Job & Career Accelerator—a new tool for job searchers

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

We have long recommended our Learning Express database (found under the Business, Investment, Directories & Career section in our E-Library) to job searchers looking for online courses and information related to resumes, interviews, communication skills and professional examinations.

Through Learning Express, we now have a valuable new resource: the Job & Career Accelerator.

The Job & Career Accelerator is another source for occupational descriptions and has resume and cover letter builders, examples of excellent resumes and cover letters, and information about interviewing and online job applications:

We are especially thrilled that the Job & Career Accelerator also has video tutorials for many of the most popular basic computer programs, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Project and Adobe Illustrator:

If you want to learn more about the Job & Career Accelerator database, or any of our other career databases, contact us: 403-260-2782 or

New Rules: Applying to Job Postings

by Roberta

Debbie Mastel, from Devon Energy, literally lit up the Central Library during Strategic Networking during Stampede week. Her flashing red, rhinestone, cowgirl hat set the stage for some rousing discussions regarding recruiting trends. Debbie caused a stir when announced that the old rule of having 80% of the posted qualifications before applying for a job is no longer the standard. She stressed that applicants should have the qualifications from the first 1 - 2 bullets in the job posting before they consider applying. The employer wil usually rank qualifications in order of importance to the job. She suggested that one great way to highlight those skills is to use the T format cover letter, something she urged everyone to do. Here were a few more pointers:

  1. Don’t e-mail your network just to say “hi.” She spoke about the volumes of resumes, e-mails and phone calls that recruiters get and she used herself as an example. On her day “off” last week, she spent 13 hours straight answering e-mails. Make sure you have a point or question to your e-mail before sending it.
  2. Don’t ask to pick someone’s brain or ask for general advice. Recruiters aren’t career coaches. People need to do their homework before contacting recruiters. Asking a recruiter to review your resume and then tell you where you’d fit in to their organization is not a good strategy. Candidates need to take advantage of services offered by places like the library to figure out where they envision their next career move to be. It’s difficult for a recruiter who doesn’t know a candidates passion to make suggestions on where they would fit in an organization. Keep in mind that companies aren’t looking for people to fill jobs, companies are looking for candidates that are passionate about what they do as well as their interest in the company.
  3. Don’t be rude. This seems like an obvious one but when someone is under a lot of pressure from a job search, it can really start to show. Make sure when you’re starting to get frustrated to take breaks. During a job search, nobody is there to pat you on the back when you do a great job (like getting an interview) so you have to be your own cheerleader. Make sure to reward yourself often to keep yourself motivated.

Strategic Networking continues all summer, a particularly great time to get out and meet new people. Our group of rotating volunteers lead discussions that offer new strategies for job search and for making meaningful connections in our community. VisitCalgary recently created this list of Calgary events that will keep you motivated in a city brimming with activity.

Trying to Decide on a Post Secondary Destination?

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

Which university is best for you or your child?

Choosing the right university is a big, serious, expensive decision. But take heart.

The Library's new edition of the Maclean's 2012 Guide to Canadian Universities is a readable, comprehesive overview of 81 schools. Along with updated rankings, the publication offers insights into financial considerations and options such as scholarships and residency.

To further your research, Maclean's On Campus website offers even more information on rankings, campus life and student satisfaction surveys. Their scholarship finder is easy to use, along with blogs and posts that offer insights, including some not-so-serious sidelines. For example, I was drawn into the video featuring Ryerson University's new Quidditch team, of Harry Potter fame.

Worth a read.


NextReads: Career and Job Search newsletter

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

Sign up for our NextReads Career and Job Search Newsletter for monthly reading recommendations!

Each month on our Career & Employment blog we highlight new and popular titles of books, ebooks, dvds and other useful career resources. Now we have a better way for you to find out about these items.

Our NextReads newsletters are delivered right to your inbox and make it even easier to hear about—and place holds on—new and great items at the library.

If you would like to see an example of the Career and Job Search Newsletter, or prefer to view the newsletters on our site instead of through your email, click on the NextReads image to the right to see all current and archived newsletters.

Click here to view our newest edition of our newsletter: Career and Job Search Newsletter (July 2012), for some current recommended reads about resumes, interviews, LinkedIn and more.

