#110 - 198 East Island Hwy, Parksville, BC V9P 2H3      Tel. 250.248.3205   Fax. 250.248.4154

Tip of the month

August Tip of the Month

Job Shadowing

Are you looking for a new career but unclear on the direction you would like to go? Are you wanting to pursue a post-secondary education but not sure what career appeals to you? Job shadowing can be an excellent way to learn about a professional’s day-to-day responsibilities and decide whether their career appeals to you and aligns with your values and beliefs. It can also provide valuable opportunities to network with professionals in your chosen field.

A job shadowing experience allows you to explore a specific career of interest by observing an employee perform their work duties at their place of employment. The experience should provide realistic career information that will help you in making a career choice.

Job shadowing can provide enough information about the new and different job to alleviate fear of the unknown and to get a bigger picture of most of the requirements of the position. For example, I had a client who loved to spend time with seniors; she enjoyed listening to their stories and asking questions, organizing arts and crafts and helping them with chores. She was positive that being a Health Care Aide would be the perfect position for her! She met with a Health Care Aide at a senior’s facility, shadowed her for the day and realized that there were some aspects of the job she wasn’t sure she could do. One day of job shadowing helped with her career decision. This client is still in the helping field but in a different position.

Tips for a Successful Experience

Before you arrive for your job-shadowing experience, be clear on all the details. Be sure to confirm time to arrive, location, what to wear and anything else you may need to bring.

Do your research! Know as much about the company as possible. Jot down some notes and questions to ask. This will create a good impression, it will show initiative and help you learn more from the experience. At the end of the day shake hands, maintain eye contact, thank every person for their time and ask for their business cards. Sending them a personal thank you or email after you’re done shadowing can make a strong final impression.

You might have had a great job shadowing experience but realized that this is not the career for you. Stay positive and professional! You have made some great contacts.


July Tip of the Month

Using Myers-Briggs to Explore and Understand Career Interests

If you are endeavoring to choose a career or assess your preferred work activities the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI can be a valuable tool in your research. At The Career Centre all staff members have taken the MBTI and two are certified to help you find your best fit.

The MBTI is a tool for self-awareness and gives us a common language to use when we talk about preferences.  We each have a preferred way for how we gain energy, gather information, make decisions and show up in the world.  Together this information forms a 4 letter code like the ones below.










Type does not measure skills, abilities, training, or motivation or any other reason someone might choose a particular occupation. But there do tend to be trends for people with certain preferences being drawn to certain professions.   According to Isabel Briggs Myers in Introduction to Type one of the ways to explore these trends is to look at the middle two letters of your preferences or the columns of the type table.

ST’s Focus on: Facts
Handle these by applying: objective analysis and experience
Tend to Become: Practical and analytical
Find Scope for these interests using: Technical Skills with objects and facts
ST’s are attracted to careers in:

  • Applied science
  • Business
  • Administration
  • Banking
  • Law enforcement
  • Production
  • Construction

SF’s Focus on: Facts
Handle these by applying: personal warmth, concern for others
Tend to Become: Sympathetic and friendly
Find Scope for these interests using: Practical help and services for people
SF’s are attracted to careers in:

  • Health care
  • Community service
  • Teaching
  • Supervision
  • Religious service
  • Support services
  • Sales

NF’s focus on: Possibilities
Handle these by applying: Attention to people’s potential
Tend to Become: Insightful and enthusiastic
Find Scope for these interests using: Understanding and encouraging people
NF’s are attracted to careers in:

  • Psychology
  • Human resources
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Literature
  • Religious service
  • Health care
  • Art and music

NT’s focus on: Possibilities
Handle these by applying: Theoretical concepts and systems
Tend to Become: Logical and analytical
Find Scope for these interests using: Theoretical and technical framework
NT’s tend to be attracted to careers in:

  • Physical science
  • Research
  • Management
  • Computers
  • Law
  • Engineering
  • Technical work

If you would like to learn more about how understanding your personality type can impact your career decision making, please speak to an employment consultant about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.


June Tip of the Month

Cold Calling

While it may seem to be a daunting task to pick up the phone and call someone about a position that they may or may not have, a lot of good can come from that first call. The worst that can happen is they say no and you have only invested a few minutes, but think of the better outcomes!

  • Employers may not have time to post jobs, sort resumes, then interview and hire. By making the call you are exhibiting a lot of the qualities an employer may be looking for:
    • Initiative
    • Can do attitude
    • Determination
    • No fear of rejection (very applicable for a sales position)
  •  If you wait for a position to be posted at your favourite company, how many other people will be waiting for the same job posting?
  • Getting your resume in before positions are posted can result in less competition for the job if one exists.

