Monthly Archives: October 2014


Witches, pumpkins… and an old man archaeologist! It was a mishmash of costumes today at our Halloween lunch party, which was hosted by DECSA’s Social Committee. We ate pasta, had a costume “fashion show”, and even won some prizes! The winner of our Door Decorating contest was The Assets for Success program, with the People’s choice awarded to the Community Relations department. Diep, also from Assets, won Best Costume with her “Old man Archaeologist” portrayal.

Happy Halloween everyone!


Open House

Yesterday, October 23rd, was our Open House, and are so thankful for what turned out to be an awesome day.  We enjoyed meeting new people, as well as reconnecting with some more  familiar faces. It was the perfect opportunity for participants and staff alike to share what we do here at DECSA, and present it in a creative and interactive way.  Seeing as there is such a sense of community here at DECSA, we wanted our guests to be involved in the experience, rather than just display each program’s information.

The Ventures program invited two of their successful participants to bring their businesses with them- Chipman 1/4lb. Fish and Chips , who served his food truck fare to hungry guests, and author David O’ Riordan who sold his books inside. The Assets for Success program engaged guests by offering a variety of scheduled activities including “Jeopardy” and “Speed Interviews”, which were a hit for everyone involved. One guest even cut a hallway conversation short by saying “Quick though, because I’ve got to get back to Jeopardy!”  Transitions participants turned their space into a virtual tour of what is offered in their program, and created colourful displays representing topics such as Anger Management and Career Development. They even provided cookies baked during their Basic Shelf workshop!

Attendees were able to enter their names for a chance to win one of two door prizes: a leather jacket, or a yoga mat. Light refreshments were also provided, with the punch apparently stealing the show! When asked how he rated the Open House, one guest responded : “It’s a 9/10”. He then took a sip of his punch and added: “Oh wait, no. Now it’s a 10/10”

How do we feel our Open House went? As staff member Joe puts it : “Our  Open House event’s positive outcome was the  result of a great team effort.  I was proud to be able to welcome most of the incoming guests and to encourage them to sign the guest book at the table decorated with a beautiful flower bouquet.   The whole atmosphere was very friendly.  The display of our programs’ information was informative and inviting.  This kind of in-house networking, the interior decorations, the openness of staff to answering any questions, to offer a tour of the building, etc. was really impressive.  Everything was very well organized and performed in a nice, synchronized way.  It was good to see a substantial number of visitors representing various services and agencies in the community.”

A huge thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, supported, or promoted our Open House yesterday. We couldn’t have done it without YOU!



Fall foliage

We hope everyone had a safe and special long weekend!

Here’s what DECSA staff had to say when asked the question, “What are YOU thankful for?”

Turkey. Good Health. Happy children. Having a job. Kettle bells. Supportive family and friends. For my family. For my career. For my home. For my health. For just being me. Family, friends, my job, my mom. Having a safe, warm home. My health, my sense. Laughter, seasons, flowers. Slurpees, food, candy, chocolate. My children. My job. My health. My lovely friends. My great family! The sun shining through my windows. Health, family, education. Opportunity. To be surrounded by such bright , ambitious people. Health. Team work. Family. Security. Stability. Life, family, friends, work, co-workers, opportunities, social media, Edmonton community, natural environment (Edmonton parks), sports and recreational facilities, Winspear Centre, churches, schools, galleries, city events and festivals, the Mayfield Dinner Theatre, shopping malls, medicentres, hospitals. I am thankful fro wildlife and birds and my ability to photograph them. Being part of an awesome team. My family. My home. My job. My friends.

So much to be thankful for!

And now, we are back, open, and ready to continue serving the community!


Resume Basics: Part 2, Functional


Last week we talked about chronological resumes, and what their advantages and disadvantages were. A functional resume, unlike the chronological resume, focuses on your skills, rather than your work experience. According to the ALIS website “A functional resumé highlights what you did, rather than where and when. It focuses on specific skills you have gained—through school, hobbies, paid employment or volunteer work—that relate directly to the work you’re seeking.” Some people choose to still list their employment history at the bottom, with or without dates, but it is also standard practise to leave it out entirely.

Sample 1

Sample 2

So who would benefit from using this resume style?

  • Someone who has had gaps in their employment history, or has never worked at all
  • A recent graduate with limited work job related experience
  • A person who has frequently switched jobs
  • Someone who is transitioning into a new career

Are there any drawbacks in writing a functional resume?

The biggest problem with the functional resume is that many employers are suspicious of it. Employers tend to think that the applicant is “hiding” something (rightly so), and red flags begin to pop up. There’s a possibility that the potential employer will start to focus on searching for what’s “wrong”, rather than focusing on the skills that the applicant actually has. That being said, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use a functional resume, especially if a chronological or combination resume highlights the work experience that you don’t have. You want to choose the style that best showcases your skills.

What’s a combination resume? Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out on the final instalment in our resume series!

Still overwhelmed in your job search? Come on down to our Community Resource Centre! We offer resume writing assistance, as well as access to computers, printers, fax machines, telephones, and a fax machine. We are open Monday to Friday from 8am until 4pm.