To sign up to have the Career and Job Newsletter delivered to your email inbox each month, click on the sign up button below and click the box next to Career and Job Search. Then type your name, email address and make up a password and click subscribe. You'll start receiving regular Calgary Public Library NextReads recommended reads by email. Click on other subjects to get more newsletters on a variety of fiction and non-fiction topics for both adults, teens and kids. You can cancel or change your subscription preferences at any time.

For more suggestions on what to read (or watch or listen to!) and to keep up to date on library programs and news, visit our library blogs and follow us on Facebook (be sure to let us know what you're reading!), Twitter and Pinterest.


Is Older Actually Better?—Work in Mid-Life and Beyond

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

Trying to find a job in mid-life can be a disheartening task. But older workers, take heed: your age and experience may work for you in the market rather than against you. Employers no longer hire people with an expectation that they will be able to work for years and years. Even younger workers don't tend to stay in one position or one job for more than a few years at a time. This is good news for older workers, whose life and work experience are often welcomed in any work environment, sometimes in preference to younger workers.

Canada's older workers have good shot at jobs: survey Globe and Mail

Are Older Workers Taking Jobs From the Young? U.S. News & World Report

If you're concerned that you won't be able to keep up wtih all of the new technologies, don't be. Researcher Mark Walton found that: "brains are wired not for retirement, but for constant reinvention."

Jobless in midlife? Old brains can learn new tricks Reuters

There are still spaces in the following sessions of our very popular program on Midlife Career Change:

Career Basics: Moving Forward—Mid-Life Career Change

Learn about the unique challenges and opportunities that come with looking for work mid life, along with resume strategies. Workshops are led by professional career practitioners from Bow Valley College's Career Connection. Interested? Click here to register online or call 403-260-2620.

Fish Creek Library

Monday, June 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Central Library

Saturday, June 16, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Shawnessey Library

Wednesday, August 15, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Read about the recent TD Economics Survey on older workers: Older Workers Stampede into Labour Market

Alberta Learning Information Services puts out the excellent Guide to Midlife Career Moves

Calling all Green Thumbs and Pastry Chefs

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

If you like working with your hands and like physical labour, check out Alberta Agriculture's job fair on May 23rd at the Days Inn Calgary South from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Seven companies will be at the Job Fair to meet with Calgarians to discuss a wide variety of employment opportunities. We talked with Jodi Murphy, coordinator, to find out more:

Is Alberta’s agriculture sector growing?

Preliminary results from a recent labour force demand survey for the agriculture and agri-food processing industry, available later this year from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, show that thousands of jobs are and will be available in this industry in the near future. It’s predicted that Alberta could experience a labour shortage of about 114,000 workers in the next ten years.

Jodi, can you give us examples of some interesting jobs that are in high demand?

There are important behind-the-scenes jobs that help feed the people of Alberta, and beyond, in areas such as meat processing, commercial bakery production, experienced meat cutters, millwrighting, welding, maintenance mechanics, apprentice mechanic, drivers, and farm labourers.

What’s the biggest draw for people thinking about working in the agriculture sector?

It is interesting to work in the agriculture and food industry because of its importance to people. Working in this industry gives you an appreciation and behind-the-scenes look at where food comes from and how it’s made. Many of the jobs available play an important role in making food. It is hard work and you will be tired at the end of the day because many of the jobs are very physically demanding.

The Power of the Handshake

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

Why do Canadians need so much personal space? How important are handshakes? These and other questions will be addressed during the Central Library's Managing Workplace Expectations for New Canadians workshop on Saturday, May 19th, from 10:30 - 1:30 p.m. Meet Lidia from Calgary's Centre for Newcomers as she helps you increase your understanding of Canadian workplace culture. We asked her to describe why CFN developed the course:

"Finding meaningful work for newcomers is challenging, but knowing how to keep the job is another barrier many face as the expectations from Canadian employers might not be obvious to a newcomer.

The Managing Workplace Expectations (MWE) workshop provides an opportunity to gain awareness of how the work culture in the Canadian workplace may differ from one’s home country. The workshop content covers topics such as the essential skills expected by Canadian employers: cultural awareness, verbal and non-verbal communication, soliciting feedback, and how to engage in small talk and foster teamwork. The first step in solving the mystery of the Canadian workplace expectations for a newcomer is raising one’s awareness to the issue. This course is the first step to effectively gain this awareness."

