Local Agri-Food Business Planning Program June 4 & 5, 2015

Agri-Food Business Planning Workshop
Click above for larger Adobe Acrobat version. Register at http://www.ssfpa.net – go to Register for Workshops page

If you ever wanted hands-on guidance and structure for planning your food business, and help starting a viable food business plan, this program is designed for you.

This two day event takes you through a planning process specifically designed for food businesses. Perfect for food processor start-ups, farms entering into value-added products, and established food businesses streamlining operations. Eight modules that allow you to plan for the critical elements of running a food business. Sign up for one day or two!

These eight modules have been developed by the BC Ministry of Agriculture to help Agri-food processors grow.

Day 1 –

  • Business Planning Process
  • Market Access and analysis
  • Product development
  • Quality assurance

Day 2 –

  • Financial planning
  • Labeling and Packaging
  • Production economics
  • Logistics

Facilitated by Food Business Specialist, Gary McLaren – Business Advisory Team Inc. Special guest presenter, Candice Appleby, Executive Director, Small Scale Food Processor Association.

Dates: June 4 and 5, 8:30 – 4:30 pm
Location: Community Futures Powell River, 4717 Marine Ave
Cost: $50 + GST for one day, $85 + GST for both days.
Includes refreshments, lunch, and 8 module planning binder

How to register: go here

This seminar has been funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-terrirorial initiative.

Win BIG with the PREP 30th Anniversary Trivia Contest

Click on the image above to take the trivia contest – Deadline Friday May 29th at noon!

All the trivia answers and link to the trivia contest (plus rules, etc.)  at http:/prepsociety.org

You can win a FREE flight for 2 on Pacific Coastal Airlines + One Night’s Stay at the River Rock ResortDeadline is Friday May 29th at noon!

PLUS join Career Link and the 10 other programs that make up The PREP Society at Willingdon Beach on Sat. May 30th 12PM-2PM for more fun, games, prizes, and food. FREE and by donation, it promises to be family fun rain or shine.

My First Resume, My First Job.


Your résumé is one of the most important tools you have when looking for a job. This page will help you choose the right type of résumé for your situation. It will also provide you with tips to help you tailor your résumé to the job you’re applying for, and to make sure it stands out in a crowd for all the right reasons.

What is a résumé?

A résumé is a short, point-form document that you give to employers to tell them about your work experience, education, and skills. Before you write your résumé, you may want to complete a skills inventory to know what skills you have to offer an employer. http://www.youth.gc.ca/eng/media/skills_inventory.shtml

Types of résumés

Depending on your work experience, the job you’re applying for, or your personal preference, you may want to use a particular type of résumé. Here are three types of résumés to choose from:

A functional résumé focuses on your skills

If you haven’t had a lot of work experience, a functional résumé that focuses on your skills is a good way to market yourself to potential employers.

Instead of focusing on your previous work experience, a skills-focused résumé highlights the transferable skills you gained from previous jobs, activities, experiences, or volunteer work.

It’s most commonly used when you’ve had a large gap in your employment history, or if you have never worked before.

A chronological résumé focuses on your experience

Focusing on your work history is one of the more popular ways to structure a résumé. It shows employers all your work experience, focusing on positions you’ve held and your past responsibilities and accomplishments.

The chronological résumé is organized with your most recent information first. The goal is to give a comprehensive work history, organized by each job you’ve held. You give your position title, place of employment, how long you worked there, and a breakdown of your responsibilities or accomplishments.

This is a great multi-purpose résumé that works for most job applications, including retail.

A hybrid résumé is a combination of the two

A hybrid résumé is also known as a combination résumé. It combines the elements of a functional and chronological résumé to create a résumé that focuses heavily on skills, but also includes dates, titles of previous jobs, along with essential information about the position.

This is a good résumé to use when you want to prioritize your skills but also demonstrate how your career has evolved.

Important information to include in your résumé

There are a variety of different headings you can use in your résumé, depending on what type of résumé you choose to write.

However, regardless of the type of résumé you choose, here are three of the most important things it should include:


Your personal information

The first thing your employer should see when looking at your résumé is your name. Make sure it is clear, stands out, and is easy to read.

