EDUCATION & CAREER

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Mastering the art of the job search

Whether it’s your first job out of post-secondary or the next step up the corporate ladder, finding a new job is never easy. If you’ve recently arrived in Canada, the process can be even more daunting.

“Immigrating to a new country is a big decision and can be met with many challenges,” says Ivy Chiu, senior director of the newcomer segment at RBC. “If you have newly arrived in the country, your day-to-day life, as well as navigating the job market might be quite different from what you are familiar with. Understanding how it works in Canada will help set you on the path towards a fulfilling career.” 

Here are a few tips to help you along with your job search:

Leverage social networks. There are many online platforms that are frequently updated for job seekers and are available for free. LinkedIn is a popular example where professionals can network, learn more about different industries, search, and or apply for jobs. Having an up-to-date profile with relevant work experience, education and volunteer experience will be an asset when it comes time to applying on this social platform.

Find local resources. Look for free resources available in your neighbourhood. Organizations like can help you with your job search and so much more. Aside from just helping you search for jobs, community-based companies may also be able to offer skills training, language courses and resume help. Take advantage of networking opportunities at career fairs and networking events. 

Make time to volunteer. While you settle in and get your job search underway, explore volunteer opportunities. While they may not lead to a full-time job, volunteering is a great way to expand your network and help you hone in on skills or develop your interests.

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Prepare for Key Job Interview Questions

Preparing for interview questions will give you the edge over other qualified candidates. Although there isn't one correct way to respond to questions, keep the following in mind:

1. Understand what's being asked. Employers want to know about your adaptive skills (meeting deadlines) and personal qualities (dependability, motivation).
2. Answer questions briefly. Present the facts as advantages.
3. Answer the real question. Show how your skills and experience can do the job. Demonstrate how your past accomplishments relate to the job. 

Provide concrete examples and relate stories. Describing situations where you've used your skills is more powerful than just stating this. Include details.

Quantify to provide a basis for your accomplishments. Give the number of clients served or the amount you increased the profit margin.

Emphasize results. Give data indicating positive results you've obtained such as sales increased by 10 percent over the previous year.

Sample Key Questions

1. Tell me about yourself? This is a terrific opportunity to give your "one-minute commercial." Relate your background to the position being considered. Provide some personal history, then show how your skills, accomplishments and training are directly related to the job.

2. Why should I hire you? Market yourself. Talk about your achievements, awards, and promotions, but don't take credit for things you don't deserve or claim experience you don't have.

Show how you can help the employer make more money by improving efficiency, reducing cost, increasing sales or solving problems. Present your skills and experience in a direct, confident way. Show your portfolio which can include concrete examples of your work.

3. What are your major strengths? Emphasize your self-management skills (hard working, goal-directed). Once you begin speaking about one strength, the rest of your response falls into place.

4. What are your major weaknesses? This is tricky. Employers want to know how you'll react in a tough situation. Be honest, brief and positive. Turn a weakness into a strength. Share something you're currently working on. "I'm improving my time management skills. I develop and adhere to a daily schedule."

5. What salary do you expect? Never discuss salary until you're offered the position. Once you expose yourself, you're less efficient at negotiating your value. If salary comes up, state: "Because I'm really interested in the job, my salary would be negotiable."

Many candidates are dismissed prematurely because they state an excessively low or high salary. Defer the question politely. Then, when the timing is right, maneuver the interviewer into stating the starting salary.

Research going salary ranges for similar positions in comparable organizations. Think in terms of a broad salary range. Begin with their probable range and end a bit above your salary expectations.

Never refuse a job or salary offer on the spot. Think about it. Instead of rejecting a given salary, say: "That's lower than I had in mind, but since I want this position I'll accept this. When will there be a performance review with a salary increase?"

6. How does your previous experience relate to this job? Try to overcome limitations in your background. Emphasize your strengths such as personal and technical transferable skills to counter lack of skills or experience with the prospective job. Show how school courses or accomplishments in a different field relate to the position. Be confident.

7. Why do you want this job? Employers want someone who's motivated to do a particular kind of job with their company because this usually ensures long-term commitment. They don't want someone who is seeking any job anywhere.

Know why you're a good match for the position. Show how your interests, skills, accomplishments, special training, credentials, mission, goals and other qualities relate to the position. Explain why you want to work for this company. Know its mission.

8. What will your former employers say about you? Formulate a rational explanation of why you left. Show that you're a team player. Discuss your career plans with former supervisors. If you were fired, negotiate what would be said to prospective employers. Interviewers usually understand conflicts presented positively. Use referees who will give favorable references.

Be yourself and emphasize your suitability for the position.

 

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COLLEGE INSIGHT

Private career colleges (PCCs) are independent organizations that offer certificate and diploma programs in many fields, such as business, health services, human services, applied arts, information technology, electronics, services, and trades. Some PCCs operate as for-profit businesses and others are not-for-profit institutions.

 

PCCs must be registered and have their programs approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. This act ensures that PCCs meet certain standards for the programs they offer, as well as for their advertising, refund policies, and instructor qualifications. You can find registered PCCs and approved programs using our online search tool. It is important to note that if you enroll in an unregistered college or an unapproved program, you will not be covered by the protections provided by the government under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. It's also important to be aware that there are a number of private organizations offering education or training programs that are not regulated by the province. These include language training programs, programs that are less than 40 hours in length, programs that cost less than $1,000, professional development and single-skill training programs.

Choosing to go to college is a very important decision. Make sure you do your homework before you decide.

  • Take a close look at how the program can help you achieve your career goals.

