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Avoiding Job Scams

Recently some of my clients have reported being contacted by an employer to go for an interview where they had never applied for a job! Some of them went to the interview and then subsequently found out they were NOT being considered for a managerial position, as they had been led to believe, but were instead offered an entry level and sometimes commission-based sales job.

When an employer contacts you and you did not apply for any position with them, think of this as an early warning sign telling you to proceed with caution. It is usually NOT so easy to get an interview, and for most jobs you must really prove yourself qualified and worthy. Ask yourself why this employer is contacting you or why a job has been offered so readily after a short or non-existent interview? — It could be that the work is difficult and low-paying OR it could be that the position and company are a scam designed to get your personal information and even your money.

When you are considering going to an interview or accepting a position, make sure you have researched the company online. Try googling the company name and reading what comes up. Also look at websites like glassdoor.com to find out about the salaries and what past employees are saying about the company. If the organization has a website, look to see if it is a good one: does it describe exactly what the company offers its customers? Does it have a contact number? Do you see any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in the website?

If you decide to go for the interview, make sure you follow your intuition! If the job offer seems to fall in your lap with the briefest of interviews and it seems too good to be true, this might actually be the case. Be cautious if you are asked immediately too many personal details such as address, birth date, social insurance number, and especially banking information. You can always tell a perspective employer that you need a day or two to think about your response to a job offer, and then you have time to seek out more information before making a decision.

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

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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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It’s been a busy Spring!

We’ve had an exciting few months here at Career Paths, filled with some really great events!   In March, we partnered with Surrey Board of Trade in hosting their Business to Business networking event at our Surrey location. The event was an excellent way to introduce newcomers to over 100 employers throughout the lower mainland and for employers to meet some of our skilled and professional clients. Career Paths clients practiced their answer to “tell me about yourself” and used their networking skills which helped them to better understand Canadian workplace culture. Our clients were able to put into practice some of the skills they learn at our in-person and online workshops.  Employers were also informed about Back in Motion programs, especially Career Paths and the importance of hiring highly qualified newcomers.

Want to see some pics from the event? Click on this link: Events Photos

In February, our Speed Networking workshop helped clients practice, prepare and gain a better understanding of Canadian workplace culture. This workshop was facilitated by one of our Employer Insider partners whose been facilitating these successful sessions for us. His support extends beyond just the workshop as well; he invites clients to connect with him on LinkedIn and will meet up for an informational interview at a later date if the client is interested.

 

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Why should you negotiate your salary ?

One of the most dreaded questions during the job search process is “what is your salary expectation?”  We learned to provide an ambiguous answer, something like “I trust that your company is fair and the pay for the position is aligned with the industry rate” or, “I trust the company has a fair remuneration policy”.  What we are trying to convey is that we expect no less than what other companies are paying but we also appreciate the opportunity. However, this is not what the company hears! When general answers like these two examples are given, the companies usually make a quick judgment that you have not done your research, and you most likely will not do a thorough job if hired or even worse that you do not have any negotiation skills and they are absolutely a must in today’s business environment.

Our advice: always negotiate your salary.  There is no better way to show the employer that you are capable, confident, know your value and are quite comfortable with the skills and competencies the position requires than negotiating. But make sure that you wait to do so for the appropriate time, after you are offered the position and you have a number in front of you. In other words, let them throw out the first number!

Let’s be clear: unless you ask for it, nobody will give you what you want! So, once you see the starting number, begin the discussions.  The list can be as ambitious as you want for money, benefits, vacation or other perks. You never know what you might get unless you ask! But be also prepared for a less successful dialogue. If money is not negotiable, try asking for better benefits, more vacation days, or other perks.

Once everything is said and done, even a small victory will greatly benefit your self-esteem, the way your manager is looking at you from the very beginning and maybe the best of all, will increase your future income!

 

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Physiotherapy Practical Skills Enhancement Program

NEW!

For Career Paths physiotherapists preparing for a clinical exam, the Physiotherapy Practical Skills Enhancement Program starts January 7, 2019 and ends March 31, 2019. The program provides individualized structured mentorship, and 48 hours of in-person shadowing opportunities in both private and public practice, supplemented with online workshops about Canadian Workplace culture in health care system.

Please come to our info-session to learn more and enroll into the program:

Friday, January 4, 2019 from 9:30am to 11:00am
110 – 7525 King George Blvd
Surrey, BC

For more information, contact:
Hazel Chow: 604-233-2204

Physiotherapy Practical Skills Enhancement Program January 2019

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