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Professional Perspective

Professional Perspective: What employers are really thinking

June 11, 2019

The Professional Perspective series, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment-related topics, will be back soon!

Links to past editions:

2018
Stand out at career events
Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 3
Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 2
Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 1

2017
Keys to success as an entrepreneur with a disability
Getting the most out of industry information sessions
Attending RRC’s First Impressions Recruitment Event
Set yourself up for success
Accommodations in the workplace – Part 3
Accommodations in the workplace – Part 2
Accommodations in the workplace – Part 1
Be the solution employers need
Beyond submitting job applications
Writing cover letters

2016
Creating eye-catching resumes
Starting early with your job search

Professional Perspective is brought to you by RRC’s Student Employment Services.

Student Employment Services offers a wide range of employment services, including assistance with job search, cover letters, resumes and interviews. For additional information, contact Student Employment Services at jobcentre@rrc.ca or 204.632.3966.

Professional Perspective: Stand out at career events

February 13, 2018

Welcome back to Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment-related topics!

If you attended the 2018 Directions Conference on February 8, 2018, we are sure you met a lot of wonderful industry professionals. Read on to refresh your mind on what to do to make the most out of future career events. Make sure you don’t let those leads turn cold!


Today we have Cathy Lund, Director – Staffing Solutions at Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc. (CAHRD) to share networking tips from the other side of the table! Cathy’s professional perspective comes from an amazing career in human resource and leadership roles.

Cathy participated in the 2018 Directions Conference as one of the 70 business delegates during the Roundtable Networking Event. You can expect to see more of her at RRC’s Employer on-Campus events!

Today’s question:

As a Human Resource Professional who recruits Indigenous students and graduates, what advice do you have for students so they stand out at career events?

Cathy’s Professional Perspective

Our Staffing Solutions team at the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development attends career events of all kinds in Winnipeg to recruit Indigenous students and graduates. We get involved, firstly, to consider CAHRD as a career option at graduation and also to promote to Indigenous students the great career supports offered by CAHRD professionals who work with people one-on-one!

At any career event, we can meet up to 100 people a day. Here are a few tips from us – the people on the other side of the table – on how to make a great impression!

  1. Know about us. Do your research before you meet me or my organization! LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and other websites are great places to learn about the people you are planning to introduce yourself to. If you really want to impress me, know our vision and familiarize yourself with our product or service. I have witnessed employers making a decision to hire from the first impression at a career event.
  2. Show interest. Meeting a student at more than one event and learning that they deliberately came to meet me AGAIN is impressive.
  3. Ask questions. We can always tell when someone is genuinely curious about the agency and career options by the questions they ask. We hear “Are you hiring?” hundreds of times during one day. Be curious and original.
  4. Be memorable. Dress the part and use it to your advantage when reconnecting with us. “I was the person in the green dress…” or “…with the green tie…” – you see what I mean?
  5. Relax. We are all there for the same reason – to get to know each other and create opportunities. I am looking for YOU.
  6. Follow up. Send us a personalized message on LinkedIn within a few days.

Networking is an opportunity for you to tell people who you are, what is unique about you and why you are passionate about their industry. Networking happens everywhere – at events, with your co-workers, fellow students, social media, parties and on the bus. Every person is another opportunity to learn more about them and tell your story!


The Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD) offers employment services, support services, and education & training opportunities, including staffing solutions that assist Indigenous students and graduates find meaningful employment in their occupation of choice.

For more information, visit cahrd.org.

Connect with Cathy on LinkedIn and benefit from her wealth of knowledge and industry insight!


To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional employment resources, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Professional Perspective: Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 3

January 31, 2018

Welcome to Part 3 of the Directions Conference edition of Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment-related topics!

The Directions Conference connects Red River College students in Business and Applied Arts with industry professionals in many areas of business. Keynote speakers, breakout informational sessions and the popular roundtable networking event combine into a rich and rewarding experience for both students and employers.


Zain Ali, Human Resource Manager at Domo Gasoline Corporation Ltd. is back with more of his professional perspective. Zain’s professional perspective comes from an accumulation of his personal experience as an international student and his professional work experience within various industries, and now as a Human Resource Manager.

If you missed parts one and two of Zain’s posts, you can read them here:

Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 1
Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 2

Read on for part three of Zain’s insight on making the most out of networking events in preparation for the Directions Conference!

Today’s question:

What should students do after connecting with industry professionals at networking events like the Directions Conference?

