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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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A Holiday Recipe From Us to You!

Romanian White Bean Dip

Prep time: 20 Minutes

Cook time: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the dip

  • 8.8 Oz White Beans
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Water
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • Salt

For the topping

  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • Salt
  • Fresh Parsley

Instructions

For the Dip

  1. Rinse the beans and place them in a large bowl. Cover with water and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Rinse and add to a pan with plenty of water.
  3. Add the onion and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook for about 1 hour or until the beans are soft. The cooking time will greatly depend on the size and age of the beans so keep checking!
  5. Drain the beans, but keep the cooking water. Discard the onion and the bay leaves.
  6. Leave the beans to cool slightly, then place them in the food processor together with about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and two tablespoons vegetable oil and garlic cloves.
  7. Process until they are really smooth, scraping down from the food processor walls a few times in between. Add more cooking liquid, a little at a time, to get the right consistency, it should be like a really thick crème fraiche or softer mashed potatoes. Add salt to taste.

For the Topping

  1. Slice the halves into thin half rings.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan.
  3. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  4. When the onions are golden, add the tomato paste, sugar and paprika powder and stir for further 2 minutes, until well combined and slightly caramelized.
  5. Transfer the beans to a bowl or a serving platter and top with the onions. Drizzle with more oil if desired and sprinkle with parsley and sweet paprika.

If served as a dip or bread spread leave to get cold. If served as an accompaniment to sausages, meatballs or any kind of fried meat, serve it straight away, while still warm. You can also add cucumber, green tomatoes, red peppers and/or hot peppers as toppings!

 

 

This recipe originally appeared on Where Is My Spoon

 

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How to answer “What is your weakness?”

What is your weakness?

Interviews can make us feel nervous. Fortunately, there is a lot of prep we can do before going to an interview! Help prepare yourself by considering this question before your interview:

What is your weakness?

It sounds like an invitation to talk about how much of a perfectionist you are, or express your dedication to work, at the expense of your social life. Be careful though, this is a tricky question, and those types of answers may not score you any points.

When an interviewer asks this question, they are really looking for you to show your honestyinitiative and ability to self-improve.

To answer this question, find something you are genuinely struggling with, but that is not a core requirement for the job you are interviewing for. The key to this question is not dwelling on the issue. State your weakness, then start talking about what you have been doing to improve it.

Examples of general weaknesses and possible self-improvement strategies

Weakness: Fear of public speaking

Improvement Strategy: Attending/utilizing Toastmasters

Weakness: Lack of professional experience in desired industry

Improvement Strategy: Volunteering, self-teaching and/or gaining online certificates

Weakness: Trouble with communication

Improvement Strategy: Learn about cross cultural communication and/or practicing different ways of phrasing ideas with friends

 

Not every recruiter asks what your weaknesses are, but you can use the answer with a number of other interview questions, such as:

What would your former manager/team members say your weakness was?

What would be one thing you’d change about yourself?

What goals have you set for yourself this year?

What do people most criticize about you?

 

As a last thought, try to have five weaknesses prepared with good stories as examples. This way, the only thing to do before the interview is to match the weakness to the job description! Good Luck!

 

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