New and Notable Career Resources

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Join us this Friday, March 15 on the third floor of the Central Library for New and Notable Career Resources, a free program featuring Calgary Public Library Career Specialist Roberta Kuzyk-Burton highlighting new and notable career resources, including:

  • Career and Learning databases and resume builders, including Job and Career Accelerator
  • Social Media for Career Search: resources
  • Employer Research: Beyond Google

New and Notable Career Resources

Friday, March 15 • 11:45 am to 1:00 pm
Third Floor, Central Library, 616 Macleod Trail SE
No registration required • Coffee will be provided

New and Notable Career Resources is part of the Career Development Speaker Series, a monthly, noon hour speaker series on a variety of topics of interest to Calgary's Career Practitioners presented in partnership with the Career Development Association of Alberta. Members of the public are welcome to attend these sessions, which are held on the Third Floor of the Central Library on the 3rd Friday of each month

Paper Still Has Power

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During a recent Strategic Networking session at the Central Library, the hot topic was business card strategies. But that begged the question: Are they still effective and relevant?

Even amidst the growth of social media and apps, the consensus seems to be that they still hold value. In his recent Mashable post, Todd Wasserman maintains that paper isn't dead and still holds a vital role. For example, even with iPhone apps such as CardMunch that effectively digitize cards and save the information as a contact, the print business card still needs to be used.

A more valuable discussion might be how to capitalize on the use of the card. Ann Handley, in her great article in Entrepreneur, argues that cards are still a "vital part of the business landscape", especially if social networking links are employed, along with strong visuals and unique content. She even suggests ditching boring content such as your full street address, when your City will suffice.

Some authors have suggested controversial methods, such as including a picture that would match your professional photo on LinkedIn. In his article 10 Features of a Memorable Business Card, Brent Peterson adds that it's worth spending the extra money on color fonts. Business cards that stick in my mind are those where key competencies listed on the back side, a mini resume of sorts. The bottom line: make the card a personal and memorable reflection of who you are.

It seems they are here to stay, at least for now. I recently talked with a very tech savvy, young, IPhone toting colleague who surprised me with her penchant for business cards. She explained that to her, the exchange of business cards is still a valuable and memorable networking ritual. She noted that they are a tangible reminder of the person and transaction, not just data that lives in her phone. Ditto.

Your Career Development Agency

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Lisa Moon, ChampionsJoin us this Friday, February 22 on the third floor of the Central Library for Your Career Development Agency, a free program that will examine how to improve your career and employment related business.

The career and employment services industry faces constant financial cutbacks while faced with an increasing and increasingly-complex demand. Presenter Lisa Moon, Executive Director of Champions Career Centre, will join us for this lunch hour program to talk about ways career serving businesses can be more efficient, effective and profitable.

Your Career Development Agency
Friday, February 22
Central Library, Third Floor Open Area
11:45 am to 1:00 pm

Your Career Development Agency is part of the Career Development Speaker Series, a monthly, noon hour speaker series on a variety of topics of interest to Calgary's Career Practitioners presented in partnership with the Career Development Association of Alberta. Members of the public are welcome to attend these sessions, which are held on the Third Floor of the Central Library on the 3rd Friday of each month from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more information, call (403-260-2600) or email us.

The Upside of a Greying Population

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I was stumped at a recent career Lunch and Learn at the Central Library when career practitioners in the audience asked a great question:

What is the upside of an aging population, and where are the growth opportunities for Canadian industries?

While there is much written about the negative economic implications of a retiring boomer generation, we had a lively discussion over the potential positive aspects. Well, there's nothing Library staff love more than a good research challenge, so we set off to find out more.

In her Financial Post article "Boomers a Booming Investment," Patricia Lovett-Reid identified a list of key sectors that might well benefit from an aging population. She argues that companies who concentrate on providing services in health care, anti-aging and assisted living facilities might fare well.