Zain’s Professional Perspective

Industry professionals meet hundreds of people on a regular basis so help them remember you by following up with them after connecting at a networking event. Timing is everything – you might only have 24 to 48 hours to build a concrete relationship out of a meet & greet interaction.

Keep these pointers in mind when reaching out to your newly formed connections:

  • Review your notes. Refer to the notes that you took when preparing to follow up with the industry experts. Research the terminologies, the company and industry trends further if you have to. Find out ways how you can provide value, and determine when you are going to be available to get involved.
  • Touch base using the contact information they provided. Whether it is an email or a quick phone call, express your appreciation of their time and the value you got out of the conversation. Offer your time and skills towards something you could assist with based on what you found out through your research.
  • Connect with them on social media. Invest time and effort in developing and beefing up your social media accounts with a specific career boosting purpose in mind. You can use LinkedIn to connect with your contacts, learn more about what they are interested in, and form meaningful connections off of their connections. Keep in mind, this is not just about having the most connections. LinkedIn can be your platform for demonstrating your knowledge and drive, which can attract the attention of the industry you want to be a part of.

It may take time to hear back from your new connections – allow them the time. If you want to follow up on your initial follow up, be strategic. Cite upcoming events, projects, or opportunities that might be related to their company or the industry. We want to amaze these industry professionals, not annoy them.

Some of your connections may not pan out, and that is okay. Don’t feel that the time and effort was wasted on the connections that do not lead to opportunities. As the saying goes, “a broken clock is right twice a day.” Maybe something will come of it later on.

Keep practicing and network away! Good luck!


Zain will be participating in the 2018 Directions Conference and you can connect with him during the Roundtable Networking Event.

Directions Conference will be held on February 8, 2018 at Canad Inns Polo Park. For more info, visit DirectionsConference.ca


To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional employment resources, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Professional Perspective: Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 2

January 19, 2018

Welcome to Part 2 of the Directions Conference edition of Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment-related topics!

The Directions Conference connects Red River College students in Business and Applied Arts with industry professionals in many areas of business. Keynote speakers, breakout informational sessions and the popular roundtable networking event combine into a rich and rewarding experience for both students and employers.


Zain Ali, Human Resource Manager at Domo Gasoline Corporation Ltd. is back with more of his professional perspective. Zain’s professional perspective comes from an accumulation of his personal experience as an international student and his professional work experience within various industries, and now as a Human Resource Manager.

Last week, Zain talked about how to prepare for networking events. If you missed it, you can read it here:

Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 1

Read on for part two of Zain’s insight on making the most out of networking events in preparation for the Directions Conference!

Today’s question:

What should students do during networking events like the Directions Conference?

Zain’s Professional Perspective

Let’s pretend that today is the day. It is time to attend the event. Got the chills? What do you do? Where do you sit? What do you say? I know exactly how you feel! I, too, was a student and I went through the same thoughts and experience. Let’s talk about what will help you ace the networking event.

You have done the prep work, you have done your homework. You are halfway there. Now all you have to do is use the tools you have prepared to make meaningful connections at the event. Consider these pointers:

  • Walk in like you are ready to win the day. Have a welcoming posture and show that you are happy to be there. Avoid crossing your arms whether during a conversation with anyone in the room or while in between conversations. You want to come off as a friendly person who will fit well with any team, rather than shy, grumpy or even rude. Understanding that this might be one of your first networking experiences, it could take a few moments to warm up for the event. Start talking to people. Strike a conversation with your colleagues, the registration staff, and the event ambassadors so when it is time to talk to the industry representatives, you can be sure that your mind, tongue and ears are in sync!
  • Prioritize your connections. Networking events are golden opportunities that can help boost your career. However, there might be hundreds of industry experts present at the event, and you with limited time to talk to all of them. Value your time and approach first the individuals who have a direct link to the career path you are exploring.
  • Introduce yourself. Start with a smile and use that elevator pitch you have been practicing. Introduce yourself to a friend, if needed, to get more comfortable with your pitch. Keep it short and smooth, and be ready to respond to follow up questions that they might have. You can also introduce someone you just met to others. It is a great way to keep the conversation moving from one person to another, and it also can help you better remember the people you meet.
  • Show interest. Once the introductions are out of the way, find opportunities during the conversation to ask the questions you have prepared. Show respect by taking turns with others who might be present in the conversation. And most importantly, listen as they respond. Take notes is a good idea, but do so without being distracted by your writing.
  • Seal the deal. Grab their business cards, jot their email address down, connect with them on LinkedIn – these are your tools to keep in touch with the industry experts you meet. Don’t let your leads go cold and continue building and nurturing your professional relationship with them.

