Monday, November 24, 2014

Is Your Career in Demand?

In today's ever-changing labour market, it is important to stay updated on what jobs are in demand and what jobs are more competitive. Staying updated, while it sounds daunting, is actually very easy and can be done from these two resources:

Job Bank Canada:
http://wladyslawlizon.ca/sites/default/files/job-bank_0.jpgThis website, updated weekly with labour market news per Canada as a whole, province and territories, and even municipalities, gives ratings for professions in regions across Canada. Want to know where Pilots are in demand... maybe thinking about moving to Calgary? The extensive search criteria allows you to peek inside the labour market for that job in that area.


This resource also does a complete overhaul at the beginning of each year for all of their statistics. This means that in January 2015 we will have a completely new batch of information to draw from! Stay updated, Career Services will be using this resource to develop our labour market and trends binders in the coming months.


Glassdoor.ca:
http://static.glassdoor.ca/static/img/mobile/icons/touch-icon-114.png?v=125292Glassdoor is unique in that it allows not only a look at if jobs are in demand, but the culture of those jobs and companies. Employees who have worked there review the job, location specific most of the time, and can help identify if that profession or that company is something you want to do or work for.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will also get a quick listing of trending jobs and salaries. The best part is it is all Canadian! Glassdoor.ca is a fun and informative website to use when analyzing the labour market. They also have a mobile app, so you can search your careers demand on the go!



It is important to know where the jobs are in your profession, and to understand where the jobs will be in the future  and where your industry is headed. These two resources are only the tip of the iceberg but provide a bountiful amount of information that is relatively easy to access.


Anthony Mancuso
Senior Career Assistant
3rd Year Honours Bachelor of Sport Management

Monday, November 17, 2014

Volunteerism is more than Meets the Eye


As an employer, when hiring someone you need to know who they are as a holistic package because how much sense does it make to hire someone who knows nothing about you?  Volunteerism is a way to highlight the experience that you accomplish for the reason of that it’s what you’re passionate about. In my experience in my position as a Career Assistant, I have never heard of someone doing something out of the goodness of their heart that wasn’t passionate about their volunteerism area. Volunteerism is something that really does impact a person’s life from day to day. My personal purpose of volunteering and my career is because I aim to inspire and empower others to do great things and to me I want to make sure that I explain this in my resume through the volunteerism section. Let your employer know that you don’t care about the money only, rather that you do other things for the reason that you are just passionate.  Use the strategy of putting yourself in the employer’s shoes, would you really want to hire someone who has no volunteerism?

I (Anthony) actually received consideration for my seasonal employment because my employer was so intrigued by my volunteer section on my resume, as community involvement was a big area of focus for their organization. Thinking about it objectively, the best way to get something is to give something in return, and giving back to your community while also contributing to a cause you care about is a great way for employers in the community to give back to you... by offering you a position!
 
http://www.nocarbsafterfour.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/volunteer.jpg
Some of the great benefits of volunteering
We offer a variety of resources for students looking to volunteer. Careerzone always has volunteer opportunities being posted for Brock students and Alumni to access, year round. There are both local and abroad opportunities being offered all the time. We also have a resource that offers a list of websites available to look at more volunteer opportunities. This resource can be found on careerzone on our online resource section, as well as in our resource centre. 



Brock also offers Volunteer Plus, a program designated to reward those who spend an ample amount of time volunteering during the year. Be sure to track all of your volunteer experience on Experience Plus to qualify! There are 3 levels:

Bronze: 30-40 hours
Silver: 41-75 hours
Golf: 76+ hours

All volunteer experiences can be recorded on your Experience Plus transcript! It may seem like a lot to volunteer for 76+ hours, but over the course of an entire year it is actually very minimal. Volunteer hours for Volunteer Plus are tracked from September 1st-August 31st, so you have all year including the summer to get involved!


Written by:
Tyler Harris
Career Assistant
3rd Year Psychology Major

Co-written and Facilitated by:
Anthony Mancuso
Senior Career Assistant
3rd Year Sport Management Major

Friday, November 14, 2014

Follow Ups and Thank you Notes

 So you have done your research and found a job you think would be  a great fit for you. You carefully edited your resume and wrote a killer coverletter and were invited for an interview - which you aced! So... now what do you do?

The next step in the interview process is about following up with your interviewer.



