#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

February Tip of the Month

No one is responding to my applications – what should I do?”

We hear again and again from job seekers how frustrating it can be to get no response after applying to various positions.  The best advice we can suggest is to not take this personally.  The typical procedure for organizations now is to only get in touch with applicants shortlisted for an interview.

When employers receive 100, 200 or even 300 resumes for an advertised position, they do not have time to connect with candidates they are not planning to interview.  According to the website Glassdoor, only 2% of applicants will get a call for an interview.

So what should you do?

Revise your resume for each job you are applying to. You do not need to do a completely different resume for every job, but rather just revise it.  Make sure you are highlighting your skills and abilities and truthfully documenting how you will meet their needs based on the job advertisement. 

Network, network, network!  Companies want to hire someone they know or someone who has been a referral from someone they trust. The larger your network, the more people you have who could vouch for you in an employment situation.  Make sure your contacts know you are looking for employment and what it is you are willing to do for work.

Don’t get discouraged, continue to apply, continue to follow up, and build your network.

January 2019 Tip of the Month

Self-Care: The 5-4-3-2-1 Technique

We all know that hunting for a new job can be stressful.  Grounding and mindfulness practices are a constructive way to care for yourself during this employment search process. 

The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is a simple activity to help encourage a sense of calm and relaxation if you’re experiencing anxiety or doubt during this challenging time. 

  • 5:  Notice 5 things around you that you can see, and name them in your head (e.g. bench, tree, bird, cloud, car).
  • 4:  Notice 4 things that you can hear (e.g. someone laughing, wind rustling the leaves, birds cawing, a car engine). 
  • 3:  Notice 3 things that you can touch, and if it’s appropriate, reach out and pat them gently, taking the time to notice how they feel (e.g. rough bark, soft grass, your fuzzy sweater).
  • 2:  Notice 2 things that you can smell (e.g. the ocean, your shampoo). 
  • 1:  Finally, think of 1 thing that you genuinely like about yourself (e.g. your good intentions, your sense of humour, your ability to remember random trivia, etc.).

What’s great about this technique is that you can do it anywhere, anytime.  If you are in a waiting room just about to interview for a job, and feeling overwhelmed, you can help yourself relax and prepare for the meeting by quickly checking in with your senses.  Taking the time to ground yourself before meeting a potential employer can improve your focus for the big meeting. The next time you’re feeling stressed – try the 5-4-3-2-1!

December Tip of the Month

Be Authentic in Your Job Search

What does it really mean to be authentic? Being authentic is staying true to your own ideas, norms and values, including in the way you present yourself, interact with others and pursue your career.

Since ‘Tell me About Yourself’ is one of the top ten most commonly asked interview questions, it is really important to be prepared to answer this question truthfully.  The following are some questions to ask yourself or someone who knows you well before talking to employers.

What are your greatest assets?

What are you most passionate about?

What are your most unique and marketable skills?

What can you do better than anyone else?

What do you have a reputation for?

Now pull your answers together for a 2-3 sentence personal brand statement. Your goal is to stand out from the crowd and let people know who you are.

Recently, a Career Centre client informed me she was out with a friend and was told there was a hiring fair going on in Parksville.  She did not have time to go home to collect her resume or get changed into interview appropriate attire, so she decided she was going to ‘wing it’. She attended the hiring fair, answered the questions to the best of her ability and within 15 minutes was hired! When I asked her “why do you think you got the job”? She replied, “I love what I do and I am good at it”! She was able to be authentic with the employer and as a result got the job she really wanted.

Be Authentic! Be You!

The Career Centre offers a personal branding workshop called “Branding You”. In this workshop you learn how to create your own employment opportunities or find existing ones fast by actively networking, creating a personal brand statement and marketing your unique set of skills.

Personal Branding Tips


November Tip of the Month

Cover Letters

Why use them? Because they are a way to further communicate your knowledge of the company and position and allow you to STAND OUT from the crowd.

We recommend you start out your first sentence with a bang. No more “Please find attached my resume for the position….” The first sentence is your opportunity to grab the employer’s attention.  Some examples of a great first sentence(s):

  • As I am passionate about the coffee industry, I was excited to see your advertised position for a barista.
  • As a five star resort in our community, I am aware how important reputation is to your business and I can bring outstanding customer service to the role of front desk clerk.
  • Preparing food to a high standard for residents in your assisted living facility would be a position I would take very seriously.
  • Congratulations on your award for best beer on Vancouver Island! I am excited for the opportunity to apply for the position of sales to support ABC Brewery company reach your goals.
  • Your mission to provide customers with the highest level of service possible has always been my goal in the service industry. When a customer walks out the door with a smile I know I’ve done my job.
  • Providing quality work in a timely manner is of high importance to customers. With my background and strong aptitude in mechanics, strong work ethic and ability to pay attention to detail, I can support your team.

All of these opening sentences show the employer you know a little bit about them and highlight how you can continue to support them to excel. Take the time to look at the company’s website – what is their vision and goals? Ensure you let them know you can help them reach these goals.

In the second paragraph provide the employer with some examples of how your skills and experience relate to the position. Let the employer know you have the competencies to do the job. Try to tell a story as these are the memorable examples the employer will be able to refer back to when short listing for the interview. For example:

While working as a small engine mechanic I reviewed technical/workshop manuals to ensure the equipment was repaired as per manufacturer specifications. I ensured everything went out of the shop performing at 100% while meeting customer and company deadlines.

 This paragraph tells a story to the employer of how the candidate problem solved to ensure the job was done right, in a timely manner.

The closing paragraph should highlight again the key strengths you bring to the position and indicate your enthusiasm to meet with the employer in person.

Need some more cover letter tips? Sign up for our next Resumes and Cover Letter workshop by calling the Career Centre at 250.248.3205.

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