As an industry professional, I can tell apart students who are prepared from those who are not. Hopefully, these pointers help you feel more comfortable at any networking event.

And last but definitely not the least, don’t forget your instructors are highly qualified industry experts. Heed their advice – I can relate my career experiences to all of my instructors’ teachings.

On that note, I will leave you with this quote that I was taught: You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Stay tuned for the next post on what to do after the networking event!


Zain will be participating in the 2018 Directions Conference and you can connect with him during the Roundtable Networking Event.

Directions Conference will be held on February 8, 2018 at Canad Inns Polo Park. For more info, visit DirectionsConference.ca


To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional employment resources, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Professional Perspective: Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 1

January 11, 2018

Welcome to a Directions Conference edition of Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment-related topics!

The Directions Conference connects Red River College students in Business and Applied Arts with industry professionals in many areas of business. Keynote speakers, breakout informational sessions and the popular roundtable networking event combine into a rich and rewarding experience for both students and employers.


Zain Ali, Human Resource Manager at Domo Gasoline Corporation Ltd. is back with more of his professional perspective. Zain’s professional perspective comes from an accumulation of his personal experience as an international student and his professional work experience within various industries, and now as a Human Resource Manager.

Read on for part one of Zain’s insight on making the most out of networking events in preparation for the Directions Conference!

Today’s question:

What should students do to prepare for networking events like the Directions Conference?

Zain’s Professional Perspective

I was honoured and privileged to be an industry representative at the Directions Conference last year – where students would meet industry professionals from all walks of the business and service world, including my area of expertise in human resources.

It was a great event! I enjoyed giving tips on how to ace an interview, and some students left a remarkable first impression in asking questions about the industry AND how to be successful in one. All the potential that filled the room showed how well instructors trained Red River College students for the real world.

Connecting with the students at the Directions Conference is an experience I will not forget, and I look forward to participating in this event again this year. Networking events, as I mentioned in the blog post Professional Perspective: What you know vs. who you know, has its benefits in the long run. For this reason, I highly recommend the Directions Conference to anyone who is exploring different careers, as well as those who may already be well connected in their chosen career paths.

And to assist you in making the most out of networking events, today I am covering a few things to help you prepare for this learning experience. As a Human Resource professional, I have experience in a variety of sectors and industries, and I would recommend the following practices to impress career leaders at networking events:

Network with a purpose

Ask yourself, why are you attending this event? What do you hope to achieve from it? Is it to meet a specific future employer or just to get to know people? Whatever it is, you need to identify your purpose as it will help you shape your mindset about the event.

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Research the career leaders and organizations attending the event. You do not need to remember the whole guest list, but identify the key attendees with whom you should build professional relationships with. You might not have enough time to meet everyone, so plan your day accordingly.

Prepare your questions

Industry professionals appreciate the opportunity to share their expertise with those who ask great questions. Who doesn’t like to talk about themselves, right? With the information about the career leaders and the companies you obtained from your research, you may ask questions to further understand their role, the company’s goals, what a typical day looks like, and why they picked the careers they are in.

When you ask these questions, I am about 110% positive that the industry professionals will ask you questions in return. They would want to know about you too, so be prepared for their questions as well. Here’s how you ace that interaction:

  • Create an elevator pitch. This is roughly 20 to 30 seconds long self introduction, which could include the program you are taking, the reason you picked that program, and your goals and aspirations. This will give each industry expert an idea whether you are on the right track and what form of guidance you might need moving forward.
  • Take notes. You might be meeting with a variety of professionals, so your notes will help you keep track of who said what during the event. You can then use this information when you are following up with them, or maybe interviewing for a position with their company. You could be sitting with your future employer!
  • Have a business card ready. This will help you stand out and make a lasting impression – in addition to being prepared because you read this post!

Show up

Networking events may or may not come with employment opportunities. But for the sake of making a good impression, picture you could land your dream job at the event. How do you want the industry professionals to perceive you?

Personal hygiene and being well groomed is always complimented. Easy going colours are mostly preferred, light/dark blue, grey, black, white – not shocking pink, neon green, or rainbow coloured pants. Try to match the aura of the workplace to blend in with the rest of the work team.

