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Academy of Learning College Blog

job interview advice

Be warned: Some advice is terrible.

You may hear job interview advice from people who are already “out there” and working. However, they may have been hired despite their interview tactics, not because of them.

To save you the time of having to plow through 10+ pages of article results, we’ve compiled a list of what we consider some of the least helpful (and even detrimental) pieces of job interview advice. Avoid these common mistakes and you’ll be that much closer to landing your dream position.

“Arrive really early to impress your interviewer”

It might seem like a good idea to show up a half hour before the interview time – after all, aren’t employers impressed by workers who show up early? But you aren’t an employee yet, and arriving too early can put undue stress on the interviewer, who is likely pressed for time.

The career blog Pongo warns, “Arriving too early sends at least one of the following messages: You can’t follow directions, you think appointment times are ‘approximate,’ or you’re desperate. You won’t get interviewed until the scheduled time, and you’ll make people nervous by hanging out in the reception area.”

If you’re concerned about being punctual, arrive early to scope out the interview location, then grab a cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop and take the extra time to review your notes or take a few deep breaths. Plan to arrive no earlier than ten minutes before the interview.

“Answer ‘Describe your greatest weakness’ very honestly”

Although it might seem like a question meant to entrap you, employers ask the weakness question to get a sense of your own self-awareness, honesty, and how you approach challenges and problem-solve.

We all have flaws, otherwise there would be no room for growth. The trick is to point out how you have taken steps to remedy the issue and become a better worker.

In the U.S. News article “Ignore This Common—and Awful—Career Advice”, Alison Green writes, “Good interviewers don’t want to talk about weaknesses so they can play ‘gotcha,’ but because they want to make sure they won’t put [you] in a job where you’ll struggle.”

“Be really eager”

There’s nothing wrong with showing interest in an employer or a position, but being overly eager makes you seem either desperate or undiscriminating.

“Even if you are one of the top candidates, ‘send[ing] them a message that you need the job’ is a red flag. It causes the interviewers to question why you are in that situation and to rethink how good of a candidate you may be,” writes Melissa Cooley on the blog The Job Quest.

The interview is designed to be an opportunity for both you and your interviewer to judge if you would be a good fit for the position, and that determination takes time and consideration.

“List lots of things you would change, if hired”

Be cautious when offering unsolicited “advice” in an interview. You would be surprised by how many interviewees think they are being clever when they criticize a company’s website or ad campaign.

It’s one thing to comment on your web creation experience and make general comments about how that experience could be an immediate asset to the company. It’s quite another to make cutting remarks about the company’s current site.

You never know – the hiring manager might have been the one responsible for creating that site!

Feel Underqualified in Too Many Interviews?

The problem may not be your posture or when you show up to the interview. Maybe your resume is a bit too thin. If your skills are out of date, or not-quite-there, going back to school can be easier than you think.

At Academy of Learning College, we help students through our reputable, hands-on training to learn the necessary skills to get work in their chosen fields.  Not only will you be more qualified for your chosen career, the ability to list and discuss your education will ensure that you are presenting yourself to your full potential when interviewing.

Learn more about the courses we offer across Canada, or contact us today with your questions, and land that job you’re seeking!

microsoft word resume

Does Microsoft still have the final Word in resume writing?

Not everyone can access the full Microsoft Office suite, especially on a student budget.

So what are employers looking for today, and can you create a killer resume without learning Microsoft Word?

How Google Docs Became the New Microsoft Word

The resume writing tools of Google Docs are gaining popularity for one big reason: they are FREE. Google has streamlined the process of resume writing tools by giving users access to thousands of templates.

All you have to do is search “resume” and you will be able to click “preview” and look at each template before you decide which one is right for you.

You simply select a template, and then you’re able to start editing and inserting your information. After you have completed your resume, you can save it to Google Drive. You will be able to find your document at For a more detailed explanation on how to use Drive for resume building, learn more at How-To Geek.

E-Resume Formats to Convince Your Future Employer

There are many ways to deliver your resume to employers, but one of the most common requests will be via email or online submission.  An electronic resume, or e-resume, is a very broad term that covers many types of resumes. How you plan to distribute your resume depends on how you will format it.

Formatted Resumes

This is the traditional type of resume created in word processing applications. Microsoft Word is the most widely used and you are advised to use it for that reason. At the same time, other programs let you save a file as a .doc (the default Word document type) and your resume will look professional. However, it’s important to note that the document created outside of Word may not render properly if opened in a program other than Word. For example, the carefully chosen spacing may be off.

File extensions for formatted resumes are .docx and .doc. If possible, save your document as a .doc file and not .docx, since not all users can open that file extension.

You will use this type of resume at career fairs or in interview situations, where you will print it out and hand to prospective employers. This type of resume is known for being visually appealing, and is the go-to method when delivering your resume in means other than electronic, because it will print out properly.

Text Resumes

Also known as plain text resumes, this is the format preferred when submitting electronically. All formatting is stripped in this form, it carries a .txt file extension and is not visually pleasing, but that is not necessary since its main purpose is to be entered in the databases large employers use when searching for qualified interviewees.

This format is virtually impenetrable by viruses and is compatible across computer platforms. Very versatile, it can be used for posting on job boards, pasting into the body of emails to employers and converting to web-based HTML resumes.

Web Resumes

This resume is one of the best in today’s technology buzzing world.  You can post your resume online, where potential employers can view it 24 hours a day. With the many web-hosting services that offer free web space, you can easily send traffic to your resume.

You can then expand this to a web portfolio where your skills can be viewed by businesses whom you might not have sought out on your own.

Need Education to Pad Your Resume?

