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Social media can be a valuable tool in career transition

Anyone in the job search process should consider if they are maximizing the use of social media in the process.  Sites that are tailored to your industry, networking sites, and informational sites can all be valuable in providing helpful tips and guidance on potential positions in companies.  Facebook®® is a good source for some basic information on the current ‘hot topics' a company is focused on and viewing the company's page before an interview can assist in giving you insight into what is important for their organization currently.  If you aren't maximizing LinkedIn®® as a resource, here are some things to put on your to do list:

  • Update your profile information to be current with volunteer work or paid work experience you are doing.
  • Request recommendations from previous supervisors and colleagues that can attest to the skills you need to make the transition - communication, organization, technical skills - whatever is most relevant to the industry or company you are pursuing.
  • Check out the new ‘jobs' function on the system - look on the right hand side to find positions that the search engine has found to match your past experience.
  • Follow and join groups that are aligned with your transition, either by company name or by industry.
  • In preparation for an interview, search for the company, department, and interviewer to formulate meaningful questions to ask at the end of the phone or face-to-face interview.
12:08 pm          Comments

Volunteering could help you transition to your next career

Volunteering and giving back to the community are ways people who are transitioning between jobs or industries can maintain skills and develop new ones.  For people who are not currently working in full-time positions, being able to contribute time and valuable talents not only help the organization they are given to, but also keep the person actively involved in the community.

There are many locations that can use the skills that job search candidates may have mastered in the workplace.  Look for organizations with a focus in an area that is of interest to you.  If you are passionate about helping animals, then check out local animal shelters or rescue foundations - perhaps you have skills in construction that could be used to help improve the shelter's facility, or if you are skilled in accountancy or finance you could assist in managing or developing budgets for projects.

Some parents may be using transition time to help out at their children's summer camp or school.  Parent Teacher Organizations, lunchtime or playground monitoring, even library assistance are usually volunteer positions that can always use extra manpower.  Some school districts will be looking for volunteers in tutoring after school hours - this is a great opportunity to use academic skills and also gain valuable teaching and mentoring skills.

Transitioning workers should try to use volunteering opportunities to build their skills and continue adding relevant content to their resume about the qualifications they can bring to the employer.  Your future employer will appreciate your commitment to ongoing professional development and your creativity in helping the community too.

12:41 pm          Comments

Four things to do for your career development now that you've graduated

Congratulations!  You've graduated from a post-secondary educational experience and are ready to start your first full-time job on your career path.  Now you can forget about your resume and interviewing and focus on your day-to-day activities, right?  Before you get too comfortable, there are a few career development steps to do now that will make it easier to maintain as you move through your first few post-graduation years.

  • Update your resume now. Take time to add your new job to your latest version using the job description. When you are ready to try and get a promotion or move to another company, you can avoid having to dig this up under pressure.
  • Change your social media profile information. Evaluate your LinkedIn® profile and update your graduation date, organizations you were involved in, and add your new job. Join professional organization groups in your industry. Put aside some time at the end of the first few months to add co-workers to your network.
  • Research internal groups you can get involved in. These could include special interest groups, training and development groups, and/or volunteer groups. When you are onboarding with a company, it's a great time to ask questions about ways you can get involved and network with peers beyond the day-to-day work projects.
  • Practice your technological and/or language skills. If you were hired in part due to your ability to effectively use certain technical programs or use language skills in the workplace, now is the time to brush up your skills. Even though you may be using these on the job, taking some time outside of work to become even stronger at them will make you even more valuable to your new employer.
5:29 pm          Comments

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