By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Career seekers looking to dress up their résumé for success or who would just like to find out what direction they should be pointing their future goals have an opportunity to do so this month, and for free.
Career Employment and Counselling Services will be holding their Morinville Career Planning Workshop Aug. 11, following it up with their Morinville Résumé Workshop Aug. 19.
Career and employment counsellor Charmin Rockwell said the upcoming sessions are an excellent opportunity for career and employment seekers to develop a good tool to use in their career search. Rockwell said the sessions can be useful for those who have finished school and are now transitioning from a summer job to something more permanent.
“How do we articulate what we did over the summer, especially if we took a month off or we just had a couple of odd jobs?” Rockwell asked. “How do we identify what are our transferable skills? We learned a skill on the one job and now that I’ve identified that maybe I want a more serious job, or I’m going to go to school. How do I translate that into a marketing document?”
The career counsellor said seminar participants will learn how to market their skills, one of the biggest barriers many of her clients have to overcome.
“They’ll bring a résumé that isn’t exactly going to get their foot in the door,” she said, adding such a résumé could have spelling or grammatical errors, formatting problems or be too modest in disclosing the job seekers qualifications. “I think it’s our culture that we’re pretty modest, so we don’t boast.”
Rockwell said that although no one wants to show a big ego on a résumé page, it is important to identify what one is good at so that an employer becomes interested in interviewing the person.
Another thing the résumé seminar will look at is the proper way to format a résumé, as things have changed considerably over the years.
“People don’t know what to put and what not to put,” Rockwell said, noting it is not uncommon to see résumé with marital status, age, social insurance number, all things no longer required in a résumé. “We go over the top things you shouldn’t do when you are doing your résumé and we give you strategies to sort of put your résumé ahead of the rest.”
But not everyone is ready to start pounding the pavement in search of a new career. For that reason, Career Employment and Counselling Services will hold a seminar for those who are unsure about what type of career path they want to start travelling, a contemplation that Rockwell can sometimes be overwhelming.
“We have a process that we go through,” Rockwell said. “There’s an assessment that we use in the workshop that will help you identify your high interest areas. It’s not an assessment that’s going to spit out that you’re meant to be a banker or a funeral director. What it does is it helps identify your high interest areas. Because there are over 30,000 occupations that you could do – where do you start?”
Rockwell said with such a wide range of possibilities people often become overwhelmed and put off trying to determine a career path.
“This is step one,” Rockwell said of the career planning workshop. “This is where we start helping people identify what they are good at. We don’t often sit around at the supper table saying, ‘What are you good at? What do you value? Pass the potatoes.’”
The career counsellor said people often get so caught up in day-to-day life that they seldom have time to self evaluate. The August sessions will allow career and job seekers to do precisely that.
Although there is no cost for those who are currently unemployed or working less than 30 hours per week, there is a nominal charge of $40 for those who are currently employed full time. Pre-registration is required for the sessions and space is limited.
The centre will also be holding résumé and career workshops in Morinville this October.
For more information call Career Employment and Counselling Services at 780-939-2353.