Youth & Students

Careers in NGOs

January 28, 2013 | Elle | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

By Ra

There's always a lot of talk about the merits of working for a for-profit organization; but, what about non-profits? “A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a not-for-profit, voluntary citizens’ group, which is organized on a local, national or international level to address issues in support of the public good. Task-oriented and made up of people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of services and humanitarian functions, bring citizens’ concerns to Governments, monitor policy and program implementation, and encourage participation of civil society stakeholders at the community level.” (Trinity Western University)

If you are interested in working in the non-profit sector – for an NGO or an international organization like UNICEF, have a look at these sites that advertise jobs and provide additional information.

  1. NGO Careers: Provides information gleaned from interviews with people currently working in ngo's. Also lists jobsites, internship sites and links to international ngo's.
  2. Career in NGOs/Civil Society Organizations: Links to many international and domestic organizations that are seeking either volunteers or full term employmees. Also provides information on the work environment.
  3. NGO Recruitment: With two decades' experience in recruiting staff for this sector, this company is a specialist recruitment company. They recruit executive staff for local and international clients.



To further explore our collection of books on NGOs and Nonprofit sector, use our catalogue

A New Year - A New Career?

December 31, 2012 | Linda | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Second ChanceA new year is approaching--is it time for a new career? Have you been thinking about a new job? Or maybe a different aspect of your current job--maybe upgrading and advancing? 

Do you like your current job but feel you can't advance? Look into upgrading your skills and training.

Perhaps there aren't enough opportunities with your present employer. Speak to your boss, your Human Resources department, co-workers, and network with people in similar companies to see what you need to move ahead. You might want to move out on your own, become an entrepreneur and start your own business.

Maybe you want something completely different. If you know what you are looking for--you have always wanted to be a chef, an architect, a designer--research it. What credentials, training, education do you need? What is the job market? Do you want to specialize in a particular aspect--not just a chef but a pastry chef or specializing in Spanish cuisine; a designer of kitchens? If starting your own business, is there a demand or market for your services or products? What is the competition?

How do you know if you will like this new career? Speak to people doing it. Network. Volunteer. Try it out. I worked for some temporary agencies and got experience in banking, accounting, and other types of companies--actual work experience--and found some I enjoyed and others I didn't. You can do the same.

The library has books, databases, and programs that can help you. Check out the Careers & Training area of our Job & Career Help section of our website, as well as the Business & Personal Finance section if thinking of starting your own business.

Your Move       Next Career     What You Want  


Business Patterns    Rebounders    Startups


So you want to get into House Flipping? Come and Learn!

December 11, 2012 | Ashley | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Entrepreneurship is booming right now in Ontario, there are all sorts of paths which people choose, including real estate investments. People have been investing into properties in order to make a profit for a very long time. Now people are taking it further and completely overhauling broken homes, renovating them, re-selling them and making a nice profit! There are so many shows about house flipping like Flip That House, Flip This House, Flipping Out, Property Ladder etc. The problem is most of the shows are American and in Canada the rules are a little different. I enjoy watching them and dreaming of flipping a house myself too!


Come join us Next Monday for our last program in our Small Business Series From Renos to Riches: The Canadian Real Estate Guide:

Join Ian Szabo, expert house flipper, and author of the only Canadian title in the field of investing in renovations - From Renos to Riches: The Canadian Real Estate Investor's Guide to Practical and Profitable Renovations. He will discuss how to assess the scope of a renovation project and make wise renovation investments for maximum returns. Learn how to attract and keep tenants, improve cash flow, keep maintenance to a minimum, and how to really flip a house!



Hope to see you there!



How do I Prepare for that Job Interview?

November 30, 2012 | Linda | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

My cover letter caught their attention; my resume was great. Now I have an interview! How do I prepare? I don't want to blow it!

Some things to consider:

Be prepared. Research the company ahead of time--that can give you an edge in answering their questions and also a heads up in knowing what questions to ask them. They will be impressed, knowing you were interested enough in working for them that you took the time to learn about them.

Dress to impress--appropriately to get the job you are applying for. A construction worker, artist, entertainer, business consultant, engineer, architect, actor, health care worker, accountant, teacher all have different skills and job requirements. The first impression can set the tone for the interview.

Appear confident and self-assured. This will inspire confidence in your abilities. I once made the mistake of appearing too confident and too relaxed. We all enjoyed the interview and laughed a lot, but I didn't get the job. Remember, they are not your friends, but potential employers. Even if applying for a job working for a friend, they want to know you are sincere.

