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

Tip of the month

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