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


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Tip of the month


Get ready for the Hiring Fair!

Explore job opportunities at the upcoming Hiring Fair, hosted by the Career Centre on Friday, March 8th, from 12pm to 4pm at the Jensen Centre (BGC Parksville Child and Family Centre), 132 Jensen Avenue East, Parksville. Last year over 50 employers were present, providing a unique opportunity for job seekers to engage directly with businesses actively looking to hire. Stay tuned and keep checking back for additions to the list of employers attending in 2024!

To maximize your success at the job fair and in your job search overall, consider the following steps:

Step 1: Participate in a How to Prepare for a Hiring Fair workshop. Acquire networking strategies to ensure success during face-to-face interactions with employers. Gain insights into necessary preparations before, during, and after the Hiring Fair.

Step 2: Dress professionally for success, akin to attending a job interview. If you require interview attire, schedule an appointment with an employment consultant at the Career Centre for assistance.

Step 3: Research the list of registered employers beforehand. Get a competitive edge by researching businesses of interest, understanding their work culture and values. Prepare a set of questions to engage employers during the Hiring Fair.

Step 4: Bring multiple copies of your resume. Organize a folder with a list of target employers, several copies of your resume, cover letters (specifically addressed to certain employers), and letters of reference if available. Be ready to distribute extra resumes to employers not initially on your list. If you need assistance creating or updating your resumes, be sure to attend the Career Centre’s Resumes and Cover Letters Workshop prior to the Hiring Fair.

Step 5: Prepare for impromptu interviews. Craft a one-minute “presentation statement” highlighting your qualifications to effectively market yourself to potential employers. Attend workshops such as Branding “YOU” and Acing the Interview for additional insights.

Step 6: Network actively. Practice a polished greeting with eye contact to make a positive first impression. The Hiring Fair provides a valuable opportunity to connect with employers and fellow job seekers who can contribute to advancing your career.

Step 7: Collect contact information. Record the names and contact details of individuals and companies of interest or ask for business cards to facilitate follow-up.

Step 8: Send thank-you notes. Stay ahead of the competition by sending thank-you notes or emails to your preferred employers the following day. Ensure professionalism in your communication, avoiding jargon, abbreviations, or spelling mistakes.

The Career Centre’s Hiring Fair is a complimentary event for job seekers to engage with local employers. For details on upcoming workshops or to register, please call 250.248.3205.

We eagerly anticipate your presence on March 8th at the Hiring Fair from 12pm to 4pm!



Most experts agree, December and January are typically quiet months as most recruiting goes on a temporary hiatus. Managers may decide to put off their hiring goals until after the New Year. People are on vacation, celebrating with their families, and slowing down training and onboarding activities.

January and February seem to be the best time of year to land that job. Hiring managers have likely just received their budgets. Hiring continues after the holidays, and employees return to work rested and ready to perform. Using employers’ downtime to your advantage during the holidays, could result in a perfect new job!

It’s important to keep up your momentum and actively job search during this time. Here are some reasons to continue to job search during December and through January:

Fewer Competitors

Many job seekers take a break from job searching at this time. You may face less competition when applying for a job. There is a better chance of being hired for sudden opportunities.

Networking Opportunities

With all of the social and business get-togethers happening now, you have an opportunity to network with other professionals in your field. Consider attending some of the many events occurring in your area. Bring your business cards so you can easily pass on your information to all your new contacts.
(Pro tip: brush up on your networking skills with our Beyond the Postings workshop. Call 250.248.3205 to register.)

Secured Employment

It might be an even more enjoyable holiday season knowing you’re going into the New Year with a new job, salary and benefits. You could even spend a bit more on that festive budget!

Early Start to January Hiring

As we mentioned, a lot of businesses receive their new budgets in January. Making that connection now might make that manager’s hiring decision in January much easier.  Applying at this time of year allows you to connect with hiring managers before other candidates start applying in the New Year.

Potential for Seasonal to Permanent Jobs

Many employers hire temporary staff during the holidays. Some temporary employees can stand out and discover key timing for new opportunities. If you make a good impression, you might just land that permanent position.

Later Start Dates

Many companies take extra time off during the holiday season. If you want extra time before starting your new job, you can discuss options and negotiate a later start date.

Team Building during the Holidays

Many employers celebrate the holidays with outings, events and parties. Starting a new job during this time will allow you to bond with your new teammates and get a feel for the company culture.

Keep up your Momentum

Keeping up your job search efforts and schedule will help you maintain your momentum. Staying organized and ready for a last-minute interview can help develop good habits. Maintaining your motivation can make it easier to transition into January if you’re still looking for a new role.

Remember, sometimes the ability to feel motivated depends on how hopeful you are that you’ll find a job or how you feel about your interactions with potential employers. If you notice yourself becoming demotivated you may want to practice some positive self-talk and affirmations. Positive self-talk is thinking positive thoughts that make you feel good about yourself and your circumstances. This practice may help you feel more optimistic and motivated.

You can practice this as an inner monologue or vocalize your affirmations. Ask yourself what you might say to a friend needing encouragement and then say those same things to yourself.

