Atelier de Recherche d’Emploi, en Français

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

Couvrez les éléments essentiels de la rédaction d’un CV et des techniques de recherche d’emploi avec un conseiller en emploi bilingue de Connexion Carrière: Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Saddletowne Library.

Nous avons posé quelques questions à Connexion Carrière avant leur premier atelier de recherche d'emploi en français à la Bibliothèque publique de Calgary.

1.Parallèlement à tous les services en français que vous offrez à Connexion Carrière, nous avons noté que vous avez un babillard d'offres d'emploi. Avez-vous noté une augmentation des offres d'emplois bilingues dernièrement ?

Oui, nous avons constaté un léger accroissement du volume des postes bilingues à Calgary au cours des derniers mois, probablement en ligne avec l'activité générale du marché du travail local. Cependant, il est important de noter que même si parler français est un atout, en particulier dans le secteur du service à la clientèle, avoir un bon niveau d'anglais est primordial pour pouvoir trouver du travail !

2. Comment aidez-vous ceux qui veulent améliorer leurs compétences en anglais?

À Connexion Carrière, nous offrons quotidiennement à nos clients des classes d'anglais axées sur la communication liée à l'emploi. Cela les aide à acquérir les compétences et la confiance nécessaires pour trouver et conserver un emploi. Sinon, nous les référons à des programmes tels que ceux offerts dans le réseau des bibliothèques publiques de Calgary, et nous les encourageons à chercher activement des occasions de pratiquer (Groupes de conversation, activités sociales, volontariat...).

3. Quelle est votre implication avec le nouveau Centre Genesis dans le Nord-est?

Grâce à l'initiative 1000 Voices, les fournisseurs de services francophones ont maintenant l'opportunité de se rapprocher des communautés du Nord-est. Chaque mercredi, un conseiller en emploi de Connexion Carrière est disponible au Centre Genesis pour offrir des services d'aide à la recherche d'emploi, en français. C'est une opportunité fantastique pour les résidents francophones locaux de trouver du soutien dans la langue qu'ils préfèrent.
Additionnellement, nous offrons des ateliers de recherche de emploi. Le prochain sera à la bibliothèque publique au Centre Genesis, et les participants auront l'occasion de couvrir les éléments essentiels de la rédaction de CV et les stratégies de recherche d'emploi avec un conseiller en emploi bilingue.

To register for this program, Register online or call 403-260-2620.

(English version)

We asked Connexion Carrière a few questions prior to their first French language career workshop at the Calgary Public Library: Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Saddletowne Library.

1. Along with the comprehensive career services offered in French at Connexion Carriere, we noticed that you have a job board. Are bilingual positions on the increase in Calgary?

Yes, we have seen a slight increase of bilingual positions in Calgary during the last few months, probably in line with the general activity of the local labour market. However, it is important to notice that even though speaking French is an asset, especially in the customer service industry, having a good level of English skills is really a must for anyone's employability!

2. How do you help those wanting to improve their English skills?

We offer at Connexion Carriere daily English Communication Classes to our clients. This helps them acquire the skills and the confidence necessary to secure and maintain employment. Alternatively, we refer them to programs such as the ones offered in the network of Calgary Public Libraries, and we encourage them to actively look for opportunities to practice (conversation groups, socially, volunteering...).

3. What is your involvement with the new Genesis Centre in the Northeast?

Through the 1000 voices initiative, the Francophone service providers now have a chance to get closer to the Nord-East communities. Every Wednesday, a career coach is available to offer basic employment services, in French, at the Genesis center. This is a fantastic opportunity for local francophone residents to find support in the language they prefer. Additionally, we will be offering employment related workshops. the next one will be at the public library in the Genesis Center, and participants will have a chance to review and exchange on the essentials of CV writing and job search strategies with a bilingual career coach.

To register for this program, Register online or call 403-260-2620. Calgary Public Library also have several free English as a Second Language programs, including the popular Coffee and Conversation and ESL Conversation Clubs. See our online registration guide for more information.