  • Seek the right help to see the facilities and the equipment it offers, or have someone you know and trust visit the college on your behalf.

  • Find out who your instructors will be.

  • Add up the total cost, including the application fee, tuition, lab fees, books, transportation, room, and board.

  • Check with employers or other educational institutions to find out if they will recognize the program and the college.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH

WHAT PEOPLE SAYS ABOUT IDCI

EDUCATION

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

The Business Administration program is designed for students whose goals include business management, self-employment, entrepreneurial ventures, or a variety of different careers. This program helps develop skills as a management generalist, offering flexibility in career choices. Students gain an understanding of the theory and skills needed for the practical applications of modern management techniques used in a variety of sectors such as government, training and consulting, human resources, and small business ventures as well as multi-national organizations.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE ADMIN

An organization needs good people, processes, and products to build a strong brand and companies are constantly on the lookout for talented administrative
professionals. Not only can an excellent administrator handle the tasks of the office like bookkeeping, computers, and document processing, but they act as a resource for the entire office. Managers know the value of a great executive legal assistant. The Executive Office Administrator diploma program has been developed to meet
the needs of today’s companies.

MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT

The Medical Office Assistant program may be the right choice for you. The growing need for medical and dental services by an aging population combined with a strong government focus on improving access to healthcare in Ontario is fuelling demand for trained and knowledgeable Medical Office Assistants.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

The Medical Office Assistant program may be the right choice for you. The growing need for medical and dental services by an aging population combined with a strong government focus on improving access to healthcare in Ontario is fuelling demand for trained and knowledgeable Medical Office Assistants.

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PARALEGAL

Paralegals are authorized to provide legal services in the substantive areas of law which include: tribunal practice (including WSIB and statutory accident benefits), residential landlord and tenant law and civil litigation within the limit of Small Claims Court.

I.T. ADMINISTRATION

Information Technology (IT) administrators manage an organization’s IT systems to ensure they operate effectively and efficiently. They may look after all parts of a system including hardware, software and network connections, or they may specialize in one area. IT administrators are generally responsible for updating software and equipment, running regular data backups, establishing system access and security procedures, testing new equipment and training other staff members.

NETWORK ADMINISTRATION

The Network Administration program at Metro College of Technology is your path to a career in computer systems or managing networks. This intensive 8-month course is on the pulse of today’s evolving industry and covers computer hardware, Linux, Microsoft, and CISCO technologies as well as server virtualization. You will gain skills in planning, selecting, configuring and managing Linux, Windows or CISCO based networks, as well as server and desktop systems and supercomputing clusters. You will also be able to integrate Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems into seamless networks. An option co-op placement at the end of the course provides students with the ideal opportunity to gain real-life experience.

WEB DESIGNER

The College industry-leading Web Designer Program is designed for the individual seeking knowledge in computer, web and mobile application development. More specifically, students learn how to develop interactive web content using technologies, as well as learn how to develop application programs for use on desktops and servers using technologies including Java,C#, ASP.NET, Microsoft SQL Server.

AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY

The Automotive Technology (pre-apprenticeship) diploma program will prepare you for your career in automotive service and repair. The Automotive Technology the program is a blend of theory and practice with an emphasis on practical hands-on learning. Students will learn the terminology and application of automotive mechanic tools, the operational theory, principles, and functions of all automotive engineering systems and the importance of compliance with the industry health and safety
regulations.

ESTHETICS

This program prepares you for a career as a professional esthetician in today’s high-demand
wellness industry. You will gain leading-edge skills in nail care, hair removal, skin care and body treatment in our brand new state-of-the-art Spa facility, and make valuable connections through fieldwork placement experience. Over 90% of our grads get hired in the industry prior to or within six months of graduation.

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GOOD NEWS:
EDUCATION FUNDING AVAILABLE

WHAT IS EDUCATION FUNDING?

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program that can help you pay for college or university.

 

OSAP offers to fund through:

  • grants: money you don’t have to pay back

  • a student loan: money you need to repay once you’re done school

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When you apply for OSAP, we automatically consider you for both grants and loans. If you don’t want to take a loan, you can decline it after your application is approved. There are also programs to help you repay your student loan once you’re done school.

WHAT EDUCATION FUNDING CAN HELP WITH?

OSAP can help you pay for:

  • tuition

  • books, equipment, and supplies

  • compulsory student fees charged by a school

  • living expenses (full-time students only)

  • childcare (for students with children)

WHO CAN AVAIL EDUCATION FUNDING?

OSAP is open to Ontario residents of any age who are:

  • Canadian citizens

  • permanent residents, or

  • protected persons

WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR EDUCATION FUNDING?

You may not be eligible for OSAP if you:

  • don’t meet the academic progress requirements

  • have enough financial resources, including other forms of government aid, to cover your expenses allowed by OSAP

  • report income on your OSAP application that’s significantly different from what you reported to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

  • have defaulted on a student loan

  • have a grant or bursary overpayments or multiple outstanding loan overpayments

  • failed a credit check

  • declared bankruptcy or a consumer proposal, or consolidation orders

  • have reached your lifetime limit of student loan funding (340 weeks of funding, 400 weeks of funding for doctoral studies, 520 weeks of funding for students with disabilities)

  • are an international student

Many people are concerned about how to finance education costs for college or for other types of training that can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars per year, depending on the educational institution selected. Graduate and professional school programs - such as those providing law school, business medical school or dental school training - can cost even more. This looming expense can be especially worrying if the students, or their parents, have not put aside sufficient savings to pay for their college. Worry no more!

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