Survey Reveals Job Search Trends in Canada for 2020

Promoting an online portfolio or personal website is the top way candidates can get a leg up on the competition, Accountemps research shows

  • Using cartoons and excessive colour on application materials are the biggest turnoffs for employers
  • Most senior managers find cover letters very valuable

Toronto, ON — How can professionals stand out from the crowd and score a job this year? According to a new survey from global staffing firm Accountemps, senior managers in Canada are most impressed when candidates provide access to an online portfolio or personal website (43 per cent ), highlight accomplishments in an infographic (39 per cent) and add personal details unrelated to the position (e.g., hobbies) on their resume (39 per cent). The tactics that hurt workers’ chances most are including cartoon images like Bitmojis or caricatures (42 per cent) and using colourful fonts or backgrounds (23 per cent) on application materials.

“As in-demand skills and workplace trends continue to evolve, how job seekers can showcase their expertise, and best present themselves to employers, is also shifting,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, district president for Accountemps. “While professionalism on a resume remains paramount, many hiring managers are drawn to applications that show candidates’ passion for their work and individual interests, and clearly articulate why they’re the right fit for the role.”

The research also suggests professionals shouldn't overlook writing cover letters: 60 per cent of senior managers said it's very helpful to receive these documents. In addition, nearly two in five respondents (37 per cent) reported that networking on social media with employees at the company of interest can tip the scales in the candidates favour. 

Vasilopoulos added, “Whether or not you’re looking for a new job, keep your skills, list of professional achievements and resume materials up to date. You’ll appreciate being prepared if the right career opportunity arises.”

For more job search tips, visit the Robert Half blog.

About the Research

The online survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from 600 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in Canada.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 300 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at