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Resume Tips from a Career Coach

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Given that the average Canadian changes jobs a minimum of 8 times in their lifetime, there is always a need to keep resumes sharp and ready to go. Resumes need to be flexible, adaptable, and able to meet the demands of each new opportunity.

This might help explain the steady growth of the Calgary Public Library’s Career Coaching program, now running at five locations throughout the City. The volunteers are a stellar and experienced group, drawing from years of experience in industry and non profits. The Central Library’s Thursday evening sessions have been going for more than 10 years, and I spoke with one of our newest additions to the team and asked Jillian to share her thoughts and a bit of wisdom:

Jillian, you have been volunteering now for over a year with the Library’s Career Coaching program. What attracted you to the position and why did you decide to volunteer?

I initially applied to be a Career Coach in order to find a volunteer opportunity that would utilize my skills in a setting where I could really be hands on. After a few sessions the CPL program quickly became something that I looked forward to on a monthly basis. The program reaches various demographics of customers who are so grateful for the assistance given in finding meaningful employment. The coaches, Library staff and participants are an incredible group of people to work with.

What is the one piece of advice for job searchers who are trying to make their resumes stand out from the rest?

Keep your resume professional and as relevant to the job posting as possible. The screening process isn’t always completed by the direct manager, so it is important to customize your resume to match key skills and words in the job posting. This will give you a better chance of having it selected during the process. If you’re under qualified, try to highlight any transferable skills you’ve attained in previous jobs, school or volunteer positions in your profile.

Jillian, we have had questions from customers about creating YouTube video promotionals or video resumes about themselves, to help showcase who they are. In your role as a Human Relations Generalist with private and public industry experience, have you ever come across this, or would you recommend it?

I’ve come across it a few times and I would only recommend it if the applicant understood that this type of application aligned with the organizations hiring practices. For more creative and progressive companies this style might catch a hiring manager’s interest. It’s important to have your first impression come across as being professional while not relying too heavily on gimmicks to differentiate your application from others.

What one resume book would you recommend to job searchers?

Best Canadian Resumes and Best Canadian Covers Letters is a great series!

Any parting words?

My general advice for all of these activities is to use the services from this program. Having a resume critiqued, going through a mock interview and getting advice from a Coach will give the best feedback customized for that person.

- Jillian was interviewed by Roberta Kuzyk-Burton, the Library’s Community Learning Advocate for Careers at the Central Library

2013 Volunteer Recognition Event

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

On April 19th we held our annual Volunteer Recognition Event - an evening meant to celebrate the amazing contribution Calgary Public Library volunteers make to library programs and in Calgary communities. Over 500 volunteers, guests and staff attended this year and enjoyed an awards ceremony and following reception with food, cake, and music.

Thanks to everyone that helped make it a fantastic night, and thanks to all Calgary Public Library volunteers!

Photos: John Dutton Volunteer of the Year Award Winner, Jane Baker (left); Professional Support Award Winners, Central Library's Career Coaching Strategic Networking team

Helping people reach their employment goals

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Lidia is a Career Coach at the Calgary Public Library and was awarded the Career Coaching Volunteer award in April of 2011. Here is what she has to say about volunteering at the Library:

“I started volunteering for the Career Coaching program at the Central Public Library just a little over 3 years ago – September 2008. I had been looking for work as an employment counsellor and decided to get experience in the field by volunteering. Shortly after, I was hired by the Centre for Newcomers as a career practitioner but I liked my experience with the Library so much that I continued to volunteer there.

I believe volunteering has been and will continue to be a core value in my life. Volunteering gives me great satisfaction and energy and a sense of worthiness , I feel I am getting so much more than I give.

I have volunteered for several events and organizations but none was I as passionate for as I am about my present role of Career Coach for the Central Library. Besides the personal satisfaction I get from helping customers, the best part for me is meeting people from all walks of life and having the privilege of hearing their stories and encouraging them to continue on their journey to reach their employment goals. If I can inspire an ounce of hope in them, then I will have accomplished much.”

Thank you Lidia!

Library Volunteer joins Volunteer Calgary

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

One of our current Career Coaching volunteers has joined Volunteer Calgary as their new board member.

Career Coaching is a program where volunteers with HR experience coach people from all walks of life in improving their resumes, creating coverletters and breaking into hidden job markets.

Janeen Scott is a Human Resources Manager by day and by night is committed to helping her Calgary community. Her volunteer experience includes work with the Calgary Public Library, Artemis Foundation, and Students in Free Enterprise.

Congratulations Janeen!

Looking for Work?

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Meet Janeen, Career Coaching Volunteer

Volunteering has been important part of my life for many years. I have been coaching through the Career Coaching program at the Central library for over 5 years. As an Human Resource Professional this role allows me to use my talents to support Calgarians in their job search. I have met people from all background, professions and demographics. Continually people show me their resiliency and creativity; reinventing themselves. Often times a client will come to the Career Coaching program having been out of work for many months. It is very gratifying to have that client leave with a fresh perspective on their job search.

Many of the people I help stay with me, however there was one women I think of often. This client was in her early 60's and had moved from the Philippines to Canada a few years ago. She had a very successful career in the Philippines as a social worker; a job she loved. She was torn between going back to school to be a social worker in Canada or if she should pursue her love of cooking and get a job in the culinary field. We talked for a while until until I finally said "Whatever you do next does not define you. It won't take away from your 25 years as a successful social worker". With that the tears streamed down her cheeks. She was afraid to leave behind the career she knew. To step into retirement. I don't know what she decided to do, but I believe I helped her see her next chapter in a different way.

Week after week the two hour drop in session is filled with people looking for support, feedback and guidance. The volunteers in the program find individuals ways to reach each client. I believe this service is invaluable to Calgarians looking for work.


Janeen Scott

If you are a career professional and are interested in helping people job search and build resumes please contact Marian Erb at 403-260-2648, or