Be prepared with questions you may have about the company, as you are interviewing them as well.  Do some research and don’t ask obvious questions that you can get the answers to from their website.  Keep track of who you are speaking with in case they ask you to send them a resume.  This way you can address the cover letter to your new contact.  If they are not hiring at the present time, ask for names of others in the industry that might be.


May Tip of the Month

If you are spending time on Facebook anyway, why not use some of that time to build a professional identity and access the hidden job market at the same time.

The key to remaining connected with friends and family as well as professional networks on Facebook without compromising your job search is to classify your ‘friends’.  This will require a little time, effort and patience but can provide promising leads.  If you aren’t currently searching for a new job, it is still a good strategy to build your network before you need it.

Employers troll for candidates online to either find someone with the skills they are looking for or to screen candidates.  You’ll want to make sure they only see what you want them to see.  You can become ‘friends’ with someone who works at a company you are interested in but you don’t have to let them see your weekend shenanigans.

How you appear online is an important consideration when looking for work.  Learning how to use privacy settings in Social Media is vital in order to control who can see what you are sharing.  Facebook has tools that make it easier to control who you share your content with.  You can even see how your profile appears to others. Facebook created this detailed guide on how manage all your privacy settings.

Polish Up Your Profile and Clean your News Feed

First, polish up your profile for your job search audience and only include information that is relevant to prospective employers and professional colleagues.  Your profile has sections for you to list professional skills, workplaces and schools you have attended. Facebook can then start showing you potential connections that may be influential in your job search and provide recommendations, tips and leads for you.

Secondly, you will want to lock down or delete any content you have posted that you would not want your professional contacts or prospective employers to see.  It can be time consuming to go back and delete it all, but you do have other options.  Start fresh or use the handy tool in Facebook that allows you to limit all your old posts.

REMEMBER:  Your profile and cover picture are always public!  You can only control which picture you use, not who can see them.

Create a LIST for Your Professional Contacts

Social recruiting and screening candidates is a growing online trend.  If you want to jump on board to take advantage of this trend, expand your online professional network and include contacts that may be helpful in your job search.  Facebook offers an option every time you post a status update, upload a picture or edit your profile to decide who can see it.  You may be familiar with the ‘friends’ and ‘friends of friends’ category, however, you can create other lists as well.  To assist in your job search, you may want to create a ‘work’ or ‘professional’ list.  When you add a new professional contact, add them to this list.  Facebook provides detailed instructions on how to add friends to a list.

Restricting your Content

Once you have a new list, you have better control of who sees your posts.  When posting, select the sharing options dropdown, ‘more options’ and then ‘custom’.  Your new list will be shown as an option, add the list to either the ‘share this’ or ‘don’t share this’ box.

To make sure it’s all working the way you want, use the “Who can see my stuff” feature and view your profile as if you were one of these new professional contacts.

To learn more about using Social Media in your Job Search, come to our “Using Social Media for Your Job Search” workshop.

March and April Tip of the Month

Local employers are hiring at the Career Centre’s Spring Hiring Fair, Wednesday April 12th from 12pm-4pm at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre. This is a unique opportunity to bring employers who are looking for employees together with people seeking employment.

If you are a job seeker looking for work and planning to attend our next Hiring Fair, here are eight steps to help you succeed:

Step 1: Attend the How to Prepare for a Hiring Fair workshop. Learn networking strategies to ensure your success when you meet face-to-face with employers. Understand what you need to prepare before, during and after the Hiring Fair.

Step 2: Dress for Success. This is no different than attending a job interview at an employer’s place of business, so you need to dress appropriately. Remember, your most important accessory is your SMILE. If you need interview attire, set-up an appointment to visit the Career Centre’s Career Closet.

Step 3: Research Registered Employers. You can get a step ahead of the competition by creating a list of the companies attending the fair and doing some research on each of the employers that interest you. You can find out a lot about a company by doing research online and come prepared with a list of questions to ask employers. Check out The Career Centre’s Hot Sheet for a list of employers attending.

Step 4: Bring Several Copies of Your Resume. Take a folder with you containing a list of the employers you want to meet with and several copies of your resume, cover letter (addressed to specific employer) and references. Be prepared to hand out additional resumes to employers not on your list. If you need assistance with creating/updating your resume be sure to attend the Career Centre’s Resumes and Cover Letters workshop prior to the Hiring Fair.

Step 5: Be Prepared for an Interview. You may have two to five minutes to market yourself and ensure you are not screened out, so you need to make the most of your time. Prior to attending, develop a one-minute “presentation statement” to highlight your qualifications. For more information on marketing yourself, consider the Career Centre’s Branding “YOU” and/or Acing the Interview workshops.

Step 6: Network! Network! Network! Practice the perfect handshake and eye contact as this will mark your first impression. A Hiring Fair is a great opportunity to connect with employers and other job seekers that can support moving your career forward. Push yourself to connect with as many people as you can at the Hiring Fair.