The New and the Next

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

Emerging Trends in Career Marketing, Job Search, Networking and Hiring Strategies

Last October, more than 250 career professionals from Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. met in live and virtual events to brainstorm best practices, innovations, trends, new programs, new processes, and other observations that are currently impacting, and projected to impact, global employment, job search, and career management.

As a sponsor of the Brainstorming Day, the Career Development Association of Alberta (CDAA) hosted a brainstorming event at the 2011 Calgary Ignite Your Passion conference. Attendees discussed three questions:

  • What is the current situation? (The Now)
  • What is just starting to emerge? (The New)
  • Where are we headed? (The Next).

The answers gathered from all events are contained in the recently released Career Thought Leaders Consortium White Paper. This presentation will summarize the paper with a focus on emerging (The New) and future (The Next) ideas.

Join Sandra Hébert as she discusses these trends on Friday, April 20th from 11:45 to 1:00 on the Third Floor of the Central Library, as part of our continuing series of Lunch and Learn career programs , in conjunction with the Career Development Association of Alberta (CDAA).

The New and the Next
Emerging Trends in Career Marketing, Job Search, Networking and Hiring Strategies
Friday, April 20, 2012

11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Third Floor, Central Library

616 Macleod Trail SE

no registration is required

Sandra Hébert is a career development professional with 12 years experience facilitating and designing Alberta Human Services workshops. Sandra is a long-time Career CDAA member and holds the CCDP designation. She is interested in social and multi-media for career marketing and recruitment.

In-Situ Industry Players in Calgary's Energy Sector

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At a recent Strategic Networking evening at the Central Library, participants asked facilitator Debbie Mastel more about In Situ players in Calgary's energy sector. She described the two most common ways of getting oil out of the oil sands: SAGD technology or open pit mining. SAGD Technology (Steam Assisted Gravitational Drainage) projects, also know as in situ projects, extract bitumen that is trapped too far below the Earth's surface to mine. Two horizontal wells are drilled beside each other and steam is injected into the bitumen reservoir using the top well. As a result, the thick, tarry bitumen melts, allowing it to flow to the surface through the other well. The process uses well pads, which helps eliminate the severe clear-cutting necessary for mining.

Debbie's employer, Devon, only has SAGD operations. As a result, she compiled this list of in-situ industry players to identify key players. Her job as a recruiter is very similar to a job seeker's. Says Debbie, "Job seekers need to know the companies that are in their industry and then target them for positions. I do the same thing but in reverse. I look at our competitors and then approach their employees to find out if they know of anyone who’s looking for a new opportunity."

To further research Calgary's energy sector, the Calgary Public Library carries the Canadian Oil Register. This popular directory is the foremost reference publication for detailed information on oil and gas and other industry-related companies, their key personnel, products and services, financial and operational statistics.

Hot Off the Press: March 2012

by Cher K - 0 Comment(s)

GRE for Dummies by Ron Woldoff

Sharpen your GRE test-taking skills with this updated and expanded premier guide with online links to BONUS tests and study aids.

The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton

Through a prescriptive approach, Dalton explains how to wade through the Internet's sea of information and create a job-search system that relies on mainstream technology such as Excel, Google, LinkedIn, and alumni databases to create a list of target employers, contact them, and then secure an interview-with only two hours of effort.

Never Apply for a Job Again! By Darrell W. Gurney

Drawing on basic principles of human psychology, Gurney shows readers how to open doors to influential players in their fields of interest to gain top-of-mind awareness and top-drawer connectedness. Through 10 simple and easy-to-follow principles, Gurney teaches readers how to create powerful relationships with anyone, anywhere, for lifetime career management.

The Second Shift by Arlie Russell Hochschild

The bestselling landmark study that defines the dynamics of dual-career households-fully revised and updated with a new afterword.

Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollak

How do you get a job without experience and get experience without a job? It's the question virtually every college student or recent graduate faces.

NCLEX-RN : Strategies, Practice, and Review by Barbara J. Irwin

From the creator of the #1 NCLEX-RN exam preparation course comes the most up-to-date, focused, strategic guide offering the most effective methods to help candidates prepare for this challenging exam.

Before and After Resumes by Tracy Burns-Martin

With this book, you can discover how to polish your resume to a high shine with the clearest formatting; most effective keywords; and winning, step-by-step advice from experienced HR guru Tracy Burns-Martin.

The Job Search Solution by Tony Beshara

When Dr. Phil's viewers need help turning their job search woes into employment success, he calls in Tony Beshara. One of the most successful placement professionals in the United States, Beshara knows what works and what doesn't. In this book, he outlines the simple yet powerful system that has helped over 100,000 people land jobs they love.

Wiley CPA Exam Review 2012 : Auditing and Attestation by Ray Whittington

Everything today′s CPA candidates need to pass the CPA Exam. Published annually, this comprehensive four-volume paperback reviews all four parts of the CPA exam. Many of the questions are taken directly from previous CPA exams.

The T-Cover Letter Strikes Again

by Janice - 2 Comment(s)

Last week we blogged about the T-Cover Letter—a cover letter style that is enormously popular with hiring managers. Our Strategic Networking volunteer Debbie Mastel has forwarded us another example of how one of our customers used the T-Cover Letter format to successfully find work:

"The T Cover letter is the most effective cover letter I have come across in my entire professional career. It was introduced to me by Debbie in one of the strategic networking sessions I attended at the library. From the time I heard about it, it really did strike me and I know it was the correct formula I needed to grab employer attention. By that time I was around just 5 weeks in Canada and everything was new to me. I was quick enough to change my formats to T letter and also customize my resume to go with that.

Within a week I got an interview at a Big Oil & a Gas Company, and another one at a IT company. I almost got the Oil & Gas job, and the Hiring manager was complimentary of my cover letter. After about 2 weeks I got an interview at DeVry University and now I am working there.

I am glad to say I attended that networking session and met Debbie, where I learned all about the best secret in finding employment—the T cover letter. Thanks to it, I am now working in less than 12 weeks from moving to Canada. I think it’s a great tool and many people should start using it, it also helps you focus and identify your suitability to the job and helps you easily focus on applying for a specific job target rather than being too general."

Have you had success with the T-Cover Letter? We want to hear about it.
Click HERE to post your experiences in the comment box below.

See the previous blog post for more examples about the T-Cover Letter format: The T-Cover Letter.

For more information about our Strategic Networking program that runs on the Third Floor of the Central Library every Thursday evening from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. or other examples of cover letters or resumes contact us:

Central Library
Third Floor

The T-Cover Letter

by Janice

Debbie MastelThe style and formatting of excellent resumes and cover letters can vary depending on geography and industry and change over time. The T-cover letter is a newer format that is tremendously popular with hiring manager and recruiters. Debbie Mastel, one of the library's Strategic Networking program volunteers, answered a few of our questions about the T-cover letter:

When should someone use a T cover letter?

DM: It doesn’t matter if you’re using transferable skills or an exact match to a posting, the T cover letter should always be used. If you don’t have a posting then you can do some research to figure out what you think the requirements for their organization would be. This can be done by getting old postings or postings from other companies. This style is also difficult when writing a cover letter in to an e-mail instead of an attachment so I recommend people have templates for the letter that can easily be used in either Word format or e-mails.

Do you prefer the format? Why?

