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What are they good for?


Databases can be useful tools for your job search. The resources in this guide are examples of you how databases can help you with quick and efficient research by compiling and organizing large amounts of information.

Libraries are a great place to start your job search because they provide you with free access to many expensive databases. Often, the information you find in a database may not be freely available on the Internet.

Job search databases can help you:

  • Match your education and skills with your interests
  • Research career options
  • Research salary expectations
  • Put together lists of potential employers according to industry, size, and location
  • Research educational programs and retraining options
  • Determine potential job openings and industry demand
  • Connect with industry professional associations

There is no “best” source for all job search information. Different databases provide different types of information. Choosing the appropriate databases before you start your research is the key to finding the information you need.

General Searching Tips

When searching:

  • Start with simple search terms
  • Try to be as specific as possible
  • Expand your terms to get more results
  • Narrow your terms to get fewer results
  • Use “quotation marks” around words you want to be together in a phrase
  • Use AND for including more than one word or phrase
  • Use OR to indicate search instructions
  • Use NOT to eliminate words or phrases from your search

Google is a good place to start any research. Google’s spell checker can help you find the correct spelling of unfamiliar words. It can also help you find industry specific terminology Google Search Tips

Once you have an overview from a source such as Google, you can explore your career in more detail using library job search databases.

Career Cruising

  • Career Cruising
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page

Career Cruising is a job search database that helps you with your career exploration and planning. It provides detailed information on hundreds of occupations in Canada. It is divided into four job search areas: Explore My Interests; Learn About Careers; Explore Education Options; Find Jobs.

Note: Access to the Career Cruising database is paid for by VPL. You will need a VPL library card to use this database from outside the library

Explore My Interests
       Set up a personal account in “My Plan” and use the self-assessment tools:

  • Matchmaker and My Skills – find careers that match your interests
  • Learning Styles Inventory – find your learning style
  • Setting up an account is free and it allows you to save your self-evaluation records, create a resume and more.

Learn About Careers

  • Detailed information on almost 600 occupations in Canada including working conditions, wage, educational requirements, and related careers.
  • Includes interviews with people currently working in each career.

Explore Education Options

  • Explore education and training programs offered by universities and colleges across Canada and the United States. Also includes information about apprenticeship programs

Find Jobs

  • Search for job postings on thousands of job boards and company websites
  • Find advice on all stages of your job search: developing a plan; networking; resume writing; cover letters; interview skills; starting your job


  • Multi-purpose, making it helpful at different phases in your job search
  • Includes self-assessment tests
  • Canadian content


  • Create an account and save your work
  • Make a job search plan, start to finish
  • Videos – real people talking about their job

Search Tips

  • Search with a single keyword or phrase
  • Easy to use – you do not need a lot of computer skills is to use this database
  • Spend some time and explore – there’s lots of great information


Indeed lets you search millions of jobs from thousands of job sites, newspapers, associations, and company career pages from one centralized search. It is available for free on the Internet and is easy to use.

Indeed is available in more than 50 countries and 28 languages. Use for Canadian jobs.


  • Huge volume of job postings from multiple sources in one database
  • Simple to search


  • Subscribe to have jobs in your industry sent to your email
  • Post your resume to let employers find you


Basic Search:

  • Start typing keywords in the appropriate box and select from the drop down list
  • “What” – Type words that describe the kind of job you are looking for. These words may be job title, skill or employer name.
  • “Where” – Type location, city or province where you want to work/ find a job.

Advanced Job Search features:

  • Search for jobs within a specific distance from your location: 5 kilometers; 10 kilometers; 50 kilometers; etc
  • Search for all jobs posted by a specific company [i.e.: Microsoft]
  • Search only for jobs posted within a specific time: since yesterday; last 3 days; etc.
  • Search only for jobs posted on employer web sites or job boards. Can exclude staffing agencies.

For more information see:

Job Freeway – JOB White Pages

  • Job
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page
    NOTE: Access at VPL locations only

The JOB White pages is a weekly job listing for Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley, BC in print format.

  • White Pages available in print at the Central Library, 331.12405 J6421

JOB is the online version of the JOB White Pages. It focuses on career opportunities in the Lower Mainland, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley, BC.

NOTE: Access to Job is paid for by VPL. You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.


  • Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley focus
  • Includes an annual survey of salaries by occupation
  • Pulls job postings from uncommon sources


  • Post your resume for employers to access
  • Includes annual salary surveys for BC, by occupation and/or employer (go to Job Search==>Member Service)


  • Search for jobs by keyword or browse by occupational category [i.e.: accounting/clerical]

Reference Canada

  • Reference Canada
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page

Reference Canada is an electronic directory of more than 1 million companies throughout Canada. You can use it to create a customized list of potential employers. The directory includes company name, address, phone number, contacts, number of employees, annual sales volumes, type of business, and credit rating.

Note: Access to Reference Canada is paid for by VPL. You will need a VPL library card to use this database from outside the library.


  • Canadian content
  • Use to create lists of local companies in your industry. Contact them directly to find out if they are hiring.
  • Can provide contact information for networking and information interviews


  • Includes business name, address, phone number
  • Owner name or key contact
  • Type of business and industry code
  • Number of employees and annual sales volume
  • Print or download up to 50 records from your search results


  • Select Canadian Business – Start search
  • Option “Quick Search” – use to search for particular company by name
  • Option “Advance Search” – use drop down menu to select search options
  • Tip: Always select “Clear Search” or “Clear Form” for each new search

For more help with searching this database see the online tutorial created by VPL: