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

As a community, we have done well at being kind, being calm, and being safe.
With many safeguards in place at our local businesses, and as vaccinations roll out,
we can also be involved, be productive, and be a part of Building Back Better!

We are here to assist you with your return to work search, training and employment. Call us at 250.248.3205.

Tip of the month


Acing the Interview!

If you are called in for an interview, this means the potential employer has reviewed your resume and cover letter and decided you may have the skills that fit the positon. The next step would be to set up an interview to see if you are a good fit for the company. Prior to going into the interview the following tips will be helpful.

Research the company:

Do your research! An employer will know if you have researched their company by reviewing your cover letter and listening to your answers to some of the interview questions.

Employers want to know candidates have researched the company prior to the interview.  By doing research you greatly increase your chance of being hired. This means knowing what the company does and the details of the jobs you’re applying for. Some other things you can try to find out include:

  • The company’s mission and values
  • What the company culture is like
  • Who their management team is
  • Who their competition is
  • Who their clients are
  • How they reach their market – some ways to find this out include:
  • The company website
  • Company social media accounts

 Dress professionally and be well groomed:

Dressing professionally may mean different things in different industries. If you’re not sure, stop by and find out. If you are not able to, it’s best to dress formal (dress pants and top). Make sure you’re appearance is clean and neat. Some might think this advice is obvious but we know not everyone pays attention to it. Make sure your breath is fresh! Brush your teeth and don’t apply cologne or perfume. And don’t smoke beforehand.

 Be on time or a bit early:

Don’t be late for the job interview, but don’t be too early either. Five or ten minutes early is fine. Make sure you know exactly where you are going so you don’t get lost on the way and end up being late.

 Bring a copy of your resume:

Bring a printed copy of your resume and any other documents that might be required including:

  • Letters of recommendation; reference sheet
  • Paper and pen for notes
  • Copies of pertinent certificates and diplomas
  • Portfolio of sample work (if applicable)
  • Company information you have gathered
  • List of questions you have prepared

Be friendly to everyone you meet:

Be nice to everyone, including the security personnel, the receptionist, and the person who lets the door close in your face while you’re entering the building. You never know who is watching or who knows who – the person you snap at because they are in your way might be the person you are interviewing with.

 Smile and make eye contact:

Smile! You need to convey that you are friendly and likeable. Making eye contact shows that you are interested and alert. Don’t stare into the person’s eyes though  and try to make eye contact from time to time.

Prepare and practice interview questions:

  • Go over your resume
  • Determine the “awkward” questions and practice straightforward short answers, by saying them out loud
  • Prepare for behavioural questions using the STAR technique – click here for more info STAR technique
  • Know what accomplishments mean the most to you and the ones that might relate to the job you are pursuing
  • Think about the things you have done, what are the transferable skills?
  • Study the usual questions – how will you answer them?
  • Ask someone to give you feedback on your answers (perhaps your employment consultant)

Check out these Possible Interview Questions

Prepare stories:

For some questions you will have to have a story ready, such as one about a time you dealt with a challenging situation. Make sure you have these stories prepared so you don’t get stuck with nothing to say. People remember stories rather than short sentences which means they will remember you!

Do you have any questions for me?

This is your chance to take control of the interview. You can often convey your competence and confidence to an employer more impressively with the questions you ask than the ones you answer. Asking smart questions can demonstrate that you have some knowledge of the industry, and that you are already thinking about how you can contribute to it. The least desirable scenario, from the employer’s perspective, is when a potential employee has no questions, so don’t just say, “No.” It is also best to avoid questions such as, “How much does it pay?”; “How soon am I eligible for vacation time?” or “How long does it usually take to get promoted?” Possible Questions to ask a Potential Employer

Get the email addresses of everyone you interview with:

If you are able, obtain contact information for each person you meet with.

Follow up with a thank-you note:

Send a thank-you note afterwards, later that same day. Thank those who attended the interview for taking the time to meet with you. Reiterate your interest in the position and why you are a great fit for the job. Keep it short. Then you wait. If you hear nothing for a week or two, follow up again in an email or phone call. Keep the follow up short as well. You can say you were really excited to learn more about the opportunity and look forward to hearing from them soon. Don’t put your eggs in one basket, move on and keep applying for other positions until you are hired.

If you aren’t successful in your first few interviews, try not to get discouraged. Eventually, someone will say “Yes! You are exactly what we need!”


Job Search 101

BC Youth Week is a provincial celebration of youth held annually during the first week of May. It is a week of fun filled interaction and a celebration intended to build a strong connection between youth and their communities. Because of this, we decided to focus our May 2021 Tip of the Month on our young people and student job seekers.

Summer is almost here and with summer comes the opportunity to secure a job, whether year-round or a seasonal position. There are many part-time and full-time jobs available in the Oceanside area and the sooner you start applying, the bigger the selection you will have.

Looking for work can be challenging when the sun is out and the beach is calling. Here are some points to consider when starting your job search:

1)  What kind of work do you want?

Look around at your favourite places and activities! Do you love mini-golf or go-carts? See if they have any openings! Do you have a friend that works at a really cool place? Ask if they’re hiring! Is being near the beach important to you? There are lots of businesses on the waterfront!

Summer employment is also a great way to “try on” different careers while you’re in school. Do you want to work in health care? Perhaps a facility in your town is hiring. Are you looking at an exciting career in hospitality and tourism? There may be positions available at that resort!

Decide what you want to do, where you want to work, and start contacting people!

2)  Get your references ready

Put together a list of three references. These can be former employers, but if you’ve never worked before, or have limited experience, you can use volunteer references, coaches, teachers, neighbours, former coworkers and acquaintances. Ensure you ask your references for permission first and be sure to get a phone number and an email address for your list.

While we’re here, check out your social media with a discerning eye. What would a potential employer see if they were to look you up? Do you seem trustworthy and professional? Would you want to hire you to represent your business? How are your privacy settings? If you think no one is going to look, you’re probably wrong.

3)  Write a Resume and Cover Letter

For most jobs, you will need a resume and cover letter to submit to the employer. There are many resources online but this one of our favourite sources.

MS Word has templates and a quick google search will reveal many more great examples. Pro Tip: If you can, have someone proofread your documents before you start handing them out to employers.

Don’t forget about us – check our website for upcoming Resume and Cover Letter workshops or use self-serve resources in our Resource Room.

4)  Get Help with a Summer Job Search

The careercentre.org is a great place to start looking for work. Most employers in the Oceanside area post jobs here.

If you’re a student, check with your school Career Education office and ask how they can assist you.

5)  Check out Summer Youth Employment Programs

Many organizations have summer programs that run between June and August. They are typically city, provincial, or non-profit agencies. Participants are matched with entry-level summer jobs where you may be provided with educational or career advice. Finding these positions may require a little digging, but, this is another instance where an online search is your friend.The City of Parksville and Chambers of Commerce are good examples of this in our community.

6)  Network, network, network!

Networking really does work! It is an excellent way to tap into the hidden job market and it’s not all that difficult. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Talk to family, friends, friends’ parents, teachers, coaches, anyone and everyone – and ask if they can help you or if they have any leads.

Networking is the best way to find a job and most people are glad to provide job leads and advice.

7)  Search Online for Summer Jobs

Use the search bar on your favourite websites for keywords, or if you want to, cast the net wide – just use your area/region/city.

8)  Apply Online

Read application instructions carefully. You don’t want to be screened out because you submitted an application online without attaching your resume or showing up at the wrong time. Depending on the organization, you may need a resume and possibly a cover letter or there may just be an online application. Every employer has different criteria, be sure you know theirs.

9)  Apply In-Person

Although a little more difficult during the pandemic, applying in-person allows you to make a personal connection and gives your potential employer a chance to chat with you. Some jobs require a resume, some require an application. Everyone could be different.

Be sure to be neat and well groomed and appear “ready to work.” You may be interviewed on the spot!

Good luck and happy hunting!


What to Expect and How to Prepare for a Virtual Hiring Session

If you have previously attended a Hiring Fair in person, you are probably familiar with the energy of the auditorium and the process of the event.  There is registration, door prizes, and a variety of employer booths down each aisle.  Before you attended, you researched the list of businesses participating and printed off a fresh stack of resumes.  On the day of the Hiring Fair, you planned your outfit, practiced smiling, shaking hands, making eye contact and introducing yourself – all at the same time!  At the Fair, you found the booths of the employers you wanted to introduce yourself to and asked your practiced questions about their business and the available employment opportunities. If things went well, you provided your resume, shook hands (eye contact again), and thanked the employer for their time before moving along to the next booth.

