Work Prep is recruiting New Members to join our team!

 

The Regina Work Preparation Centre is a non-profit, charitable, community-based organization specializing in helping people look for, find and maintain work.  We have served Regina and the surrounding area for more than 40 years and have worked with over 20,000 clients.

Every day, job seekers utilize our services to help them reach their employment goals.  We meet each individual where they are at and provide them with the opportunity to explore their strengths and goals on their journey to employment.

Every day, we meet the changing needs of job seekers, the local economy, the labour market and the community. We are developing employees, future employers, consumers and taxpayers.

At Work Prep we make a difference.

Interested in who we are and want to join us?  Work Prep is currently recruiting board members to join our team. The Board of Directors of Work Prep is a governance board that directs the organization.

 

The objectives of the Board of Directors are:

  • To ensure the efficient, effective and ethical operation of Work Prep;
  • To support Work Prep staff and policies; and
  • To hire the Executive Director and other direct reports to the Board.

 

The board meets 10 times per year, including the annual general meeting. We are currently recruiting for the following positions:

Member at Large:

Responsibilities include:

  • Participate in sub-committees;
  • Represent broader community interests on the Board; and
  • Transition into Executive positions when appropriate.

Work Prep is looking for you! Our strategic plan is inclusive to support a diverse workforce and Board of Directors. We encourage people from all backgrounds and experiences to apply to become a Member at Large.

Interested candidates can forward their resume and expression of interest to aboha@workprep.ca.

Should You Put Your Street Address on Your Resume?

By Marla Bengert, CM

 

Resume trends come and go, if you don’t believe me check this out:

 

And this!

 

 

https://hopestreet.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/nov-13-1970-jobless/

 

 

 

All of the content in the resume above was perfectly acceptable to include at the time the resume was written.  The main reason for including all the content fit under the category “employers want to know those things”.  Resumes are supposed to get you screened in for a face-to-face interview so including information employers want is a good practice.  Or is it?

 

But, what if including the information employers want gets you screened out?  William’s resume says he’s 60 years old, at the time his resume was written employers wanted, and expected to see that information on a document.  Absence of it might be cause for disregarding the application entirely.  Today, it would never be included because his age, number of children, height, weight and religion have NOTHING to do with the job he is applying for.  So . . . . . . what about putting your street address on your resume – certainly that has nothing to do with the skills required to do the job, but there are some good reasons for including it, and equally as many good reasons for leaving it off.  So consider this:

 

Put Your Street Address On Your Resume:

 

  1. Employers expect to see it. To some employers, it may appear you are trying to hide something if you don’t include it.

 

  1. It’s only been recently street or mailing address have started coming off resumes. Excluding it “feels like something is missing”.

 

  1. Including your address lets employers know you are a local candidate, you have an established residence. It also tells employers how close you live to where you might be working if they hire you.  Short commutes are appealing to employers, especially in sprawling cities.

 

  1. What’s the harm? On-line applications where you fill in a form have “Address” as a required field, if you want to apply for the job you have to include it or the system will give a message that you did not complete a required field and you cannot move forward in the application process until it is filled in.

 

  1. In surveying my colleagues here are some of their responses in favour of having your street address on your resume:

 

“Employers want to know how far away they (candidates) live from the location they would be working, which may indicate their ability to get to work.  I’m firm on teaching students to put their address on their resume, I wouldn’t want them to limit employment opportunities over something like this”.

 

“Hiring Managers/Site Supervisors need the information to determine how close geographically the applicant is to the worksite for transportation reasons.  Applying to a large company is often done online; digital resumes are often submitted to a head office in another province and will always request a home address:  Without the proper address and contact information, it is a hindrance and definitely limits a person’s opportunity within a specified radius of hiring.”

 

“There is no need or purpose for your street address but employers who are accustomed to seeing an address may automatically screen you out if it’s not there.  Including your street address may increase your chance of landing the interview with these employers”.

 

As an employer who hires family care providers– I appreciate knowing the address because then in the interview I can gather information about how they will get to work for 6:15 am if they live across the city from me.  Essentially if they don’t have a plan I question whether I hire them. By the same token if they live close to me I will often offer them fill in shifts if someone cancels at the last minute first.

