Get Noticed! Get Hired!

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

Get Noticed! Get Hired—Searching For Work Online

The Calgary Public Library has partnered with Alberta Human Services to host Get Noticed! Get Hired—Searching For Work Online, a program featuring a panel discussion of employers, including the City of Calgary, Telus and Devon Energy, will focus on helping job seekers understand the electronic recruitment process and how they can harness the power of social media to help them in their job search. We asked Alberta Human Services a few questions about what will be covered in the program:

What was the impetus for this particular panel program? Are you finding that job seekers are not as up to speed with online job search techniques as they should be?

The Alberta Human Services Business and Industry Team have been discussing the new wave of popularity for recruiters to use social media for active recruitment. We have been getting feedback from both employers and job seekers that these practices may be creating barriers to success in the job search.

TELUS presented a unique opportunity when it offered to do an information session to job seekers on successfully navigating their recruitment site. The Business and Industry Team decided to take a few steps further and develop the panel discussion.

The intent is to give job seekers and career counselors inside information on how to successfully navigate corporate recruitment sites and to increase the effectiveness jobseekers social media profiles.

Are employers using social media and an electronic application process more often? What practical advice would you have for job seekers if so?

A large number of employers/organizations are using electronic application processes and emails for job seekers to apply for openings in their companies. In addition, recruiters are now actively seeking candidate matches for positions through social media sites.

The best advice we would give job seekers is to manage their social media pages and make sure that the content is something they would publish in a newspaper headline.

What is your best tip for job seekers looking to create a robust social media profile?

The one tip the team gives out is to make sure your online social profile describes the type of employee a company would want to hire.

Who will be on the panel? Will the participants have the opportunity to drop off resumes or ask specific questions after the program?

The panel members are Recruitment specialists and HR Managers. As the topic of the discussion is utilizing social media, we expect that job seekers will apply online for no resumes please. The Panel Presentation will have a question and answer segment and we encourage the people attending to ask questions.

We hope you can join us at the Central Library on the morning of Monday, January 28 for Get Noticed! Get Hired—Searching For Work Online.
Contact us at 403-260-2782 or centralinformationservice @ for more information.

Accounting and Finance Job$

by Roberta

On January 30, 2013, Calgary will be hosting the Accounting and Finance Career and Job Expo with over 45 companies in attendance. We talked with one of the event organizers, Lise Stransky from the Certified General Accountants Association of Alberta (CGA), to find out more about the event and the current state of the finance industry in Alberta:

Lise, there is above average employment growth projected for all major finance related occupations over the next five years. Was this expo organized partly because employers are finding it hard to fill finance related positions?

This is the first time we have organized this event and it is first big event that CGA and CMA (Certified Management Accountants of Alberta) have collaborated on since we merged associations in October. The expo was organized primarily to help our students find positions in order to fulfill their work experience required for designation. This, in turn, helps employers to find qualified accounting and finance professionals for their organizations. Anyone who is interested in positions in the accounting and finance field are invited to attend, whether they have a designation or not. It is an excellent way to do research on current and future opportunities, as well as learn more about getting an accounting designation.

Will companies be looking to hire at this event? Should attendees bring current resumes, or is it more an opportunity to network and learn more about the companies in attendance?

Both! Some companies will be there with an immediate need for candidates to fill current vacant positions. Other companies may not be hiring right now, but are there to source candidates for future positions. It is definitely an opportunity to network and learn more about the companies. Attendees can bring a resume, but they may hear “Apply Online” from many of the organizations in attendance. This can be discouraging, but my advice is – don’t get discouraged! Many organizations have systems in place to collect applications and resumes, so use the expo as an opportunity to gather as much information as possible, in order to create a customized, targeted resume. My advice is to bring a personal business card, and resist the urge to hand in a general resume. Take the opportunity to gather information, and submit a customized resume after the expo.

Lise, we have been told that recent and current education is vital for those in accounting fields, and that if jobs seekers have not taken an accredited course in the past 12 months, it may be a flag to employers. Is that true, and if so, is that the case for most positions in the finance sector?

Most positions in the accounting and finance sector require a designation (CGA, CMA or CA) or a designation in progress. A designation/designation in progress shows potential employers an individual’s commitment to professional development, ethics, trust, integrity and professional competency. For anyone who wants to grow and develop their career in the accounting and finance sector, a designation is essential. If you are looking to hold a position beyond junior level in accounting or financial management, you need an accounting designation.

Besides doing some research on the companies in attendance before the event (at the Library!), is there any advice you have for job seekers to help them make a stand out impression?

