Sharpening your job-hunting skills Accessing and using resources and support when looking for work

Been job hunting for awhile, with no luck? The truth is, there are a lot of people looking for work in this city.

According to Statistics Canada, as of January 2016 Edmonton is facing a 6.2 per cent unemployment rate, up from 4.4 per cent a year ago. This means the number of unemployed Edmontonians has risen from roughly 34,000 to 51,000. While these statistics may paint a grim picture of Edmonton’s employment landscape, there are resources available to support you in your search.

Adult education specialist Julie McCrea is offering two-hour workshops in April and May at the Alberta Avenue Community League. Her first workshop teaches people how to create a professional resume and cover letter. Introductory computer skill workshops for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word will follow, as well as short resume review sessions.

McCrea said she recognizes that in today’s lagging economy “there’s a lot more competition for jobs,” so it’s important to “catch the attention of employers.” She said she’s hoping that these workshops will help local job seekers “make themselves a priority” and craft applications that get noticed.

The Government of Alberta is another great place to look because they offer a number of online resources. For instance, the Alberta Learning Information Services (ALIS) website can connect you with over 200 job banks, information on career and job fairs, company and industry research to help focus your job search, and information on financing your education.

Through ALIS you can also access Alberta Work Search Online to learn how to use the Internet to search for jobs; E-Resume Review Service to make sure your resume is working for you; and the Career Information Hotline to talk to a career advisor.

Another helpful website is OCCinfo. This website allows you to  research different jobs and find details about the duties, working conditions, educational requirements, employment outlook, and salary ranges for careers that interest you.

When you’re ready to start planning your career path, head to CAREERinsite to create a personal career plan by completing self-assessment quizzes and exercises to learn more about your skills, abilities, and suitable jobs.

The Government of Alberta also puts out publications covering topics like: What you Need to Know to Get and Keep a Job, Work Search Basics, and A Guide for Midlife Career Moves. You can also find targeted resources for Aboriginal, immigrant, disabled, low literacy, and student and youth audiences online.

Drop by your local Alberta Works Centre to access employment services and career resources (there’s one in Northgate Centre), or go to your nearest Edmonton Public Library branch.

A number of employment centres are located downtown, including the MCG Employment Centre, Bredin Employment Centre, and BGS Assessment Centre. These places can guide you through the process of finding a job. Plus, BGS Career and Corporate Development offers free career development workshops, including a three-day career planning workshop, and single day resume, interview, and work search workshops.

SPECIALIZED JOB & CAREER RESOURCES

Disability

Aboriginal

Immigrant

Jessica MacQueen

Jessica is a recent transplant to Alberta Avenue, and Chair of the Rat Creek Press board.

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