Arrive early and stay calm – networking events may get you all nervous. You don’t want to ruin your chances with a potential employer, but hey, the industry professionals recognize that you are a student and want to learn, so try to relax. Enjoy the day. Do not rush. Do not be pushy. Slow and steady wins the race!

I believe these are a few best practices for getting ready for a networking event. Once you have all of these down to a tee, networking will be a walk in the park for you.

Stay tuned for the next post on how to behave at a networking event!


Zain will be participating in the 2018 Directions Conference and you can connect with him during the Roundtable Networking Event.

Directions Conference will be held on February 8, 2018 at Canad Inns Polo Park. For more info, visit DirectionsConference.ca


To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional employment resources, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Professional Perspective: Keys to success as an entrepreneur with a disability

November 29, 2017

Welcome back to Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment related topics!

December 3rd is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities – an international observance proclaimed by the United Nations since 1992. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of on the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.


To celebrate this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Chris Gaulin joins us today to share his professional perspective on choosing a career in entrepreneurship as a person with a disability!

Chris is a seasoned entrepreneur from Winnipeg with 20 years’ experience running a number of businesses.  He built and currently operates a wireless Internet service provider, which offers high-speed Internet access to rural communities in Manitoba. Most recently, Chris launched Fastoche, a daycare management suite designed specifically for touch devices that brings cutting-edge technology and communications tools to educators and parents in child care centres.

Today’s question is:

What advice do you have for students and recent graduates with a disability who are interested in a career as an entrepreneur?

Chris’s Professional Perspective

As a person with a disability, choosing to become an entrepreneur may seem like an audacious undertaking. For the right person, taking the leap can be a much better option than traditional employment, providing more flexibility, better working conditions, and more satisfaction. In my 20 years of self-employment, I believe that the keys to making it are:

  • Figure out what you want to do – then be prepared to change it
  • Know your needs, not just your accommodations, and
  • Define success from day one

Running your own business isn’t easy for anyone. I’ll walk through the three aspects that I believe have led to my success.

Figure out what you want to do – then be prepared to change it

The great part of being an entrepreneur is being able to follow your passion and make a job around it. Choosing a path to go down can be daunting, especially if you’re interested in many things. What most people don’t talk about is that the beauty of entrepreneurship is that you can continuously re-shape what you’re doing. You can wake up tomorrow morning and pivot your business in a new direction that aligns with what you want to do. Changing directions is what makes running your own business exciting and rewarding.

Know your needs, not just your accommodations

There’s no doubt that employment for persons with disabilities is a challenge due to a number of factors. Self-employment provides some great advantages and helps alleviate some of the complex issues that go with traditional employment. But it would be false say that it removes them. I’ve chosen to work from home for most of my career, and that provides me with great control over the accessibility of my work environment. That doesn’t mean that I do not need accommodations. It is vital to know what you need before you start because you don’t have access to the same human resource supports when you’re on your own. The last thing you want is to run into accommodations issues once you start getting traction.

There are community resources that can help you obtain devices and assist with necessary workspace modification here in Manitoba. The key to using these services and government assistance is to know what your needs are. This requires thinking bigger picture. Instead of thinking in terms we are used to of “how do I make this space or situation accessible”, I find it’s better to start from scratch and ask the question “what do I need to be able to do X?” Because you are creating your own work environment, I encourage you to think in broader strokes.

Also put some serious thought into the other aspects of your business that might require some modifications. For me, running a rural business that required visits to customers’ homes was very problematic for someone who could not drive. As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for every aspect of your business and sometimes barriers present themselves in areas you haven’t had experience in.

Define success from day one

Many people define success using a grand scale objective that is really difficult to achieve.  While goals and objectives are an essential part of any business and help set a clear path forward, they aren’t necessarily what defines success for you in business.

Defining success isn’t as easy as setting goals. It’s simple to say “I want to make enough money to quit my job” or “I want to sell a million units by the end of my second year”. While those goals would be satisfying if you reach them, they aren’t what will get you out of bed every morning and motivate you to put all your energy into something that is growing and likely not making money. It’s also important to consider the potential negative impact of not reaching those goals.

When defining success, you need to ask yourself “why did I get into this in the first place?” or “what do I want to get out of this business?” When I ask myself these questions, I don’t look at tangible numbers, but more about what impact I expect. You might define success as having work that doesn’t stress you, or work that allows you to run your business from anywhere in the world. Success might be measured more on the pride you take in the products you create that allows you to sleep better at night.

