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

PLEASE NOTE: Effective August 25, 2021 masks are mandatory when accessing our services!

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

Tip of the month

SEPTEMBER 2021 TIP OF THE MONTH

September is Disability Employment month in British Columbia, and the Career Centre is celebrating our inclusive employers and the important contributions individuals with disabilities are making in the workplace. Watch for our employer panel discussion that will be airing in the second half of September where we speak with three local employers about their experiences with, and the benefits of, having an inclusive and diverse workplace. More than a half million British Columbians live with some form of disability including physical, mental and emotional. Individuals in the workforce may still face discriminatory and/or illegal business practices and/or policies.

Numerous studies indicate hiring strategies that include a diverse and inclusive workforce have proven beneficial. Businesses have seen measured increases in relevance, innovation and adaptability, among other areas, by proactively creating a culture of inclusion, which also extends to workers with disabilities. Companies and organizations that have a diverse workforce are often perceived as better employers and enjoy a more positive reputation in their community.

Employers often have questions around supporting employees with disabilities and what job accommodations look like. Many times there is funding available for select accommodations.

Questions for businesses to consider include:

  • What limitations is the employee experiencing?
  • How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee’s job performance?
  • What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
  • What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?
  • Has the employee been consulted regarding possible accommodations?
  • Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
  • Do supervisory personnel and employees need training?

(Job Accommodation Network, askjan.org)

Job accommodations can be something as simple as modifying job tasks or work schedules. Sometimes accommodations can include assistive technologies, such as telephone headsets or adjustable height desks. We work with the Neil Squire Society who provides services designed to assist individuals stay or re-enter the workforce with suitable accommodations.

Questions? We can help. If you are an individual with a disability wondering about your options or pathway into the workforce, give us a call. Are you an employer who would like to learn more about programs available to assist you in supporting workers with disabilities? We want to hear from you!

AUGUST 2021 TIP OF THE MONTH

Skills for Success – Adaptability

The Government of Canada has launched a new initiative called Skills for Success that focusses on nine skills essential for people to develop for success in learning, work and everyday life.

Anyone can visit this website to find out more and access the resources. There are quizzes, workbooks and programs in order to assess, build and hone your skills.

The first skill presented is extremely relevant to everyone these days, adaptability.

Over the past eighteen months, we have faced constant change in all areas of our lives ranging from social norms, to the ways people attend school, job search, carry out the duties of their jobs and operate a business. It is important that we have the ability to develop new skills and behaviours in order to make modifications to respond to our changing circumstances.  Being adaptable means that you possess traits such as resourcefulness, open-mindedness, responsiveness and creativity. Adaptability includes problem solving, teamwork, stress management and communication skills. It also means that you are aware of, acknowledge and accept change and are able to manage expectations, cope and recover in times when change may not be positive; this is known as resiliency.

When faced with impending change, all of the above components of adaptability may seem overwhelming to embody. Therefore, here are some simple tips to start cultivating your ability to adapt:

  • Learn from others and seek new ways to do things
  • Be willing to make mistakes; acknowledge that it is an opportunity to learn and grow
  • Think positively and realistically; use positive self talk
  • Ask questions and seek understanding
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for support
  • Reflect on your experiences – what went well and what could be done differently

If you are able to increase your adaptability, then the next time there is a change in your personal life or career path, you will find it easier to adjust or figure out an effective way to respond and cope.

If you are curious about assessing and developing your adaptability skills and exploring the other Skills for Success, visit this site:

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/jobs/training/initiatives/skills-success.html

July 2021 TIP OF THE MONTH

Make the Most of your Pandemic Resume!

As things slowly start to open up and more employment opportunities show up on your news feed you may be thinking, “How do I account for the time off during COVID”?

If you have an employment gap in your resume during the time of COVID most employers know and understand why. However, the ways you persevered can be identified as traits which could be beneficial for future roles. Did you do any professional development, networking, webinars, podcasts, volunteering or other activities that can be added to your resume? Just remember to be specific.

Examples of activities, which you may have gained knowledge, skills or insights from, could include:

  • Volunteering – did you help a vulnerable relative or neighbour with their shopping? Describe how you came about doing this and how regularly this was completed.
  • Childcare – did you help out with childcare while your parents or spouse worked? Describe what you did, how often and the result.
  • Podcasts and/or Webinars – provide the title, the dates and what you learned.
  • Did any of your regular classes, meetings or group activities move to Zoom? If so, you now have a new skill in that area to be added to your resume.
  • Cooking/baking – perhaps you have always been interested in cooking and took over the shopping, meal planning and cooking, causing you to develop skills in this area, for example with budgeting, researching new recipes, and watching cooking shows/videos.

Other Resume Tips

Branding Statement – Now more than ever it is important to have a branding statement on your resume that makes you stand out from the crowd. What do you want employers to know about you that makes you unique? It should be a short, one or two sentence summary that highlights what you do, how you do it and what sets you apart from others.

Professional Summary – Having an “Objective Statement” on your resume has gone by the wayside. Employers are now looking for a “Professional Summary” or “Profile” highlighting the skills you have that are relevant for the positon for which you are applying. This is a four or five point summary highlighting your skills.

Skills and the Result – Employers are not just looking for the skills that you have but also the results of why those skills are important. For example, instead of just having, “excellent customer service skills” you could add a qualifier like, “demonstrating professionalism and flexibility, inspiring repeat business.”

Application Tracking Systems – More often than not, when uploading your resume for a position, an applicant tracking system is used. This means stay away from using busy borders, lines, images and other artwork as these can inadvertently get your resume thrown in the “no” pile. Using unusual section headers instead of the typical “skills”, “work history,” and “education” headers can also confuse an application tracking system.

Remember, your resume is just one tool in your marketing tool box.

June 2021 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!”

Career Centre

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

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

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