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


Tip of the month

May Tip of the Month


In todays’ job market, it can be challenging for youth to find a job when they may not have a lot of experience in the workforce.  In May’s Tip of the Month, we talk about tools youth can use to land an interview.

Best Practices for Getting an Interview

A strong resume and cover letter is your best way to get an interview. Read the job posting carefully and tell your potential employer you have the specific knowledge, experience, or skills that they are looking for.

Focus on any skills and attributes you have that best relate to the position. For example if you were applying for a serving position, you could tell your potential employer that you believe in offering excellent customer service ensuring repeat business, have positive client comment cards from a previous job, have a positive attitude and problem solving skills, and/or that you are calm in a fast paced or pressure filled environment. If you tell them about your experience in planting trees and landscaping, they will move on to another resume that focuses on the skills they are looking for, so make certain your resume focuses on skills related to THAT PARTICULAR JOB.  Don’t forget to do a little research on the business you are applying to. Reflecting knowledge of a companies values or how they operate, shows you take the time to get informed.

When you are confident your cover letter and resume are complete, make certain it’s spell-checked and reviewed by someone else (very important!), a fresh pair of eyes can help catch mistakes that otherwise may get your resume put into the ‘No’ pile.

If you are applying somewhere local (and the employer has not stated in the job posting that they do not want any phone calls or drop ins), consider dropping off your resume in person. If you make a good impression this can up your chances of being considered for the job. When dropping off a resume and cover letter in person, make certain to do a few key things…

  1. Ask to Speak to the Hiring Manager

If you just drop your resume off at the front desk you won’t get a chance to meet the person who may be in charge of hiring.  If you ask to meet them it shows confidence and a ‘take charge’ attitude.  The Hiring Manager will notice that you took a few extra minutes to do so.

  1. Smile!

It’s easy to be intimidated by introducing yourself to someone who may hold the key to your future paycheque.  Just remember they are human too, and at some point they likely had to go through the same job hunting process as you.  Smile, introduce yourself and shake their hand.  Being polite and courteous goes a long way.

  1. Talk a Little

You don’t want to make your potential new employer miss their lunch break while you verbally highlight all of your qualifications, but you also don’t want to introduce yourself, hand them your resume, and experience an awkward silence.  Have something to say planned in advance. ‘Hi my name is Katy and I was excited to hear about your job posting for a Server, as my skills would make me a great fit with ‘insert business name here’.’  Feel free to follow up with a question as it shows you are genuinely interested and curious. ‘I wanted to introduce myself and ask when you were planning on doing interviews.’  Having a conversation will make you more memorable, and can give your potential employer a lot of information about you; namely that you are polite, well spoken, well dressed, confident and interested.

  1. Dress for the Part

Proper hygiene and business casual clothes can really help you stand out.  No need to go overboard, focus on the basics: being clean, hair neat, wearing dress pants or a modest skirt, and a button down top.  The clothing style is optional, just make certain it’s not too casual, it’s free of stains and rips and in good condition, (shoes too).

These tips can help youth find employment, but above all remember it’s a process and we are here to help! Come visit us at the Career Centre for more information.

April Tip of the Month

You are at the Hiring Fair, now what?

The Career Centre Hiring Fair takes place on Thursday, April 12 from 12 -4pm at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre.

When you arrive at the Hiring Fair, take some time to get familiar with the layout, take a walk around the entire venue and see where everything is and locate the employers you would like to meet.  Make a list of all the employers you would like talk to.  In order to get some practice, start with an employer that is not at the top of your list and introduce yourself to them.  The more you do it the more comfortable you will be when it comes time to introduce yourself to that #1 employer you came to meet.

When you get to the employers table, be aware that some of the people who are there to speak with you can be owners, hiring managers, or even staff.  All of these people may be asking you questions, but you can also ask them questions about the work environment, skills and training needed, etc.

When you meet a prospective employer, start by introducing yourself.  Employers would really like to know who you are and are happy to see you there.  It is an opportunity to make a positive impression.   A simple introduction is all that is necessary at this point.  For example,

“Hi, my name is _____, I am happy to meet you today, I am interested in your company/business/organization!”

It is common to offer a handshake during introductions.

