Is the Job Right for You?

There are many ways for you to find out about job opportunities, including online job boards or through friends and acquaintances. However, before you pursue these opportunities, you may want to consider a few things: where did you learn about the opportunity, does it match your interests, what are the hours, and how does it pay?

We post jobs daily through campusBRIDGE, and we review these postings to ensure employers are recruiting for paid positions that are relevant to individuals working towards or holding a university education. Staff at the Career Centre work diligently to avoid posting jobs that are illegal and are not paid in accordance with Alberta employment standards.


Before Applying

It's important to recognize if the job is relevant to your needs and interests before applying.  Using the information available in the job posting and the organization’s website and official social media pages are helpful in determining if the position and organization match what you want.

Consider the following factors as a way to determine and navigate your job search:

  • Benefits
    1. Will you receive any benefits, such as health or dental?
    2. Will you get paid vacation? If so, how much and when?
    3. How you will be paid or compensated for statutory days off? 
  • Company Culture
    1. Will you be working in collaboration with a team or independently?
    2. How many people are on your team?
    3. How does the organization uphold its philosophy, mission, or values in their daily operations (e.g. community outreach work, volunteering, philanthropic activities, etc.)
  • Hours of Work
    1. How many hours are involved in a typical shift?
    2. How many days a week are you expected to work?
    3. Will you be expected to work evenings? weekends?
    4. Is overtime expected? If so, how much and how often? 
  • Job Expectations
    1. Do you know what the job involves?
    2. What would be the regular duties and responsibilities involved in the role?
    3. What does the employer expect you to know?
    4. Will training be provided? Is the training paid or unpaid?
  • Location
    1. Where would you be working?
    2. Will you be working remotely (from home)?
    3. If you are working at more than one location, how will you travel between locations?
    4. Will you be expected to cover the costs of traveling between locations? 
  • Organization
    1. What do they do?
    2. When were they established?
    3. Are they for profit, public, or not-for-profit?
    4. Does they produce, provide, or sell a product? If so, what is it?
    5. What is their philosophy, mission, or set of values?
    6. Do they have any affiliations (i.e. religious, political)?
  • Upfront Costs
    1. Are there any upfront costs associated with the position?
    2. Will you need to cover the costs of training or other professional development?
    3. Do you need to purchase any equipment, clothing items, or products before starting the position?
  • Wages
    1. How much will you be paid for your work?
    2. Will you be paid an hourly wage or salary? Do you know the difference?
    3. How will you be compensated for overtime hours?
    4. Will you be paid a commission only?

You may not be able to learn all of this information before applying for a job. But, once you’ve decided to apply for a job, it is important to continue gathering and reviewing information about the organization. This can be particularly useful if you are offered an interview, where you can ask questions and gain clarity on things you want to know before accepting an offer and signing a contract.

Learn what you can do before, during, and after an interview in our resource guide to interviews.


Hours of work

Employers located in Alberta are bound by specific rules and guidelines defined by the Government of Alberta. If you are applying for a position in Alberta, the employer is subject to the laws outlined by Alberta Employment Standards. The Alberta Employment Standards outline how many hours employees can work in a day, when they can take breaks, what happens when an employee works overtime, and any other situation that would require an employees’ time at work.

Review the following Government of Alberta information on hours of work and potential exceptions:

If you are looking for a job outside of Alberta, we encourage you to research the area’s employment standards, and to look on government websites.

Signing contracts

You will typically sign a contract before starting a job. The contract may include start dates, end dates (if applicable), compensation, and other key details of your employment. Ensure you read the contract in full before signing as some organizations include contractual obligations around your job training and may require compensation if you break the contract.

If you are uncertain on how to navigate the terms of a contract and what your and the employer's responsibilities are, the following resources can help: 

Employee or contractor

Employees are individuals hired to work within an organization. Contractors, also known as freelancers or consultants, are individuals hired by an organization to complete a specific project and may not continue the working relationship once the project has been completed. There are various definitions, exceptions, and pay structures that accompany contract work.

Access the following information to learn more about working as a contractor in Alberta:

Is a job posting legitimate?

The following resources can help you determine if a job posting is legitimate or part of a popular job scam:

Wages

An employer can choose to pay an employee based on various pay structures. The most common are hourly, salary, by commission, or a combination.

The following provides a general breakdown of payment options an employer may follow when paying employees:

  • Hourly: set amount per hour worked.
  • Salary: set amount, usually bi-weekly or monthly, for a specific amount of hours per week.
  • Commission: per product or service sold, however, in Alberta employers must pay an employee at least the minimum wage.
  • Commission plus base: base salary plus per product or service sold.

Some employers may choose to pay their employees through a combination of both hourly or salary and commission based pay. In these roles, it is important to ensure your overall pay meets minimum wage.

For more information on wages, benefits, and holiday pay in Alberta, review the following Government of Alberta resources:

Direct selling methods

Some organizations use methods to directly sell their products and services outside of traditional retail environments. Direct selling involves the sale of products and services to consumers in a non-retail environment.

The following are examples on how direct sales can take place:

  • Between individuals (e.g. door-to-door, doing presentations)
  • At hosting events (e.g. a representative facilitates a presentation at someone’s home)
  • Through multi-level marketing (e.g. individual or party presentations, catalogs, online stores, etc.)

While multi-level marketing is a legal business model, pyramid selling schemes are not. Pyramid selling schemes are a type of multi-level marketing plan that largely profit from recruiting others to sell rather than the actual sale of products or services.

For more information on how pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing plans differ, check out the resources below: