Job Search Tips
Everyone could benefit from a career check-up
by Gloria Welton
We take our car in for check-ups and inspections, but something as important as our own career and the stage we are in with our employment tends to be left to chance.
This is the insight that Sareena Hopkins of the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) in Ottawa brought to an audience of about 120 people at the Career Development Association of PEI (CDA of PEI) annual conference held in Summerside.
“Wouldn’t it be amazing if every Canadian heightened their sense of career awareness every now and then?” says Sareena. “Look inward, look outward, do a check. And if they didn’t like what they saw, they would go to see a Career Development Practitioner for a check-up.”
Sareena says what stands out in her own career path is how incredibly blessed she is to be part of a community practice world-wide doing exactly what she always felt she was meant to do: helping people live healthier and happier lives through career development.
According to the October 2015 Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, 74,400 people are employeed on PEI. However, 8,200 people are looking for work, and this is not counting those who are employed but looking for a career change.
“The work of career development workers and educators on PEI helps people find the career meant for them,” says Kim Murphy, Chair of CDA of PEI. “This effort leads to improved lives, productive workplaces, and a better PEI.”
CDA of PEI Inc. was formed in 1999 and incorporated in 2011. Its members are career and education providers, influencers, and stakeholders. Its mandate is to seek out information and provide networking opportunities to empower its members on PEI.
This year’s conference provided information on what is happening across PEI, Canada, and globally when it comes to advancing the career development profession while keeping the needs of job seekers in focus.
“When we work day to day with students and clients, it is essential to be focused on the individual,” says Sareena. “To serve them best, it is important to know that we are part of a global community of practice.”
Career development field exploding with opportunities
“Every day, we see students and clients struggling to find their way,” says Sareena. “Many face unwelcoming and confusing labour markets. And as career development practitioners we also face our share of funding cuts and instability at work.
“Ironically, many of the current political issues, like skills shortages and workplace health, are exactly what we do, yet no one is looking to career development practitioners for solutions as yet.”
For more details about the work being done with the Career Development profession on PEI, visit www.cdapei.ca.
For job seekers looking for professional Career Development services and programs on PEI, click here.
Resources for Career Development professionals
CCCD has been trying to make the field much more visible to funders, the media, and ultimately to the public they serve. Visit www.cccda.org.
Every two to three years, researchers, policy makers, and practice leaders from around the world, including Canada, come together for a symposium on career development and public policy to exchange, bridge gaps, and collectively strengthen the field. Visit http://iccdpp.org.
The International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance has over 22,000 members world-wide. It can connect you to an entire global community of career practitioners. Visit www.iaevg.org.
The Canadian Research Working Group on Evidence-Based Practice in Career Development is pushing the research agenda in the field. For more recent research and evaluation initiatives, visit www.crwg-gdrc.ca.
Tips for resume, cover letter & job interviews
Nailing down your career choice
Websites to help you to nail down a career choice suited to you:
- Funding Sources
Use this information to search for work or research a career on PEI or across Canada. Look at occupation, wage, and employment outlook.
- www.jobbank.gc.ca -Job Market Trends and News
PEI news on new companies and company expansions.
PEI is focused on advancing economic development in PEI by investing in people, innovation, and infrastructure. They target key sectors that have a high potential for economic growth, including aerospace, bioscience (including agriculture and fisheries), information technology, financial services and renewable energy.
Atlantic Provinces Economic Council – information on economic growth.
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10 Career Fair Tips
Transferable Skills & Soft Skills: What's The Difference?
This video from Work It Daily sums up transferable skills and soft skills:
Explaining work experience
This Snagajob video shows how to explain employment gaps:
Career shift, transition and occupational change in later life
Benefits of volunteering
Volunteering is a good way to build onto your resumé. You can also find your references this way. This video from Snagajob explains the benefits of volunteering well.
Networking / Informational meetings
Don’t think you are good at networking? It’s a myth to think so, says Michael J. Hughes, from Networking for Results. Check it out:
For more human resources videos from BioTalent Canada, click here.
Here’s advice from D’Youville College on making that first impression in 30 seconds or less:
Cold calling is one effective way to find out from potential employers, or friends and family who can lead you to potential employers, what jobs are open.
Click below to view this video from Daniel Dreyfus Videos on a good introduction to cold calls.
Many businesses and organizations use Facebook and Twitter to promote their services and occasionally post jobs. They also post jobs on their own websites and other job boards. Job seekers who apply by e-mail and then wait for the employer to contact them might be missing an important step in their job search. Employers keep telling The Employment Journey that face-to-face interaction is the best way to get hired.
This video from Capture Your Flag on YouTube gives clear reasons why meeting in person is better than social media:
The elevator pitch: connecting with employers
If you happen to meet an employer you would love to work for at the grocery store, at a social engagement or elsewhere, you need to be prepared to talk about how your skills could add value to their company. It is called an elevator pitch because you have about as much time as an elevator ride to introduce yourself and say a few things about your skills and abilities.
The following Snagajob video illustrates the best way to promote your skills to a potential employer:
Working from Home
Working at Home – which jobs are legitimate, which are scams?
A career practitioner recently asked The Employment Journey about work-at-home jobs. Which jobs are legitimate and which are scams? The following is a list of websites that could help you find out:
Atlantic Provinces Better Businesses Bureau http://atlanticprovinces.bbb.org/.
Canadian Anti Fraud Centre http://www.antifraudcentre.ca/english/home.html.
The following video from Rob Brauer of the Internet Truth Project has some good tips about spotting scams:
Workopolis has an in-depth video on the mistakes on resumés that may cost you an opportunity at a job interview:
Take tips from a recruiter who has seen thousands of resumés come across his desk. Check out this video from Workopolis:
Are you planning to apply to Walmart, Atlantic Superstore or other major employer? Prepare to fill out a job application on-line. Large companies are becoming more reliant on computerized applicant tracking systems to narrow down the thousands of resumés they get for one advertised job.
Be prepared for a few things when applying on-line. For security reasons, you will need to create a username and password. The username is usually your own name or e-mail address; the password is a minimum of six characters (including letters, numbers and symbols). Keep this information somewhere for safe-keeping.
The other thing to prepare for, especially when applying to a large company, is an on-line pre-interview questionnaire. Expect to spend 30 minutes to an hour answering questions such as “What kind of worker are you?” “What kind of working conditions do you prefer?” When going through the process, don’t be afraid to get help from a friend or service provider such as PEI Career Development Services.
Some job applications allow you to attach your resumé or type information into the space given on-line. Submit your resumé as a document, plain text or PDF using MS Word. When you “cut and paste” into the space provided, use plain text because it’s easier for the hiring manager to read.
For more tips on applying on-line, check out this video by Mark Swartz of workopolis.com:
Body language during a job interview
How do you sit in a job interview? What do you do with your hands and feet? This video from the TheSite.org gives helpful hints on proper body language during the job interview.
Voice coaching: what’s a good tone when you’re on the job search? This video from Forbes magazine knows:
Job interviews: do’s & don’t’s
This video from Workopolis gives an example of the wrong way to do a job interview and the right way to do a job interview:
This Workopolis video shows common mistakes and how to fix them:
The following Snagajob video shares techniques to help a job seeker calm down before a job interview.
Strengths & Weaknesses
In the job interview, you may be asked about your strengths and weaknesses. This video from Howcast gives tips on speaking about your strengths:
This video from KCRATV shows the best way to handle the “weakness” question:
How do you stand out during an interview?
When preparing for a job interview, remember the three Cs:
- Chemistry with the employer
- Content of your knowledge
This video from Career Joy TV has some good advice:
Deciding on a career change
TEDtalk: Every decision is a career decision. Career development expert Dave Redekopp evokes new ways of thinking about young people’s career decision-making.
Job fairs do's & don't's
Vault Video has a good video on what to do during a job fair. This advice is also helpful for career fairs and post-secondary days at high schools.
This video from Cleared Jobs Dot Net is a humourous take on the dos and don’t’s in attending a job fair.
Standing out in the job market / What Employers are Saying
Monster.ca has an interesting video on what hiring managers look for in job seekers:
Finding a mentor
The video from the Better Life Coaches Channel on YouTube below has good tips on how to look for a mentor for your job search.
Tips for job seekers looking for mentors
There’s so much to consider when looking for a mentor. This video from UXPA International shows where to look for a mentor and how to build on the relationship:
What to wear on the job
When looking for work, what you wear is as important as what you say. Check out job search tips on the dos and don’ts of what to wear for the job interview and at the office. Here are two videos from About.com on the subject:
See over 150 job and career-related videos at http://jobsearch.about.com/
Youth & employment
ROAD TO EMPLOYMENT: THE DOCUSERIES
This series follows a pair of recent graduates, Denis and Clinton, as they leave their home in Victoria, BC to journey across Canada in search of answers to the ageless question: How do youth build meaningful, relevant and sustainable careers?
Road to Employment also has a career advice blog and a podcast. Check out their website here.
What can to done to help post-secondary graduates?
CBC News The Exchange reports on how the school system, government and employers can help college and university graduates get jobs best suited to their diplomas and degrees.
Check out the video here.
Common Goal shows youth talking about what it takes to find work on PEI. It was produced by Career Development Services of PEI.
For more information on Career Development Services of PEI, go to www.cdspei.ca.
Videos - miscellaneous
The Intern, starring Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, is about a seventy something worker taking an internship at a company run by a thirty something entrepreneur. It’s a comedy that brings to light the reality of mature workers starting over in a career.
Two videos were recently produced on PEI to raise awareness of workforce participation of youth, newcomers and Islanders who have returned home.
The PEI is My Home video campaign featuring people explaining their choices to stay on PEI.
For more information on PEI is My Home, go to www.opportunitiespei.ca.
Expo & Job Fair Info
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