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

EFFECTIVE JUNE 1ST: In addition to virtual services, we are providing in-person appointments.

This includes Employment Counselling and Resource Room access.

Clients who are not able to access services virtually will be prioritized.

PLEASE NOTE: All services require an appointment. Call us at 250.248.3205.

Tip of the month

July Tip of the Month

Looking to spruce up your cover letter?  Here are some top tips that can help:

  • Research the organization to learn more about them and why you would like to work for them specifically, and include in your letter
  • Follow instructions…include any answers to questions not addressed in your resume (i.e. amount of hours you can work, available shifts, salary, etc.)
  • Only include qualifications, education, etc. that are relevant to the position you are applying for
  • Match your skills to the organization’s needs, coming up with specific examples of occasions when you have used these skills successfully (i.e. accomplishment statements)
  • Your cover letter should be neat, brief/concise, well written and error free, on no more than one page
  • It should be branded to match your resume and reference sheet (matching letterhead, font style and sizes)
  • Use a business letter format: left-blocked/aligned style (no indents at beginning of paragraphs), typical margin size is 1” around in order to have enough “white space”, and the font should be consistent with your resume and other marketing documents
  • Personalize each letter, addressing each to a specific individual (which may require that you contact the organization to get the name and title of the appropriate person). Do not use “To Whom It May Concern”.  If getting a specific name is not possible, here are some examples you might consider:
    • Hiring Manager, Personnel Manager, Human Resources, Hiring Team
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word in a job title (e.g. Long Term Care Aide)
  • Use a professional tone
  • Avoid overusing the word “I” (aim for approximately 5 or less per letter, or 2 or less per paragraph…this is harder than it sounds!)
  • Use keywords, as well as action words and adjectives
  • If using a Broadcast/Inquiry letter, let them know you will follow-up
  • Do not rely on spellcheck…proofread it a few times, read it aloud, and have someone else proofread it
  • Save your document with a file name that the employer (and you!) will easily be able to identify with and file/locate (e.g. John Smith – Cover Letter – 123 Company)
  • Keep a copy of every letter you send as part of your job search file (examples: hard copy, email saved in a Job Search folder in your mail program, or electronic copy in your document files)

June Tip of the Month

You got the job!  Now what?

Congratulations, you got a job!!  Now what happens? Well, a little something called on-boarding.

The on-boarding process is a series of events that equip and assist a new employee to be successful in their job and inform them of how their position impacts the overall business. On-boarding processes at places of employment will typically follow a similar outline:

  • Orientation with a supervisor/manager to the workplace structure and culture
  • Signing forms related to employment, human resources and taxes
  • Submitting copies of your credentials, tickets and training certificates
  • Tour of workplace and introductions to staff and what jobs they do
  • Getting set up with the necessary tools, equipment and technology for your job; including passwords, alarm codes, uniforms, etc.
  • Review and commencement of the training plan – this may include reading about your job duties and expectations, shadowing co-workers to see the process of the job first hand, as well as hands on training. The review of policies and procedures, watching instructional videos, and perhaps taking online training courses/modules are also an important parts of onboarding.

Currently, with COVID -19 having major impacts on our health, economic and social climates, the onboarding process of many workplaces will undoubtedly look different. Maybe you are working in the essential service sector that has been overwhelmed by increased business. This could mean you have been hurried though the process just to get you on the floor completing much needed tasks and serving customers/clients as quickly as possible. Or maybe the sector you find yourself in has slowed down, and your colleagues are working from home or reduced hours. This might mean that you have not met everyone in your workplace, your client-facing work has gone virtual and you are not able to receive the hands-on training you would have had prior to the impacts of COVID-19.

In both cases, you have started a job at time when the work days are no longer “typical”. So here are some tips to help you along the way as we all navigate these changing times together:

  • Ask questions – when I started my first job as a teenager, my manager told me that “There are no stupid questions”. I still believe this, as it is important to ensure you obtain the understanding you need about processes and instructions. You are in the driver’s seat of your learning.
  • Speak up – when you need something. There can be so much going on for employers and workers right now that no one may realize that you are missing a piece of information about process, policy or instruction on how to do a part of your job. We’re all a team and by speaking up, you just might be helping someone else too.
  • Be flexible – go with the flow to meet the changing needs and trends of our current times. This might mean you are doing more aspects of your job virtually (including the onboarding process). Or maybe you will be focused on doing just one aspect of your job that is crucial to service delivery during this time, and you’ll learn the other parts of your job in a few months. Who knows? Just expect and be open to change!
  • Be patient – with yourself and others (co-workers, employers and your customers/clients). This is an overwhelming time for many and everyone is learning and figuring out what comes next – even those that have been in their positions for many years. Everyone needs, and deserves, a bit of kindness and grace right now.