Health care is no surprise, but what's interesting is that in the United States, companies have figured out that they need to deliver health care services in new ways, as many seniors want to manage and direct their care and have high expectations for service. According to the authors of Serving Aging Baby Boomers, clinics for education and care programs are appearing in retail locations such as supermarkets.

Big changes are coming to senior living as well. Boutique senior living is making headway, including onsite services such as travel agents, learning courses and even spas. Living the Boutique Lifestyle, by Alicia Jones, overviews a new type of services model and highlights opportunities for operators.

Today's seniors are also living more independent and healthier golden years that their predecessors, realizing that aging can be a positive, constructive and exciting journey. As a result, leisure and travel sectors are also poised to grow, given that this age group is also consuming and spending more than their grandparents did. As well, Lovett-Reid also predicts that companies that cater to the specific financial and investment needs of older clients will be able to take advantage of growing portfolios.

The opportunities for senior-related businesses are ripe for those with a little imagination and who know how to do their research. For help researching your business questions, contact our reference team at 403-260-2782 or centralinformationservices @ for help with your research, including details about accessing our many relevant online journals.

Get Noticed! Get Hired!

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Get Noticed! Get Hired—Searching For Work Online

The Calgary Public Library has partnered with Alberta Human Services to host Get Noticed! Get Hired—Searching For Work Online, a program featuring a panel discussion of employers, including the City of Calgary, Telus and Devon Energy, will focus on helping job seekers understand the electronic recruitment process and how they can harness the power of social media to help them in their job search. We asked Alberta Human Services a few questions about what will be covered in the program:

What was the impetus for this particular panel program? Are you finding that job seekers are not as up to speed with online job search techniques as they should be?

The Alberta Human Services Business and Industry Team have been discussing the new wave of popularity for recruiters to use social media for active recruitment. We have been getting feedback from both employers and job seekers that these practices may be creating barriers to success in the job search.

TELUS presented a unique opportunity when it offered to do an information session to job seekers on successfully navigating their recruitment site. The Business and Industry Team decided to take a few steps further and develop the panel discussion.

The intent is to give job seekers and career counselors inside information on how to successfully navigate corporate recruitment sites and to increase the effectiveness jobseekers social media profiles.

Are employers using social media and an electronic application process more often? What practical advice would you have for job seekers if so?

A large number of employers/organizations are using electronic application processes and emails for job seekers to apply for openings in their companies. In addition, recruiters are now actively seeking candidate matches for positions through social media sites.

The best advice we would give job seekers is to manage their social media pages and make sure that the content is something they would publish in a newspaper headline.

What is your best tip for job seekers looking to create a robust social media profile?

The one tip the team gives out is to make sure your online social profile describes the type of employee a company would want to hire.

Who will be on the panel? Will the participants have the opportunity to drop off resumes or ask specific questions after the program?

The panel members are Recruitment specialists and HR Managers. As the topic of the discussion is utilizing social media, we expect that job seekers will apply online for no resumes please. The Panel Presentation will have a question and answer segment and we encourage the people attending to ask questions.

We hope you can join us at the Central Library on the morning of Monday, January 28 for Get Noticed! Get Hired—Searching For Work Online.
Contact us at 403-260-2782 or centralinformationservice @ for more information.

Accounting and Finance Job$

by Roberta

On January 30, 2013, Calgary will be hosting the Accounting and Finance Career and Job Expo with over 45 companies in attendance. We talked with one of the event organizers, Lise Stransky from the Certified General Accountants Association of Alberta (CGA), to find out more about the event and the current state of the finance industry in Alberta:

Lise, there is above average employment growth projected for all major finance related occupations over the next five years. Was this expo organized partly because employers are finding it hard to fill finance related positions?

This is the first time we have organized this event and it is first big event that CGA and CMA (Certified Management Accountants of Alberta) have collaborated on since we merged associations in October. The expo was organized primarily to help our students find positions in order to fulfill their work experience required for designation. This, in turn, helps employers to find qualified accounting and finance professionals for their organizations. Anyone who is interested in positions in the accounting and finance field are invited to attend, whether they have a designation or not. It is an excellent way to do research on current and future opportunities, as well as learn more about getting an accounting designation.

