EmployAbilities trainer offers advice for Albertans on the job hunt

In a difficult Alberta job market, Chantelle Painter's role in human resources and in providing career advice gives her valuable perspective on what workers need to know to when searching for a job.

Chantelle Painter is also HR recruitment and engagement manager for The Brick

Job hunting tips from an expert

CBC News Edmonton

11 months agoVideo
Chantelle Painter has built a career on hiring people. She offers up tips for navigating the challenging Alberta job market. 2:32

Chantelle Painter spent two decades building her own career.

Now she's using that experience to help others navigate the difficult Alberta job market. 

Painter, 40, has worked at furniture and appliance retailer The Brick for 20 years. In that time, she worked her way up the ranks, finally landing in her current role as manager of human resources, recruitment, and engagement.

But she also does some hiring and regular training for the local non-profit EmployAbilities. The combination of jobs gives her first-hand perspective on what employers are looking for and what kind of training prospective hires might need.

EmployAbilities offers skill development and training to Albertans with barriers to employment such as medical conditions, permanent injuries, disabilities, and mental health challenges.

When starting a job search, Painter recommends checking out potential employers online to get a sense of what kinds of career possibilities exist.

She knows firsthand from working at The Brick that the opportunities it offers aren't just retail jobs selling furniture. The business also has a corporate office with positions that people could apply for.

Painter said a strong prospective employee has self-knowledge: they're aware of their strengths, and know how to communicate them. She also said people applying for jobs should be proud of their accomplishments, and not use words like "if" or "but" when talking about what they've achieved.

"Whether it's in an interview or in a resumé, I really think that the ability to say, 'This is what makes me different from the next person you're going to interview' is essential," Painter said.

An ideal employee should have a good attitude, Painter said — someone who loves their job, doesn't sweat the small stuff and is excited about the challenges work throws their way.

But finding those employees can be difficult, Painter said, because not everyone performs the way they present themselves during the interview process. Sometimes employers have to help a worker come out of their shell.

"Realistically, I think everybody has a passion for something," Painter said. 

"As an employer you hope that the person with the passion for what you do lands in your lap, or at least comes knocking, so you give them an opportunity to work with whatever really makes them happy."


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