However you define success, it is important to have a sense of what it means to you before you start, and to re-evaluate it on a regular basis. You might define success now as being able to travel for work, but having flexibility to work different hours might be your priority if you decide to start a family. Success should never be seen as an end game like retirement, but more of a measure of your own happiness.


To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional employment resources, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Professional Perspective: Getting the most out of industry information sessions

November 3, 2017

Welcome back to Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment related topics!

November is Career and Workforce Development Month in Manitoba. This month provides opportunities for job seekers to learn about the rich variety of sectors and industries in Manitoba. For more information on the career events that are being hosted throughout this month of November, click here:

Manitoba.ca > Career Development > Career Month > Events Calendar 


In time for Career and Workforce Development Month, we have Norman Umali, Manager – Career Services at Manitoba Start sharing his professional perspective on making the most out of industry information sessions.

Norman’s professional perspective is based on over 14 years of experience working with internationally-educated newcomer professionals seeking transition to their career field, providing career development and job search supports as well as client marketing to various organizations.

Today’s question is:

What should students, recent graduates, and job seekers do to make the most out of industry information sessions?

Norman’s Professional Perspective

First things first. If you are going to an industry information session without a game plan then you will not get the most out of the session. It’s not about just showing up, getting information, and meeting new people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to be at these events but without a purpose and a strategy you may not get the most out of them. Here are a few tips and suggestions for you and the reasons why you need to do them:

  1. Take notes. At Manitoba Start, we hold industry insights for our clients where we invite organizations from a specific sector to talk about changes in the industry, trends, career pathways, and the competencies employers look for in new hires. We also invite previous clients who have found success in their field to talk about what’s worked and the challenges they’ve faced in forging their career path in the field. Industry information and resources wouldn’t be helpful if they are not incorporated in one’s career exploration and decision-making process, networking, and/or interview strategy.
  1. Know the people who will be at the event, decide on who to approach, and research their organization. If there are a lot of attendees at the event you would want to stand out from the crowd by asking a relevant question or two during the session; having said that, be careful not to overwhelm the speakers with a lot of questions or ask questions you should already know the answers to.
  1. Be on time. Coming in late will also make you stand out from the crowd, but for all the wrong reasons! The same goes for not dressing appropriately, poor hygiene, checking your phone during presentations, and not paying attention to the speakers.
  1. Be prepared to talk about yourself.  Develop a brief “elevator pitch” and practice it until you don’t sound like you’ve memorized it. You may have opportunities to meet industry experts and/or employers at the beginning or end of the event so a smooth, natural response to “tell me about yourself” will create a good first impression. An effective pitch to a contact should be focused and include related experience and education, relevant skills, qualifications, and the type of work you are interested in and suitable for. As well, be aware of how you are expressing yourself – specifically your vocal volume and your body language and be respectful of the speakers’ time.
  1. Make a good first impression. Networking at an industry information session may lead to awareness of existing or upcoming jobs or internship opportunities that are not currently advertised. Creating a good first impression may uncover these “hidden” jobs/opportunities, or better yet, lead to a referral from a contact at the event.

Keep in mind that following these tips and suggestions will not guarantee you a prospective job or internship but they certainly wouldn’t hurt your chances either. You may also note that effective implementation of these strategies takes time and practice, but then again, looking for work is work!


Manitoba Start connects business to a world-class workforce and is the leading provider of career development services for newcomers to the Province.

During the Career and Workforce Development Month, Manitoba Start hosts Industry Insight Events that assist newcomers in growing their network and understanding careers in Manitoba.

For more information, visit www.manitobastart.com.


To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional job searching tips, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Professional Perspective: Accommodations in the workplace – Part 3

October 27, 2017

Welcome to the last installment of Disability Employment Awareness Month’s edition of Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment-related topics.

To tackle the complex topic of accommodations, this 3-part series features professional perspectives from a community agency project coordinator, a post secondary institution counsellor, and a Manitoba employer.


Manitoba leads the way by declaring October as Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM). DEAM is an annual opportunity for Manitoba businesses, industry associations, community organizations, educational institutions, government bodies, and other groups to take proactive steps to increase employment success for Manitobans with disabilities.

