NOW Magazine - Career Companion - - FRONT PAGE - BY KERRY KELLY Source: Pos­si­bil­i­ties On­line Em­ploy­ment Re­source Cen­tres www.poss.ca

1 > IT LOOKS GOOD ON A RE­SUME List­ing the lat­est soft­ware or a new lan­guage cer­ti­fi­ca­tion on your re­sume can make your ap­pli­ca­tion stand out. A pe­riod of train­ing also helps fill the gap in em­ploy­ment that oc­curs if you’ve been out of work for more than a few months. The em­ployer will no­tice that you chose to up­grade your skills and learn new ones, in ad­di­tion to pre­vi­ous work-spon­sored train­ing. This shows ini­tia­tive and in­tel­lec­tual cu­rios­ity. 2 > DIPLO­MAS DO MAKE A

DIF­FER­ENCE Most em­ploy­ers ex­pect ap­pli­cants to have a high-school di­ploma, and many want some level of post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion. If you never fin­ished high school you could be a few cred­its or a Gen­eral Ed­u­ca­tion Devel­op­ment (GED) test away from get­ting a job. Visit the web­site of the In­de­pen­dent Learn­ing Cen­tre (www.ilc.org) to find out more about earn­ing your high-school di­ploma. For those who want to add post-sec­ondary cred­its to their re­sume, col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties of­fer ac­cess to full and part-time stud­ies and con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams. To learn more visit the On­tario Min­istry of Train­ing, Col­leges & Uni­ver­si­ties web­site (www.edu.gov.on. ca /eng/gen­eral/post­sec/post­sec.html). 3 > IT MAY BE RE­QUIRED

Gov­ern­ment leg­is­la­tion and in­dus­try stan­dards change. Your pro­fes­sion or trade may now re­quire a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, or most em­ploy­ers sim­ply ex­pect it even if it’s not manda­tory. For ex­am­ple, a course in First Aid (www.sja.ca/) or the Work­place Haz­ardous Ma­te­ri­als In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem (www.hc-sc.gc.ca) may be a re­quire­ment of the job you want.


PLACES If you’re look­ing for em­ploy­ment in the same field as your last job, you may think you’re al­ready qual­i­fied. In fact, new, more ef­fi­cient ways of do­ing your job may have been cre­ated since you were trained. You may find that while you did most of your work us­ing one pro­gram or tool, other com­pa­nies use some­thing newer, or some­thing else en­tirely. Soft­ware changes fre­quently, and be­ing even a ver­sion or two be­hind can mean that you’re not as com­pet­i­tive as other job seek­ers.


You may not have fond mem­o­ries of sit­ting in a high-school class­room, but study­ing as an adult is dif­fer­ent. Most adult ed­u­ca­tion in­struc­tors know the value of group dis­cus­sion and in­ter­ac­tion when pre­sent­ing new ma­te­rial. Plus, once you get in the class­room, you may dis­cover that you have a knack for cre­at­ing spread­sheets, or some other un­tapped skill. Tak­ing cour­ses gives you a sched­uled rea­son to get out of the house and so­cial­ize with peo­ple who have sim­i­lar pro­fes­sional in­ter­ests. This is great for main­tain­ing and im­prov­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions skills and also pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to net­work. An­other bonus – cour­ses help you pri­or­i­tize tasks and work to a dead­line, which will keep your time-man­age­ment skills sharp for when you do go back to work

6 > IT MAY BE FREE If you are in re­ceipt of so­cial as­sis­tance or Em­ploy­ment In­sur­ance, there may be gov­ern­ment funds avail­able to you to up­grade your skills, or even to train for an en­tirely new ca­reer. If your pre­vi­ous em­ployer had a Labour Ad­just­ment Pro­gram, there may also be money avail­able for you to go back to school. In ad­di­tion, there are lo­cal non-profit agen­cies that of­fer free com­puter work­shops and other pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment cour­ses for lit­tle or no cost.

7 > YOU HAVE THE TIME If you’ve ever wanted to learn an­other lan­guage, im­prove your com­puter skills or up­grade in your trade, you know that adding ex­tra hours to your work day is a daunt­ing prospect. Be­ing be­tween jobs pro­vides a cer­tain amount of free time that can be used to fo­cus on stud­ies. Un­em­ploy­ment can cre­ate money or child care is­sues, but there are many night cour­ses and con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams of­fered by the City of T.O. (www.toronto.ca/), Toronto School Board (www.tdsb.on.ca) and Toronto Catholic Dis­trict School Board (www.tcdsb.org/). Dis­tance learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties also al­low you to learn on your sched­ule. Th­ese cour­ses can be for per­sonal in­ter­est and re­sume en­hance­ment or used to­wards com­plet­ing a high school or post-sec­ondary de­gree.

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