You should have done some research about the company beforehand and have a good idea of what type of position you would be interested in.   A good next step would be to give them a little more detail about what type of work you are looking for and what value you would bring to their company.  Here is an example:  “I am very interested in spending the summer working in a busy hotel where I will have an opportunity to meet people and make sure they have a positive experience while there are visiting our beautiful community.  I have taken some hospitality related courses and certifications and am excited to get to work using what I learned.”

Remember to listen carefully to their questions.   Spend some time beforehand reviewing typical interview questions and practicing your answers.  Enthusiasm and a confident, positive attitude are the key tools at an interview.  Know what they need to know about and when you have the interview make sure that you get those points across.  Provide short, positive answers to the questions and add a selling point whenever you can.  Always be truthful and answer questions to expose your accomplishments.


You did homework on the employers, so make sure that you thought of a couple of questions to ask them based on the research.  Not something that you could have easily found out by doing a little research.

When you are finished talking to the employer, let them know you would like to follow up with them and what would be the best way to keep in touch – get their contact information. Send a thank you note/card/email to those who interviewed you or whomever you had a good conversation with.

If it has been an actual interview they should be telling you what happens next such as when they expect to make their decision. If they don’t tell you, ask.  Or you can ask when you follow up.

Take some time to meet some other job seekers at the fair as well.  This is another way to enrich your network.  Keep in touch with any contacts you have made.

Even if the company doesn’t have a position for you, there could be other openings and opportunities in the future.  Show that you are interested and contact them once a month.

Be sure to take some time during the day for yourself, it can become overwhelming.  Step outside for some fresh air, have some snacks and drinks with you to replenish your energy, be sure to take some deep breaths.  Try to have fun!





March Tip of the Month

Career Centre Hiring Fair – April 12, 12:00-4:00 pm

Local employers are hiring at the Career Centre’s  Hiring Fair, Thursday April 12 from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre.  This is a unique opportunity to put employers who are looking for employees together with people seeking employment.

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 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. If you need interview attire, set-up an appointment to visit the Career Centre’s Career Closet.

Step 3: Research Registered Employers. You can get a step ahead of the competition by creating a list of 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.  It’s a good idea to come prepared with a list of questions to ask employers. Check out The Career Centre’s 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 the Career Centre’s 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 the Career Centre’s 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 while you’re attending.

 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 the Career Centre’s 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 12.

February Tip of the Month

Every job seeker will realize at some point in their search that they will need to learn new, and maybe not so comfortable, job search skills.  Networking could be one job search task you are avoiding, but it is one skill that will increase your success. It may mean getting out of your comfort zone, but how far out depends on your definition of ‘networking’.

Networking is often confused with sales but if sales is a dirty word to you, you are probably sticking to simply firing off resumes to online postings, hoping for the best.

To accelerate your job search success, open your mind to this definition.

“Networking is the process of gathering, collecting, and distributing information for the mutual benefit of you and the people in your network.”  (Source:  Power Networking.  55 Secrets for Personal & Professional Success by Donna Fisher & Sandy Vilas).

No need to be aggressive and impersonal.  All you have to do is get to know more people outside of your current network.   The research supports that this is the best way to get leads.

In a 1973 landmark study called, The Strength of Weak Ties, Mark Granovetter of John Hopkins University, found that the best leads for job opportunities are more likely to come from your more distant acquaintances (weak ties) rather than your close friends (strong ties). Why? As explained by Cornell professors, David Easley and Jon Kleinberg in Networks, Crowds, and Markets, “The closely-knit groups that you belong to, though they are filled with people eager to help, are also filled with people who know roughly the same things that you do.” The point: our distant acquaintances have the ability to expose you to job openings that you and your friends just can’t know about.


 It’s less about selling yourself and more about developing mutually beneficial relationships.  You are networking for advice and information, you are not asking for favours or jobs.  Networking in this way will certainly enrich your life,  is less frightening, yet still very effective for job seekers.

In order to network, you do have to feel good enough to get out there and meet people.  Don’t neglect your own self-care.  Take care of yourself, take breaks, and be kind to yourself.  Your inner networker will shine through and help you get the job you want.

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