#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

Cold Calling

While it may seem to be a daunting task to pick up the phone and call someone about a position that they may or may not have, a lot of good can come from that first call. The worst that can happen is they say no and you have only invested a few minutes, but think of the better outcomes!

  • Employers may not have time to post jobs, sort resumes, then interview and hire. By making the call you are exhibiting a lot of the qualities an employer may be looking for:
    • Initiative
    • Can do attitude
    • Determination
    • No fear of rejection (very applicable for a sales position)
  •  If you wait for a position to be posted at your favourite company, how many other people will be waiting for the same job posting?
  • Getting your resume in before positions are posted can result in less competition for the job if one exists.

Be prepared with questions you may have about the company, as you are interviewing them as well.  Do some research and don’t ask obvious questions that you can get the answers to from their website.  Keep track of who you are speaking with in case they ask you to send them a resume.  This way you can address the cover letter to your new contact.  If they are not hiring at the present time, ask for names of others in the industry that might be.


May Tip of the Month

If you are spending time on Facebook anyway, why not use some of that time to build a professional identity and access the hidden job market at the same time.

The key to remaining connected with friends and family as well as professional networks on Facebook without compromising your job search is to classify your ‘friends’.  This will require a little time, effort and patience but can provide promising leads.  If you aren’t currently searching for a new job, it is still a good strategy to build your network before you need it.

Employers troll for candidates online to either find someone with the skills they are looking for or to screen candidates.  You’ll want to make sure they only see what you want them to see.  You can become ‘friends’ with someone who works at a company you are interested in but you don’t have to let them see your weekend shenanigans.

How you appear online is an important consideration when looking for work.  Learning how to use privacy settings in Social Media is vital in order to control who can see what you are sharing.  Facebook has tools that make it easier to control who you share your content with.  You can even see how your profile appears to others. Facebook created this detailed guide on how manage all your privacy settings.

Polish Up Your Profile and Clean your News Feed

First, polish up your profile for your job search audience and only include information that is relevant to prospective employers and professional colleagues.  Your profile has sections for you to list professional skills, workplaces and schools you have attended. Facebook can then start showing you potential connections that may be influential in your job search and provide recommendations, tips and leads for you.

Secondly, you will want to lock down or delete any content you have posted that you would not want your professional contacts or prospective employers to see.  It can be time consuming to go back and delete it all, but you do have other options.  Start fresh or use the handy tool in Facebook that allows you to limit all your old posts.

REMEMBER:  Your profile and cover picture are always public!  You can only control which picture you use, not who can see them.

Create a LIST for Your Professional Contacts

Social recruiting and screening candidates is a growing online trend.  If you want to jump on board to take advantage of this trend, expand your online professional network and include contacts that may be helpful in your job search.  Facebook offers an option every time you post a status update, upload a picture or edit your profile to decide who can see it.  You may be familiar with the ‘friends’ and ‘friends of friends’ category, however, you can create other lists as well.  To assist in your job search, you may want to create a ‘work’ or ‘professional’ list.  When you add a new professional contact, add them to this list.  Facebook provides detailed instructions on how to add friends to a list.

Restricting your Content

Once you have a new list, you have better control of who sees your posts.  When posting, select the sharing options dropdown, ‘more options’ and then ‘custom’.  Your new list will be shown as an option, add the list to either the ‘share this’ or ‘don’t share this’ box.

To make sure it’s all working the way you want, use the “Who can see my stuff” feature and view your profile as if you were one of these new professional contacts.

To learn more about using Social Media in your Job Search, come to our “Using Social Media for Your Job Search” workshop.

March and April Tip of the Month

Local employers are hiring at the Career Centre’s Spring Hiring Fair, Wednesday April 12th from 12pm-4pm at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre. This is a unique opportunity to bring 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 12th.

February Tip of the Month

Self-care asks us to slow ourselves down and look inward and while seeking a job, this can often seem counter-intuitive. “Who has time for self-care? I just need to go and get a job!” is a conversation we might have with ourselves. While self-care may feel like a strange concept to match up with job search, the simple practices we are sharing can go a long way in helping you get ready. Our tips will assist you in preparing to secure the position of your choice and lessen the stress during the first few weeks of orientation on the job.

So, if the February blues are getting you down, try these simple practices to get geared up for hiring season:

1/ Take care of your physical self:
It’s been a long winter, and though our bodies might want to slumber until spring, our job search will be far more effective if we prepare ourselves for potential employment with good sleep, nutrition and a daily movement practice. Even 15 minutes a day of walking or a light workout can make all the difference in lifting our spirits. Also, there is no replacement for getting enough sleep, water and nutrition throughout the day. Believe it or not, the good energy these simple practices radiate are visible to others and are proven to have great positive effect on our physical and mental health – both of which support a greater chance of success in the job market.

2/ Get up and STOP! What??? Whoever says that? Our get up and go attitude can feel productive, but if we’re not grounded we may burn out by noon. If you find yourself feeling as though you’re running in circles, try this simple practice when you wake: take a moment with your feet on the ground at the edge of the bed and spend a few minutes doing some slow, deep breathing while simply letting your thoughts go, returning your attention to your breath. Starting the day mindfully offers the benefit of time for reflection, an organized start, and a greater access to calm throughout the day.

3/ Know where your energy levels are at. Take a few minutes while moving about your now mindful morning and just check in with what you feel up to. Sure we don’t always feel like we are ready to go greet employers and sell ourselves, so look within. Sometimes we can boost ourselves up with some positive self-talk, or call a trusted support to help buoy us up, while at other times we just have a flat feeling and there is nothing to be done but recognize it. If and when the day does feel flat, assess what activities you can do to still keep yourself moving forward: make a list of 5 places to target for employment and start scouring their websites for clues for your cover letter. Perhaps you have all the energy in the world and are ready to self-market and go get that job. If that is the case, gather your resources and head out for a day of job seeking and networking. Knowing yourself and what you have to work with is a very powerful tool for directing your day. Do what you can to keep yourself moving forward and make the best use of your time. This will serve you well when job seeking, and when you are back in the work force.

Ultimately, remember that job seeking can take a lot out of us and we often are the last ones on our list. Filling up your own cup will go a long way to sustaining you through not only your job search but your life.

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