 

 

Don’t Put Your Street Address On Your Resume:

 

  1. For those who worry about identity theft, sending your physical address to someone in response to an advertisement may seem risky.

 

  1. In this electronic age, some hiring managers may view the inclusion of a physical address old fashioned.

 

  1. If you plan is to relocate for employment you may get screened out in favour of a local candidate.

 

  1. In my “googling’ of this topic, I discovered a few things I hadn’t thought of regarding the inclusion of your physical address:
    1. Economic Profiling – one site actually quoted an employer saying if he does the economic demographics of where an applicant lives he can use that info. as leverage in salary discussions.
    2. Demographic Profiling – The practise of “labeling” certain areas of cities and demonstrating biases based on the people who live in those areas.

 

  1. Including your address invites biases and given that there is a growing trend for companies to engage in “blind hiring” (google the term, there is a ton of info. out there if you are interested) the last thing a company wants is to be accused of bias in the recruiting process.

 

  1. Your street address has nothing to do with your ability to do the job you are applying for. NOTHING!

 

  1. In surveying my colleagues here are some of their responses in favour of leaving your street address off your resume:

 

“I can see the benefits of not having it on your resume depending where you live and employer’s mental models of certain neighbourhoods.”

 

When I consider sharing information on a resume, I ask, “what is the need or purpose of the information” and “does sharing the information get you closer or further from your intended goal of landing an interview”. The answer varies depending on the individual, the position and the employer.  When I apply this to the question of including your street address, I would side with leaving it off but including your city and province.”

 

Until recently I had my street address on my resume.  Lately I’ve considered it a privacy concern, similar to how my phone number is in the phone book without my address listed– just my opinion

 

So where does this leave us?  Well, I called Human Rights and posed this question to them “Can an employer require your street address on applications”?  “The short answer is YES, but they cannot screen you out based on where you live – but you would need proof that they did that”.

 

Next, I made 2 employer contacts (one large company, one smaller one) and I asked them “do you like to see the applicant’s address on their job applications.  Charles Siman, HR at Conexus Credit Union said “none of the information in the header of a resume influences whether or not we interview them.  We care about their skills for the job, we don’t care about where they live or how they will get to work.  We contact people for interviews by phone or e-mail”.  Laurel Mattison, of Hiring Hands, said: “their street address has no bearing on whether or not I interview them, but I do like to know if they live in Regina/the surrounding area”.

 

Finally, I made one more connection –Kayla Kozan, Director of Marketing with Ideal.com.  (https://ideal.com/product/), a company that uses “artificial intelligence” for helping their clients do recruiting.  Indigo Books is one of their biggest customers.

 

Here’s what she said:

“Hmmmm, I probably don’t have the conclusive answer you were looking for – I would be hesitant to say definitively leave the address off because we’re actually doing research on that right now. 

Basically, we are scrubbing the addresses and names from resume data (sometimes called “blind hiring) to see how it influences who gets an interview and eventually who gets hired (with the hypothesis that this practice will be more equitable and encourage more diversity on teams).  If you Google “blind hiring” there are a lot of good resources about the same method we are experimenting with!  If I had to choose I would say the best practice is probably to write the city but not your address – so the person reading the resume knows that you live in the same city as the job but does not need to know the exact address which could potentially lead to bias.”

 

This gives us lots to think about right?  My best advice is to do what is right for you.  Do what will give you the best chance of being screened in for an interview.  Not every job application situation will be the same.  You can send ten resumes out with your address and one out with out it, and vice versa.

 

If I were looking for a job (which I’m not, I already have the best job I could possibly have) my header would look like this.

 

       Marla Bengert

myemail@gmail.ca       ∫       mylinkedin@linkedin.ca        ∫    306-757-9096

          Regina, Saskatchewan

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  I encourage you to share your comments and experiences.

 

Employability Skills Checklist – What Employers Say Are Fundamental Skills Required for Job Success

by Cindy Leggott

Job searching in the current labour market is nothing short of tough and frustrating.  As the lead Facilitator in the Youth Employment Readiness Program, many participants ask the question “How do I know what an employer wants from me?” Here is a summary of research done by the Conference Board of Canada regarding the top 5 skills employers say are the most essential skills employees need in order to gain and maintain employment.

