Tips for job seekers

NIEFS hosts job fair next week to help recruit local employees

It’s that time of year again.

That time when retailers are gearing up for their busy retail season leading up to the holidays, and they will be needing staff to help see them through it.

But it’s not just retail jobs that are hiring, as will be evident to those who attend next week’s Job Fair, hosted by the North Island Employment Foundations Society (NIEFS) and being held at the Community Centre.

Shannon Baikie, manager of NIEFS’ Employment Services Centre, says that more than 35 exhibitors will be at the job fair, looking for prospective employees.

Whether it’s part-time, seasonal work, or a full-time career, finding a job should, itself, be treated as a full-time gig, Baikie says, and the Job Fair is the perfect place to put in a shift.

“At one time or another, we have all had to face the challenge of finding work,” Baikie says. “Like any challenge in life, the best approach is to roll up your sleeves and get to it. We encourage people to treat finding a job like a job, and apply themselves steadily and consistently to the task.”

Baikie says she consulted the staff of the NIEFS Resource Centre, and together they compiled a “top tips” list for job seekers.

The main overarching themes of that list would be confidence and preparedness.

“Know what you have to offer,” Baikie says, “and be able to express it clearly.”

Enthusiasm, eye contact and a firm handshake are important when making any professional contact, Baikie says, as well as being dressed professionally.

Job-seekers should dress the part, even when just dropping off a resume, Baikie says, since they should be considering every contact as an opportunity to make a good impression.

She also says that the days of printing off a stack of generic resumes and passing them out to every business in town are gone.

That just doesn’t cut it anymore. Employers see it for what it is – laziness.

Instead, job searchers should prepare resumes and cover letters customized for each prospective employer.

And make sure that resume and cover letter is free of errors. There’s nothing that turns an employer off more than seeing the name of their business spelled incorrectly.

“A resume or cover letter containing spelling and grammatical errors could tell an employer that you don’t care about the quality of your work,” Baikie says, adding that it’s also a good idea to have someone else look it over before you deliver it.

“After working on a resume or cover letter for several hours, you simply stop seeing your own mistakes.”

The Job Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Tuesday, Oct. 27, and is the perfect place to practice your job searching skills, Baikie says, “or to learn about training and skill requirements or network with a diverse range of businesses and organizations.”

For more information and resources about looking for work, head over to niefs.net or drop by their office at 870C 13th Ave.

They can also be reached at 250-286-3441.