DM: Yes, I do prefer the T cover letter format, as I believe it serves three main purposes:

  1. It assists the recruiter, especially if they’re junior and working on technical roles. It allows applicants to clarify acronyms, or similar systems they may have worked on.
  2. When a recruiter is using key words to score resumes. Because of volume, sometimes recruiters rely on systems to rate resumes. According to Right Management, 94% of the top 500 U.S. companies are now using computer programs to evaluate resumes. Canada is sure to follow suit.
  3. When you’re using transferable skills to obtain a position. Countless times I’ve received resumes from people clearly using transferable skills but I can’t make the connection. I remember a colleague of mine once getting the resume for a fellow who groomed ski hills and had mentioned she didn’t see him fitting anywhere. Luckily it was brought to her attention that he might be a fit for a Heavy Equipment Operator position. We ended up hiring him as that but other people aren’t so lucky.

Recruiters don’t have time to figure out where you fit, that’s your job. The t-letter cover letter makes you articulate why you are qualified for the role. This is what you’re asking for, this is what I have.

Would you suggest that any job hunter should use this format for their cover letters? Are there any instances in which you wouldn't prefer the T cover letter?

DM: The only time I can think of that this format may not work is for Academics or people that need to submit a CV instead of a resume. I’m not that familiar with this area but that’s the only example I can think of. I would welcome comments from others if they have reasons this cover letter wouldn’t work for them.

Can you give one or two anecdotal examples of people you've hired or Strategic Networking customers who have found that the T cover letter opened doors that may not have otherwise been opened?

DM: I asked some job searchers to share their feelings about the usefulness of the T-cover letter. Here is one response:

The reason I believe the two-column T cover letter worked well for me in the past was because it was significantly different than writing three or four paragraphs as in a standard cover letter.

The T cover letter was simple to use. First, I underscored the keywords or phrases in the job description’s requirements and qualifications sections that fit my background, experiences, and skill sets. Then, I filled out the position’s key requirements in the table’s left column and aligned them with my matching skill sets or experiences in the right column.

The concisely-worded bullet points in two column format immediately captured the hiring manager’s attention without him having to read longer paragraphs. My T cover letter intrigued and interested him. I was able to zero in on the value I could provide that related to the hiring manager's and position's needs, and, consequently, the hiring manager continued with reviewing my resume. In summary, the T cover letter helped me to (1) focus my reply, (2) save time, and (3) avoid responses to inappropriate job postings.”

March 19: Debbie sent another response from someone who had great success with the T-Cover Letter:

"The T Cover letter is the most effective cover letter I did come across in my entire professional career. It was introduced to me by Debbie in one of the networking meeting I attended. From the time I heard about it, it really did strike me and I know it was the correct formula I was looking for to grab employer attention. By that time I was around just 5 weeks in Canada and everything was new to me. I was quick enough to change my formats to T letter and also customize my resume to go with that.

Within a week I got an interview at a Big Oil & a Gas Company, and another one at a IT company. I almost got the Oil & Gas job, and the Hiring manager was complimentary of my cover letter. After about 2 weeks I got an interview at DeVry University and now I am working there,.

I am glad to say I attended that networking meeting and met Debbie, where I learned all about the best secret in finding employment—the T cover letter. Thanks to it, I am now working in less than 12 weeks from moving to Canada. I think it’s a great tool and many people should start using it, it also helps you focus and identify your suitability to the job and helps you easily focus on target than be general in applying. Thanks Debbie.”

For more information about the T-cover letter:

A template of the T-cover letter: Workopolis Sample of the T-style cover letter.

Thoughts from another recruiter on the T-cover letter: The "T" Cover Letter—The Only Type Worth Sending.

Debbie Mastel volunteers with the enormously popular Strategic Networking program that runs on the Third Floor of the Central Library every Thursday evening from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Debbie is a Critical Talent Specialist with Devon Energy Corporation in Calgary.

Hot Off the Press: February 2012

by Cher K - 0 Comment(s)

ACT: Strategies, Practice, and Review 2012

This essential ACT guide provides focused strategies, practice, and review so candidates score higher on test day--guaranteed. This book covers all material tested and includes two full-length practice tests, an online diagnostic quiz, detailed answer explanations, and more.