Step 7: Collect Contact Information. Write down the name of the person and company you are interested in and their contact information or obtain a business card from them. This will support you with Step 8.

Step 8: Send a Thank-you Note. Stay ahead of your competition by sending a thank you note or an e-mail to your employers of choice the next day. If you do this via e-mail, make sure it is in proper business language; no jargon, abbreviations or spelling mistakes.
A reminder the Career Centre’s Hiring Fair is a free event for job seekers to connect with local employers. For information on upcoming workshops or to register, call 250-248-3205. We look forward to seeing you on April 12th.

February Tip of the Month

Self-care asks us to slow ourselves down and look inward and while seeking a job, this can often seem counter-intuitive. “Who has time for self-care? I just need to go and get a job!” is a conversation we might have with ourselves. While self-care may feel like a strange concept to match up with job search, the simple practices we are sharing can go a long way in helping you get ready. Our tips will assist you in preparing to secure the position of your choice and lessen the stress during the first few weeks of orientation on the job.

So, if the February blues are getting you down, try these simple practices to get geared up for hiring season:

1/ Take care of your physical self:
It’s been a long winter, and though our bodies might want to slumber until spring, our job search will be far more effective if we prepare ourselves for potential employment with good sleep, nutrition and a daily movement practice. Even 15 minutes a day of walking or a light workout can make all the difference in lifting our spirits. Also, there is no replacement for getting enough sleep, water and nutrition throughout the day. Believe it or not, the good energy these simple practices radiate are visible to others and are proven to have great positive effect on our physical and mental health – both of which support a greater chance of success in the job market.

2/ Get up and STOP! What??? Whoever says that? Our get up and go attitude can feel productive, but if we’re not grounded we may burn out by noon. If you find yourself feeling as though you’re running in circles, try this simple practice when you wake: take a moment with your feet on the ground at the edge of the bed and spend a few minutes doing some slow, deep breathing while simply letting your thoughts go, returning your attention to your breath. Starting the day mindfully offers the benefit of time for reflection, an organized start, and a greater access to calm throughout the day.

3/ Know where your energy levels are at. Take a few minutes while moving about your now mindful morning and just check in with what you feel up to. Sure we don’t always feel like we are ready to go greet employers and sell ourselves, so look within. Sometimes we can boost ourselves up with some positive self-talk, or call a trusted support to help buoy us up, while at other times we just have a flat feeling and there is nothing to be done but recognize it. If and when the day does feel flat, assess what activities you can do to still keep yourself moving forward: make a list of 5 places to target for employment and start scouring their websites for clues for your cover letter. Perhaps you have all the energy in the world and are ready to self-market and go get that job. If that is the case, gather your resources and head out for a day of job seeking and networking. Knowing yourself and what you have to work with is a very powerful tool for directing your day. Do what you can to keep yourself moving forward and make the best use of your time. This will serve you well when job seeking, and when you are back in the work force.

Ultimately, remember that job seeking can take a lot out of us and we often are the last ones on our list. Filling up your own cup will go a long way to sustaining you through not only your job search but your life.

January Tip of the Month

Refresh Your Job Search in 2017

Now that the season of social gatherings, networking and indulgence is behind you, this is a great time to freshen up your approach to searching for employment. Try to avoid the temptation to hibernate during the cold winter months and consider that a new year is upon us, a chance for new beginnings. The theme of resolutions top of mind this month, why not take this opportunity to find inspiration in your job search? Here are a few tips to help refresh your job search.

1)    Give yourself a “brain break” – especially if your days are filled with looking on the computer for jobs and you are feeling overwhelmed by the process. Take a morning or afternoon off and unplug from technology to focus on your own personal wellness. You want to be your best self when you are contacted for an interview, so find a creative way to feel great. Maybe you want to consider registering for the Self-Care for Your Job Search workshop at The Career Centre.

2)    Follow up with any new connections you made over the holiday season. Finding jobs is often done through networking and getting to know others in your community. Think back to any of those folks that you met in the last month or two, and follow up. Let your connections know what you are interested in and that you are still looking for employment, put yourself out there.

3)    Be open to accepting a job that provides new experiences, and try to not allow that to dissuade you from applying somewhere. A new and different atmosphere may give you a renewed sense of energy and outlook, so try to not shy away from a field of work you haven’t yet explored.

4)    Consider a “job search resolution” for 2017; just ensure it is sensible and realistic, like you would with your health and fitness goals, right? Be honest with yourself and measure your successes – the big and small ones! Pat yourself on the back after you craft a tailored resume and a personalized cover letter for the perfect job. Those are great accomplishments!
You are always welcome to come in to The Career Centre to speak with one of our friendly staff members if you have questions or would like some support in your job search activities.

