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

Tip of the month


How to Address an Employment Gap

Most people looking for employment have a gap in their employment history at some point for some reason.  When you are ready to get back into the workforce and begin submitting your resume to potential employers, it’s hard not to be a little worried about how the time gap might look on your resume.  As we know, the pandemic has disrupted many people’s lives and this may show up as an employment gap on a resume.  Likewise, you may have taken time out of the workforce while being a caregiver, relocating, upgrading your education, or for a medical or health issue.

Here are some helpful hints on how to proceed in your job search efforts despite having time gaps in your employment history:

  • An employment gap that requires explanation is six months or more – try not to be too concerned over a few months as most employers will not see this as a “red flag” if the majority of your work history is consistent.


  • It’s your option to list the gap with related activity on your resume – For example: 2015  –  2016         Fulltime Caregiving for family member  There is no need to mention if this was caring for your mother, child, spouse etc as this information is personal).  This demonstrates to a potential employer you are being straightforward about your circumstance and not simply trying to hide behind dates.   It is really important not to use false dates to hide a gap in employment.


  • Discuss the gap in your cover letter – be honest about the time away from the workforce while remaining focused on how motivated you are to be applying for this position and how your skills align with the role,


  • Be prepared to speak to the gap during the interview – think about how you would like to answer an employer’s questions about a period of unemployment should they ask. Many employers are not as concerned about an employment gap, especially those since March 2020.  Focus on any courses or skills you might have been updating, if you were volunteering or caregiving.  Make an effort to steer the conversation in the direction that you are now actively engaged in attaining employment.

Employment gaps in your resume don’t have to hold you back from securing future employment when you address them clearly and honestly during the application and interview process.  The most important way to minimize any potential focus on an employment gap is to emphasis the skills you have and highlight your qualities which suit the position and the organization.



Have you ever looked at a job posting and thought to yourself “I’m missing something they are looking for,” and then you do not apply?  This happens to many job seekers.

Think of your last employment.  Did you actually know everything you were going to do before you started the job?  Chances are incredibly high that you learned something on the job so think of that job posting as kind of a wish list from the employer.  Their ideal candidate will have all of the skills, education and knowledge required for the position.  In reality, they know that their perfect candidate does not exist but it never hurts to dream so they post a job description with their wish list.

So what do you do now?  You build your resume to sell the skills that you do have that they are looking for and you apply for that job.  Let the employer make the decision of whether they will interview you or not.  After all, you don’t get any of the jobs you don’t apply for.






Have you considered “gig work”? Did you know that “gig workers” now represent 13% of Canadian adults and that 37% of Canadian businesses employ gig workers? Gig workers are also known as temps, temporary workers, contractors, or platform workers and they’re expanding into several industries.

Tom Gorman’s “Multipreneuring”, which was published in 1996, forever changed the way I worked and looked at work. Barely halfway through my 20s, I had been “downsized” or “right-sized” out of 2 careers and I was going onto my third. The world was changing fast, technology was a run-away train and everything my “Baby Boomer” parents had taught me about work and a career path was becoming less relevant. Multiprenuering provided techniques and insight on how to develop multiple sources of income and pursue multiple careers. Although this concept was quite revolutionary for the mid-90s, it seems almost quaint now.  And 25+ years later, we are seeing the impact and opportunities of the “gig economy”.

So… What is the gig economy? Well, it’s not multi-level marketing. It’s temporary, flexible jobs where the workers are freelancers or independent contractors.  These are not full-time permanent positions. It’s also important to note that the gig economy is not just about doing menial tasks or driving an Uber; there are many well-paying freelance opportunities.

It’s not for everyone, you have to be organized and disciplined. Many gig workers probably spend an average of 8 – 10 hours per day working on various projects but they may also be reaching their financial goals sooner so many consider it worth the investment of time and energy.   Speaking of finance, you need to figure out how you will invoice for your services, how to report your sources of income, will you need to collect GST, take into consideration insurance, a business license, and how will you collect payment from clients.

On the plus side, Gig workers set their own hours, have no employees, and the only equipment most require are a laptop, an internet connection, phone and occasionally a car.

Here are a few examples of gig economy jobs that you can do here on Vancouver Island;

  1. Graphic Design & Branding

Are you good at creating print materials, logos, ads, flyers, etc.? Check out some of the resources at the end of this article.

  1. Digital Marketing

Technology is hard for some people and they are willing to pay someone to deal with it. There is much demand for people who know how to do things like social media, google ads, paid advertising (like Facebook and Instagram), SEO, etc. The great thing about this one is that your own Social Media can be your portfolio.

  1. Freelance Writing

Even today in a much more visual world, writing is still valuable and important. Not only do businesses need good content writers, but there are many online publications that hire freelance writers. In addition to articles, you may be tasked with writing advertisements, instructions, billboards, website copy, or other forms of writing.

  1. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking

This is a common one. A lot of people adopted dogs during the COVID-19 shutdown and now that they’re heading back to the office, they need people to help take care of them. House-sitting is another we can add to this category and that gig just requires your presence.

Check out Rover.

  1. Food Delivery

Food delivery services became wildly popular in the last few years, especially during COVID-19. This gave more people opportunities to make money on their schedules. You can be flexible as to when and how often you accept deliveries.

Some of the popular food delivery apps include SkiptheDishes and DoorDash.

Additionally, you could deliver goods and groceries for people through Instacart, who are currently doing a big recruitment drive in the Central Vancouver Island area. As an Instacart shopper, you can either shop in-store for customers who pick up their orders or shop and deliver orders to their homes.

The above examples of gig economy jobs should help you get the wheels turning about potential work. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

While you can use some of the apps listed above, you might be wondering where you can find these types of gigs.  Here is a list to check out:








Don’t forget to scan your local Craiglist’s “Gigs” section, promote yourself to friends and family, and do a search on Indeed with “Remote” in the location bar as these may also turn up gig work.

How much you earn depends on what you choose to do and the amount of effort you want to put into it.

The gig economy is getting more competitive as it interests a wider audience range, and like anyone who is self-employed will tell you, you have to hustle. It’s a great way to make extra money, help build your savings or pay down debt, increase your skills, and could potentially lead to a full-time income.


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!

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