contacted, and the phone number. You must indicate whether you submitted an application or participated in an interview. Please sign each Job Seeking Report. Please understand that failure to meet the above criteria may result in the immediate suspension of your assistance for three to six months. It is recommended that you save a copy of each JOB SEARCH REPORT as a diary of your activities and as a reference to follow-up on potential employers. There are also employment programs that are available to help you with resumes, cover letters, job planning, career objective, and training opportunities.

Job Search Tips

Organizing your time and efforts to conduct an effective job search

Planning And Organizing Your Time

In order to complete an organized job search, you should:
  • make your job search a full-time project
  • set a daily routine. Plan where you will go, who you will see, where you will send resumes and how you will keep records for future references
  • always allow time for follow-up on letters and resumes sent
  • follow up on interviews by sending a thank you letter and by phoning for the outcome

Where To Look For Work

  • newspaper classified ads
  • placement offices or nearby schools, colleges, universities
  • private employment agencies
  • Canada Employment Centres
  • Community Resource Centres
  • local unions
  • library reference directories,
  • talk to people you know and tell them about yourself and the work you can do


  • be neat, employers will not read messy forms
  • read the entire form before writing anything
  • use a pen and print clearly
  • read over the form to check spelling, grammar, and general appearance
  • remember to sign and date the form

Telephone Tips

  • the telephone can save you time and get you organized
  • prepare and practice how you will ask for information regarding a possible job or contact
  • keep a copy of you resume nearby for reference
  • take notes while speaking for future references
  • keep the call brief
  • be pleasant, polite, and positive


  • if you do not have a resume, go to our Ontario Works Resource Centre to create one. There will be someone there to help you
  • take the time to assess your career goals, skills, qualifications, experience and education before writing your resume
  • you may need more than one resume if looking for different types of work
  • a resume should be no more than two pages and should be on 81/2 X 11 paper
  • proof read your resume a few times to be sure there are no errors.
  • prepare a list of references on a separate sheet to be given at the interview
  • always keep a copy of your resume with you

Interview Tips

  • learn as much as you can about the job you are applying for
  • be prepared to show the employer how they can benefit from hiring you
  • practice and prepare answers to common question; be sure that your answers are clear, concise and enthusiastic
  • know the date, time and place of the interview
  • be conservative in your choice of clothing and appear well groomed
  • show a positive, confident attitude and remember to smile!
  • do ask question to show interest
  • bring a well-prepared resume and references to your interview