Will companies be looking to hire at this event? Should attendees bring current resumes, or is it more an opportunity to network and learn more about the companies in attendance?

Both! Some companies will be there with an immediate need for candidates to fill current vacant positions. Other companies may not be hiring right now, but are there to source candidates for future positions. It is definitely an opportunity to network and learn more about the companies. Attendees can bring a resume, but they may hear “Apply Online” from many of the organizations in attendance. This can be discouraging, but my advice is – don’t get discouraged! Many organizations have systems in place to collect applications and resumes, so use the expo as an opportunity to gather as much information as possible, in order to create a customized, targeted resume. My advice is to bring a personal business card, and resist the urge to hand in a general resume. Take the opportunity to gather information, and submit a customized resume after the expo.

Lise, we have been told that recent and current education is vital for those in accounting fields, and that if jobs seekers have not taken an accredited course in the past 12 months, it may be a flag to employers. Is that true, and if so, is that the case for most positions in the finance sector?

Most positions in the accounting and finance sector require a designation (CGA, CMA or CA) or a designation in progress. A designation/designation in progress shows potential employers an individual’s commitment to professional development, ethics, trust, integrity and professional competency. For anyone who wants to grow and develop their career in the accounting and finance sector, a designation is essential. If you are looking to hold a position beyond junior level in accounting or financial management, you need an accounting designation.

Besides doing some research on the companies in attendance before the event (at the Library!), is there any advice you have for job seekers to help them make a stand out impression?

In order to prepare our attendees for the Expo, we have been sending them Career Fair Preparation tips. Anyone who registered for the expo has and will receive these tips, and I’ve selected a few as advice to help job seekers make a stand out impression:

  • Career Fair Preparation Tip #1: Know your strengths and skills and be able to talk and write about them. This helps you talk about yourself to employers and construct your resume.
  • Career Expo Preparation Tip #2: Do your research. On yourself. And on the employer. If you are not clear on what YOU have to offer, it will be difficult to convince an employer you have what it takes to work for them. Take some time now to do a self-assessment. Figure out who you are, what you do best, your employability skills and unique traits, the places and environment that give you energy, and the things that motivate you.
  • Career Fair Preparation Tip #3: What should you wear? We recommend business casual or business professional. You will be making a first impression on potential employers – dress the part!
  • Career Fair Preparation Tip #4: Conversation Tips. Have a great professional handshake and make eye contact when introducing yourself. After introducing yourself with your first and last name, exchange business cards with the recruiter. Ask valid questions applicable to the organization or industry. Let the recruiter take the lead in the conversation to avoid sounding as if you are “pitching” (or an annoying know it all).
  • Career Fair Preparation Tip #5: Follow Up after the event. Send a thank you. Follow up with the recruiter within two weeks after the expo. Reflect on your results at the expo. What might you have done more effectively?

Finally (and perhaps most importantly!)…

  • SMILE and BELIEVE in yourself!

STEM careers abound

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On Friday, January 18th at 11:45, the Central Library is pleased to host Where the Jobs Are, in conjunction with the Career Development Association of Alberta. Join Dan Kostka, contributor to Choices Explorer, as he highlights jobs experiencing growth and demand, and discusses some common features of those who've discovered and embraced a good career fit. We chatted with Dan to discuss his perspective:

Dan, you have profiled hundreds of careers for, the company that provides the Calgary Public Library and high schools with the popular career database, Choices Explorer. This company has always excelled at highlighting new and emerging occupations within Canada. What, in your opinion, are some of the careers currently experiencing the biggest demand?

Two broad areas that come immediately to mind are health care and technology. When it comes to health care, it's not just doctors and nurses that are in demand. There are many other positions that require less education, such as personal care aides and medical imaging technicians. These careers are also experiencing large shortages but don't receive as much attention. Many young people aren't even aware that these positions exist, and some require a certificate that can take less than a year to complete.

