All About Employment in Victoria, BC

Job Alerting Services Revisited

As with other posts on this blog I am revisiting topics and websites that I looked at when the blog was new (now over 4 years ago). I have kept the original post at the end of the page and fixed and/or removed broken links and inserted comments where necessary.

Let’s see which of the three original job alerting services reviewed – eluta, Monster.ca and uHire (now UVic Careers) – are still around and what I think of the service they offer. I’ve also added some new job alerting options – SimplyHired, Glassdoor and Job Alerts (from Canada’s federal government). All of these job alerting sites, except for UVic Careers, have job postings from a wide variety of organizations (public/private, small/large, across all sectors).

Job alerting systems can be very helpful although I do worry that you might miss out on a really good opportunity if you make your search criteria too exact. Also a problem is that non-local/non-Canadian-based sites seem to have a hazy grasp of our geography and that you can’t always rely on location searches to bring up relevant jobs. So buyer beware when using these job alerting tools – probably the best approach is to go broad (ask for everything in Victoria for example) rather than try and narrow with too many keywords or occupational categories.


eluta is truly respectful of your privacy – all you need to do is go to their advanced search option, specify your criteria and then click on the Find Jobs button. On the next page, when the jobs that meet that criteria are displayed, you simply put your email address in the top box if you wish to have new jobs that match this criteria sent to your email address. You can specify quite a lot of detail in this advanced search but unfortunately you can’t ask to show jobs posted within a certain period (say for example you only want to see jobs posted in the past week).  On the plus side you can create as many job alerts as you want and what I would suggest is creating multiple email IDs with names that refer to the search in some way (i.e. publichealthmyname@yahoo.ca) and using this as a method to keep alerts straight and for filing.

Although eluta’s FAQ says that they do not index temporary jobs there are opportunities (for example from the University of Victoria) that are temporary listed although the term of employment is quite long (almost one year). The FAQ also says they don’t list part time positions and this is harder to determine since they actually had a choice within a job listings page to see part time positions (again at the University of Victoria). There is also nothing in their FAQ about whether or not they list job opportunities that are only for those presently employed at the company/institution – a quick look at the University of Victoria jobs appearing on eluta seems to indicate that they do not so that is something to keep in mind if you are looking for a job opportunity where you already work.

I have now received several emails from eluta and frankly I am not impressed. The email only shows me the first 10 jobs and to see the rest (which could be as many as 30 or 40) I click on a link in the email. A little bit of the job description is shown but the information is not very user friendly. I think it would be more useful to go to the site on a regular basis and perform advanced searches.


Monster gives you more criteria to choose from in their advanced search than eluta does including the ability to specify from a number of preset posting dates (Today, yesterday, 3 days etc). Unfortunately the ability to search using distance from postal code as a criteria is not available in Monster at the search screen (but is available after you have the job listings on a results page). You can only have 5 ‘saved searches’ (what it calls its job alerting technique) in Monster (versus unlimited in eluta) but you can decide how frequently to have the emails sent (daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or never). You can also tick of boxes with criteria like ‘intern’ or ‘temporary’.

The Monster job emails I have received are not very helpful. The information included is minimal – job title, location and date that the posting was put up on Monster. One of the jobs was a bit odd since the location was Montreal, Quebec, and when I clicked on it I didn’t see any indication that it was the company that was headquartered in Quebec with job openings here in Victoria. As with eluta it seems that you may be better off going to the Monster site rather than relying on the job alerting system.

UVic Careers (formerly uHire)

uHire, the University of Victoria’s online job posting and application submission site, was replaced with UVic Careers, which is a ‘Monster Solution‘ (meaning the listing of jobs and application processing is now handled through a web presence and back end built by Monster versus uHire which was an in-house product), in September 2014.

Of course, since this alerting service is only for the University of Victoria there is no need to ‘search’ using criteria like distance from your postal code. You can however search on a variety of criteria – such as keyword or career level – using the advanced search. However, since the new site went live I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than 30 jobs open at any one time so it is quite practical to scan once or twice a week rather than setting up an alert.

