Month: July 2019

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Mind Map your Career. Mind Map your Life.

What is mind mapping?

A mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structure information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas.

Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.

In a mind map, as opposed to traditional note taking or a linear text, information is structured in a way that resembles much more closely how your brain actually works. Since it is an activity that is both analytical and artistic, it engages your brain in a much, much richer way, helping in all its cognitive functions. And, best of all, it is fun!

If you are job searching, thinking about skills enhancement or self-development for your career, mind mapping could be quite useful. It will make you think and analyze steps the way your brain does it. So watch this video and try it; all you have to loose is the boring way of note taking that you’re used to!!

So, what does a mind map look like? Better than explaining is showing you an example. Follow this link to see.

 

Written by Sogol Jamali, Career Paths Placement Specialist

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Free Resume Workshops at the Newton Library

 

Looking for free resume help?

Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants has partnered up with Surrey Libraries and is offering Resume Workshops at the Newton Branch. 

 

Summer and Fall Schedule 2019

Monday, July 29, 2019 1pm-2:30pm   Register Here

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 3pm-5pm  Register Here

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 3pm-5pm  Register Here

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 3pm-5pm   Register Here

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 3pm-5pm  Register Here

 

 

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The dilemma of phone interviews and quick remedy tips that may help

If you ask anyone who just had a phone interview how it went, you will probably get a reply something along this line. “….it was not too bad but I am not too sure…I should have…”
Phone interviews are a tricky business and you can never be totally prepared. For one, the interviewer will always give you a time range in which they will call you and logically speaking, are you really going to be sitting in one spot waiting for their call?
Even if you somehow managed to glue yourself to a spot, chances are that you might be playing the famous mental game called “best ways to live like a millionaire” when the all-important call comes in and then you struggle against time to get yourself composed before the next ring from your phone.
Although there are many blogs and articles available online providing tips on how to do well in a phone interview, it does no harm knowing more. So here are 2 tips which could be beneficial to you.

Tip 1: Be mentally prepared – Run the interview in your mind step by step

• Introduction: Work on the basic things like your greeting when you receive the call, simple responses to ice breakers or leading questions to ask to help facilitate the conversation.

• Body: Identify 3 to 4 important pieces of information about yourself which you would like to share with the interviewer that are related to the job but are not in your resume.

• Conclusion: Prepare a subtle “Thank you and please invite me” speech to end the interview.

Tip 2: Document the strategic mental plan – Leverage on the fact that the interviewers will not be able to see you

• Make sure you list down all the key words you would like to mention during the interview and categorize them accordingly. Highlight them if you have to.

• Research and create resources that may assist you for the interview and place them before you or ensure they are easily accessible if required during the interview.

The next time you have a phone interview, consider these additional steps. Once the interview is done and you have managed to say the essentials on your list, then you know you have done the best you could.

Good luck!!

Raj Sidhu, Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Career Counsellor

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Creating Successful Cover Letters

 

 

A good cover letter shows you are an ideal candidate for the job because you possess all the skills, experience, and attributes to bring success to the company. Typically, the cover letter should have 3-5 separated paragraphs, and it should include the same header as your resume. It should contain NO ERRORS in spelling or grammar. If at all possible on the job search, it is important to ask AT LEAST one person skilled in written English to look over your emails correspondence and cover letters (your Career Counselor is available to assist).

Your first paragraph should mention your interest in applying for a certain position, and you should name the job title you are applying for. This paragraph is also a great place to mention any previous contact you’ve had with the company. For example, you might say “Talking with Wendy, in your Human Resources Department, really ignited my interest in applying for the Lab Technician Position.” You should also present a sort of Thesis Statement, mentioning 2 or 3 words or concise phrases to summarize what you would bring to the employer. Take this example from TheBalanceCareers.com Website: “I believe that my five years of experience in office administration and my passion for your products make me an ideal candidate for this role”.

The body of your cover letter is where you want to highlight your most RELEVANT skills and strengths. To write these paragraphs and/or bullet points, carefully study the job description, and if you don’t really have one, find some additional job descriptions to scrutinize. Pick out key skills, attributes, and experiences which the employer is looking for and make sentences to prove you possess an asset and you can make a difference to the company. You can also list accolades from colleagues or concrete examples of changes which you effected. DO NOT copy verbatim the points already mentioned in your resume.

An effective way to highlight your assets is to make a bulleted list in the body of your cover letter. Bullets really show your skill and experience in an immediate way. As a general rule, create no more than 5-6 concisely worded bullets; if a bullet becomes longer than 2 lines it may be best to it into a paragraph format. Note also that a bullet should start with a strong action word which shows how you took action to accomplish certain tasks or to produce certain outcomes.

How should you close your cover letter? Make a sentence or two to reiterate your interest in helping the company succeed and make sure to mention one or two additional key attributes you might bring. Indicate your willingness to further discuss your qualifications in an interview and make sure your contact information is listed there at the closing. You could simply put your phone and email information after your signature, or you can mention it in your last sentence.

 

Tip written by Heather Musser, Career Paths Career Counsellor, Back in Motion

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