  • I have a strong and healthy body.
  • I achieve my goals.
  • I’m a hard worker, and my efforts are always rewarded.
  • I’m being kind to myself today.
  • I have an attitude of gratitude.

Are there any more that you can come up with?

However you find your motivation, the important part is that you try. Stay positive and keep putting your resumes out there, make connections, and have a happy holiday!



Are you on the lookout for a fresh career path but finding it challenging to determine your starting point? In addition to reaching out to your nearby WorkBC Centre for support, you can expand your career prospects by engaging in Informational Interviews.

What is an Informational Interview?

Informational interviews involve you, the job seeker, interviewing the individual who would typically be conducting the interview. This format tends to be less formal than regular job interviews and are more like guided conversations driven by your questions. Perhaps there is an organization that resonates with your passions and values, but you are uncertain if your skills match any of the positions they are recruiting for. In a scenario such as this, an Informational Interview can serve as a valuable tool to gain insight into the required skills before applying. Alternatively, if you are contemplating a career change and have limited knowledge about the job opportunities in a new industry, this can be a great way to establish a connection with an organization you’re keen on exploring further while conducting your comprehensive job search.

How to get an Informational Interview?

You can make a phone call and inquire about the possibility of arranging a brief meeting with the employer or hiring manager. When doing so, be sure to convey your intention to learn more about the organization and the various employment opportunities they offer. Similarly, if you are visiting a business that piques your interest and notice a “Help Wanted” sign, this presents an excellent opportunity to ask if someone is available for a conversation with regards to the working environment. Such an Informational Interview could potentially lead to an impromptu job interview! In either case, it’s essential to have your questions prepared and a means to take notes during the conversation.

Should I bring a list of questions to an Informational Interview?

YES! As mentioned above, bring a written list of at least three relevant questions to ask about working in the industry, or are specific to the organization. This step not only shows you are eager and motivated, but also demonstrates you are organized and a critical thinker!

Examples of Questions to ask during an Informational Interview: 

Your questions will need to be tailored to suit the person you are meeting with. For example, if the person currently holds a similar position you are interested in, you would ask, “What do you like most about your work?”  However, if the person you are meeting with is from the Human Resources department, you would ask “What do most people who work here say they like about their work?

The following questions are suggestions to use when meeting with someone who currently works in the occupation you are inquiring about:

  • What do you like best about the type of work you do?
  • What do you like least about the type of work you do?
  • What kinds of problems do you deal with?
  • What do you perceive the organization’s culture to be? What type of person do you think bests fits this culture?
  • What type of training opportunities are offered to employees in this industry?
  • What are your main responsibilities as a…?
  • What is a typical day (or week) like for you?

Most importantly, one of your questions should be “Are you hiring?” If the position is advertised, then there is no need to ask. However, if there are no current postings, be sure to ask about their hiring plans as you conclude the interview. Lastly, be sure to ask if they have any feedback or suggestions and show your gratitude for the time they spent with you.

Informational Interviews are excellent as they are low-pressure, less formal than a job interview, and the conversation can not only showcase your interest in the organization/industry, but present an opportunity to let them know you are serious in your job search.  As well, an Informational Interview may encourage them to consider how your current skills might be a potential fit for future opportunities!

Keep in touch with us – we would love to hear about your next Informational Interview experience!




When we first think of self-employment we tend to focus on the positives and the “glamour” side of “being the boss”. We can find ourselves driven by the excitement of our business idea, and the belief that we will have the freedom to do things how and when we want. We tend to find ourselves so confident in our idea becoming the “next big thing” that we can easily lose sight of the start up costs, legal requirements, competition in the marketplace, delivery logistics, as well as some of the ongoing tasks like bookkeeping, ordering supplies, sales and promotion, and perhaps even HR duties. The popular TV show Dragon’s Den has done a lot to expose the excitement of entrepreneurship, while also doing a far job of demonstrating the reality of long hours, complex decisions, expensive lessons and the risks that can hold an idea back from becoming a sustainable way for someone to earn a living.

There are many different “types” of entrepreneurs and being able to recognize your strengths and challenges is an important step in the road to self-employment success. Here’s a great TedTalk that explores four general types of Entrepreneurs; Builder, Opportunist, Specialist and Innovator. Although this video is from 2013, the topic is still perfectly relevant. As you watch the video, think about which category best describes you based on your interests, behaviours and motivators.

There are several resources available online that can help you navigate some of the decisions connected to self-employment. Some key ones include;  BC Small Business, Start up Canada, Community Futures, GoForth Institute , WeBC as well as WorkBC’s Self-Employment Program. Acceptance into WorkBC’s Self- Employment Program is based on several eligibility and suitability factors and does require a referral from your WorkBC employment consultant.

Every October, British Columbia recognizes Small Business Week and the successes and impact of small businesses in our communities.  According to Statistics Canada, there were over 5,300 self-employed individuals in our region in May 2021.  Every self-employed individual has had to find ways to overcome obstacles by building their knowledge, discovering what they don’t know, being strategic and most of all, by being diligent.  If you are considering self-employment, we encourage you to start to grow your knowledge and discover your suitability to being your own boss while you explore the resources that are available to support you in your venture.


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-6:00pm
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