To register for this program, use the program link from our homepage, or call 403-260-2782.

Hot Off the Press: May 2012

by Cher K - 0 Comment(s)

Complete Canadian GED Preparation by Jim Barlow

This book is an excellent comprehensive Canadian resource for students preparing for the GED test. The book features extensive reviews in all test areas, which include English grammar, essay writing, social studies, science, arts and literature, and math.

Résumé 101 : A Student and Recent Grad Guide to Crafting Résumés and Cover Letters that Land Jobs by Quentin J. Schultze

Minimal job experience? No problem! You’ve just graduated and are ready to land your first real job after college or high school. But how do you write the first résumé and cover letter of your career if you don’t have any previous jobs to list? With Dr. Q’s help, you’ll soon have a résumé and cover letter that will show hiring managers who you really are, why you’re prefect for your dream job, and why they should choose you.

Interview Success : Get the Edge by Julie Grey

Are you facing a crucial interview and don't want to risk losing that job because you lack confidence or you think your interview skills aren't up to scratch? Fiercely practical, this book could be the answer to all your problems. Whether you only have a few hours to prepare or a few weeks, Julie Gray will guide you through all the techniques and strategies you need to give yourself the edge in a competitive market.

SSAT & ISEE for Dummies by Vince Kotchian

The Secondary School Aptitude Test (SSAT) and Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) are the two most common standardized aptitude tests used in American private secondary schools. If you're a parent or student looking to apply for admissions at a private, military, or boarding school, this book is your family's ticket to success.

ACT demystified by Alexandra Mayzler

This book takes you step-by-step through the fundamentals of preparing for the ACT.

Becoming a Construction Manager by John J. McKeon

This book explains everything a person needs to know to become a Construction Manager—from formal education to getting their first job. This practical guide is packed with useful information for anyone considering or beginning a career in construction management, as well as professional construction managers seeking to work in a specific area.

1,296 ACT Practice Questions by Melissa Hendrix

The best way to prepare for standardized tests is to practice, and this resource offers you plenty of opportunities to do just that.

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Building Your Career by Jennifer Merritt

Are you looking for a mere job-the kind where you do virtually the same thing day after day, year after year, and spend the hours counting down the minutes until the clock hits five p.m.' Or are you looking for acareer-the kind that engages your interests and passions, constantly presents new and exciting opportunities and challenges, and allows you to grow personally and professionally?

If you chose the latter, this is the book for you.

GMAT Review

The only official GMAT review guide-from the creators of the test. Includes 20 percent new practice questions-all from previous actual GMAT exam.

Career Agencies at Accelerate Your Career

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

Accelerate Your Career 2012

Career Serving Agencies

10–3pm • Main Floor • Drop-In

Saturday, May 12, 2012, Central Library

As well as programs, resume help and career conversations, representatives from some local career serving agencies available to answer questions about their career and employment services. Come chat with friendly staff from the following agencies:

Bow Valley College Career Connection

"Our Career and Employment Assistance Resource Centres offer self-directed and directed services that include access to computers, the internet, fax, printer, telephone and copier as well as extensive resources on the labour market, job search, résumé/cover letter/portfolio and self-employment.

Career Coaches are available for support with résumé development/critique, mock interviews and
job search techniques. In addition, for clients that require more assistance with their job search and
career planning goals, a collaborative process between the individual and Career Coach will be provided,
with a focus on developing an action plan."

CCIS Career and Employment Services

"Most newcomers arrive in Alberta with high levels of education, experience, and expertise. However, many are unfamiliar with the local labour market and uncertain of how to secure employment in their professional fields. CCIS Employment Services provides its clients the necessary knowledge, support, and training so that they can initiate a job search process. Career counselors assess clients' experience and credentials and create customized action plans which include: goal setting, resume preparation, introduction to Canadian workplace culture, and job interview skills. The priority of counselors is to give newcomers the capability to find employment and begin a new career path here in Alberta."

Centre for Newcomers Employment Services

"If you are new to Canada, and trying to make a successful transition to employment in Calgary, the Centre for Newcomers can assist you with career and employment planning.