Bring several copies of your resume with you. The interviewers will probably have a copy with them and may refer to it. I suggest several copies in case there are more than one interviewer and they don't each have a copy--but YOU are prepared.

BE ON TIME! Make sure you know how to get there and give yourself plenty of time. You never know what may happen on the way to the interview--you may take a wrong turn, run into traffic or delays on the TTC.

Do some practice interviews beforehand, with a friend acting as the employer. If possible, tape these. Then you can see how well you do or where you need improvement.

The library has some books, audiobooks and e-books that may help you--and with a lot more ideas than I have given you. And don't forget the library's Find Your Way to Job & Career Help. There you will find lists of databases, books, and websites to help you be successful in getting the job you want.

Check out some of these:

Recruiting interviewing new employees      Qestions to ask        Work at Google

       Job interviews for dummies      Brilliant answers     Teacher interview

             Ultimate interview       Nailing audio     Acing the Interview audio


Ever Consider a Career in Politics? Learn from the late and great Lincoln Alexander

November 13, 2012 | Ashley | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...



Lincoln MacCauley Alexander (January 21, 1922 - October 19, 2012) - who was affectionately called "Linc" by close friends and family - even his children, was a man who was first to do so many things in his political career:

  • His biggest first was in 1968, when he became the first black member of parliament (MP) - he ran as the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the Hamilton West electoral district.
  • In 1979, he became the first black Canadian cabinet minister, he was minister of labour
  • In 1985, he became the first black Canadian, 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario where his main focus was: education, youth and racism and youth. He served from 1985 - 1991
  • In 1992, he was appointed companion of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario
  • After leaving Office he became chancellor at University of Guelph - he served 5 terms, the longest serving Chancellor in their history

Many people think that in order to have a successful career in politics, one has to be wealthy. Although, it is true that campaigns can be quite costly - amongst other things, it is possible to have a career in politics without having to "come from money". Lincoln Alexander came from fairly humble beginnings. He was born in Toronto to Mae Rose a Jamaican immigrant who was a maid and Lincoln Alexander Sr. an immigrant from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who was a porter for the Canadian Railway. After his mother had a violent dispute with his father, they moved to Harlem with his older brother. He had an immense capability to connect and network with people while making a long lasting impact - I guess that's why people called him "Linc".


Lincoln Alexander - Canadian Air Force
Lincoln Alexander - Royal Canadian Air Force WW2


During the second World War he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Once the war was over he focused on his education, finished high school in Hamilton, completed his undergraduate degree at McMaster in Economics and HIstory, and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1953. His love for education was lifelong and widely recognized he also earned honorary degrees from:

  • University of Toronto, 1986
  • McMaster University, 1987
  • University of Western Ontario,1988
  • York University, 1990
  • Royal Military College of Canada, 1991
  • Queen's University, 1992

In his honor, he also had several schools named after him: Lincoln Alexander Public School, in Ajax, Hamilton and Markham, Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School - Mississauga and Lincoln Alexander Hall at the University of Guelph. In November 2006 his autobiography Go to school, you're a little black boy: the Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, a memoir was published. This memoir helps to illustrate how this charismatic and influential man fought to make such an impact from very early on. We have a lot of copies of the book at the library, I actually just put a hold on it for myself, you can too, if you click on the book below:

Also, if you're thinking of a possible career in politics here are a couple titles which may help:


Politics career        Politics career in focus


Lincoln Alexander died peacefully in his sleep on October 19, 2012 at the age of 90. He was honoured with a state funeral, where hundreds of people lined the streets and thousands attended. This is how his granddaughter who spoke at his funeral remembers him, as a man who was devoted to his family despite all his public commitments:

"You achieved more than most people could imagine, you have done so much for all of us."

- RIP Lincoln Alexander.


Job Search - Market Yourself

October 31, 2012 | Linda | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

You are in the Career and Job Search Help blog, but have you checked out the Job and Career Help pages on the Toronto Public Library's website?

It is broken down into sections -- Job & Career Help; Market Yourself; Job Searching; Career Training; Success -- each full of helpful tools, links, online sources, books, and many other resources to help you in your job search.

1001 Phrases you need to Get a Job

In the Market Yourself section, for example, there is a listing of New Job Interviewing titles now available in the library. You can place your cursor over the picture of the book you want, click on it, and be taken right to the library's catalogue where you can place a hold on it.

