Equitable Hiring Practices and Disclosure: What should I say?

When a job ad says the organization prioritizes applications from underrepresented groups (and lists them), should you identify that you are a part of any/some of those groups in your application? What about in the case of disabilities including mental illness?
The problem with self-disclosure even in instances where companies are striving to use more equitable hiring practices, is that employers can appear to, and even believe that they are satisfying their mandate to hire diverse employees while still discriminating by choosing among "preferred” barriers to employment.

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The Benefits of an Entry Level Job

We so often hear people referring to the concept of the ‘dream job’. Whether measured by responsibilities, status, income or additional benefits, the dream job tends to be more of a long term goal for most of us. But first, we must conquer the entry level job to get our feet wet, learn to manage employer expectations, customer complaints, deadlines, workplace politics, and job-related challenges.  

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Interviewing: From Ok to Awesome in Five Steps

As an Employment Counsellor, a major part of my job is coaching people on job interviews. I have the benefit, in this job, of having personally been in more job interviews than most people will in a life time. When I was younger, I worked as a seasonal labourer and had to find a new job every winter when I got laid off from my summer gig. Over the years I have worked in customer service roles, print production, restaurants, general labour, in education, publicity and, even for a little while, as a junior forest ranger. Interviewing has just always been a part of my life. Over the years I have learned five reasonably simple things that have had a major impact on my interview skills. Doing these things won’t be a complete substitute for good preparation, but if practiced as part of your interview prep they can give you much more control over interview situations.

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How to Decide When You Need a Cover Letter

We are routinely asked by clients if a cover letter is necessary when applying for a job. Let’s face it, no one enjoys writing cover letters and while it may appear to be repetitive, as your relevant information is already on your resume, a cover letter is a very useful to tool to help you further highlight your ‘fit’ for both the position and the company. Being specific regarding the department or position you wish to pursue, your unique qualifications, and attributes that complement the position can help you get one step closer to obtaining the job.
When trying to determine the value of pairing a cover letter with a resume, we suggest you follow these tips.

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“This is Life Altering!”

Most of us take for granted the access that we have to technology, resources, products and services. This is not the case for everyone and, for those with a disability; the world can be a very different place. Imagine going to a restaurant and having to choose your dinner by the pictures because you cannot read the menu. Imagine the challenge of trying to write down the details for an upcoming interview or applying for a job online in a timed format. In a competitive job market, a certain level of literacy is required and even those with passion, skills, personality and a post-secondary education can be left behind if the proper resources are not available.

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How Labour Market Information Can Prepare Us for the Future

As Career Practitioners, we are often asked “Where are the jobs?” In the pre-digital world, that was a bit easier to predict, however recent statistics have indicated that, “By 2030, the majority of jobs that will be in demand do not even exist yet” (Ontario Centers of Excellence Advancing Education Program). That statement alone can be very distressing or motivating, depending on your life perspective. What does become clear is that our ability to embrace lifelong learning, be adaptable and multi-skilled will better position us for the careers of the future.
We know that the employment landscape continues to change with a decrease in long-term full-time positions to an increase in self-employment, contract and remote work. Rohit Talwar – Fast Future (2017) cites, “Canadians entering the work force today can expect to hold 40 different jobs in ten completely different career paths in their lives.” That is a long way from the full-time permanent jobs available in the generation before us. Given the fact that, “51 percent of people are staying at a job for less than two years” (Workopolis, 2017), the concept of choosing a forever career is not as feasible as it once was. The world is changing and, like it or not, we must keep up in order to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.

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