The Centre's professional career practitioners specialize in helping people with international training, education or work experience succeed in the Calgary labour market.

The Centre's training programs provide opportunities to develop your employability and communication
skills, while you train for a new occupation or further develop professional skill in your previous occupation."

Immigrant Access Fund

"An IAF loan can help if you are a newcomer and struggling to pay for the costs of the Canadian
accreditation or training you need so you can work in your pre-immigration career.

Loans are available to immigrants who do any type of work. People who receive IAF loans are both
skilled workers and professionals."

Accelerate Your Career 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012, Central Library

Career Conversations • 11am–3pm • Main Floor • Sign up during event
Resume Help • 11am–3pm • Main Floor • Preregister: call 403-260-2782
Career Serving Agencies • 10am–3pm • Main Floor • Drop-in
Interview Strategies and Techniques • 10:30am–12:30pm • Third Floor • Register online or call 403-260-2620
Company and Employer Research • 1–2pm • Third Floor Open Area • Register online or call 403-260-2620
Power Networking • 2:30–4pm • Third Floor Open Area • Register online or call 403-260-2620
Enhancing Your Job Search through Social Networking • 10:15–12:15pm • Basement Room #2 • Register online or call 403-260-2620
Work Search on the Internet • 1–4pm • Third Floor Learning Lab • Register online or call 403-260-2620

Company and Employer Research

- 0 Comment(s)

Accelerate Your Career 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012, Central Library

Company and Employer Research
1–2pm • Third Floor Open Area •
Register online or call 403-260-2620

On Saturday, May 12th, the Central Library is hosting its annual all-day Accelerate Your Career Event. Join us on Saturday, May 12, 2012, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on the Third Floor of the Central Library our Company and Employer Research program. Janice Parker, Information Specialist at the Calgary Public Library, answers a few questions about the importance of research during any job search:

Janice Parker, Calgary Public Library

1. Why is research important for job seekers?

Doing your homework when you are looking for work or going to an interview can save you time, trouble and increase your chances of getting the right job. Most Calgary employers fully expect that potential candidates will have done their homework and can confidently show a hiring manager, in their cover letter, resumé, and during any interviews, that they have a clear understanding of the employer and the job and why they are the right person for a position.

2. What types of research can help someone looking for a new job?

Once you really know what type of work you would like to be doing, you need to narrow down the types of employers or workplaces that would suit you best. Do you want to work for the government? Small, medium or large company? Non-profit organization? Which industry and work culture or environment? Figuring out the answers to these (very individual) questions will help you better target your job search and write cover letters and resumés that are more likely to catch the eyes of hiring managers.

If you get called for an interview, you had better do your research. Not only do you want to find out as much as possible about the employer, including being aware of any recent new items related to the employer or the industry, you also want to research any people working there already—particularly the person or people conducting the interview.

3. This sounds like a lot of work. Is it difficult?

Career experts always tell us that finding a job is more difficult and time-consuming than keeping a job. While the Internet has made it much easier to do this research, most people aren't trained researchers and may not know what information they should look for and how to find it. However, there are many tools online and elsewhere that make this type of research easy once you know where to look. Fortunately, you don't need to be an expert to learn how best to research the right job, the right employer, and how to impress during an interview. This is a huge part of the service we offer at the Calgary Public Library: assisting job seekers with their research.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? Albert Einstein

Janice Parker has been helping job seekers with their research needs for over fifteen years at the Calgary Public Library.

Accelerate Your Career 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012, Central Library

Career Conversations • 11am–3pm • Main Floor • Sign up during event
Resume Help • 11am–3pm • Main Floor • Preregister: call 403-260-2782
Career Serving Agencies • 10am–3pm • Main Floor • Drop-in
Interview Strategies and Techniques • 10:30am–12:30pm • Third Floor • Register online or call 403-260-2620
Company and Employer Research • 1–2pm • Third Floor Open Area • Register online or call 403-260-2620
Power Networking • 2:30–4pm • Third Floor Open Area • Register online or call 403-260-2620
Enhancing Your Job Search through Social Networking • 10:15–12:15pm • Bsmt Rm #2 • Register online or call 403-260-2620
Work Search on the Internet • 1–4pm • Third Floor Learning Lab • Register online or call 403-260-2620

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