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Employment Readiness

By: Tamara Papo

Published On: August 1, 2014

How do I know I am ready to Work?

If you are just graduating and looking for your first serious job, if you are planning to change careers , if you are not happy with your current job or you are planning to start your own business you need to start working on developing the necessary skills to become job ready. In today’s economy it is very hard to find and keep a good job. Employers are very picky and are looking for recent work experience, education, applicable related skills, language and computer skills as well as communication skills. Here are the tips that can help you be better prepared for the world of employment.

Update your skills

Every new position requires specific set of skills and knowledge. Employers are often looking for skills beyond qualifications and experience. Keeping your skills up-to-date is essential to staying employed in some jobs or careers. You can update your professional skills by attending different lectures, workshops or classes.

Check out www.coursera.com where you can take free online courses from world’s leading universities.

Find a practicum, internship or volunteer position related to the job you are looking for. That can lead to great reference letter, more people in your network, or even can lend to a new job.

Check out www.govolunteer.ca for great volunteer opportunities in your area.

Start improving your interpersonal skills: teamwork, conflict management, and leadership. These skills are always in and are transferable to every position.

Know your job market

It is important to know the current job market in order to make an informed decision about choosing the right occupation.

Conduct research. Make sure you know who is hiring, when is hiring and for what positions. Be informed about the salaries and be familiar with the job descriptions. According to www.workbc.ca/BCLMOOutlook/pdf for labor market outlook in BC from year 2010 to year 2020 there will be 10.3 million of projected job openings in BC.

Be specific and narrow your search and focus only on the jobs you like. Find 5 companies that you like to work for, find out their mission statements and find who you need to contact in order to apply for positions.

Don’t rely only on large job websites and apply randomly for any job that is advertised.

Have a custom made resume and cover letter

Resumes are a crucial part of the hiring process for many employers. According to http://www.therecruiterslounge.com/2013/04/04/this-is-why-your-resume-was-rejected/ 250 resumes are received for every advertised position and the average time employers look at a resume is 5-7 seconds.

Closely match your resume to the job postings.

Make sure the resume is complete and up-to-date with no grammar and punctual mistakes.

Keep the resume length to 2 pages.

Don’t lie on your resume. Employers can do background checks or do an online research.

Don’t include any personal information on your resume.

If you need help with the resume writing, visit a career counselor at one of our local nonprofit organizations such as Mosaic or ISSBC where you can get professional help and advice for free.

Prepare for an interview.

Lending a job interview means you are a step closer in getting that perfect job. Making a positive impression is crucial. During an interview you might be asked to describe problems you've encountered in the past and how you handled them or you'll be given a hypothetical situation and asked what you would do.

Practice in front of a mirror or a friend can videotape you so you can play back the tape and see how well you did and what areas need improvement.

Prepare lot of examples, and be ready to answer questions such as” Give me an example of when you had a conflict with a coworker and how did you handle it?”

Pay attention to your body language and make sure you are making eye contact with all the people who are interviewing you.

Don’t discuss salary on your first interview.

Don’t talk too much about yourself. The longer you speak the lass likely the interviewer is paying attention to what you have to say.

Don’t hesitate with your answers, be confident.

Also one very important advice from head recruiter working for careeralism is to “make sure that your energy and personality come through as well. As a recruiter, I cannot emphasize enough how much these “soft skills” factor into the final hiring decision. So, remember this advice for every interview: your delivery is as important as the content, so focus on both.”


You need to make connections to further your success. Make a list of all of your friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Contact them one and ask them if they know of any openings for which they could recommend you. Attend job fares, do cold and warm calling and try to set up informational interviews with the companies that you are interested to work for.

Make contacts with confidence.

Always ask the person if they can refer you to someone lease.

Have business cards ready.

Immediately follow up with the person because according to http://thesaleshunter.com/resources/articles/networking/21-tips-to-use-at-a-networking-event when you meet someone for the first time, you have 72 hours to follow up with them before they completely forgot about meeting you.

Open a LinkedIn account and make sure you are active on social networking sites.

Don’t Use the excuse of not having time. Networking can take just a few minutes each day.

Don’t talk about yourself all the time. Listen and show interest in what the other person is saying.

Know how to keep your job and develop yourself as a valuable employee

Once you get a job, you need to go above and beyond of what is expected. Having a positive attitude can take you far and can make you a really valuable to your employer.

Develop positive relationships at work. Enjoy being a team player and work well with others.

Keep a positive attitude and be open minded.

Learn about your company corporate culture.

Be enthusiastic about your job.

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, even negative feedback can be constructive.

Don’t be afraid to admit if you make a mistake.




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