- Thinking about starting a new career?
- Do you need to help updating your resume?
- Need help with interview preparation?
WEST staff can help you.
We offer a range of employment services to get you started on the right path:
- One-on-one counselling
- Employment workshops
- Training programs
- Job matching assistance
- Wage incentives
Tips to help you organize your job search:
Job Preparation Tips
Are you looking for a job or preparing to start your job search? These tools can help you be ready and be ahead of the game to land a job successfully!
Before beginning a job search, organize a list of the following:
- Types of jobs that you are interested in applying.
- Career level (entry, mid, senior).
- Job type (full-time, part-time, contract, permanent).
- Company type (including size, culture, and industry).
- Job location, transportation.
- Factors of importance (salary, work-life balance and schedule, childcare).
- Use your LinkedIn profile and other social media platforms and connect with your network to look at Job Boards.
- Online Job Boards / Company Websites.
- Referrals from a friend, mentor, or acquaintance.
- Monitor your LinkedIn profile and social media accounts, and check your email on regular basis, including your junk folder.
- Don’t have experience? It happens! Everyone needs to start from somewhere.
- If you do not have a lot of experience, leverage your volunteer networks, get involved in your community, and look for volunteer opportunities to gain experience.
- Read, review, and revise your resume constantly. Make sure your resume does not have grammar errors.
- Cover letter – prepare a generic cover letter and tailor it individually for each job that you are applying for.
- Reference letters – try to collect 2 to 3 reference letters from your previous employment, volunteer job or your school.
- Reference contact information: Contact your references and get their updated contact information.
- Dress for success: First impressions matters, especially in an Interview. Arrive at the interview with clean and ironed clothes.
- Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to an interview. It will calm your nerves and will allow you to gather your thoughts for the interview. This is a big deal for an employer, and it shows that you take your interview seriously.
- Prepare and ask questions during the interview, ask what can make you successful candidate.
- Send follow up thank you emails to each person you have interviewed with. If you did not get their email addresses, you can ask the recruiter or receptionist, who set you up with the interview for their email addresses. If not, you can also message them via LinkedIn.
- If you really want the job, you need to demonstrate that to the employer! Do your research and come prepared.
Resumes Dos & Don'ts
- Keep resume brief, clear and concise as employers take only a few minutes to review the resume
- Begin with thorough self-assessment before starting to develop a resume
- Be specific in the objective statement based on the needs of the employer
- Include a header on each page indicating your name and address-should be easy for the employer to catch
- List work and education history in chronological order, starting with the most recent and most important
- Proofread for spelling and grammar errors; get someone else to read it for you
- Limit your resume to maximum two pages, without sacrificing any relevant experience and information
- Use strong action verbs and eliminate the use of pronouns like, “I, me, my, etc.”
- Use bullet form to outline your responsibilities and experiences
- Use one font size, between 10 and 12
- Keep the page balanced with equal amount of space on each side
- Tailor the resume to suit the position that you are applying for, and include a section for relevant skills
- Be honest. Emphasize your strengths, capabilities, and essential qualifications
- Do not state your reasons for leaving other job-this looks very unprofessional
- No personal information such as age, weight, social insurance number should be included on resumes
- Include references or state ‘References available upon request’
- Make sure your references are aware that you are using them, so that they can be prepared to talk about you
- Find references as past employers, teachers or professors as opposed to neighbours and friends
- Be specific and exact for putting dates in your resume than simply saying number of years
- List necessary information only
- Always keep or save a copy of your resume for future use
- Use formal/professional language only in your resume, avoid contractions, and abbreviations
- Use sections to list different kind of job duties
- Highlight your accomplishments from previous employer or school
- Education and Training format: Name of Certificate/Diploma, Name of school, City, Province, and Year completed
- Employment Experience format: Job title, Name of the employer, year of employment
- Avoid to use history older than 15 years
- Include some words indicating your good attitude
Interview Preparation Tips
- Research the position and key challenges
- Review the posting qualifications and related criteria
- Review your skills, abilities, and qualifications as they relate to the job being interviewed for
- Rehearse, not memorize, the possible interview questions to increase your confidence
- Prepare your answers for possible behavioural as well as situational questions in advance
- Research some sample interviews on line to understand the question and answer process
Attire and Appearance
- Dress appropriately and pay attention to grooming
- Wear appropriate shoes to match with the job
- Maintain proper posture and eye contact, while keeping positive attitude and smile on the face
- Don’t chew gum or any sort of candy
- Wear your hair off your face in tidy manner
- Stay calm and avoid any nervous behaviour
- Check your breath, and hide any tattoos
- Avoid any flashy jewellery or hand bags
- Keep clean finger nails, and no garish make up
- Clothing should not talk louder than you
List of Items to Bring to an Interview
- Bring a pen and a note pad to show that you are organized
- Bring couple extra copies of your resume
- Bring a copy of the job description, as well supporting search materials to show that you have researched and prepared for the position
- Keep all the documents in a plastic folder or binder, preferably a transparent one, to indirectly show that you are well prepared
- Prepare a portfolio to bring quality examples of your achievements
- Keep your driver’s licence and some other piece of ID with you for further security check if required by the employer
- Keep change for parking in case of unavailability of free parking, or you might need to buy lunch as well
- Keep your appointment calendar handy, in case the interviewer wants to meet with you again, and to reinforce your organizational skills
Closing the Interview
- To close look for an opportunity to summarize your qualifications and how they can appear to meet employer needs
- Consider asking for feedback
- Thanks the interviewer(s) for the opportunity to meet with them
- Provide a list of references when appropriate
- If next step in the process has been explained, ask some clarification questions:
- Are another round of interviews planned
- When do they expect to make the decision
- May you follow up by phone if you have not heard within the stated time frame
- If you are planning to be away while they are making their decision, inform the employer about any possible schedule conflict
- Avoid to get over anxious, but reconfirm your enthusiasm
- Send a follow up thank you note or e-mail, no later than the next working day
Click the buttons below to download the job search PDFs.