Thursday, November 29, 2012

Avoiding Workplace Gossip

Everyone hears it and most of us have had some part in spreading it but if you're saying something about someone that you wouldn't say in their presence... then it's gossip!

Workplace gossip is not necessarily something you would want to engage in and it should be avoided at all costs especially in the workplace where it can compromise your professionalism and integrity.

You know that saying: "Its a small world"?... this pertains to the workplace too. 

  • resentment                                                           
  • rivalries
  • self conscienceness
  • unnecessary tension
  • lack of group cohesiveness
  • negative effects on teamwork and productivity
As you can see, there are some serious reprecussions to engaging in workplace gossip and it is so prevalent and hard to avoid so I wanted to let you know about it and to provide you some helpful tips in preventing it!  I hope in knowing you will be able to easier recognize signs and learn some preventative measures.

Here are some strategies you may be interested in employing if you find your self faced with similar uncomfortable situations:
  • Encourage open communication thus preventing workplace gossip to form in the first place 
  • Change the subject to something more positive and preferablly work related
  • Ignore it or fade it out trying of course not to be rude about it
  • Politely say to the gossipers that you do not think this subject would be appropriate at work. Try maybe framing it in a way that depicts your interest so you are not attacking them (ex. I am sorry but this topic makes me feel uncomfortable).
  • Approach supervisor and ask her to mention something in a meeting or on a bulletin that is overarching and does not target anyone specifically, but rather as something that has been noticed
  • Finally, if the problem persists contact supervisor with a name and information on what you have been noticing specifically

We can all help in trying to stop gossip from spreading. It is hard to not engage in gossip.
While some information you could gain while gossiping is certainly interesting, it will not be life changing or necessary for your development. In fact, as we have shown it will likely be more detrimental than anything else.


I want to let you all know that career services is having another contest!! JACK'S HOLIDAY CONTEST for a chance to win $50 at the bookstore. All you have to do is dress up Jack in an outfit that is reminiscent of your families holiday festivities.

I know this is a lot of information for a Thursday, the last Thursday of class no less. Which if your like me, you are probably rejoicing!! Woot woot!

Remember Career Services will be open the entire exam period (9am-4pm)if you have questiosn about workplace gossip or need someone to talk to about any and all career related quandries.

Best of luck,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Proper Workplace Behavior 101

Whether or not you enjoy your current job it is important to uphold a positive reputation within the company. Not only should you keep yourself in line in order to maintain your position  but also to secure a solid reference for future jobs. Part-time jobs are not meant for slacking - building a positive relationship with co-workers and your boss can go a long way!

Below are a number of obvious but important things to keep in mind during your work shifts:

  • Stay off your cell phone!
    • We can all admit to having an issue with this. During a long (and especially boring) shift it's so tempting to check your phone or text your significant other. However, this is a serious offense in many workplaces and could lower your employers opinion of you - or worse, get you fired.
  • Check your Facebook on your break or wait until you get home
    • This is just as important as not checking your cell phone. Checking your Facebook is the best thing you can do if you're looking to get fired. Unless you are a social media coordinator save updating your status until you get home.
  •  Stay on task
    • It's great to have a good relationship with your co-workers but don't let socializing get in the way of the work you're getting paid to do!
  •  Get to know your boss
    • Make an effort to talk to your supervisor. Having a good working relationship with them will make your time at work easier for the both of you.
  •  Arrive on time
    • And if you're going to be late - call ahead! But try really hard to get to work about 15 minutes before your shift starts. This will allow you to properly prepare (ie. grabbing a coffee and checking your personal email!) before your shift starts.
Obvious but important things to remember!

 - Ashley

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why Compile A Portfolio? 5 Benefits

A portfolio is one of the hidden treasures in the world of career documents. In the Career Resource Centre we always vouche for students creating career portfolios; but why? Many of the customers we serve tend to be confused about what a porfolio could possibly be used for - what's the benefit to them?

Good question.

It's just a start, but here are 5 amazing benefits of compiling a portfolio:
  1. You are able to organize your own thinking about your career development. It's incredible how once you have all of your documents in one place (and organized by section!), you are more able to clearly see how your experiences have culminated to what you've been working towards all this time.
  2. It will assist in the presentation of your qualifications, skills, experiences and achievements. What better way to show off all of your hard work than to have it all in one place? Portfolios also serve as a great memory aid to remind you just how many things you've done so far in your academic or professional career.
  3. It will give you an advantage over other job seekers. Portfolios, if used properly, can make potential employers remember you over other applicants. By flagging exactly what you'd like to show them and offering the concrete examples of your experiences in your portfolio it will definitely make you stand out.   
  4. A portfolio increases your credibility by providing documentation that backs up your resume. Having tangible evidence that supports your achievements can really validate everything you include on your resume. Things like certificates, job performance reviews, awards, or writing samples can all work to provide an employer or educational institution the documentation they need that directly attests to the information you provided in your resume.
  5. Portfolios are a great networking tool. Sometimes it becomes difficult describing an experience to another professional only using your words. Your portfolio can provide another person with a more in-depth look at your accomplishments which can push that individual to make a professional connection with you based on a better, more visual, representation of your skills.
Convinced yet?
I knew you would be!

Stop by the Career Resource Centre for information on how to get started on creating your very own portfolio.

Remember, it's only to your benefit!
- Lia

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Graduating this school year (or next)? Anticipating further education or entry into the work force? Wondering what your next steps after graduation are? Well then don't miss out on this year's SMART FINISH 2013! From seminars on further education, to building a network, using social media in job search and useful strategies for paying back your OSAP, this conference has everything you need to finish your degree smart!