So, what should you expect and prepare for with a VIRTUAL event?  Surprisingly, the preparation and your interaction with employers during the event will be remarkably similar.  Here are a few tips to get you prepped and ready to thrive at our 2021 Mini Virtual Hiring Sessions.

What to expect – An Overview: The 2021 Virtual Hiring Sessions will be mini events (75 minutes) on ZOOM so you can attend from anywhere.  Each session will feature four employers and you will network within a small group (using Zoom’s Breakout Room Feature) for about 15 minutes with each of the four employers you have signed up for in advance.  During each breakout session, the employer will give a presentation on the types of jobs they are hiring for and about their company followed by a “Q&A” period. Each employer will close off their mini session with instructions for how they would like participants to apply.

If you would like some additional coaching with how to use breakout rooms, the chat feature, and controlling your video and audio settings on Zoom you can sign up for one of our “How to Prepare for a Virtual Hiring Session” workshops happening weekly throughout the month of March.

Before the Virtual Hiring Session:

Get Registered – Each participant must preregister as an attendee and we do encourage you to complete this step ASAP.  Please call 250.248.3205 to book your spot! By registering early you will have the best opportunity to take advantage of our Job Readiness workshops in advance of the Mini Hiring Sessions.   Once you have registered, you will receive an email a few days before each session so you have an opportunity to select your chosen employers.

Prepare your Resume – Is your resume up to date?  Is it formatted appropriately?  Have you proofed it and proofed it again?  (Pro Tip: read your resume from bottom to top and backwards to spot spelling errors that your mind automatically sees as correct.)  Is it saved as a PDF so the formatting isn’t change when you submit it?

Social Media Clean Up – Do you have a LinkedIn account?  Is it current?  Have you indicated you are job seeking within your account settings?  What other social media accounts do you have?  What story is social media telling about you when someone looks you up?  (Employers do look!)

Practice your Pitch – You will have an opportunity to introduce yourself to the employer in each Breakout Room you attend, and we want you to be ready.  Some people really benefit from practicing introducing themselves as well as their answers to some potential questions such as: “What interests you about working for our company?  What type of work do you feel you are suited for?  Which of your current skills do you feel would be transferable to the type of work we are hiring for?”  You can practice in front of a mirror or, better yet, log on to Zoom and practice with a friend/family member a few days before your sessions.

Technology – Ready Set Go! – Check your audio speaker and microphone level before the session starts.  You may opt to attend the opening session and any of the full group sessions with your video camera off as all participants will be able to view who is attending during this time.  Remember, the Hiring Sessions are considered a public space.  However, in order to make a stronger connection with potential employers, we strongly recommend VIDEO ON and your full first and last name being displayed during the breakout room sessions as this will demonstrate your sincere interest and level of engagement.  Also, we recommend using a desktop, laptop or propped-up tablet or phone rather than holding your phone, so the image is not shaking and difficult for the employer to view when you are speaking. You may also want headphones if you cannot attend from a quiet, private location.

Research participating organizations – After registering, take some time to review our website for a list of the organizations attending each Hiring Session.   The employer list on our website will be updated as employers confirm so be sure to check back often.  Be prepared—learn about the companies and think of questions you will want to ask.  To stand out from the crowd, you will want to know a little bit about the companies and positions available.

During the Virtual Hiring Session:

So how do you stand out online when everyone appears as the same little square on a screen?

Be Prompt – Log in before the session start time.  Give yourself a few minutes in advance to check your audio, your lighting and have a sip of water.  Be relaxed – but don’t be late.

Wear a professional outfit – Make the most out of this opportunity by looking professional and presentable.  Dress like you have the job.  Some people think it’s ok to wear yoga pants or shorts because the camera is not showing your full image – however we recommend dressing like you are walking into their office as this can help build your confidence.

Distraction-free environment – You’re dressed up, your resume is spectacular, so make sure your background reflects the same attention to detail.  Be sure the camera is not picking up an empty pizza box or a pile of dirty dishes.  What is the background noise level of your space?  Also check the lighting.  You might need to close the blinds of a window behind you so the employers can see you.     