 

  1. Communicate – It is important to remember effective workplace communication does not just mean how well you speak. According to this research, being able to effectively communicate employees need to:
  • Able to read and understand information that is given
  • Speak and write in ways that co-workers can understand
  • Listen well and ask questions for clarification
  • Share information where appropriate

 

  1. Manage Information Responsibly – Employers suggest that managing information can take a combination of professional and personal focus. After all, people are a package deal with professional and personal roles they play every day. Employers suggest employees show strong skill when can balance their life roles and:
  • Contribute to your team by sharing information and expertise where appropriate
  • Learn workplace technologies that assist in gathering and organizing information
  • Set goals and priorities in a way that provides you with a work-life balance
  • Plan and manage your time to get daily tasks completed

 

  1. Think and Solve Problems – This may be difficult when you first start a new position but don’t panic. Within the first 3 months of a new job, you will have witnessed problem-solving in action and have a better “feel” for problem-solving methods that will work in your particular job role.  Employers suggest the most important skills for an employee to be able to use are:
  • Assess situations and identify potential problems
  • Identify root causes of problems and be prepared to work through potential solutions
  • Be ok with conflict because sometimes conflict can lead to creative solutions that work

 

  1. Demonstrate A Positive Attitude – Over my professional career, I have heard so many employers say “If an employee has a positive attitude I can train them to do a job. I can’t train attitude.  Here is a condensed list of what employer’s told Employability 2000+ shows a positive attitude:
  • Feel good about yourself and be confident
  • Handle your job with honesty, integrity and professional and personal ethics
  • Take care of your personal health
  • Recognize your own efforts as well as the efforts of co-workers
  • Show appropriate initiative and effort

 

  1. Work with Others – Teamwork can be rewarding but it also can be challenging. Be assured that both sides of teamwork are normal.  Skill around being an effective team member suggests you can:
  • Be Flexible
  • Work within a group
  • Show interest, motivation and effort
  • Recognize and respect the diversity and the different perspectives of each individual team member
  • Provide feedback in a considerate, constructive manner

 

Sometimes when we are working at demonstrating skills it can feel awkward or give us a nervous feeling.  However, if we can think ahead of time of a mental picture of how we could display these skills the skills and your personal confidence to do them effectively will become more natural with practice.  In the Youth Employment Readiness Program participants often struggle with what these essential skills look like.  If this sounds like you here is a suggested activity you might try:

 

Activity Idea

As you read and reflect on how you can demonstrate these essential skills to employers, I encourage you to think about a time you have been working with others.  This could be at work, volunteering or as a member of a sports team.  What were the people you were with doing or saying that made you feel valued or an important part of the team?  Chances are if you have had experiences feeling valued you have seen some of these essential skills in action and can apply them to employment success.

 

Please note the information in this article is adapted from the websites of the Conference Board of Canada. The complete article can be found at https://www.conferenceboard.ca/spse/employability-skills.aspx

 

If you need support or guidance to improve your Employability Skills please contact Regina Work Preparation Centre.  Our staff and programming options may be just what you need to start you on an employment journey that works for you.

 

Free will and First impressions

When I was first told I would be doing my practicum placement (internship) at Regina Work Prep, I had never heard of the place. I was filled with apprehension at the idea of working at a place that I knew nothing about. My first google search didn’t tell me much and I arrived for my interview feeling… well… grumpy. Even though people say that “an interview is for both parties to make a decision”, we all know the feeling that an interview brings and it’s not particularly one of free will.

Everything about my attitude changed after my first visit to the office. I was greeted with a smile and had a chance to sit down and get my bearings before my interview. My interview was with Ashley (Executive Director) and Kathy (Program Manager) and their enthusiasm for the work that their team does make me want to jump on board immediately. I could tell that they cared about their clients, employees, community, and me; even though they didn’t know me yet. My overall first impression of Work Prep was that it was a place of positivity and teamwork. Needless to say, I decided to come back.