When?
 It is important to thank the interviewer(s) within 24 hours of meeting.

What do I say?
Send separate notes to everyone involved in your interview to thank them for their time, the opportunity to be considered, and also lets you reaffirm your enthusiasm for the position. Don't be afraid to restate your  relevant skills, and why you would be a great fit for the position. Did you forget to mention something during the interview? You may add it in your follow up, just make sure it is concise. Restating your relevant skills could also be used to demonstrate your understanding of the company's needs and challenges.

Length?
 An effective thank you note is short, sweet, and to the point. Aim for around 6- 10 sentences. You don't want them to lose interest in your message.

How?
Thank you notes can be physical notes, or follow up e mails. Make sure you proofread your e mails before you send them. You don't want to  tarnish the great first impression you made with typos. Be sure of their names and how to correctly spell them.


Thank you notes and follow ups can boost your chance of getting a job. A survey by AccountTemps (2013) found that 76% of Canadian executives polled said that sending a thank you note demonstrates initiative and courtesy. The act of simply thanking someone for their time and the opportunity to be considered for the position can set you apart from other applicants.

If you would like more information, or you would like to see some sample follow ups, please feel free to stop by the Career Resource Centre and check out our Interview Techniques Binder, or chat with a Career Assistant. We are always happy to help you! Mon-Fri 9-4:30 


Becky White
Lead career Assistant
4th Year Tourism and Environment


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Degree exploration... don't forget the bigger picture!

During the middle of the semester I always catch myself thinking "What am I doing all this work for?". After writing midterms and finishing assignments, the stress can cause you to doubt what you've been working for. A lot of students have been coming in asking about what they can do with their degree simply because they need encouragement to get them through the rest of the semester.

As much as it can become hard to keep pushing through assignments and exams at this point, it is important to know that you are doing all of this work for a reason. You are becoming educated in a field that holds opportunity for the rest of your life. The skills you learn not only from your textbooks but also from you balancing your work are crucial to your success in your future career. You will be able to take on bigger jobs and more stress if you handle it day by day like you have been doing throughout school.

Through every discipline, you can find opportunity. Your drive, persistence, and effort is what will get you that job. Those are the things you learn without realizing when you are working through midterm or exam season. We learn to get through harder and harder exams that produce higher stress levels as we approach graduation. As we accomplish every term, we actively are creating a more innovative individual. As we work through our degree we not only learn the things we need to know about our field but we learn things that apply to the bigger picture or the working world as a whole. Teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, etc. are all the things we learn in every discipline that are connected to real jobs out there. These are the things that can make a successful future.

So, as you are thinking about your degree and the stress of that next assignment, remember that you are doing all of this for a great reason. You are working through this to improve those skills we don't always think about that are crucial in the job market.

If you are concerned about your degree or direction into a career, feel free to come by the Career Resource Centre to talk to a Career Assistant about it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Other Career Assessments - The Needle in the Haystack



Welcome everyone!

In the past few blog posts, we have outlined some very useful career-assessments offered at Brock such as career-cruising and Type Focus. There are a plethora of different career-assessment options that I highly recommend taking that are offered both within and outside of Brock.

http://kiaparedes.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/pr.jpgThe third career assessment that is offered on Careerzone is called TalentToday. This self-assessment is relatively new, and is always growing and expanding. When I first took the self-assessment, it was fairly primative. Now, after months of feedback and development, the self-assessment tool is much more complete, and offers some really unique insights on your personality and motivations. They offer some neat graphs and visuals on tendencies such as stress management and teamwork. (see right)






There are also some really great self-assessments outside of the ones offered on CareerZone. itsajuggle.ca offers a plethora of information and links to many different career assessments. Here's a quick summary provided by juggle on some well-known self-assessments that you can take, that are offered through itsajuggle.ca:

- Princeton Review 5-Minute Career Quiz: "This short career quiz that helps you understand the type of jobs suited to your interests and preferred work style. It’s a favourite of bestselling career author Richard Bolles. To take the assessment you will need to register (don’t worry, it only takes a few seconds)."

- Myers-Briggs Personality Type: "This video will help you discover your Myers-Briggs personality type. It will show you the four facets of personality and help you discover the four-letter personality type that fits you best."

- Holland Code: "This test will discover your best job based on your strongest career interest among six occupational themes."