Your résumé should include your full address, contact phone numbers, and an e-mail address that incorporates your first and last name.

Things you should not include on your résumé:

  • your height, age, weight
  • a photo of yourself
  • your Social Insurance Number


List your education, starting with the most recent, and work backwards from there. Include the name of the school, the city or town where each school you attended is located (secondary and beyond), and the years you completed.

Be sure to list any certificates or diplomas you received, including those for mini-courses like computer or software courses, first aid, or any other training that might be useful in the job you are applying for.

Skills and experience

Use your résumé to show where you worked, what you learned, and how your skills and experience apply to the job you’re applying for. Highlight abilities, skills, and experience that relate to the job you’re applying for. These can come from paid or unpaid work, volunteer experience, and even hobbies.

If all of your experience is in an unrelated field to the job you’re applying for, focus on the transferable skills you learned that can be applied to the new job you’re applying for.

When listing your work experience, include the location (city, province) and the dates you worked (month, year) for each job or volunteer position. Use action words to describe what you did in the positions you held. Focus on the top-five duties for each job.

Other relevant information

You may also want to include your job goals, the languages you speak, or any relevant achievements or awards. You can also include interests or activities that say something positive about you. Don’t forget, however, that the point of your résumé is to show why you are the right person for the job.

There are no official rules for what headings you should include on your résumé. Just remember to keep it concise, with the most important information at the top.

For example:

  • Let’s say you are applying for a job in software development and, although you have never worked in that field, you have a diploma in software engineering. In this case, be sure to put your education section at the top.
  • If you are applying to work in the food services industry and you have a lot of experience working in restaurants, be sure to list that information before your education details.

Top-10 résumé tips

  1. Think ahead. If you wait until the last minute to hand in your résumé, you could miss the deadline and risk not being considered for the job.
  2. Tailor your résumé. Include information on your résumé associated with the job you are applying for.
  3. Chunk it out. If there is a lot of information, break it into separate sections with specific headings.
  4. Use action words. Focus on things you have accomplished, and avoid starting every sentence with “I”.
  5. Proofread. Never rely on spell check.
  6. Repeat Tip 5. Seriously, even one misspelled word could put you in the “do not consider” pile. Have someone you trust also proof your document!
  7. Make it presentable. Make sure your résumé looks clean and organized. Use white, letter-sized paper (8.5 x 11-inch) and a font that’s easy to read, like Times New Roman or Arial.
  8. Keep it concise. Try to keep your résumé as short as possible—ideally one page, two pages maximum.
  9. Be honest. Lying on your résumé is never a good idea. Many people who lie on their applications end up losing their jobs when their employers find out the truth.
  1. Be professional.Remember, this is a business document, so don’t include unnecessary embellishments like flashy paper or a picture of yourself.

Skills inventory

Before you try to convince an employer that you’re the person they need to hire, you should identify all the skills you have to offer. It’s a lot harder to talk about your strengths if you don’t know what they are in the first place!


Find your transferable skills

Everything you learn and every skill you have is part of your personal tool kit. You carry these “tools” with you as you move through school and into the job market. When you develop a skill or gain experience in one place and put what you’ve learned to use someplace else, you’re using transferable skills.

Look through the following lists and check off every skill that you think you have.

Key skills

I can:

  • meet deadlines
  • supervise others
  • solve problems
  • teach others and give clear instructions
  • manage people
  • organize and manage projects
  • speak in public
  • accept responsibility
  • plan daily work or special events
  • follow instructions
  • generate creative solutions to problems

Hands-on skills

I can:

  • assemble kits
  • build or repair things
  • work well with my hands
  • operate tools or machinery
  • use complex equipment
  • drive or operate vehicles
  • inspect and maintain equipment or vehicles



Data/information skills

I can:

  • make a budget, manage money
  • record facts, classify information by date
  • analyze data, audit and maintain records
  • check information for accuracy
  • pay attention to details
  • investigate and clarify results
  • locate answers, gather information
  • calculate or compute
  • evaluate
  • take inventory
  • keep financial records
  • research and write reports

Leadership skills

I can:

  • arrange meetings or social functions
  • be competitive when necessary
  • make decisions
  • direct the work of others
  • help set goals for my team
  • explain things to others
  • solve problems
  • motivate people
  • settle disagreements
  • plan activities and put them into action
  • take risks when necessary
  • organize and chair a meeting
  • show self-confidence



People skills

I can:

  • help and care for others
  • manage conflicts, resolve issues
  • counsel people
  • be tactful and diplomatic
  • interview people
  • be kind and understanding
  • be a good listener
  • negotiate
  • be outgoing
  • show patience
  • be pleasant and sociable
  • supervise, teach
  • be tough when necessary
  • trust people
  • trust my instincts

Creative/artistic skills

I can:

  • be artistic
  • write short stories or articles
  • draw or create other art
  • express myself through music, poetry, or art
  • design posters, draw cartoons and illustrations
  • perform and act
  • present artistic ideas
  • dance, create body movement
  • use computers to create presentations
  • design and layout Web pages

 Verbal/communication skills

I can:

  • clearly express myself
  • talk easily with others
  • create and talk about new ideas
  • design presentations
  • be inventive
  • conduct research in a library or on the Internet
  • set up my own network of experts or helpers
  • be logical
  • speak in public
  • write clear and concise reports
  • work well with others

Find your hidden skills

You may have some valuable skills that you haven’t thought about including on your résumé. Follow these six steps to identify your hidden skills:

1) List all your previous and current experiences, at work and in other contexts.

When you think about your skills, don’t just consider paid work. You can also draw from extracurricular activities at school, time spent volunteering, and even hobbies.

2) Describe the tasks you completed using action words for each experience.

For example, suppose you worked in a coffee shop. You might describe the tasks you completed like this:

  • I followed recipes, mixed ingredients, set temperatures, baked muffins, and mixed a variety of hot and cold coffee and tea drinks.
  • I worked with complex equipment.
  • I operated a cash register, made change, and balanced the day’s receipts.
  • I worked with others under sometimes busy or stressful situations.

3) Identify the skill(s) required to complete those tasks.

Your list of skills might look something like this:

  • manual skills
  • computer skills
  • financial and number skills
  • teamwork and patience skills

4) List other things you learned to do in that job.

Other things you learned working in the coffee shop include how to:

  • manage your time responsibly and organize your work
  • serve customers in a professional and friendly way
  • display products so people will buy them

5) Identify the skills you gained from the other things you learned.

Your list of skills might look something like this:

  • time management skills
  • customer service and communication skills
  • marketing and promotional skills

6) Build strong sentences by combining the skills you developed with the tasks you completed.

  • I developed marketing and creative skills while designing window displays to attract customers.
  • I developed communication skills while serving customers and working with my co-workers.
  • I developed promotional skills while helping customers decide what to order.
  • I developed financial skills while making change, ordering inventory, and balancing the day’s receipts.

Find your job-related skills

Job-related skills are those that you need for a particular job. An office worker needs computer and keyboarding skills, a mechanic has to understand repairs and how to use tools, and a cashier must be able to make change and use a cash register. When you’re about to apply for a specific job, review your lists of skills and highlight the ones that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Once you have these elements, put them together into a résumé that will work for you.

Tools for B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint


4 online tools delivered by B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint

1. Blueprint Builder – more than 14,000 British Columbians have registered an account. This tools brings together more than 40 government tools and resources. Track progress on your career exploration, education and training and job searches.

2. WorkBC’s Job Search toolsearch thousands of open jobs in B.C. by job title, employer name, keywords or your city.

3. Apprentice Job Match toolmatchmaking tool for apprentices and B.C. trades employers.

4. Trades Training Seat Finder find open trades training seats in B.C. by searching tracking open seats at post-secondary institutions or trades program.

