Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #9
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Last updateTue, 23 Oct 2018 11am

I have been looking for a job for a month now. I attended a job fair recently and I didn’t get any call backs for interviews. Is there something I am doing wrong?

 

Dear Working Wise:

I have been looking for a job for a month now. I attended a job fair recently and I didn’t get any call backs for interviews. Is there something I am doing wrong? Signed Confused

 

Dear Confused:

 

It is hard to say why no one called you back, but some job hunters do not use job fairs to their full advantage. I have attended a number of job fairs and used the opportunity to ask employers what tips they would give job seekers.

 

Here are some great job fair tips plus a few pointers from real employers.

 

Before the fair:

·         Find out which employers will be there and learn a little about what they do and what positions they are trying to fill.

·         Update your resumé, have someone proofread, and print at least 20 copies on good-quality paper. Use a folder to protect your resumés from creases and stains.

·         Prepare an “elevator speech”—a 15-second introduction that tells the employer about your key skills/experience and the kind of job you are looking for. Practice your elevator speech before you go and be ready to sell yourself.

·         Dress like you are going to a job interview—the people you talk to make be making the hiring decision or might want to interview you on the spot.

 

At the fair:

·         Arrive early so you can visit the employers you are most interested in first. Visit the remaining employers afterward and keep an open mind—you might discover an exciting new career direction.

·         Use your time well. If you are waiting in line to talk to an employer, try to listen to what the employer is saying to other job seekers. 

·         Always behave as though your future boss is watching you. Be polite to other job seekers, considerate of each employer's time, and don't talk on your mobile phone while waiting in line for an employer.

·         Greet the recruiter with a smile and a firm handshake. Be friendly, enthusiastic and ready to ask questions and answer their questions.

·         Do not just hand in your resumé—you can do that via email—this is your chance to put a face and personality to your resumé and start building a relationship.

·         Do not call in sick to your current job to attend the job fair—your current employer might be there too.

·         Do not show up at the job fair in your current employer’s uniform—most employers assume you will treat them the same way you treat your current employer.

·         Ask what the next step is in the hiring process to show your interest and enthusiasm.

·         Collect business cards and send a “thank you” email or note re-stating your interest in the position and your qualifications.

 

You can find out about upcoming job fairs at: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/jobfairs and by following your local Alberta Works Facebook page:

 

Good luck at your next job fair!

 

This is provided for general information. Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services.

 


I'm thinking about getting into the trades, but I'm not sure how to do that? How do I find a job as an apprentice?

Dear Working Wise:

I'm thinking about getting into the trades, but I'm not sure how to do that? How do I find a job as an apprentice? Signed Ready to Trade Jobs

 

Dear Ready:

 

The trades are an excellent career option for many reasons.

 

First, as an apprentice, you spend about 80 per cent of your time earning a wage while you learn on the job from a qualified tradesperson. First-year apprentices earn about half of a journeyman's wage.

 

As you take more training and get more experience, your pay increases. You spend the remainder of your time taking technical training at a college or technical institution. Apprenticeship programs can last anywhere from one to four years, depending on the trade.

 

Second, the trades are rewarding. Tradespeople tend to earn good wages plus they have the opportunity to move up into management roles. Many tradespeople also go on to teach apprentices or open their own businesses.

 

Third, tradespeople are eligible for grants of $1,000 per year for completing their first and second years. They are also eligible for a $2,000 Apprenticeship Completion Grant plus a $500 per year tools deduction on their tax return.

 

Fourth, there are so many career options within the trades that you are bound to find something you really like. The trades are not limited to Plumbers and Electricians. In Alberta, there are 50 different trades you can apprentice in from Appliance Service Technician to Chef to Well-testing Services Supervisor. For a complete list, check out: http://tradesecrets.alberta.ca.

 

How to get started

1.      Pick your trade. Get as much information as you can about your choices from the Internet, school career counselors, tradespeople you know, or your nearest Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office.

2.      Find an employer who will hire you as an apprentice. Getting a job as an apprentice is no different than finding any other job. You can also contact the local union hall for your chosen trade and they might be able to hire you.

3.      Apply. Once you have a job, you and your employer need to complete an Apprenticeship Training Application / Contract and return it to the nearest office of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Branch.

 

Tips for finding a job as an Apprentice:

·         Prepare a professional-looking resumé and cover letter that explains your career goal.

·         Dress your best when you go out to meet employers.

·         Be courteous and grateful for any help or advice employers provide.

·         Search job postings and job boards like the Canada-Alberta Job Bank http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/intro-eng.aspx using the keyword “apprentice”.

·         Check with your local union hall about employment opportunities;

·         Attend job fairs and talk to employers who hire tradespeople. You can find out about upcoming job fairs at http://humanservices.alberta.ca/jobfairs.

·         Visit your nearest Alberta Works office. You can find the office nearest you by clicking on: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/offices.

 
To get more information about apprenticeship and careers in the trades, visit http://tradesecrets.alberta.ca.

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

My teenage son is looking for his first job. He is about to start applying at nearby stores so we don’t have to worry about transportation. Do you have any tips for him?

Dear Working Wise:

My teenage son is looking for his first job. He is about to start applying at nearby stores so we don’t have to worry about transportation. Do you have any tips for him? Signed, Proud Parent

 

Dear Proud:

 

A part-time job is a great way for teens to make extra money and start developing employability skills, like punctuality and time management, which will serve him well for the rest of his life.

 

Many retail businesses use job application forms. Here are some tips for filling out job application forms. 

 

  • Take the application home, if possible, to give yourself more time, a more comfortable environment, and access to all the information you will need to complete the application.
  • Ask for two applications in case you make a mess of the first one.
  • Just in case you cannot take the application home, bring all of the information you might need, including your: social insurance number, address and postal code, list of past employers, positions, volunteer roles, schools and training programs, start/end dates, and three job reference names with phone numbers.
  • Use an erasable pen.
  • Follow the instructions carefully.
  • Print neatly and clearly.
  • If a question does not apply to you, write Not Applicable or N/A.
  • Be specific about the type of work you are interested in.
  • Bring copies of your resumé—the employer may accept the resumé along with the application form.
  • Do not answer application questions by referring the reader to your resumé.
  • List your most recent work experience first followed by older experiences. Be sure to include any awards or positive results that you achieved.
  • If you do not have any work experience, try to find an opportunity to talk about the useful/relevant skills and experiences that you have gained through your volunteer and extra-curricular activities.
  • List your most relevant education and training, including dates you attended the programs, the names of the schools, and any certificates you earned.
  • Don’t forget to include short-term training courses, special awards and memberships that you have held or hold if they relate to the job in any way.
  • If asked to name a wage expectation, give a range or say that you are open to negotiation. You can check the WAGEinfo web site http://alis.alberta.ca/wageinfo for the current salary ranges of more than 400 occupations.  
  • Use the “Additional Comments” section to highlight any achievements you haven’t already touched on plus any skills or strengths that relate to the position.
  • Double-check the form for spelling, accuracy, and neatness, before you submit it. The overall appearance of your application makes an impression.

 

If you do not have a resumé:

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Albert Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

 


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