The Youth Resource Network of Canada

The Youth Resource Network is a slick new Web page brought to you by the Youth Employment Strategy of the Government of Canada. Here the "youth" of Canada--anyone between the ages of 15 and 30--will find a trove of techniques designed to help them figure out what they want to do with their professional lives and then develop concrete strategies for doing it.

The content-rich site is designed for easy step-by-step browsing. If you aren't sure what kinds of jobs you might like to try, start with a visit to the Self Assessment module. This section offers links to over a dozen different aptitude tests that can help you determine your personality profile and locate careers that are well suited to your type. Probably the best of these is the career manual put out by the University of Waterloo, a guide that has an emphasis on "life planning" instead of the more traditional "career planning" exercises typical of many other sites.

Now that you have chosen your new career, do you need to get more training? Then it's off to the second section of the Youth Resource Network, which gives information on all sorts of training and education programs across Canada. Currently featured is a list of all the "co-op" programs available in Canada that incorporate a work term within the academic requirements. Along with this list, there's a fairly complete catalog of links to colleges, universities, professional training schools, and exchange programs across Canada, with links to each school's Web page and a compiled list of career-oriented resources from each.

If you've already gone to school and trained for the career of your choice, skip right down to the fourth section of the Web page: Job Search Techniques. This section offers sample resumes and cover pages, tips on interview techniques, networking, and the like. Although the information isn't actually on this Web site, the links offered here are the most complete I've ever seen for job search information on the Web.

Once you've optimized your CV and cover page, the next step is to find job opportunities. The Youth Resource Network offers a listing of job posting sites by province, as well as links to commercial job banks and some international (though mainly U.S.) job post sites.

Finally, the Youth Resource Network offers entrepreneurial students information on self-employment, how to start a business, and where to get funding for a start-up.

Though not specifically science-oriented, the Youth Resource Network is a great organizational tool to keep track of all the other career-related sites out there. It is well worth a visit.

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