YES Montreal turns to gaming to develop job search tool geared to youth

Click to play video: 'Helping young graduates find jobs' Helping young graduates find jobs
WATCH ABOVE: ob search program director Annalise Iten from Yes Montreal joins Global’s Laura Casella to talk about the new JobPrepper tool to help young graduates find employment – Feb 20, 2017

YES Montreal will be launching a new online tool to help young graduates and teens find employment.

Annalise Iten, a job search program director at YES Montreal explained that what makes the Jobprepper tool unique is how it engages youth on their own turf, making the job search process more relevant.

“Well youth, where are they? Iten asked. “They’re online, they’re always clicking away so we decided to make a gamified approach to job search.”

Essentially the job search process is turned into a game, where the player helps two characters navigate through different challenges, from writing a good cover letter, to learning how to write a good resumé.

READ MORE: Feds open panel exploring youth employment in Canada

The player is then forced to make choices on behalf of the characters and is provided with immediate feedback.

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According to Iten, that feedback is one of the advantages of the Jobprepper tool.

“They will be set with a wrong answer and a right answer and from there, they can learn a little more actively what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong,” she said.

On top of making job searches more relevant to young people, players can immediately apply what they’ve learned in the game, to a real-life setting.

READ MORE: Quebec government pledges $45M for youth unemployment, critics call it workfare

Jobprepper launches on the YES Montreal website Friday.

In the meantime, Iten offered a few quick and dirty tips for writing good resumés and cover letters.

According to Iten, your resumé should highlight your accomplishments.

“A lot of people make the mistake of just writing their duties and responsibilities and that’s not always the way to go,” she said.

“You want to be bringing ‘why am I worth you even calling me up for an interview?'”

For those with little work experience, Iten recommends including any type of summer job or volunteer work experience they’ve done and to talk about their objectives.

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Those objectives can be as simple as stating that you want a summer job to take you through the season so that you can continue on with your studies come fall.

But in the end, Iten said it’s really about making it simple, short and sweet.

For a cover letter, she warned job seekers to stay away from making it all about themselves and to avoid repeating what has already been listed in their resumé.

“Cover letters need to be much more about the company per say than about you the individual,” Iten said.

“You really want to be saying, you know who they are and here’s what I can bring to that particular position I’m applying for.'”

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