False Purpose

Where is the assistance in these so-called job assistance centres?

I was told by my contact at One Voice Canada that my résumé needed revisions to be more marketable, to pass that “10 second attention grabbing test” when HR looks at it. Despite the fact that The Career Foundation and The St. Stephens House previously redid my résumé because it was wrong before, it’s still wrong in the eyes of my contact, so it needs to be revised.  Again.

<facepalm>Holy Macaroni.</ facepalm>

I play along with it, because that is what you do when you are a job seeker. It’s like playing Snakes And Ladders, except it’s a game you were never asked to play and definitely want to get out of. I grind my teeth but still politely thanked my contact for his suggestions. I then made my way home in the pounding rain,  my umbrella at risk of being turned into Swiss cheese.

Once I dried myself off, I turn on my computer and looked over my base résumé. That’s the one I never send, because it’s the template I use for the variants tailored for each type of job opening I apply for. I spend six hours distilling my work history of 20 years into marketable action words as instructed, while at the same time trying not to come across like I’m Green Lantern protecting the galaxy from the evil clutches of the villainous Sinestro. I think it’s a big waste of my time because I’ve already done this before with the past two job placement centres I mentioned, but I go ahead with this because I want One Voice Canada to help me. They won’t continue to help me if I don’t at least follow their advice, I reasoned.

Toward the end of this tiresome process, there was a question I had about some marketing words coming across as too fawning, so I sent my contact at One Voice Canada an Email on September 4th for some advice. I didn’t hear back from him. Because I promised him the résumé would be ready by Friday, I worked it out as best I could. After all, keeping a promise shows your job assistance centre contact you are serious about finding a job, so he will keep helping you. Right?

On Friday, September 7th, resumeV3.0.docx is done and I send it off to my One Voice Canada contact in the following Email:

Good morning,  (omitted)
I didn’t hear back from you so I went ahead with what I mentioned two days ago and changed the resume in the following ways:
a) I added a banner as the first working line of my resume
b) I changed the work history wording so each skill results in a positive return or outcome. In other words, “I did this, and the following good thing happened as a result”
Let me know what you think and we can take it from there. I’m willing to meet with you any time for additional job search counseling and hopefully some leads on a “survival job” to keep the bills paid.
Kind Regards


With that distasteful task done, I go back to my job search, sending off the Version 2.0 variants of my résumé to many job openings, in case my contact wants further revisions to Version 3.0.

When he gets back to me. I mean, I did ask him to reply back….right?

A week of looking for work goes by, and I haven’t heard from him. It’s starting to look like Career Foundation and St. Stephen’s house all over again with the rudeness of not replying to my Emails and my phone messages.

I send a second Email. I’m a bit ticked off, but I try to keep my tone friendly and non-confrontational:

Good morning (omitted)
I’m following up on your opinion of my revised resume, as you instructed me to change per our last meeting. If you can send me some feedback, that would be greatly appreciated
Kind Regards


It’s Monday September 17th, and I still haven’t heard from him. No out of office memo, and I can’t find anyone over the phone at One Voice Canada who knows where he is.

So much for getting that much needed help I was afraid I was going to lose in the first place.

After I calmed down enough, I took an opportunity to look at the background of the people of the three job assistance centres who used to represent me, including the one at One Voice Canada. One person ran their own private businesses or SOHO. A few others were executives at large businesses that catered to the Asian Market. Not one of them had any past professional experience with job placement and career counselling.

This is precisely why I now have a negative view towards these job assistance centres. These centres claim they want to help you. These centres claim they have all the personnel with the answers.  I believed in these agencies at the beginning of my job search. I even said in a video and in my very first blog post that I thought they were a good thing because that’s what I used to believe. Now I know better:  they are nothing more than a publically funded equivalent of the false purpose grammar error: something that inaccurately applies intent to an action. I’ve had better luck getting interviews with this blog and my Kijiji and Craigslist ads.

I ended my association with One Voice Canada with the following communication to my contact.

Dear (omitted).
I was hoping to get assistance from you regarding my résumé, which I spent not only a great deal of time revising (even though two previous job assistance centres have revised for me), but have tried to get a hold of you without success for the past two weeks.
I must say I’m disappointed. I showed a great deal of initiative and willingness to work with you and follow your advice so I can get help from One voice Canada to get myself back to work. Once again, just like Career Foundation and St. Steven’s house, I’m getting the same treatment: lack of assistance and lack of responses to my communications.
Please close my file.


That was not an act of pettiness. I simply got rid of something in my job search strategy that was not working.

Thanks for reading!


2 thoughts on “False Purpose

  1. Not at all petty, it’s a business decision. They were wasting your time, you were not seeing any results, you ended the business relationship. You mentioned that they are publicly funded. I would make sure that your representative in Gov’t knows about the issues as well. Again, not at all petty, just trying to make the best use of public funds.

    Petty would have been adding a P.S. like:

    P.S. You have bad taste in footwear and bad breath. 😀

    1. TUJA, that’s a brilliant suggestion. One of those three agencies (can’t remember which one) is funded by Employment Otario. I should mention to my MPP of Parliament that my tax dollars at the provincial level is not being used to provide adequate services to return me to work. Since a working Ontarian is a taxable one, I’m sure the MPP will see the logic in following up on my behalf 😉

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