Good luck to you as you embark on this next step of your career path!

 

Talea

Employment Consultant

May Tip of the Month

Ways for Youth to Stay Productive During COVID-19

If you are in high school, university or college you are probably wondering what the future holds for you in terms of employment. Many students had jobs lined up for the summer to help pay for next semester’s tuition or complete a practicum. Now, there may be some unexpected challenges along the way and what happens after COVID-19? The unknown can be scary, but try to stay positive as this will pass!  And remember, you are not alone! What do you have control over now that will help you to move forward when the COVID-19 is over?

Here are some tips to keep you busy and remain positive!

  • Find a Career Advisor. They are likely to offer assistance remotely and will help in finding employment options and opportunities. They also may be able to help with any concerns you have with COVID 19.
  • How will you spend your time? Now is a good time to plan for your future. Do some research on careers and think about what is of interest to you. Consider finding a free career assessment tool online, such as: https://www.workbc.ca/blueprintbuilder.
  • Continue to learn. Most schools have moved into online instruction. Ask your instructor for help if you are struggling, or see if are there any other courses you can take to boost your grades up.
  • Stay healthy. Ensure you follow guidelines set by the Provincial Government. Your physical and mental well-being is important. Stay connected with friends, family and peers. Supporting each other through this difficult time is important. Cheer out your window for the front line workers every night at 7:00 pm, sing “Oh Canada” every Sunday at noon.  Here is a list of resources to help you stay healthy both physically and mentally: https://www.studentminds.org.uk/coronavirus.html
  • Help others. During this crisis, people need help. You can volunteer with an organization, help a neighbour with getting groceries, cut their lawn, or walk their dog. Oceanside Volunteer Association is always looking for people to help out. For a list of volunteer positions in the Oceanside area: https://www.oceansidevolunteer.org/volunteer-opportunities.

When the pandemic is lifted and you apply for your next job, the employer may ask “What did you do during COVID-19?”  What will you say?

Remember Dr. Bonnie Henry’s words, “Be kind. Stay calm and stay safe. This is not forever this is just for now.”

For information on Federal Student Aid: https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/covid-19-trudeau-offers-9-billion-to-students-facing-joblessness-over-pandemic

 

April Tip of the Month

Staying Active in Your Job Search During COVID-19

You have been in job search mode, but now are isolating at home and unsure how to proceed. Sound familiar? Here are some strategies to help keep you active and productive.

While it’s true that the pandemic has left some companies with hiring freezes, staff reductions, layoffs or closures, other sectors are ramping up their recruiting in an attempt to fill vital positions. You may be surprised at how large the list of essential services is: https://bit.ly/2JqgkY7. Start by researching the sectors of interest, then types of companies on the list. Next research and target local companies within the industry.

Once you find companies of interest, be sure to research their websites and check out their social media pages. These can usually be found as icons at the bottom of a company website or on their contact page. Consider including a paragraph in your cover letter, about why you are interested in working for their company specifically, including information that will prove your research efforts, interest and enthusiasm to the employer.

Ensure that your resume, cover letter and any other marketing documents are customized and personalized to each company and/or position. These are living, breathing documents and not meant to be static, generic, or used for multiple companies. Want to exude professionalism? Brand all your documents (including your reference contact list) by using the same font style, font content/title sizes, and letterhead across all. Avoid the use of headers and footers, which are unreadable by many applicant tracking systems (ATS).

While networking by phone and email is still a top way to find employment, be sure to have job alerts created on all your preferred job boards (e.g. CareerCentre.org, WorkBC.ca, Indeed.ca, WowJobs.ca, Glassdoor.ca, Google) for the various job titles of interest. This way you are spending less job search time surfing job boards (let’s say 20%) and more time with specific, customized job search activities (80%).

When in doubt, reach out! Stay connected to your WorkBC Employment Consultant for support. Our team is working by phone, email and virtually to serve you during this time.

Stay safe and be well,

Brenda
Employer Services Coordinator

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