In order to prepare our attendees for the Expo, we have been sending them Career Fair Preparation tips. Anyone who registered for the expo has and will receive these tips, and I’ve selected a few as advice to help job seekers make a stand out impression:

  • Career Fair Preparation Tip #1: Know your strengths and skills and be able to talk and write about them. This helps you talk about yourself to employers and construct your resume.
  • Career Expo Preparation Tip #2: Do your research. On yourself. And on the employer. If you are not clear on what YOU have to offer, it will be difficult to convince an employer you have what it takes to work for them. Take some time now to do a self-assessment. Figure out who you are, what you do best, your employability skills and unique traits, the places and environment that give you energy, and the things that motivate you.
  • Career Fair Preparation Tip #3: What should you wear? We recommend business casual or business professional. You will be making a first impression on potential employers – dress the part!
  • Career Fair Preparation Tip #4: Conversation Tips. Have a great professional handshake and make eye contact when introducing yourself. After introducing yourself with your first and last name, exchange business cards with the recruiter. Ask valid questions applicable to the organization or industry. Let the recruiter take the lead in the conversation to avoid sounding as if you are “pitching” (or an annoying know it all).
  • Career Fair Preparation Tip #5: Follow Up after the event. Send a thank you. Follow up with the recruiter within two weeks after the expo. Reflect on your results at the expo. What might you have done more effectively?

Finally (and perhaps most importantly!)…

  • SMILE and BELIEVE in yourself!

STEM careers abound

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

On Friday, January 18th at 11:45, the Central Library is pleased to host Where the Jobs Are, in conjunction with the Career Development Association of Alberta. Join Dan Kostka, contributor to Choices Explorer, as he highlights jobs experiencing growth and demand, and discusses some common features of those who've discovered and embraced a good career fit. We chatted with Dan to discuss his perspective:

Dan, you have profiled hundreds of careers for, the company that provides the Calgary Public Library and high schools with the popular career database, Choices Explorer. This company has always excelled at highlighting new and emerging occupations within Canada. What, in your opinion, are some of the careers currently experiencing the biggest demand?

Two broad areas that come immediately to mind are health care and technology. When it comes to health care, it's not just doctors and nurses that are in demand. There are many other positions that require less education, such as personal care aides and medical imaging technicians. These careers are also experiencing large shortages but don't receive as much attention. Many young people aren't even aware that these positions exist, and some require a certificate that can take less than a year to complete.

When I say technology, this applies to the health care field, of course, but also to any career that requires a solid grounding in the sciences. Every time I profile a technology-related career, the people I interview emphasize that in North America we're simply not producing enough graduates in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and math. It's simply amazing the number of doors that are open to someone with a solid grounding in the sciences. As with the health care field, technology careers don't necessarily require many years of training. For example, machinists are in great demand and in less than one year a person can get the necessary qualifications for many such positions.

What are some of the key economic and social indicators fueling this growth?

A big factor behind demand in many industries is the aging population. This affects an industry such as the health care field in two ways. First, the number of clients/patients is greatly expanding. Secondly, the practitioners themselves are aging and not enough young practitioners are entering the field to replace them all. This is also true for technology-related careers such as engineering. I recently interviewed a petroleum engineer who said it's common to refer to "The Great Crew Change" in regard to the number of senior workers in that industry who will soon be retiring.

Recent statistics point to the fact that Canadians now have an average of 8 careers in their lifetime. Do you find that people are more willing to take risks and try something new?

I think people's expectations are evolving. Young people no longer expect to stay with the same company for their entire career, or to have just one career. People in mid-career are also more likely to make a change or to have another career on the side. For example, I recently interviewed an energy trader who had a home staging business on the side. The energy trading gave her a good income, while the home staging was an outlet for her creativity (and potentially something that could evolve into a full-time source of income). I think we all want stability in our lives, but how we view it (and how to obtain it) is evolving. In the past, stability meant loyalty to a large organization that would be loyal to us and reward us in return. Now, stability is achieved by keeping our skills current, by having a large personal network, and perhaps by having more than one source of income. Achieving stability in this way requires a more proactive approach to our careers but allows us adapt to the changing marketplace.

A focused, tight resume is still key in landing that dream job. We understand that you have interviewed Martin Yate, the well-heeled author of our very popular Knock 'Em Dead Resumes, one of your favourite books. What advice really stood out for you, given his 25 years in the business?

Yate is a great example of my favourite kind of person to interview—someone who truly loves what he does. His books describe how to go after the job you want by ensuring your resume does its job effectively. But what really struck me in talking with him is how passionate he is about career advising. He used to be in a job that didn't fulfill him at all. When he discovered career advising, he threw himself into it and has become very successful as a result. I think this is inspiring for anyone who hopes to get into a career that utilizes their talents and energizes them.

Dan Kostka, B.A., J.D., is a freelance journalist and lawyer. He has profiled hundreds of careers for, a career exploration site subscribed to by schools across North America.