As I went through my practicum, we talked a lot about first impressions of our office space. The organizational self-awareness that the Work Prep team strives to have is what makes them the kind of place that people want to come back to. While services are open to the public, some clients are sent to Work Prep by other means. Often, the free will of the potential client’s situation is taken away. The team strives to give free will back to their clients at every opportunity. Without collaboration and the sharing of ideas, no plan is moved forward. This level of respect is offered as a first impression and remains consistent over the course of engaging in services.

To engage with people so that they want to come back to a sometimes-mandated service requires specific skills that the Work Prep team is quick to share. This is not just a place to find a job, it’s a place to find opportunities that will enhance your employability for years to come. The options are almost endless when it comes to deciding what services will look like for you. You will be asked to ask yourself what it is that you need to reach your goals.

Looking for a job is hard and looking for a job on your own is even harder. At Work Prep, clients will find allies who will stand by them, regardless of how long the process takes. The method is never to drag someone through plans made by a so-called “expert” but rather to come alongside each other and exchange ideas and knowledge. The staff are experienced on both a professional and personal level, many of them having come full circle from being previous clients of Work Prep themselves! They understand the struggle and work to understand each individual client’s unique position and goals.

As a practicum student, I got to see Work Prep through many different lenses. I had a chance to be an outsider with ideas fresh out of school, I was looking for a paying job myself and thus got the help of the best team around, and I was treated as an equal team member on projects and in meetings. I also spent a lot of time out in the community, networking with other agencies. I learned about their services, and they also provided insight as to how they see their work connecting with Regina Work Prep. It was beyond interesting to see the different ways that we can work together to move ourselves forward.  I can truly say that from every angle, Work Prep has a great team who are just waiting to share their knowledge and support. My life has been forever changed by their connections and teachings. I hope that yours can be too.

By Laura, Internship Student, UofR

Welcome to Work Prep

Welcome to Work Prep, and thank you for visiting.

We are so thrilled to roll out our new, updated website and use it as a tool to continue telling the Work Prep story.  Please take a look around and get to know us better.

If you take a minute to look through our pages, you will get to see about our 40+ year history, our Work Prep Spirit, our team, our partners and our current services available to individuals in, or transitioning to the Regina community.  We are here to support you, whether you are on your journey to employment, a community agency supporting individuals, or an employer looking for employees.

Why is a community based, charitable, not-for-profit who assists individuals in their journey to employment important?

There are many reasons that individuals work each day or desire work as a goal for their future.  Consider some of these things:

    • Does it, or could it give you purpose? Confidence? Knowledge and experience?
    • Does it, or could it provide your family with financial stability?  What does that look like for you?
      • Does that look like a stable roof over your head?  
      • Food on the table for your kids?  
      • The ability to register them in sports? Building their confidence and ability to work with others?
      • What about stress? If you’re financially stable your stress levels are certainly lower.  Could that clear up your mind to help your kids with their homework at night? Or read a story at bedtime? Or maybe it might allow you to take the time to work on reaching your personal goals?
    • Does work, or could work give you the ability to participate in your community?  Give back? Maybe that looks like volunteering or donating, or simply going to the library, or being a part of our city and the many wonderful activities there are.

We Can Help

Our dedicated, professionally trained staff are here to support this journey to employment with no cost to individuals accessing the services thanks to our funders.  

Work Prep has been around for over 40 years, assisting over 20,000 individuals during this time.  While we feel that we are a staple in the community, we often hear that we are not well known to the general public.  In an effort to improve this, we will be posting regular blog posts each month, with each one of our team members contributing to share their knowledge, expertise and thoughts on their work.

We are looking forward to sharing a little of us, with each of you, every month.  

My small piece of advice or wisdom to share today is:

“Finding your passion in your career should be a lifelong goal; don’t be afraid to take small steps or opportunities to get there and be willing to accept change.  Sometimes, passions might change or adjust as you grow and learn more about who you are, don’t let that scare you away from continuing this journey.  As you work towards this lifelong goal, remember that sometimes finding the most fulfilling things in life take time, experience and lots of lessons, try not to get frustrated along the way. “

I was fortunate to find my passion in Work Prep, early in my career when I least expected it.  The team at Work Prep—my colleagues—helped me (and still do) to grow and learn how I could truly love what I do every day while supporting my family, and working towards my personal goals. Hopefully, we can share this with you.

Ashley+