To learn more about B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and how it can help you just click (or touch): www.workbc.ca/blueprintaction


Coastal Postings: April’s Job Postings for Powell River

Click on chart above for interactive version

Sector … # of positions offered

Food Services…31
Forestry… 6
Health Care…18
Other Services (non-Gov’t)…9
Professional Services…3
Public Administration…10
Recreation and Sports…3
Retail Trade…34
Social Assistance…17
Waste Management/Remediation…1

Total # of positions offered in Powell River in April 2015: 209
Total # of postings: 158

For comparison:

  • April 2015: 158 total job postings (108 via Career Link, 50 elsewhere)
  • April 2014: 102 total job postings (80 via Career link; 22 elsewhere(
  • April 2013: 58 total job total postings (others were not counted then)
  • April 2012: 67 total job total postings
  • April 2011: 51 total job total postings
  • April 2010; 34 total job total postings
  • April 2009: 72 total job total postings

30th Anniversary of the PREP Society on Sat. May 30th


Join Career Link in a Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the PREP Society on Sat. May 30th from noon-2:00PM at Willingdon Beach Park in Powell River, BC.

It’s a ‘rain or shine’ event, with family-friendly fun and games, trivia contest winners, prizes of all kinds and a BBQ with live music DJs from CJMP Powell River Community Radio.

Everyone is invited to attend this free event! Mark your calendars now so you will remember.

PREP acts as an umbrella organization providing administration for a wide range of community-based services and programs, such as employment, mental health, literacy, community resource, and parenting support programs.

Some of the programs currently run through PREP include:

  • Career Link
  • Family Place
  • Powell River Diversity Initiative (PRDI)
  • Young Adult Community Kitchen (YACK)
  • Powell River Food Security Project
  • Community Resource Centre (CRC)
  • Community Adult Learning and Literacy (CALL)
  • Babies Open New Doors (BOND)
  • Sunshine Coast Treatment Services
  • The Literacy Council
  • Powell River Immigrant Services


Water Cooler Blog May 2015: What do you look for in an employer?



by Melany Hallam


Water Cooler Question: What is most important in your decision to apply for a job?

  • Job title
  • Qualifications
  • Location
  • Pay rate
  • Employer reputation
  • Other

Take the survey now.


All kinds of information is available to you on how to show a potential employer that you are the best person for the job. But hiring is a two-way street. So try asking yourself this question right now: “What does my ideal employer look like?”

After all, you’re an awesome employee and companies should be competing with each other to show you why they can provide the best work environment, opportunities for advancement, benefits, and other perks.

Sound crazy?

In fact, there are certain sectors and job types that do compete for employees. Some rival companies within an industry have even signed non-poaching agreements where they promise not to head-hunt employees from each other. Employees are that valuable to them.

Why shouldn’t that valuable employee be you? And how do you evaluate a potential employer anyway?

First, determine which companies or organizations you should apply to—look at their websites, review their literature and read any available news items. How stable is the company? Is it part of a dying industry with an uncertain future? Has it ever been reported to the Better Business Bureau for shady dealings? Is it financially sound or is it on the brink of closing its doors? For example, I was once offered a job at a bookstore (at the time, this was my dream job!) but I turned it down because I found out the owner only wanted someone to keep it running while they sold it. Once it sold, I would likely be out looking for work again. Not cool.

Second, when you get to the interview stage, prepare questions of your own to ask a potential employer. It’s essential to do your research on a company before going for an interview. Find out whatever you can about a company`s reputation, potential for career development, work-life balance, and any other factors that are important to you. Then write down three to five questions to ask at your interview. Here are some sample questions: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/06/18/10-job-interview-questions-you-should-ask/.

When a potential employer is answering your questions, pay attention to how they answer, not just their words. Do they have difficulty coming up with something positive to say about their work environment? That could be a real warning sign.

Third, talk to current employees, if possible. In my experience, a significant number of employers pay lip service to the idea of supporting employees in balancing work and home lives, as well as fostering an easygoing work environment. But when it comes down to the crunch, they`re all talk and no action. So you need to find out how a company actually operates. Ask current employees, what it`s like working there day-to-day, how are their relationships with co-workers and supervisors, how does the employer respond to problems? Does this employer expect you to put in long hours, sacrificing your home life with little respect for your time and priorities?


While you`re at it, ask yourself this question: Do you think you’ll get along with the other employees and supervisors at the company? You don`t have to be best friends with them, but if you feel like you`re always the odd person out, it can be exhausting, leaving you with less energy and enthusiasm for your job. But if you get along well with your co-workers, going to work every day can be a joy (really!).


Stay the course and keep your standards high—your ideal employer is out there.



Further reading:


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