When I say technology, this applies to the health care field, of course, but also to any career that requires a solid grounding in the sciences. Every time I profile a technology-related career, the people I interview emphasize that in North America we're simply not producing enough graduates in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and math. It's simply amazing the number of doors that are open to someone with a solid grounding in the sciences. As with the health care field, technology careers don't necessarily require many years of training. For example, machinists are in great demand and in less than one year a person can get the necessary qualifications for many such positions.

What are some of the key economic and social indicators fueling this growth?

A big factor behind demand in many industries is the aging population. This affects an industry such as the health care field in two ways. First, the number of clients/patients is greatly expanding. Secondly, the practitioners themselves are aging and not enough young practitioners are entering the field to replace them all. This is also true for technology-related careers such as engineering. I recently interviewed a petroleum engineer who said it's common to refer to "The Great Crew Change" in regard to the number of senior workers in that industry who will soon be retiring.

Recent statistics point to the fact that Canadians now have an average of 8 careers in their lifetime. Do you find that people are more willing to take risks and try something new?

I think people's expectations are evolving. Young people no longer expect to stay with the same company for their entire career, or to have just one career. People in mid-career are also more likely to make a change or to have another career on the side. For example, I recently interviewed an energy trader who had a home staging business on the side. The energy trading gave her a good income, while the home staging was an outlet for her creativity (and potentially something that could evolve into a full-time source of income). I think we all want stability in our lives, but how we view it (and how to obtain it) is evolving. In the past, stability meant loyalty to a large organization that would be loyal to us and reward us in return. Now, stability is achieved by keeping our skills current, by having a large personal network, and perhaps by having more than one source of income. Achieving stability in this way requires a more proactive approach to our careers but allows us adapt to the changing marketplace.

A focused, tight resume is still key in landing that dream job. We understand that you have interviewed Martin Yate, the well-heeled author of our very popular Knock 'Em Dead Resumes, one of your favourite books. What advice really stood out for you, given his 25 years in the business?

Yate is a great example of my favourite kind of person to interview—someone who truly loves what he does. His books describe how to go after the job you want by ensuring your resume does its job effectively. But what really struck me in talking with him is how passionate he is about career advising. He used to be in a job that didn't fulfill him at all. When he discovered career advising, he threw himself into it and has become very successful as a result. I think this is inspiring for anyone who hopes to get into a career that utilizes their talents and energizes them.

Dan Kostka, B.A., J.D., is a freelance journalist and lawyer. He has profiled hundreds of careers for, a career exploration site subscribed to by schools across North America.

Finish What You Start

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A hot debate in the career field these days is whether LinkedIn profiles will eventually replace traditional resumes. While that might not happen in the very near future, it's clear that a complete, well written profile is an essential tool for job searchers, and that LinkedIn is increasingly being seen as a valuable under-the-radar recruiting tool. Why, then, do we meet so many people at the Library who open LinkedIn accounts and never complete them or capitalize on their potential?

The most obvious reason is time. Our experience is that it takes a minimum of six to eight hours to get your profile to a point where you wouldn't be nervous if a potential employer had a peek. The other consideration is learning yet another social media platform and understanding all the components. That's why the Library's books on LinkedIn are so popular, along with a multitude of online tutorials, blogs and websites such as Mashable. These sites can help explain features and changes, and offer tips on making your profile stand out and be found,

One of my favourite blogs is Viveka von Rosen's (formerly of Edmonton), who was recently named one of Forbes Top 10 Most Influential Women, and is the author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour A Day. She also has a website full of advice, including a recent article featuring her Best 23 LinkedIn Tips. One tip that stands out is her reminder to include all your expertise, publications and certifications in your profile. Many people forget to reflect and look back on all their key training, often because they decide it isn't relevant to include in their resume. But that is the beauty of LinkedIn: it can be a master resume that fully represents all the time and energy you have invested into your life and career.