But if you do decide to set up an alert it is easy enough to do. If you don’t have a Netlink ID (if you don’t know what that means then most likely you do not) you’ll have to create an account and login (there’s a video overview available – that might be a good place to start). Once you are logged in you want to click on the link that says ‘Job Search Agents’ (see below) and on the next screen click on ‘Create New Search Agent’.

uvic careers

Choose the criteria that matter to you (to get an alert that contains all jobs select University of Victoria in the ‘Organizational Unit’ box – see image below) and click on the Search button at the bottom of the page. On the next screen you’ll see the jobs that meet the criteria you chose and by clicking on the ‘Save Search as an Agent’ link at the bottom of the page you can save this search and have results emailed to you (or choose RSS). The frequency defaults to daily emails and looks like it can’t be changed – but given that sometimes jobs have very short opening periods (i.e. open on a Monday and close on a Friday) this may be a benefit and since, as I mentioned above, the job board contains typically no more than 20-30 postings at any one time it shouldn’t be too onerous to keep up with.

job search agent


Get started by going to SimplyHired’s basic search and putting in a Victoria postal code and clicking on the ‘Search Jobs’ button. On the next screen you’ll see the jobs that this default brings up (for example the location defaults to within 25km of the postal code). You can adjust these criteria using the buttons across the top of the page (see below) and then enter your email address in the box off to the right and clicking the ‘Sign Up’ button.

simply hired

You’ll receive a confirmation email – just click on this to activate the search. You can if you want create a user account on the site – this will allow you to alter the frequency of how often you receive alerts (daily vs weekly) or stop them altogether. The alerts that you will receive are – like most of the others – severely lacking in my opinion. They don’t show closing dates and there is obviously no ‘duplicate checking’ done so you will see several listings of what is obviously the same job pulled from multiple sites. Unlike other offerings (i.e. Glassdoor, Monster) it seems to have a firm grasp on Canadian geography and won’t show you jobs that don’t meet the location criteria you have specified. Generally SimplyHired jobs alerts are adequate though not outstanding and I have found some interesting jobs that I might have missed otherwise by using relevant keywords as part of my search criteria.


Glassdoor is not completely ‘Canada-savvy’ and so you cannot search using postal code on the site (if you try typing a postal code in the location box part of the search box you’ll get an ‘I don’t understand’ message displayed). In fact their search is quite limited – you’ve only got two boxes – the first for ‘job title, keywords or companies’ and the second for Location. Once you are within the search results you can refine by distance (though distance from what – from the center of town I guess) but this seems a bit suspect. For example while looking at health listings for Victoria within 10km I found one that was obviously located in Vernon which is some 479km away. The problem seems to have been created by somebody writing in that the company offering the job was Interior Health (which is correct) which is headquartered in Victoria (which is NOT correct). I stumbled across other geographical blunders within the job listings for Victoria so you need to be careful here.

So Glassdoor is not strong on searching nor on the reliability of the list of results you are presented with. I would suggest that you use it for looking at companies that you are interested in to learn more about them – of course you must keep in mind that anonymous reviews have a variety of issues that are likely to affect the validity of the overall ratings and picture that is built up of a company.

Job Alerts from the federal government

This job alert page is very basic – you can put in a job title in the first box, a location in the second and your email address in a third. Then you click the subscribe button. You’ll get an email to click on to validate that you really want to subscribe and then on the page you are taken to there will be the chance to add keywords, language at work preference (French, English, both), categories of occupations to look in and some other criteria. Complete these selections and just wait for alerts to be delivered to your email inbox twice a day (but only if there are jobs that meet your criteria of course).

Much to my surprise my favourite in the job alerting services I signed up for is that from the federal government – go figure! The first email I received showed me a subset of all the existing jobs within the category, the number of the jobs in that category and a link to click to see all the jobs (job are divided into categories that are probably based on some kind of government ‘occupational classification’ scheme but it makes some sense). It is too bad that you can’t setup (or refine) your search by the distance of a job from your postal code as the only choice available is ‘region’ which means I see jobs in Duncan, Tofino and Nanaimo (for example).