December Tip of the Month

December can be a difficult time to job search as many employers have already hired for the busy season or are too busy to hire. Here are some ways to still feel productive in your job search:

  • Start a blog or website that focuses on your interests and passion. Have you felt a surge of energy when you are telling people about your favourite fishing hole or the great golf game you had yesterday? Does time fly when you are scrapbooking? Share these passions with the rest of the world and you never know where this may lead. Perhaps a golf course hires you to help in the pro shop or a local scrapbooking company hears about your blog and hires you to assist in a workshop. Where to start, www.blogger.com is an easy free blogging site or sign up for our Using Social Media for Your Job Search workshop to find out more.
  • Work on your Linked In account and learn how to market yourself online at our Using Social Media For Your Job Search Workshop
  • Most jobs aren’t advertised and job seekers find out about opportunities through their network. So…expand your network! ‘Tis the season to be social so jump at opportunities to get out and meet people in our community. Sign up for that course you always wanted to take, even if it isn’t related to your job, who knows who might be in the class. Join a recreation class, you get exercise and meet new people, who may be possible employers, or know someone who is.
  • Pamper yourself – get a new haircut, pedicure or a new outfit.   You will feel and look good and present well in interviews and when dropping off resumes. Check out our Career Closet as we have a variety of new or rarely worn professional outfits. The Vancouver Island University Spa Institute offers reduced rates for spa services at the Parksville/Qualicum campus.

Tip of the Month For June

Add Fun to Your Job Search

Summer is here and often people relate summer to fun, play and vacations. Looking for work could be a tough task when the sun is shining and the beach is calling. So here are some ways to add some fun to your job search:

  1. Start a blog or website that focuses on your interests and passions. Have you felt a surge of energy when you are telling people about your favourite fishing hole or the great golf game you had yesterday? Does time fly when you are scrapbooking? Share these passions with the rest of the world and you never know where this may lead. Perhaps a golf course hires you to help in the pro shop or a local scrapbooking company hears about your blog and hires you to assist in a workshop. Start with www.blogger.com , an easy free blogging site. Sign up for our Using Social Media for Your Job Search work-shop to find out more.
  2. Most jobs aren’t advertised and job seekers find out about jobs through their network. There are fun ways to expand your network, like signing up for that course you always wanted to take, even if it isn’t related to your job. Who knows who might be in the class? Join a recreation class; you get exercise and meet new people, who may be possible employers, or know someone who is hiring.
  3. Pamper yourself – get a new haircut, pedicure or a new outfit. You will feel and look good and present well in interviews and when dropping off resumes. The Vancouver Island University Spa Institute offers reduced rates for spa services at the Parksville/Qualicum campus.
  4. Get out in the community! Summer is packed full of festivals, markets and special events in the Oceanside area. Volunteer to help out at local events and meet people, gain more skills and enjoy the day. Oceanside Tourism Association has a calendar of local events @ visitparksvillequalicumbeach.com.

Tip of the Month For April

By Janet Kimmel, CCDP/Employment Consultant

Want the inside scoop on how to stand out among other job candidates?

The job market is competitive. I read an interesting article on self-marketing for employment in a recent issue of BC Business magazine and thought about how it can help job seekers on Central Vancouver Island. It addresses the topic of what recruiters look for in potential candidates. Recruiters work on behalf of employers to find the best person to fill a particular role in an organization. The article discusses a new trend where it is no longer enough to be the person who achieves top grades from a good college or other training program; it is the individual who brings their true self (your brand) to the interview who will certainly stand out. The principles can be applied to job seekers in large cities and can also be applied to smaller labour market such as ours.

How can you prepare yourself to stand out from the competition?
How do you demonstrate your brand?

Know your personality
What are your talents, passions, interests, unique qualities and goals that go beyond finding a job?
People with the power to hire want to hear about your thoughts, ideas, and visions on human, social, and community issues. Idealism, leadership skills, and a strong desire to improve something are examples of key character traits.

Research the organization
Use technology that is all around us. Learn from company websites and social media posts, from which you become familiar with a particular philosophical viewpoint or cause. Armed with information, you can discuss how their vision is similar to your own. John Allen, from the staffing company, People Solutions, says “With a focus on the triple bottom line and creating health and wealth in whole communities… (financial institution) Vancity looks for candidates who have done their research on the company’s cooperative model and are philosophically aligned with its mission and vision.”

Be yourself
Continue to be true to yourself and you will find a good fit. Build your resume with experience and skills you gain from community involvement. There is no shortage of work to be done, both volunteer and paid. Any specialized knowledge you acquire is the value you bring to your next job, and is an integral part of your brand.

Learn more on this topic
Come to a free workshop at The Career Centre where you can learn how your personality and your brand are essential to finding work you love.

Career Centre logo

#110-198 East Island Hwy
Parksville, BC V9P 2H3
Tel. 250.248.3205
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8:30am-4:30pm