When? Saturday, January 19th, 2013
Time? 8:30-4:30pm
Cost? $20! with lunch provided :)
How to Register? Career Zone!

This event was a huge success last year so make sure to mark it on your calendar! Spaces fill up fast so keep an eye on Career Zone for the registration date! If you have any questions for how to prepare or what to expect, feel free to drop by the Career Resource Centre from 9-4:30pm, Monday to Friday and any of the Career Assistants would be happy to help you out!

See you soon!

Sr. Career Assistant

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grad School Applications

Last year at this time I watched as all of the students, who had plans of pursuing post-grad programs, started to get stressed with all of the application procedures and deadlines; which, in some cases, are different for each school.

Fast-forward to this year and I am in their position while some of the other career assistants in the centre are watching me stress as I did to others last year.

I however, as a career assistant, feel that I am pretty knowledgeable about the steps involved in applying to grad school, so I started my process early! And now I am going to share some of that knowledge with you in hopes that it might relieve some stress if you are in the process of applying and that it might prepare you if you will be applying this or next year.

Also, if you are feeling overwhelmed, I want to let you know that you are not alone in that, and that this process is a very difficult one for everyone who has to go through it!

Seriously though, most of the processes are very intricate. While all programs require different things, here is a list of some important things common to almost all grad applications which you should start considering and preparing:
1. Transcripts
  •  These can be ordered through your portal and they cost $12 each
2. Letter of Intent/Personal Statement
  • If you do not know the difference or want resources on how to write one or both of these ducoments come into the resource centre and we can give you some tips and suggestions
3. Test Scores
  • most of these tests can be taken year long and multiple times
  • Once you take the test or before you book it make sure to see when the applications for the program are due because you will need to include your test mark in your application
4. CV
  • we have CV guidelines in the centre if you would like help writing one!
5. Online Application Component
6. Online Payment
7. References
  • Each program will say what it is they would like from the references
  • It is important that you talk with some professors or professionals-which one you use will depend on the program- and have them agree to be a reference for you
  • Once they have agreed they will either need to fill out a form online which you have to send them, or the program you are applying to will send them a form which they will need to fill out and send to  the program
  •  It will be your job to stay on top of your references to make sure that they submit your information by the deadline
8. Lastly find out if you are eligible for scholarships/ Grad funding
  • This isn't a necessary step; but, it does help to off-set the cost of grad school and allows you to focus on your research by giving you enough money so that you don't have to work
  • Some of these applications also require things such as reference letters, research proposals, etc and take quite a while to complete so make sure you find out when they are due (the due dates are on the Grad Studies website) so that you can leave yourself ample time to complete them

It would be impossible for me to be able to tell you guys the due dates for every program because there are so many programs you can apply to which all have very different application due dates. But I will list some of the due dates to the more common programs which I hope will help!
If the program you are hoping to get into is not listed, I would recommend going on the Grad Studies site of the institution and looking up your specific program to find out when your program's application is due.
Most of this information was taken from the OUAC website, where, if your interested, you can find even more information about some of these processes!
Medical School--> October 1, 2012 (already passed!!)
Dental School--> Western and U of T = December 1, 2012
Law School--> November 1, 2012 for first year students, May 1, 2013 for upper year students
Master of Business--> @ Brock = rolling admission.. for April 2013 start, apply by March 30, 2013
Teacher's College--> Decomber 3, 2012 (for applications), December 10, 2012 (for money order or electronic payment and all supplementary application forms and the experience profile)
ORPAS (for OT, PT, AUD, SLP) --> January 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm
I know that I have just presented a lot of information but be sure to consult the Grad School Office of the school you wish to apply to in order to find out the specifics of the application process.
Hopefully, now that you have all of this wonderful information at your finger tips, you can go through the process with less stress.
One can only hope :)
All the best with your endeavours! And remember everyone at Career Services will be happy to assist you in preparing your documents if you want some extra help. If you would like further or more specific assistance than feel free to contact the program coodinator for the program you wish to apply to who will be pleased to answer any of your questions. If you are applying to a Brock program than most answers can be found on the Grad Studies website.
So if you aren't applying to the same program as me, then I wish you the best of luck and hope that you get in where you want to!
Good luck,

Senior Career Assistant

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teaching Resumes: Preparing for Future Employment

So you’re looking to become a teacher! You've got some great experience on your resume, but you're not sure how to format this into a TEACHING resume.

Teaching resumes are slightly different than the traditional resumes that you may be used to creating. Below is a list of differences that you should aware of when you begin constructing your document:

  • Teaching resumes are generally 1-2 pages in length, including your references on the bottom. For those of you with a little more experience, if you go onto a third page with your teaching resume, that's usually okay.
  • References should be individuals that have witnessed you working/volunteering in a teaching environment (i.e. principle, teacher, etc.). Unlike regular resumes, teaching resumes will always include your list of references. 
  • Work and volunteering should be situated around teaching experiences. 
  • Be specific about who you taught, what you taught (grade levels) and if you participated in any  extracurricular activities in your experiences.
  • Key items that you want the employer to see first should go on the first half of the first page (i.e. teaching qualifications go here).
  •  Does one of your references know the principal of the school you are applying to? Be sure to include them!

Stop by the Career Resource Centre in the Learning Commons to view our “Resume Samples for the Faculty of Education” binder. We have a small collection of teaching resumes that proved successful for the teaching candidates that used them.

Other Helpful Teaching Resources available in Career Services:


And remember to come by Career Services from Nov 12 – 16 (this week!) for International Education Week! Guess the answer to our world trivia question and enter our draw to win The Travel Book! 

See you soon!

- Ashley