 
Self-assessments are a great tool; they help identify your evolution as a professional. There are so many career assessments available, many of them free. I recommend taking a few of these favourites and trying to find similarities between the different results!

Monday, November 3, 2014

What does it all mean?: The Importance of Knowing Yourself

Finding a rewarding and fulfilling career is not an easy task. There are so many things to consider when deciding on a field, and occupation. Regardless of whether you feel a bit intimidated by selecting a career, or whether you are just interested in knowing all the facts, knowing yourself is the most useful thing you can do in your job search.

In my experience, people tend to search for jobs backwards. They hone in on one particular job title and say  "I want to be THIS!" instead of finding a job that would suit them, and weighing different careers. Having only one job in mind limits your research and potentially closes your mind off from related careers you may be interested in. While there is nothing wrong with having a directed vision and knowing where you want to go, we here at Career Services like to give you every resource we can to help you be successful in your career related quests. :)

Completing personality assessments (that can be accessed for free on careerzone -  I like typefocus for the purpose of this topic!) are an excellent place to start reflecting on what is important to you, and the workplaces you would succeed in. In addition to career and personality assessments, you may find it useful to reflect on your personal thoughts on:

Your Values:
  • What is important to you? 
  • How would you uphold your values in the workplace?
  • Does the workplace of the job you are interested in support your values?
Pace:
  •  Is the job you are researching a fast paced job? 
  • Would you be required to work under pressure?  
  • How do you perform under pressure?
Expression:
  •  Do you enjoy performing the same tasks every day, or do you like variety?
  • Do you enjoy having some degree of creative freedom over your work?

Working With Others:
  •  Would you prefer to work as a team or by yourself?
  • Would you like to help others through your work?
This is only a sample of the many questions you could ask yourself when it comes to evaluating yourself and certain jobs. This information is useful because it can assist you in your job search. There are many related careers out there that are within the same field, but may be more customized to your specific values, wants, and needs and will ultimately make you happier in your future position.

 If you would like to talk more about assessments, the career search process ( ask to see the triangle!), or knowing yourself  then come on by to Career Services. We would be happy to help you!

Becky White
Lead Career Assistant
4th year Tourism and Environment (Hons.)



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Graduation and what lies beyond...

Halloween is tomorrow and I know what’s on everyone’s mind …. Career planning!

Consider attending one of our many events in the coming weeks and plan for your future…
November 4th - Graduate Education Expo in the Marketplace 
Are you thinking about going to grad school? Want to learn about post-degree programs and professional educational opportunities? Connect with educational recruiters from a wide range of post-degree programs and certificates and learn about the many post-grad options open to you at this event. Stay connected with us on this event at #GradExpo2014.

November 12th – YMCA Career Fair in MC-A Hallway
Want to make a positive impact on your community? Representatives from the YMCA of Niagara will be providing information on how you can join their team and build a better Niagara region. All students from all degree areas are welcome – bring your resumes and class schedules!

November 12th – Niagara Regional Police Services Information Session @ Welland Job Gym 
Interested in working for the Niagara Regional Police Service? Learn about the required qualifications, recruitment process and possible career-pathing options in this 2 hour information session.

More information on these events and many more can be found on CareerZone


If you’re considering applying to grad school, take note that application deadlines are quickly approaching. Need help writing your Letter of Intent? CV? Stressed about writing the GRE/LSAT/GMAT? Stop by the Career Resource Centre and we can help you get started. Check out our grad school resources on CareerZone as well.

Even if you’re not graduating this year and/or looking for a job right now, it’s never too early to update your resume so when that perfect job opening comes up your ready to apply. Consider getting your career documents reviewed by a Career Assistant today.

Happy Halloween!

Mike Pratas                                                                       Wajeeh Alvi
Senior Career Assistant, 3rd year Political Science Major           Career Assistant, 3rd year Computer Science Major 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Defining Interests - Work-Related or a Hobby?

Resume advice!

An interests section on a Resume, or your LinkedIn profile, can be a great way to help you stand out from the rest of the professionals in your field. Although some may believe that stuffing your resume with just work experience is the best way to go, employers do look for unique traits that help candidates to stand out. Whether those unique traits are Volunteer Experience, Professional Development workshops or training sessions, or Work-Related Interests and Hobbies, they can certainly give you that extra push that many candidates are otherwise lacking. Employers are always looking for personality, and asking themselves "what makes you special?" and having something to make you stand out, along with some relevant experience, can make you a prime candidate for a position.

