Career advice

The most in demand entry-level jobs right now

When you are just starting out in your career – or launching a second career in a new field – you usually start with an entry-level job. These positions require the least amount of on-the-job experience to get hired. Once you have your foot in the door with that entry-level role, how fast and how far you advance depends on your skill, hard work, and determination.

The credentials you need for entry-level jobs will depend on the occupation and industry, naturally, but there is generally a certain level of education or credentials required for most roles. Many, even at the lowest level, also ask for a certain amount of work experience. This leads to the classic job seeker dilemma. How can you land your first job without experience – when you can’t gain any experience without a job?

First off, you almost certainly do have some experience. Even if you haven’t had a job in your field before, you have likely held some part-time positions, worked a summer job, or contributed to community events. In your resume, you can focus on times when you have contributed as part of a team, helped others, and made a difference. Employers want to see that entry-level candidates can communicate, solve problems, and demonstrate a positive work ethic. This could be at school, through personal activities, or during part-time, casual, or volunteer jobs.

Secondly, given the labour shortage conditions that the Canadian economy is facing right now, the demands for experience from entry-level job candidates are being lowered. A new survey of Canadian employers found that the tight labour market is impacting the way many are hiring. The majority of Canadian employers surveyed said they were now more open to hiring staff with no on-the-job experience, with 77 per cent of them saying that ‘soft’ or interpersonal skills were more important than ‘hard’ technical abilities. Given the shortage of candidates out there, they just wanted to hire people with basic communications, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, and they would teach them the rest on the job.

That same survey also found that 80 per cent of employers would now consider hiring candidates who don't have a degree or certification related to the job and would offer new hires on-the-job training instead.

So, if you are looking for your first job in a new field where you have never worked before, or that is different from what you studied in school, the timing is right.

What employers look for in entry-level candidates

Job-specific abilities aside, here are some of the skills and applicant traits that are most often listed in online job postings for entry-level positions:

Customer service – Customer service skills are sought after because they involve many of the other attributes employers seek. People who have successfully dealt with the public know how to communicate, solve problems, stay calm under pressure, and handle unforeseen circumstances.

Communications – Almost every job will involve some level of communication. Whether you are communicating directly with the public, presenting information to management, or simply keeping your coworkers in the loop about your progress, being able to express sometimes complex information in an easy-to-understand way is a valuable skill across sectors.

Teamwork – When employers add a new person to their team, they want to know that their new hire will be able to effectively collaborate with their coworkers and be a positive addition to the group.

Organizational skills – Organizational skills are essential for completing the job effectively and on schedule. This means budgeting your time and resources, documenting your progress, and not letting things fall through the cracks.

A positive work ethic – Employers often complain that it is difficult to find candidates with a positive work ethic. They are looking to hire people who will show up on time, work as hard as they can throughout their shift, are willing to learn on the job, and can work well with others.

Do your best to demonstrate in your resume and job interview answers that you know how to deliver service with a smile. Communicate information clearly and concisely, keep your work organized without someone looking over your shoulder, and show that you are willing to work hard to make your team successful. These are the keys to accessing many jobs in most industries.

The most in-demand entry-level jobs right now

Given the labour shortage conditions, it is hardly surprising that among the most sought-after professionals at all levels are those who can source talent. Employers struggling to recruit are looking for recruiters. Given the demands on healthcare providers throughout the pandemic, that sector, in particular, is short of workers. So, healthcare recruiters are in high demand. However, talent acquisition specialists, in general, are also hot right now.

Many hospitality and food service establishments were closed for long periods of time through the lockdowns, so their staff found work elsewhere or left the sector altogether. This has left the hospitality industry struggling to find workers, from front desk representatives to kitchen staff, food and beverage servers, and more.

Canada is still feeling a chronic shortage of skilled trades workers, from construction workers, electricians, plumbers and pipefitters, and more. There is also a growing shortage of truck drivers and delivery drivers in this country.

A variety of jobs in the high-tech sector are also seeing a spike in demand at the moment. Canadian employers report a shortage of Data analysts and report writers, Help Desk support professionals, and web developers, among many others.

According to LinkedIn data, these were the fastest-growing entry-level jobs sought after by employers last year:

Sales development representative
Business development representative
Talent acquisition specialist
Marketing coordinator
Data analyst
Financial analyst
Legal assistant
Inside sales representative
Operational specialist

If you are looking to land a new opportunity right now, your timing couldn’t be better. Find the job that is right for you among the thousands that are posted on, and then be sure to consult our career advice for the latest information on preparing a winning resume and acing your job interview.

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