Below that there is a listing of current blogs, such as this one, but related to resumes and cover letters, in other words, "marketing yourself." 

In the column on the right, there is first a listing of Online Tools. Through the library's website and with your library card and pin number, you have free access to online versions of Scott's Business Directories Online, Business Writing, Financial Post (FP) Advisor, and Associations Canada from anywhere in the world.

Below the Online Tools, there are some Recommended Websites and links such as Cold calling: a time-tested method of job-hunting and a Guide to Interviewing Resources from, The interview game: illegal questions from, and The Riley Guide: Prepare your resume for email and online posting from



CV (Curriculum Vitae) writing tips - Do I need one?

October 2, 2012 | Ashley | Comments (21) Facebook Twitter More...


Your CV (curriculum vitae) is similar to a resume and cover letter, almost like a combination of both but more detailed. It is a complete profile of your academic achievements, degrees, research, scholarly interests, your thesis or dissertation description, associations or boards you may be in, references and any publications you may have. You use it to promote yourself like a personal advertisement - it should highlight the things that are most interesting and impressive about you.  It is mainly used for those applying to graduate school or academic/research positions; especially ones with multiple applicants. It should show all that you have done and plan to do, unlike a resume.

It is a lengthy process, so you should make sure you start early.  The U of T Career Center has an excellent CV Resource which outlines the 5 basic steps of creating your CV.

  1. Review your academic and scholarly profile and conceptualize how to order your CV.
  2. Draft the document.
  3. Work on the formatting, style and appearance.
  4. Get your CV critiqued by either a placement officer or faculty member (and other people you trust).
  5. Work on additional drafts, and incorporate the feedback you received from your critiquers in order to eventually produce a final copy.

There really isn't a template for a CV because it really depends on which sector you're applying to, you can always look at sample CVs for a better idea. Your CV should always be neat and typed using a legible font (something like Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, Verdana etc.) about size 10 - 12. Your name should appear on the header of each page of your CV. Make sure that there are absolutely no spelling mistakes! Spelling mistake highly reduce your credibility for your CV, resume or cover letter and are a top reason why employers don't hire people. Also, just like your resume and cover letter, your CV should be tailored specifically to the job you're applying for - make sure your CV matches whatever the employer is looking for.

It can be very difficult for people to articulate their own skills, achievements, values and interests - we're used to being modest in everyday life - but this is your chance to gloat! McGill University also has a very detailed and comprehensive CV guide from their career planning department. One of the hardest things about writing a CV, resume or cover letter can be listing all of your achievements, they suggest using the S.T.A.R. technique:

Situation -Provide a brief overview of the situation.

Task - Outline the specific task or responsibility you were asked to accomplish.

Action - Explain the action or activities you took and why.

Result - Describe the positive result or outcome of your actions.

Here are a few more quick tips for your CV:

  • Include a profile or objectives section in the beginning of your CV.
  • Only list the past 10 years of experience.
  • Spell out any acronyms you use - don't assume the employer will understand.
  • Try to use bullets when you can - remember that recruiters scan hundreds of CVs, bullets can really help them identify your main points quickly.
  • Don't use jargon or slang, just clear simple English.

As always, you can always find some more information at the library. Check out some of these books to help you write your CV - good luck!

Brilliant cv          Perfectcv      Howtowriteacv      Greatanswerscv

Need Help Starting your Own Business? Come to a Business Inc. Course Orientation for more info!

September 10, 2012 | Ashley | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...


Business inc

Starting a business is both an exciting and overwhelming experience. Whether you intend on starting a business within the next six months, or would like to accelerate the growth of an early-stage business, Business Inc. could be just what you need to boost your plans.

There will be 3 locations offering the program, enrolment is limited to 20 participants per location (60 participants total). Applications are available online as well as at the branches where the program is being offered, they are due by Friday, September 28, 2012. The applications will be reviewed for: attendance at the orientation session, opportunity for business growth and a potentially viable business idea.