In this last installment, Sam Grande, Manager – Diversity and Inclusion Unit with the Government of Manitoba’s Civil Service Commission, shares her professional perspective on best practices in advancing the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workforce.

Sam leads a team of program coordinators who are responsible for the development, delivery and administration of initiatives, programs and services that advance the government’s overall renewal, diversity and inclusion objectives.


Today’s Disability Employment Awareness Month question is:

What are some of the best practices in advancing the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workforce?

Sam’s Professional Perspective

The Manitoba government has been an employer of choice and identified as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the past six years.  We are excited to recommend some best practices that our organization follows, such as:

  • Develop and implement policies to help build an organization that values diversity and formalize your organization’s commitment to persons with disabilities.
  • Create a formal diversity and inclusion strategy and communicate this to the whole organization.
  • Implement a student summer employment program that is specific to persons with disabilities.
  • Invite persons with disabilities to participate in work experience programs in your organization to gain related experience.
  • Introduce the concept of an ‘active offer’ to candidates when inviting them to assessments and/or interviews, asking if they require any accommodations.
  • Implement learning and development programs for employees with disabilities, to support the achievement of their learning goals.
  • Provide support to employees to secure appropriate workplace accommodations and provide appropriate supports to those employees experiencing injury, illness or disability.
  • Engage in consistent outreach to the community, including agencies serving persons with disabilities and educational institutions to seek candidates who meet your job requirements and request that they distribute information to their consumers and/or students.
  • Promote your opportunities at as many career fairs as possible, including those that are aimed at persons with disabilities, such as the annual EmployABILITY Expo and the Visually Impaired Resource Network (VIRN) trade show.
  • Identify champions of diversity within the senior levels of your organization to act as ambassadors and to prepare diversity audits of the areas they are responsible for.
  • Identify an Accessibility Coordinator and working group in various parts of your organization to identify and remove employment barriers.
  • Support the development of an employee resource group of employees with disabilities.
  • Deliver education and awareness learning events on disability-related topics to employees on a regular basis, particularly in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Disability Employment Awareness Month.
  • Collaborate with the community by offering to provide representation from your organization on committees whose mandate is to advance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workforce.
  • There are many best practices that could be identified and implemented by organizations. The Manitoba government recognizes that a diverse civil service allows us to better represent and serve the citizens of our province.Diversity is, and will continue to be, an important component of our civil service renewal efforts.

To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional job searching tips, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Professional Perspective: Attending RRC’s First Impressions Recruitment Event

October 15, 2017

Welcome to Professional Perspective – First Impressions Recruitment Event edition!

The 4th Annual First Impressions Recruitment Event (FIRE) is just under a month away. And with the deadline for applications of October 25th at 4:00 pm, students from the Red River College programs Applied Accounting, Business Administration, Business Administration Integrated, Commerce Industry Sales & Marketing and International Business are encouraged to upload their resumes to each FIRE posting through Job Central now!


To answer our FIRE Professional Perspective question, we have Kristin Tooth, HR Business Partner at BMO Bank of Montreal. Kristin supports the Prairie Central Canada Division and is a CPHR designate. Kristin is a proud Red River College, Business Administration graduate and has over 10 years’ HR experience in the financial industry.  She is involved in her community as a committee member for both the YMCA – Women of Distinction Awards and the HRMAM Leadership Conference.

The First Impressions Recruitment Event question is:

Who should attend the First Impressions Recruitment Event?

Kristin’s Professional Perspective

Are you just starting your first semester and aren’t sure what you will major in next year? Are you graduating soon and looking for employment? Perhaps you are just interested in developing interviewing skills? These are all great reasons to attend!

The First Impressions Recruitment Event isn’t just for soon to be graduates and current vacancies. It is an opportunity to develop your personal brand, network, and learn what your employers of choice are looking for in a candidate.

You’ve likely heard this before but I can’t stress it enough…you are interviewing employers as much as they are interviewing you. This is your time to meet with companies who are of interest to ensure they are a good fit for you. Here are a few things that you might want to consider:

  • What are the hours of operation?
    Some positions are expected to work extended hours and weekends. If you have the flexibility to work these hours, you can use that to your advantage.
  • Do they have the specific jobs you desire in the province you want to work in?
    Many headquarters roles like marketing, accounting and human resources may only exist in headquarters or there are very limited senior roles in the province you reside in.
  • Do your values align with the company’s vision and value proposition?
    Your values aligning with the company’s could make the difference between burning out and thriving in your career. When you are a part of something you believe in, you will be excited to go to work and be dedicated to make a difference.
  • What are the different career paths in the organization?
    Learning about the different ways one can move up and within the organization can help you determine strategies in advancing your career, as well as identify if their environment will support your career plans.