New GMAT Premier, 2012-2013

The GMAT is changing in June 2012. The new GMAT will have a new Integrated Reasoning section that will have interactive questions that test a student's ability to analyze and interpret charts, spreadsheets, graphs, and data. This book will help students study for the June 2012 test change and ensure they are prepared.

Business School Essays That Made a Difference by Nedda Gilbert

Most top business schools require multiple essays, and this book is your best bet for acing them all. This book contains actual student essays that tipped the balance between admission and denial, as well as interviews with admissions pros and with students who've been through the process and made it to business school.

Job Interviews for Dummies by Joyce Lain Kennedy

Does the thought of interviewing for a new job send shivers down your spine? It doesn′t have to! Whether you′re searching for your first job, changing careers, or looking for advancement in your current line of work, this book shows you how to use your skills and experiences to your advantage and land that job

Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? by William Poundstone

Poundstone guides readers through the surprising solutions to dozens of the most challenging job interview questions, Zen-like riddles, and other interviewing techniques candidates need to know. The book covers the importance of creative thinking, ways to get a leg up on the competition, and much more.

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko—the last career advice you'll ever need

by Janice

Poor Johnny Bunko. He got a proper education and landed a great job but despite excellent planning and years of hard work he's unfulfilled professionally, unsuccessful and—worst of all—completely miserable.

Sound familiar?

Either you've been there (can I see a show of hands?) or, and I hate to be the one to tell you, you will be there at some point in your professional life.

Daniel H. Pink has written a few books on life and career. His The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: the last career guide you'll ever need is a fun-to-read graphic novel containing some of the best career advice I've read in a long while (and I've read countless books and articles on career topics).

When the hapless Johnny separates a set of chopsticks to eat his lunch one day, he is magically visited by a beautiful (if somewhat pushy and foul-mouthed) pixie named Diana. (Yeah, that's right, a pixie.) Diana gives Johnny six more sets of chopsticks and with each set of separated chopsticks she reappears to provide Johnny with another invaluable piece of career advice.

Now I don't know about you, but I'd be thrilled to have a brash pixie appear in a flash of light to guide me forward in my career and life. Since I imagine it's unlikely this will happen any time soon, I'm grateful that Daniel Pink created this book.

Johnny Bunko has been billed as "America’s first business book in the Japanese comic format known as manga – and the last career guide you’ll ever need," and won a American Library Association Great Graphic Novel for Teens award in 2009. It is the perfect career book to give to any young person (don't let on that the book is a book on career advice, just let them think it's a purely fun graphic novel) and, surprisingly, a fantastic book with career advice that would be useful for anyone at any age, any stage in their career, and any level of English language comprehension.

About the advice? While I strongly advise you to read the book to get more details and a surprising amount of insight (plus the book is a fun way to spend ten minutes and may just include other valuable career advice), I'll post the six career lessons below (with my responses in italics):

The Six Lessons of Johnny Bunko

  1. There is no plan. Huh? So I've been banging myself over the head for years over not having a stong enough plan for nothing?
  2. Think strengths, not weaknesses. I like this one. I’d be happy to think less about my many weaknesses, thank you very much.
  3. It's not about you. Okay. I don't like this lesson ONE BIT. (But I know it's true.)
  4. Persistence trumps talent. I contribute to the Writer's Nook blog and as we constantly say (truly, ad nauseum): you have to actually write (and keep writing) to be a writer.
  5. Make excellent mistakes. Excellent advice about not being a perfectionist.
  6. Leave an imprint. Well. A particularly profound lesson. As they ask in the book: "Did I make a difference? Did I contribute something? Did my being here matter?" For me, the most important lesson in the book.

Sound pretty straightforward? These six lessons apply equally well to every aspect of life: Don't take things personally. Work hard at what you love to do. Don't worry about making mistakes. Follow your bliss. Make a difference.

