Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Job Bank News Feeds Available

Although the Job Bank has made it possible to generate RSS feeds for jobs for quite a long time, I'm not sure that the average seeker finds the facility at all easy to use. As a matter of fact, someone in monster.com support told me a day or two ago that their RSS feeds had been temporarily withdrawn, and that the decision to do this might have had something to do with the difficulty that people have in setting up feeds.

I hope that this is not true of the feeds offered here. But you and your clients should judge for yourselves.

When you subscribe to the feed for Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara (say) you will be updated daily, at least, on weekdays about new jobs in that geographical area. The graphic shows how the feed is displayed in the Google Reader. It indicates that 108 jobs have appeared on the feed since yesterday. The nice thing about this is that you and your clients have only to peer through a limited number of offerings to find new vacancies, and they are sorted so that similar jobs appear together. For the time being the jobs are labelled with their NOC numbers, and sorted by NOC number (as just mentioned), and the short summaries provide compensation and location detail to the extent that this is made available in the Job Bank ads. The full Job Bank ads are available via links in the one-line summaries. Click on 'JobBank feed ...' in the slightly larger font above the list to go to the complete list of Job Bank jobs for the area, sorted by NOC and word-indexed (as described in previous blog entries).

They are available here. I won't go into detail about how to subscribe because I don't know what software career development people are using to read blogs. Please write to me and I will do what it takes to get you subscribed.

For the moment, only the feeds for geographical areas with smaller numbers of vacancies work with the Google Reader. This leaves out Toronto and the area between Toronto and Hamilton just now. I'm working on that!

Please let me know your experiences, inclusing frustrations.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Events of Interest to Career Developers

One of the premier places to learn about events of interest to career developers is the Contact Point page. For reasons explained in YouTube - Video: RSS in Plain English you might prefer to be informed when events are added to this page, so that you don't need to go to the page to see if anything is new. Well, me too, eh. So a while ago I wrote software based on the well-known ScrapeNFeed to provide a news feed based on the Contact Point events page, and now it's available to you in the 'blogroll' listing to the right. Go ahead and subscribe.

On the other hand, if what I've been babbling about means very little to you then why not join us sometime on the weekend of 25 through 27 of this month, April, at knowplace.ca, from noon Pacific Time on the Friday? We will be sharing information and advice of use (we hope!) for teachers and career developers from noobs to nerds. I think you'll be amazed at the interesting stuff that can be made to beach up on your screen. Come and go as you please.

And let me not forget to make a request: please tell me about other Canadian events pages that you know so that I can consider making a composite news feed that includes these pages and the Contact Point events.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You Don't Have to Tell ME Twice!

Actually, that's a lie. In most cases I need to see or hear something several times before I finally get it through my head. That's always been a big shortcoming of spoken lectures and conferences for me.

Surely I'm not alone? And then there are lots of people who would simply rather hear or see something than read it.

As career developers we spend considerable time speaking to people, inducing people to speak to each other when we facillitate groups, and pushing sheafs of paper under client noses for them to read. Now some of the things we do cannot be automated and cannot be 'canned.' However, much of what we present is definitely not rocket science1 and is available, in video form, in several places.

Youtube.com is an obvious place to look. Today I tried using youtube's own advanced search facility but couldn't seem to get the collection of essential items I wanted. I therefore resorted to my old friend, google.

Here's the query I formulated:

employment OR resume "finding a job" OR "job hunting" OR "cover letter" site:youtube.com

Google gave me what appears to be a reasonable set of items. Having reviewed a few of the initial ones I would say that they espouse opinions common to many career developers. Here's one of the videos that seems fine to me: Writing Your Resume Cover Letter

Of course the big problem that many of our clients have is in formulating their ideas for cover letters and resumes on paper. However, if we could start by having them review what information and thoughts they need to collect in preparation for these writing tasks then our time spent with them on this work might be more productive.

Career developers might also begin to share lists of videos that seem particularly good, or that seem to offer the greatest support to clients.

1Let me acknowledge my indebtedness to Rob Straby for this observation, made during one of his classes that I attended at Conestoga College.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Other Google: Career Videos

Of course the 'Other Google' to which I refer is Yahoo. I've been looking for videos about employment and careers recently, mostly using the built-in search engines at YouTube and WatchMojo, then remembered the feature feature of Yahoo.

Whoa! This is nice.

If you drop this query into Yahoo

jobs OR employment OR career feature:video

you will receive quite a big collection of pages that somehow include videos in association with those keywords. As usual, most of the stuff is utter dross but I did find one good American site after only a few seconds: career onestop Career Videos. I counted about 545 videos for a very wide variety of occupations and the one I checked seemed quite good.

I wanted to see what I might find that would relate more directly to Canadian markets so I flipped to Yahoo's advanced search page, moved the keywords into the 'any of these words' edit box, leaving 'feature:video' in the 'all of these words' edit box, and selected 'Canada' from the list at 'Country.' I found some here too. Here's a sample:
So don't forget Yahoo.