All branches participating will be having Business Inc. Orientation Sessions about a month prior to the start of the actual program, where you can find out more information. You can register for the Orientation sessions either online, via email (, or telephone (416)-345-9437. I'll provide the links as well as program dates and details below:

North York Central Library Branch - Mondays, October 15 to December 10, 2012. 6:30 - 9:30pm. North York Central Library Online Orientation Registration

Cederbrae Branch - Tuesdays, October 16 to December 11, 2012. 6:30 - 9:30pm. Cederbrae Library Online Orientation Registration

York Woods Branch - Wednesdays, October 17 to December 12, 2012. 6:30 - 9:30pm. York Woods Library Online Orientation Registration

Business Inc. is a 9 week business program offered at Toronto Public Library in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Toronto Business Development Centre which is an independent non profit, non government organization dedicated to nurturing the growth of new and emerging businesses. Upon completion of the program you will receive a Business Seminar Series Certificate of Completion and you'll be eligible to apply for a small business loan ranging from $5,000 - $30,000.

Each week different business modules are covered:

  • Week 1 - Taking the leap to entrepreneurship
  • Week 2 - Market research for your business
  • Week 3 - Resources for researching your business
  • Week 4 - Developing a powerful marketing strategy
  • Week 5 - Launching your business online
  • Week 6 - Creating an operating framework for success
  • Week 7 - Building blocks for financial management
  • Week 8 - Financing for business growth
  • Week 9 - Making your pitch

The program costs $100 + HST per participant ($113), the value of the program is actually $700 - this program is generously supported by the Toronto Public Library Foundation. During the program you will have the opportunity to: prepare/update your business plan, access a business advisor and network with other entrepreneurs.

If Business Inc. isn't what you're looking for don't forget this October is Small Business Month at Toronto Public Library. There are free small business programs happening at libraries all across Toronto in the fall.

Will Networking Help Me Find that Perfect Job -- or ANY Job?

August 30, 2012 | Linda | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Social Networking Will networking help me find that perfect job -- or ANY job? The answer is "Yes." Now you are going to ask what I mean by "networking" and do you have to go online and open Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.


There are all types of networking, some online, some in person. Did you see the movie or read Loretta Lynn's book, The Coal Miner's Daughter? It describes how she and her husband drove from town to town, visiting all the radio stations they could and persuading the DJs to play her first recording and interview her on the radio. This was a form of "networking." Her song became a hit and Loretta Lynn, singer and composer, became a star, starting at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.


Just talking to friends, people at social events and parties, the person next to you in a line-up, the clerks where you shop or bank--all of this is networking. Let people know you are job hunting. Tell them the type of job you are looking for.


A friend of mine knew I was looking for a job in a library, heard about an opening and told me about it. I applied and was hired. Another friend got to know the manager at her bank. The manager liked her and when a position became available, suggested she apply. She has been working at the bank a couple of years now.


Take courses and attend seminars related to the work you are interested in. LinkedInTalk to people you meet there. Ask if they are working in that field and what they can tell you about it. You might find it is not exactly what you expected or wanted--or that you need more training before applying. Join groups or associations. People working in the field often hear about openings before they are advertised, giving you the opportunity to be "in the right place at the right time." They can also give you tips and suggestions to help you succeed in finding the right job.


The online social media, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and others work similarly. They are tools  you can use to "get the word out" that you are looking for a job. They also have online groups in various fields. You can join several groups in fields you are interested in, make connections with people online, ask about the work, what to expect, and get tips and suggestions, and hear about job openings. I get emails from LinkedIn and Twitter, suggesting groups for me to join, groups of people with similar interests to mine.


Here are some other books you can look at:


Job Quest             Web Job Finder            NetworkingStrategies


       Great Job              Hidden Job Market          Your Move

Boomers' Kids in a Job Squeeze: What To Do?

August 17, 2012 | Elle | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

In conversation with a friend the other day, I heard that it's been difficult for young people in the 15 - 24 age group to get a job. The Conference Board of Canada indicated that the unemployment rate is around 14%, double of the jobless rate for the workforce as a whole.

Part of the problem is the cyclical weakness in our economy. During the 2008 recession, youth jobless rates crept up to nearly 2.5 times the average. Another factor is that people are working longer. They are in better health than those of the previous (pre-WW) generation and they have more money. Baby boomers, now 47-65 years old, are taking longer than expected to retire. Baby boomers, especially, have lost some money in the recent economic downtown. At the same time, the echo boomers (children of the boomers) have been graduating and entering the workforce in droves, adding to the unemployment rate.

But there is hope yet! Some experts say that this bottleneck will soon ease, perhaps as early as 2015. Fewer people were born in the 1990s, says David Foot, famed demography, economist and author of Boom, Bust and Echo.

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The Career and Job Search Help blog is a place where Librarians share and discuss great resources, upcoming programs, related Library services and the Toronto career development and small business scene. Enjoy, and thanks for talking to us!

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