On his website, Daniel Pink has some free discussion guides for teachers or career practictioners who wish to use to use Johnny Bunko with students or in business settings. This book would be useful for anyone to read as a book of career advice or even as an introduction to graphic novels.

As for me, I plan on taking Diana’s Daniel Pink’s lessons to heart. I may even discreetly put a copy of this book on the coffee table in hopes that my kids will accidentally read it. (And everytime I pull apart a set of chopsticks, a tiny part of me might just be hoping a pixie guru will appear.)

Help with the Academic CV

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

We aim to please! One of the Calgary Public Library's volunteer career coaches, Saudah Chan, suggested that we purchase her favourite book on academic CVs, and it just arrived. Here's her review of a book that handles the tricky field of academic disciplines:

For the academic job search novice, The Academic Job Search Handbook, 4th edition would prove useful as a general overview of preparation required two years before completion of one’s PhD, the hiring and application process, and interview considerations. Also useful are the newly added sections of dilemmas facing dual career couples and family planning. While the introduction indicates that its contents are geared towards American academic applicants, it would still prove useful as a generalist perspective.

The book also has delightful new additions including more CV samples, as well as sample teaching statements and non-academic resumes. For teaching dossiers, Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt by Kathryn Hume would provide more in-depth advice, and could also be considered by those in other disciplines such as physical and life sciences, including the summary of teaching evaluation samples provided.

Overall, this book is must-read for those who wish to demystify the academic job hunt, and wish to prepare early on for the next stage in their career.

Saudah enjoyed advising PhDs on the academic job search for five years at the University of Toronto Career Centre as coordinator of the Graduate Dossier Service and her presentations on How to Apply to Academic Jobs. Currently, she continues to assist PhDs with their job related inquiries.

Essential Skills in the Workplace

by Janice - 2 Comment(s)

Come join us on Friday, February 17 from 11:45 to 1:00 on the Third Floor of the Central Library as Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton discusses Essential Skills in the Workplace.

Sarah Elaine Eaton, Ph.D.How is workplace literacy being defined by HRSDC?

Today’s definition of literacy goes beyond traditional notions of being able to read and write. Literacy and Essential Skills is the umbrella term used by Human Resources and Skills Development Canda (HRSDC) to define the skills needed by all adults in Canada today, regardless of whether they are working, stay-at-home parents or retired. There are Nine Literacy and Essential Skills:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Document Use
  4. Numeracy
  5. Computer Use
  6. Thinking
  7. Oral Communication
  8. Working with others
  9. Continuous Learning

Employees need to have skills in all nine areas to be effective in today’s workplace.

What is the number one issue concerning employers regarding workplace literacy in Canada today?

The number one issue for employers is finding and keeping employees with the right skills to do their jobs safely and effectively. The Fall 2011 Labour Market Bulletin published by HRSDC reports that Calgary has failed to recover the same employment rates that it had before the 2008–2009 recession. While the province overall is recovering, the Calgary labour market lags behind other areas of the province. The Calgary job market requires high-skilled white collar workers with higher than average skills in reading, writing, numeracy and digital skills.

What are some of the costs to employers for not having employees trained in literacy and the essentials skills?

These can be difficult to quantify since people have lower levels of literacy and essential skills will often try to hide their lack of skills. This behaviour is not uncommon, as there can be feelings of shame and failure associated with low literacy skills. For that reason problems in the workplace can be difficult to trace back precisely to lower level skills.

Some studies have shown that employers who focus on building employee skills can see up to a 15% increase in overall workplace productivity and larger organizations may have even higher increases in productivity. One study revealed that over 80% of employers who engaged in workplace literacy programs felt that the benefits of the training outweighed the costs in terms of increased productivity leading to higher revenues for the buseinss, less wastage and less down time.

What are 3 resources for workplace literacy that employers and employees have access to?

Three of my favorite resources are:

Sarah Elaine Eaton is an educator, consultant and research specializing in adult learning, literacy and twenty-first century trends in training and education.

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