Overwhelmed? Remember that Calgary Public Library has a variety of programs on LinkedIn, ranging from our popular two hour introduction on social networking and job search, and our more intensive five hour course. Help is always at hand - so finish what you start in 2013.

No More Mediocrity

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How To Ace a "Crazy Good" Interview

The world of interviewing is getting more complicated. In addition to Skype and panel interviews, job searchers now have the added complexity of deep generational gaps and stiff competition during the interview process. How does one stand out in a slew of interviewees, without appearing desperate?

Crazy Good Interviewing, a new, very readable book in the Library's career collection, features some unconventional ideas along with a sound approach towards applying a variety of techniques and skills to help ensure success. Despite the title, the author is not suggesting that wild behavior is in order. Instead, he uses anecdotes and case studies to guide the reader on how to break away from the ordinary and hum drum, and to make a meaningful impression and create "crazy" good connections.

Some highlights include:

1. The Power of Threes, an effective technique for answering an interviewer's open ended questions such as "What relevant experiences have prepared you for the job?"

2. An interviewing model called ACT Out for assessing strengths, communicating verbally and non verbally, and thanking and staying connected to the interviewer

3. Tyes of interviews, including phone, group, and Skype based, along with excellent tips such as remembering to alternate your gaze between the webcam and your computer monitor

The author, John B. Molidor, is the CEO/President for Michigan State University Flint Area Medical Education, and understands how communication styles and interviewing skills can complement each other. Recommended.

Mistletoe and Mingling

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As this is the season to mix and mingle, we are featuring our popular interview from last year with local management consultant Lisa Dare about networking strategies during the holidays. Here is some of what she had to say:

Lisa, we have heard that contrary to popular belief, Christmas holidays are actually a promising time to secure a new position. Do you agree?

That’s a great question and yes, it is a myth that holidays or quieter times of business aren't a good time to be looking for work. Consider that most job seekers mistakenly assume that activity slows down in companies and therefore decrease their search efforts. By virtue of that thinking, this creates less competition and easier entry into speaking with potential employers. At the moment, the job market is pretty hot as I spoke with several HR recruiters from the oil & gas industry last week who have not seen any decrease in their workload. Also, while people may not secure a position right away at this time, it’s still a good idea to have informational interviews and gather market information on various industries as people generally tend to be in a much more receptive frame of mind around the holidays.

Is it quantity over quality during big parties? Should the goal be to connect with as many people as possible?

I would always choose quality over quantity. There is a tendency towards thinking that the higher the number the better the odds. However, from a strategic point of view, it is important to consider the best use of time and resources. Are you better off handing out your business card to 50 people whom you may not remember, or speaking with 5 or 6 people with whom you made a strong connection and then continuing to build those relationships? People will also find that by investing time in cultivating those relationships, the numbers will come—that’s the power of networking combined with strong relationship building skills.

What about party etiquette when someone is networking? For example, is it wise to stay clear of the rum and eggnog?

It’s important to remember that in these types of events you are always “on.” Be aware of what type of image and impression you are conveying to the public. It is not to say that you shouldn’t be yourself but depending on the context of your situation, it might be wise not to over imbibe as you want to be able to put your best self forward and not an altered version of yourself. There are many an office party story that has resulted in unfortunate outcomes for both staff and managers alike—you want to steer clear of becoming one of those characters.

Do you have any other networking advice over the holiday season?

While it is important to continue your efforts over the holidays, don’t forget to take time out for yourself. Ensure that you have sufficient time to attend to yourself and those around you as well as continuing with your job search. Look for different opportunities and events that are connected to what you are looking for. In addition, volunteer opportunities, community events, spousal parties and events within your network may also hold possibilities so be open to all opportunities. Most importantly—stay positive. This is the season to reflect on what we are grateful for and look forward to greater possibilities.

Lisa Dare is a management consultant, leadership & executive coach, and facilitator. She is also the incoming president of the Calgary Association of Professional Coaches and a volunteer with the Central Library’s Strategic Networking program that runs every Thursday evening at the Central Library. She can be reached at

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