Job Search Strategy Success

Linda Ragoonanan

Kay is a trained Pharmacist from Nigeria and began the SOPA program in February. She has a Master Degree in Global Health and International Development from London, England. Kay is passionate about both careers and was undecided in the beginning as to which sector to pursue, since it will take a little over a year to gain licensure as a Pharmacist.

When Kay realized she can work in Health and Development without certification, her decision was easier as she knew the kind of work she wanted to do with her life in Canada. She indicated that she wanted to work with an organization like MOSAIC, as she put it, “in the helping field” and, with her degree in Health and Development, it was a great fit.

My first impression of Kay was that she is going to be a winner in whatever she chooses to do as a career. The most important thing on her agenda was to be gainfully employed.

“What Kay considers relevant to her success was finding out about NOC codes, writing resume and cover letter, marketing herself and learning how to ace interviews. Kay said that SAR (Situation-Action-Result) approach* was one of the most important to her job search and interview success.”Kay

I was amazed to find out that within two weeks of her arrival, she has landed a job! She now works at the Mennonite Central Committee as a Program Associate.Her job is very diverse and she is working with different programs providing international relief, refugee resettlement, as well as working on the ground to bring development and peace.

Kay is extremely happy with the work of the SOPA team, not only with the job search but all the emotional support and guidance she received. And I’m happy for her.

– Linda Ragoonanan

Job Search Strategies Facilitator, SOPA British Columbia

*Excerpt from SOPA Job Search Strategies Course:

When interviewers ask you behavioural questions, they want you to tell them about your past behaviour.

The formula for answering behavioural questions is

SAR: Situation, Action, Result.

S: Situation: Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give a lot of detail. This situation can be from a previous job, your education, a volunteer experience or any relevant event

A: Action: Describe the action you took. Focus on what you did, not what the other team members did, even if you are discussing a group project. Be organized and brief, but give enough details so the interviewer understands what action you took in this situation.

R: Result: Describe the results. What happened? How did the event end? Was it a positive result? If the result was not positive, what did you learn from this experience? What did you accomplish? This is a very important part of the answer.