If the chat option is available –Avoid text lingo, slang or emoticons as these are not appropriate in a business setting.   Be clear and read it over before you hit send.

Eye contact and body language – 70-93% of communication is conveyed via our body language. Sitting with your arms crossed or not making eye contact can easily be misunderstood, making others believe you are not interested.  Speak clearly, sit up straight, avoid “talking with your hands” on camera, and maintain eye contact to show a prospective employer you are interested in their employment opportunities.

Submitting your Resume – After the employer’s presentation and the Q&A, attendees will be provided instructions from each employer as to how they would like to receive your application.  Follow the instructions given as a way of demonstrating your acknowledgement for the requested process.

(Pro Tip:  One question to ask during the Q&A is “How would you like attendees of today’s session to stay in touch after submitting an application?”  Everyone is thinking this question so it’s ok to ask the employer what they prefer. They will likely provide an email or phone number you can contact, or they may suggest social media.)

After the Session – The next day, send a brief note to each employer you met thanking them for their time.  Be sure to include something that will remind them about why you’re a promising candidate, why you’re interested in their company and the skills and/or experience you bring to the table.

The 2021 Mini Virtual Hiring Sessions will be held on most Tuesdays and Thursdays during the month of April and will kick off with Island Health, our regions largest employer on March 24th.   Check out our Calendar of Events for dates and times so you are well prepared to zoom your way to your next job!



Peter, our Resource Room Consultant, Career Vlogger, and Workshop Facilitator, found this interesting article which was original written by Tina Hurd, Program Manager at WorkBC Vancouver South.  Although the article was published in 2017, the tips and suggestions remain relevant and helpful for job seekers in 2021!   



No one likes rejection, but as a job seeker, it’s important to be aware that each rejection is another step towards securing employment.

When dealing with job rejection, the concept of ‘negativity bias’ comes into play–the tendency for the human brain to hold on to and be influenced by negative feelings. This wiring made sense during prehistoric times where each negative memory could be the clue to survival; in today’s world, constant negativity is no longer necessary and can actually get in our way. Being aware of this bias is the first key to dealing with job rejection and to regaining control of your job search.

Here are seven more tips for dealing with job rejection:

Recognize that feeling bad after job rejection is natural This is why a NO feels so horrible and negative thoughts can linger or nag at you. Make a conscious decision to re-frame your thoughts. Instead of thinking that you didn’t get the job because you messed up at the interview; think about other scenarios like the possibility there was an internal candidate or maybe you were not the best fit for the team. Recognize that the reason is not necessarily just about you.

Maintain an open mind Go into a job interview with an open mind. In the event that you do not get the job, whenever possible, request feedback from the interviewer in order to determine if there is an area that you can work on. Remember, just because you didn’t get the job doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified.

Continue the momentum It’s common for job seekers to ‘wait to see what happens’ after an interview before applying for other jobs. However, keeping the job search momentum going both maintains motivation and opens up other possibilities.

Resist overanalyzing Don’t reflect on what you felt you did wrong in the interview, focus instead on what you did right. It is okay to self-critique in order to do better the next time, but overanalyzing only serves to keep you stuck in disappointment.

Have a positive attitude Your attitude is just as important as your skills when it comes to a job interview. Feelings of frustration, depletion and desperation, if not acknowledged, can carry over into the next job interview.

Don’t project into the future Worrying about things in the future that you do not have control of only makes you more afraid and insecure. Instead, focus on the present and be pro-active in your response to job rejection.

Seek help Visit a WorkBC Centre in your area to receive assistance with tailoring your resume, practicing your interview skills and improving your job search. Career Advisors are available to assist you with all aspects of your job search including how to deal with job rejection.

Awareness and preparation are the keys to dealing with job rejection. Knowing what to expect, re-framing your thoughts, focusing on the positive and continuing to persevere in your job search until you find the best fit for you will ultimately get you to your goal of sustainable, long-term employment. There may be many NOs in your job search but it only takes one YES to secure employment.






Career Centre

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

Mon-Tues 8:30am-4:30pm
Wed 8:30am-6:30pm
Thurs-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm

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Career Centre logo

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