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

Tip of the month

November Tip of the Month

Cover Letters

Why use them? Because they are a way to further communicate your knowledge of the company and position and allow you to STAND OUT from the crowd.

We recommend you start out your first sentence with a bang. No more “Please find attached my resume for the position….” The first sentence is your opportunity to grab the employer’s attention.  Some examples of a great first sentence(s):

  • As I am passionate about the coffee industry, I was excited to see your advertised position for a barista.
  • As a five star resort in our community, I am aware how important reputation is to your business and I can bring outstanding customer service to the role of front desk clerk.
  • Preparing food to a high standard for residents in your assisted living facility would be a position I would take very seriously.
  • Congratulations on your award for best beer on Vancouver Island! I am excited for the opportunity to apply for the position of sales to support ABC Brewery company reach your goals.
  • Your mission to provide customers with the highest level of service possible has always been my goal in the service industry. When a customer walks out the door with a smile I know I’ve done my job.
  • Providing quality work in a timely manner is of high importance to customers. With my background and strong aptitude in mechanics, strong work ethic and ability to pay attention to detail, I can support your team.

All of these opening sentences show the employer you know a little bit about them and highlight how you can continue to support them to excel. Take the time to look at the company’s website – what is their vision and goals? Ensure you let them know you can help them reach these goals.

In the second paragraph provide the employer with some examples of how your skills and experience relate to the position. Let the employer know you have the competencies to do the job. Try to tell a story as these are the memorable examples the employer will be able to refer back to when short listing for the interview. For example:

While working as a small engine mechanic I reviewed technical/workshop manuals to ensure the equipment was repaired as per manufacturer specifications. I ensured everything went out of the shop performing at 100% while meeting customer and company deadlines.

 This paragraph tells a story to the employer of how the candidate problem solved to ensure the job was done right, in a timely manner.

The closing paragraph should highlight again the key strengths you bring to the position and indicate your enthusiasm to meet with the employer in person.

Need some more cover letter tips? Sign up for our next Resumes and Cover Letter workshop by calling the Career Centre at 250.248.3205.

October Tip of the Month

Are you thinking about Self-Employment?

Did you know that as of 2016:

  • There are approximately 396,100 small businesses operating in British Columbia
  • 98% of BC’s businesses are small
  • 79% of these businesses employ less than 5 people
  • 51% of these entrepreneurs operate without paid help
  • 40% of BC’s workforce is employed in small business

Small business is the backbone of the BC economy contributing 33% of the province’s Gross Domestic Product.  It is vital to the economy of the province and provides us with many of the essentials in our day to day lives.

Have you ever thought of yourself as an entrepreneur?  Have you had a business idea that just won’t leave you?  If so, you are encouraged to make an appointment with your Employment Counsellor to see if you are eligible for the Self-Employment Program.  They can determine your eligibility and refer you to a Self-Employment Orientation, which will explain the program in detail and provide a self-assessment of your entrepreneurial skills.

If eligible, you will be shown how to develop a Business Concept and Business Plan and receive coaching and guidance throughout the process.  If your Business Concept is approved, you will be able to start the implementation of the business as you work on your Business Plan. Personal financial supports, workshops, coaching and mentoring are part of the Self-Employment Program for up to forty-eight weeks at which time the expectation is that you will be self-sufficient.

It is not necessary that this is a new business.  You can purchase an existing business and receive the benefits of the Self-Employment Program.

Small business is important to our communities as well as the province of British Columbia.  In recognition, October is Small Business month.  Celebrate it, support it, or, perhaps join it!

September Tip of the Month

Disability Employment Month

According to the Canadian Survey on Disabilities (CSD) report 2012 funded by Statistics Canada, 1 in 7 (14%) Canadians aged 15 years or older, reported having a disability. That’s about 3.8 million people. Chances are you may be a person with a diverse ability, and you may also be looking for a job. Your disability may be a noticeable, visible diverse ability, or it may be a hidden one such as a learning or mental health issue. Regardless of what type of diverse ability you may have, you need not look upon it as a liability while job searching. Just as there is always a silver lining in a dark cloud, it is important to look at what gifts you bring to any work situation. Because no matter what, each and every person has something to offer. So, as with any other job seeker, it is important to be well prepared in your job search. Especially when it comes to talking to employers in interview situations.

If you have a visible or noticeable diverse ability, it is best to acknowledge it when meeting an employer in an interview or informational interview, but only refer to what is necessary. Then move on to your strengths, abilities, past work and volunteer successes. Always be confident, and make sure you practice rehearsing ahead of time. The interviewer may be ignorant about your diverse ability, so even if you hear statements or pick up on attitudes that shock you, stay calm and cool.  What you hear or feel may convince you this is not a place you want to work, or this could be a chance to provide information and give the interviewer the opportunity to learn more about your diverse ability. You can ensure they are clear your disability has no impact on your ability to do the job and it can be another chance to re-iterate your skills, abilities and strengths related to the position you are applying for.

If your diverse ability is not noticeable, at what point in the process should you reveal it? In the interview? Once you’ve been offered the job? There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. You would have to evaluate the risk of disclosure as to whether it would hurt or hinder your chances of being hired.  Some employers might lose trust if you wait until after you have been offered the job.  If you do disclose it in the interview, it might develop more trust between you and the employer. A great resource for information to help you weigh out the pros and cons is the Abilities Canada (Inspiration, Information and Opportunities for Canadians) website:  http://abilities.ca/disclose-not-disclose/

If you are not able to get the job on your own, and/or if you struggle with anxiety or mental health issues that greatly impact your ability to be successful in meeting with employers, you can always obtain the support from a job developer. Our Job developers are specialized employment consultants whose job it is to make connections with employers and advocate for those who are not able to market themselves. It is their job to get you the job. A job developer can do some of the ‘pounding the pavement’ for you, attend an interview with you, and sometimes even land the job for you.  There are many agencies that can provide this service locally, including the Career Centre (Work BC): http://www.careercentre.org  and Vancouver Island Vocational and Rehabilitation Services: http://www.vivrs.ca/

So, remember to stay confident and focus on your abilities. Know your limitations and how to address them with an employer.  If you are not able to be confident in your job search, seek the care of a job developer who can support you by building bridges between you and the employer.

August Tip of the Month

Exercise and Job Search

Being unemployed has many challenges and some people experience depression. One way to alleviate the symptoms of depression is to participate in regular exercise and connect with people socially. You don’t have to join a gym or an exercise group to reap the benefits. Here is a list of free exercises that you can do to keep yourself active and mentally well as you job search.

  • Walk to the Career Centre if you live close by.
  • Drive to the Career Centre, attend a workshop and then go walk the boardwalk at the beach.
  • Have you ever walked through the bird sanctuary? It is a beautiful gem in Parksville.
  • Feeling adventurous? Walk through the many trails in the area: Englishman River, Rathtrevor or Springwood trail.
  • Check out the new trail that goes from Springwood School in Parksville to Coombs Market, great for walking, running or biking.
  • Walk or run the stairs at the end of Doehle Avenue in Parksville.
  • Sole Sisters drop in walking group offers guide trail walks, organized by the Arrowsmith Community Recreation Association. Wednesday from 10 am to 11 am. Contact Kim Longmuir at 250.248.8515 or email kimlongmuir@telus.net .
  • Utilize the free exercise equipment at the beach.

Career Centre logo

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