Today, Microsoft Word isn’t always affordable on a student budget, and with as many options available to you for free, you are doing yourself an injustice by not exploring them.

Of course, the problem may not be your format. If your skills are out of date, or not-quite-there, going back to school may be necessary to give you the edge over other candidates.

Before you get concerned that returning to school is a hassle, consider this: Academy of Learning College provides high quality education for students of all ages, who have a variety of work and life commitments that need to be balanced with their education.
Learn more about the programs we offer across Canada, or if you wanted to master Microsoft Office, you could do that, too.  Contact us for any questions you have about training or preparing for your career, and let us help you succeed!

career option myths

Any career with the word “medical” in the title is likely to be pigeonholed into the idea that it belongs only in a hospital setting.

However, that’s just one of the myths that plague a medical assistant career; it is patently untrue. Just because the job involves some interface with medical people and the medical profession, it does not mean it only offers opportunities at a hospital.

Other myths that apply to medical assistant career opportunities suggest that you have to be a clinical worker and a generalist. However, the variety of careers available for medical assistant graduates includes highly specialized offerings, if that’s more to your tastes.

Top 4 Medical Assistant Career Myths

If you want to get into the medical assistant career field, any one of these myths might derail your plans.

Luckily, there are no real limits on what you can or can’t do in this field, as there are a multitude of medical assistant job opportunities across British Columbia for someone who is properly trained.

Here’s the real truth about these top 4 myths about medical assistant careers:

Myth #1:  You Can Only Work in a Hospital

You can work in administrative positions, clinics, private doctor’s offices, and even the military. It’s up to you how you apply your knowledge as a medical assistant. You might even end up working in a physical rehabilitation clinic.

Myth #2 – You Can’t Specialize

Certifications exist from anything from obstetrics to podiatry. If you want to earn more or get into a specific specialty, there are organizations that do offer specialization certificates. Or, you can simply get on-the-job training with a particular specialty to get into your desired area.

Myth #3 – You Have to Be Clinical

There are plenty of medical assistant careers that are purely administrative. Some offer a mix of administrative and clinical duties, too. There is no reason you only have to concentrate on a clinical setting to use your skills. Private clinics need people to do patient intake just as much as they need clinical assistants.

Myth #4 – There Are Few Advancement Opportunities

Even if you choose an administrative role, you can still advance into a management position within a medical assistant’s career path. Further advancement can be obtained by earning a healthcare administration certificate, too.

You can become a clinical team leader, an instructor, a supervisor, or even a manager.

How Pay Compares

Specializing further, one has the ability to garner better pay along with greater responsibilities. Pay can vary by location, as well. For instance, Vancouver, Canada, pays an average of 11 percent more than Saskatoon.

Interested in Training to Be a Medical Assistant?

As you can see, there is no shortage of opportunities, but only for those who are qualified and certified.

At Academy of Learning College, we help students through our reputable, hands-on training to learn the necessary skills to get work in their chosen fields, and we also provide flexible schedules to allow for students to balance their family life and current jobs.  Learn more about our medical office assistant course in British Columbia, and book an appointment with us to discuss your needs.  Let us help you reach your potential today!



Can you see yourself working as a medical office assistant? Or more importantly, do you know what the job entails?

In a nutshell, a medical office assistant ensures that the administrative duties of the office are running smoothly and in the right order.

This is a very important role because it ensures that there is no backlog of patients in the office and any items or documents can be accessed easily by the doctor. In short, you make the job easier for the doctor.

Now let’s take a closer look at some of the tasks that you would be involved in on a daily basis.

What Does a Medical Office Assistant Specifically Do?

You might have an idea of some of the duties of an MOA, but you may find that there is more to the job than you may expect.

Check in Patients at the Front Office Desk

Each day you will see different people seeking treatment, and you will be the first person in the office to welcome them. Some of them may be in so much pain that they may not be receptive to your genuine greetings, while some may be in a hurry and want to go in first.  You’ve got to keep everyone as content as possible until they are seen by the doctor.

Update and Create Health Records

You may be required to interview patients and get their medical histories before the appointment, which makes the doctor’s work easier. For the regular patients, you would update their medical history ahead of their appointment, if applicable.

Administrative Duties of Management

Since you are at the heart of the management of the clinic, it is your responsibility to ensure that everything in the office is being carried out smoothly.

This ranges from handling financial records to restocking medical supplies, both crucial aspects of the job.


As a medical office assistant, there will be instances where patients are covered by an insurance company and want to be treated. It is your role to ensure that the insurance is valid. One of the most important aspects of the job is ensuring that the clinic is reimbursed the money by the insurance company.

You are also needed to submit the forms to the company and ensure that they have been filled out correctly. There are processes that you are supposed to carry out to show the procedures that the doctor did and enter the codes. Remember that any wrong information entered may mean the clinic is not reimbursed properly, so accuracy is essential.

Scheduling appointments

As a medical office assistant, scheduling appointments correctly is vital to the flow of care. Ensure you have not allocated two patients at the same time, and coordinate the appointments so a patient isn’t scheduled when the doctor is out for lunch or in a meeting.

Need to Learn the Skills to Be an Effective Medical Office Assistant?

As you can see, not only are there many duties of a medical office assistant, but each involves important details that make a big difference in the way an office is run. If you want to have a successful career as a medical office assistant, your first step is a strong education.

At Academy of Learning College, we help students through our reputable, hands-on training to learn the necessary skills to get work in their chosen fields, and we also provide flexible schedules to allow for students to balance their family life and current jobs.  Learn more about our medical office assistant course in British Columbia, and book an appointment with us to discuss your needs.  Let us help you reach your potential today!

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