As employers, we aren’t just looking for students who are ready to graduate. We are looking to develop and foster relationships throughout your schooling. We want to give back and help you throughout your journey of transitioning from school to your career.

This is your opportunity to ask us what we love about our jobs so you can decide where you want to grow your career. Come introduce yourself and take advantage of it!

The First Impressions Recruitment Event offers a great opportunity to interview with industry professionals that might lead you to your dream job. So, ready yourself for the conversations you are about to take part in! Just remember, getting your dream job isn’t just about preparing for the interview. Prepare yourself for the career that you want by picking up transferable skills from part time jobs, volunteer opportunities, and the courses you take.

Here’s a testimonial from an RRC graduate whom Kristin met at FIRE

During my time as a Business Administration student at RRC I attended FIRE on both my first and second years.

The event happened in October and I wasn’t going to graduate until April of the following year, however I knew there would be many potential employers at the event so I saw an opportunity to network and gain some information about the different positions and opportunities that would be available after I graduated.

I met Kristin during this [recruitment event] and she said that she believed that my skills and education would be a great fit to BMO. She told me she would keep my resume and would be in touch with me in the future.

Because graduation was months away, I honestly thought that she would see so many other candidates and that my resume would probably be forgotten.

To my surprise, a few months after graduating I received a call from Kristin saying that she wanted to touch base with me and see how I was doing. I went for an interview and I’m happy to say that I’ve been a Financial Services Manager with BMO for over a year.

I’m glad I took the time to attend [FIRE]. Little did I know, but that day led me to a successful start of my career.

Raquel da Sliva Durst, RRC Business Administration graduate, now a Financial Services Manager at BMO Bank of Montreal


Over 30 employers are taking part in the First Impressions Recruitment Event on November 9, 2017, including BMO Bank of Montreal.

For more information on how to apply, visit rrc.ca/firstimpressions.


To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional job searching tips, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Professional Perspective: Set yourself up for success

October 13, 2017

Welcome to Professional Perspective where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment related topics!

Cathy Lund, Senior Campus Recruiter at RBC, is back to answer today’s question. Cathy’s professional perspective comes from an amazing career that began in client facing sales roles and quickly evolved into leadership and human resource roles, recruiting and matching top talent with opportunities for rewarding experiences at RBC.

Today’s question is:

What advice would you give students as they prepare for their careers?

Cathy’s Professional Perspective

Be involved
“Take every opportunity to meet someone from the companies you want to work for through career centre events, social media, and volunteering.”

Get to know the industry by connecting with the professionals through different avenues. You can get an idea of their backgrounds and practices by following them on social media, where they often post activities and conversations they are involved in. Also, you can gain an understanding of their workplace cultures by working with them through internships and volunteering. Not to forget, Red River College offers students opportunities to connect with industry professionals, such as Student Employment Services’ Employer on-Campus events and other College affairs where companies invite students to attend information sessions, career fairs, one-on-one conversations, and open house style meet-and-greet sessions.

Be proactive
“Start working on your self-marketing documents immediately.”

Don’t wait until the last minute to develop your cover letter and resume. Draft a master resume including all of your skills, training and experiences so when a job that you are interested in comes up, you can draw relevant information from your master resume to create a tailored resume. Even if you are not ready to job search yet, you can start drafting customized documents by referring to available job postings. This way, you have more time to fine tune your documents when you decide to apply for opportunities.

Be open
“Be open to where you start.”

Cathy explains that at RBC, they take care of their employees with their talent management practices and expect everyone they hire to grow and thrive in their careers. New hires may just progress faster by starting in their Advice Centre or a Client Service role than they would if they waited for the right leadership or sales role to come up.


Cathy will be at the Exchange District Campus on October 25 and 26, 2017 for the RBC Campus Recruitment Information Session and Time4U Sessions. 

As a professional recruiter, Cathy is a wealth of information on what you can do to increase your chances of securing employment. Join us to tap into more of her knowledge as you are preparing to transition from College to Career!

Click here for more information and to register:
Employer on-Campus: RBC

Registration is required and sign-up will be on a first come, first served basis.


For additional job searching tips, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.