I see quite a bit of detail on the jobs – when the job was posted, the location, the job title, the employer and the source of the posting (Monster or Workopolis for example). Subsequent emails after the initial one show me new jobs that have come in since the initial email. The email is quite attractive and shows the total number of jobs in the region, the province and the nation. If you click through to the jobs page there is a lot of information on the busy page – I like it and suggest that you check it out and set yourself up with an alerting from this service. To get started go to the job alerts page. Good luck with your search.



Original Posting June 22, 2011

So far I have only had success with three job alerting services.  One is what I call ‘publicly accessible’ – that is it doesn’t require you to create an account on the site that produces the alert. The other two are ‘privately accessible’ – you need to register on the site to have email alerts sent to you.

If you’ve had enough already – feel free to jump right to the denouement where I’ve arrayed my gems of wisdom


This ‘publicly accessible” service doesn’t offer a lot in terms of customizing your alerting criteria. There are great options listed across the top of the page (green jobs, new grads) but these cannot be incorporated into an alert. You can use the Advanced Job Search to create a more customized search parameter but you can only select one category from the Occupation box and I would suggest it’s likely to dangerously narrow your results if you fill in fields like job title, excluded words or included words. Still, it seems you can create as many alerts as you wish and some of you searching for jobs in a very exclusive field may find the ability to produce such specific alerts helpful.


The alert construction process is lacklustre (in my opinion) and the results you receive in the notification is not much better. You can only sort the results by date or distance from your postcode. What I would really like is the ability to sort them so that newly added jobs rise to the top/front – especially since the alert is some 23 pages long! Jobs are jumbled together with little indication which are ones that you might have looked at already. I also don’t find the format conducive to scanning the jobs quickly and weeding out those that don’t interest me. Finally, how about including a further advanced search feature that would allow me to more finely delimit the results my alert has returned.


Monster’s advanced search is much more full featured than that of eluta but that is hardly surprising considering it requires you to create an account (although this is free). You get loads of criteria to choose from including (but not limited to) industries, categories (i.e. clerical, editor/writer), job type (full time, part time), career level and educational level. Alerts come in the form of an email which shows you newly added jobs in an easy-to-scan format. You can then click through to any that pique your interest. It’s a good service and one I would recommend you set up.


uHire is the University of Victoria’s job posting and application system. It is easy to create an account and existing staff and/or students of the university can use their Netlink ID and password to log in. The alerting criteria are rather restricted to say the least. All you can do is indicate which broad job category you’re interested in (professional/management or support staff) and then which job classification type within that stream (i.e. any clerk, any library assistant). My wish list for this service would be the ability to choose multiple criteria – for example maybe I’d like to be notified of any clerk position that is temporary or part-time but not full time. Alerts come in the form of an email.

Alerting Service #fail

I have twice attempted to set up an alerting service on Indeed.com but have yet to receive the confirmation email that I need to click on to activate the service. So that one’s a dead loss.

The skinny

If you’re only going to set up one alerting service I’d recommend Monster.ca but it probably wouldn’t hurt to try eluta for a while too and see if it’s useful to you.

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2 Responses to “Job Alerting Services Revisited”

  1. Twitter is another great way to gather job leads and see them quickly on your smart phone or on your computer. Simply open your Twitter page and search Eluta. They are there in spades – you can create a leads list and quickly see jobs in work categories or by province or by one or more of Eluta’s top employer lists. Twitter Lead lists are another great tool for job searchers.

    I have several leads lists on my Twitter for Victoria, for BC, for Canada. if you are following me – https://twitter.com/rcolegrave.- they are available to you. You can see who the list members are on each list and use those to create your own list. Always looking to add to my lists, so if you know of others on Twitter, please pass them on.

    • Susan Z. Martin says:

      Thanks Ray – great advice. I do follow Eluta but sometimes find their tweets unhelpful and a bit off base. I’ll certainly have a look at your lists on Twitter.

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