#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

June Tip of the Month

Carve Out Your Job!

I recently asked the owner of a car dealership if money was no object what would be a position he would like to create in his company. He responded that if money was no object he would hire a friendly, tech-savvy person to come in and teach new car owners how to use all the computerized functions in their car. I bet you never would have thought of this as a job! I know I certainly hadn’t.

Now maybe the car dealership doesn’t have the money to create a new position, but perhaps there is a way to create your own side gig. If you can show an employer that you can:

  • Save them money,
  • Make them money, or
  • Expand their customer base,

there is a strong likelihood you may be able to carve out a job for yourself.

You may have to think outside the box of traditional employment and you may have to take on a self-employment gig, but there are opportunities out there waiting to be had.

For example, with the car dealership, you could propose to the employer that you will come to their place of business twice a week for 2 hours and meet with car owners, helping them navigate their computerized systems. Expanding the car dealerships customer base would be a great way to market it to the employer. In turn, you could request a fee for this service as a self-employed contractor. Or, perhaps they see your passion and motivation and decide to put you on the payroll. Either way you’ve created a job for yourself!

What are your passions, where do you see you could add value to a business? Perhaps answering these questions could help you carve out your next job!

May Tip of the Month


Now that you have your resume and cover letter all ready for your job applications, be sure you have an up to date, relevant list of references.


Choose people that can speak positively about your skills and experiences directly related to the position you have applied for.  Direct supervisors or managers and people you have worked closely with are ideal.  If your background is in self employment, a client may make a good reference.

If you don’t have a work history, you can ask people you volunteered for or coaches, teachers and even the neighbour whose lawn you mowed or the parents whose children you babysat.  Avoid using personal references unless the employer has specifically asked for them.

Remember, not only will prospective employers Google you, they will also Google your references.  This is often how they get their first impression of you both. If you Google yourself and your references beforehand, you will be better prepared for any questions that might arise.

Have a minimum of three references, consider more if you are applying for senior positions.


Check in with your references when you are actively applying for work.  If you are going for an interview, provide your references with a copy of the job posting and your updated resume. This will allow them to be better prepared to relate their answers directly to their experiences with you.  You can even give them some ideas about which of your skills they might like to highlight.

Make sure to show gratitude to your references, it takes time for them to do this for you.  Send them a thank you note.


List your references on a separate sheet of paper in a format that matches your resume. Include their name, position, organization/company, address, email and phone number.  Ask your reference for the best contact information to use and if there is any information they would not like included.  Make it as easy as possible for your prospective employer to contact your references.  Here is an example:

Ms. Job Reference, Greatest Boss Ever

ABC Company, 123 Street, Parksville, BC V9P 1K1

Email:  jobref@greatestsboss.ca

Work:  250-951-XXXX   Cell:  250-951-XXXX   Home: 250-951-XXXX

If you don’t include a reference from your most recent employer or one of your previous employers, be prepared to be questioned about why you didn’t.

It is not necessary to include your references in your resume when you apply, most often people wait until they have an interview.  There is no need to include “References available upon request”.  If you decide to include your references in your application, you have to be prepared that the employer may contact the reference without letting you know.

April Tip of the Month

You are invited to our Hiring Fair!

Our annual spring Hiring Fair takes place on Thursday, April 11th from 12 -4pm at the Parksville Community Centre. This is a unique opportunity to bring employers who are hiring, together with people seeking employment.

Also on April 11th at the Parksville Community Centre, we are excited to have two information sessions to support clients interested in work at Island Health or in the Marine industry:

Careers with Island Health, 10:00 am to 11:30 am

Interested in applying to Island Health? Meet with an Island Health human resources representative to learn about upcoming opportunities, the application process and the preferred qualifications and resume formatting. This info session is open to anyone interested in seeking employment with Island Health. Pre-register through us at 250.248.3205.

Careers in the Marine Industry, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Join this informative session to learn more about this growing industry and the variety of career opportunities in the marine sector. Representatives from BC Ferries, Canadian Coast Guard, Gowlland Towing, Seaspan and Western Maritime Institute will be in attendance. Pre-register through us at 250.248.3205.

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.

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 our 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 our 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 our 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 our 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 11th.


March Tip of the Month

Benefits of Seasonal Employment

By definition, seasonal employment refers to employment opportunities that are available for only a portion of the year.

While taking a seasonal job may not be part of your long tem goal in career planning, these positions can help you prosper in the future. Here are ten reasons to consider seasonal employment:

  • Flexibility – Seasonal jobs can fill the time gaps between other projects. For example: school, travel, or another employment opportunity. Seasonal employers are often more likely to work with you on scheduling your ideal shifts and days off so you can have a great work/life balance.
  • Earning Potential – Several employers pay higher wages or offer signing bonuses for seasonal employment. Often there are more chances for overtime in short term projects.
  • Work and Travel – Some employers pay the travel cost of getting you to a job in a different province or country. This gives you a chance to work, travel and explore new opportunities while on location. Accommodations may be paid for by your employer, which in turn may lower your cost of living.
  • Finding Your Niche – Seasonal jobs give you the opportunity to try out different professions to see if they are a good fit or not.  If it is something you enjoy then it’s a good introduction to a field you may want to pursue.
  • Building Skills – Each new job gives you new skills to build on. For instance, good customer service skills are important in every position dealing with the public.  Many employers provide training courses which offer valuable certificates or tickets that will help you gain long term employment.  For example: First Aid, WHMIS, FoodSafe, Serving it Right, a Forklift Ticket and many more. All these transferable skills can be added to your portfolio for your next line of work.
  • Building Character – Starting a new job is exciting and can be a little nerve racking at the same time. New experiences help you to practice determination, self-control, patience, and eventually confidence. These are all good values that build character to help you impress your next employer.
  • Employer Perks – Some seasonal employers will entice you to join their team with perks. For example, enjoy receiving employee discounts at a spa, free lift passes, or tickets to special events.
  • Networking – Your co-workers can help you find other employment opportunities. For example, they may know of other opportunities you would be perfect for, or they may be a good reference for you in the future.  The more people you impress the greater your chances of finding that dream job you’ve been searching for.
  • Getting Your Foot In the Door – A lot of seasonal employment is entry level. Starting out with a seasonal position gives your employer a chance to see what you can do and gives you the opportunity to gain the skills you need to do the job.  Often employers hire for work ethic and attitude and will teach their employees the skills they need to do the particular job.  If you impress your employer they may want to keep you and offer you future work within their organization.
  • Resume Building – Seasonal work will fill gaps in your resume. Building new skills to list on your resume will show that you are willing to try new situations.  Having no gaps in your work history shows that you’re a go-getter, making things happen instead of waiting for things to happen.

Given the information above, consider making seasonal employment a stepping stone towards advancing your career in a short amount of time. Check out new opportunities on our website.

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-6:30pm
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