There is a difference between a hobby and a work-related interest, and knowing the difference between the two can make or break the professional constitution of your resume or LinkedIn profile. The key factor to consider in this section is to think about what you are revealing about yourself. For example, writing "Varsity Basketball Player" in an interests and hobbies section does not tell the employer much, except for the fact that you might need significant time off, immediately putting you at a disadvantage to other candidates...It looks more like a hobby or a pastime. However, writing something more thorough and skill-revealing such as "Varsity Basketball Player, balancing a competitive mindset with proven teamwork skills" is much stronger as it identifies key skills that an employer may be looking for, making it a work-related interest. You can also put a date on these hobbies as well. Say if you have been playing Varsity Basketball for 4 years straight now, that indicates that you are dedicated and committed to your team and your role, and may indicate to the employer that you are less likely to quit if you are hired.


Say you are applying to be an Editor for your local newspaper. Stating in an Interests section that you are an avid reader and enjoy critiquing various forms of media (ex. Literature, film or music) lets the employer know that you truly enjoy activities related to what you are applying for, which will in-turn help you to enjoy and excel at your new role as an Editor. If you have a blog or a website where you post all of this information, directing the employer to that place will show evidence of your passion. Again, putting a timeline of how long you have been doing this can also be a benefit.

A hobbies and interests section can also be a great place to put other skills that are not required for the position, demonstrating diversity, something that many employers desire. For example, if you have computer-related skills such as HTML, C++, Java, etc., and do not have a Skills section on your resume, you can put them in the interests section.

To summarize, a Hobby and Work-Related Interests section on a resume can be a great tool if used correctly. Some important things to consider are:

- Always consider the significance of the interest/hobby. If it is not relevant and does not demonstrate anything to an employer, it may not be worth putting on your resume (e.g., Video Game enthusiast since 2001).
- Always consider what you are revealing about yourself in this section. Some hobbies and interests may give off the wrong impression and put you at a disadvantage.
- Do not be afraid to elaborate on these interests/hobbies! Let the employer know what skills you have developed/demonstrated in that interest or hobby, and if you have been doing it for a long time a date-to-date (2005-Present) may be useful!
- Interests and Hobbies demonstrate diversity. Diversity does not fully make up for a severe lack of related experience, but it will help differentiate you from the crowd!

Remember if you ever need any help on your resume, cover letter, CV, or anything career-related, feel free to drop by the Career Resource Centre between 9-4:30 Monday-Friday for FREE career advice!



Anthony Mancuso
Honours Bachelor of Sport Management - Year 3
Senior Career Assistant

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why you should complete the Type Focus "Values Assessment"

Values; a persons principles or standards of behaviour, ones judgment of what is important in life  

When you think about what you want to do for the rest of your life, you probably think about what education you need, how much money you'd like to make, and what your working conditions would be. Something else that we consider is the values that we have and how they relate to the work you would be doing. Having a job that disrespects values that you have probably isn't something you're going to enjoy doing for the rest of your life.

I think its important to consider your values first. If you are not exactly sure how your values relate to the career your looking at then no worries, there are ways of finding this out. 

Type Focus provides a Values Assessment that anyone can use to determine there most important values within a workplace. A couple of examples I got after completing this assessment were that I valued relationships (working with people) and support (having a supportive and encouraging work team). There are many more that people may have, it all depends on how you answer the questions and what kind of person you are. 

Assessments are fun and an interactive way of learning more about yourself and your future! Taking the Values Assessment through Type Focus will get you one step closer to the perfect job for you to pursue!  

Brock University students can access Type Focus through careerzone.brocku.ca
Make sure you log in as a student, go to Career Services > Online Resource Centre > Career Assessments > Type Focus

Alysha-Lynn Kooter, Senior Career Assistnat, 3rd Year Education and Visual Arts at Brock University 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Career Cruising Matchmaker - Take with a Grain of Salt

Career-Cruising is a great self-assessment tool that provides a list of  potential career options for you based on your responses. It is a great way to look at a wide range of career choices if you are confused with what to do after you graduate, or if you are just curious! The Primary assessment available is the career-assessment, where you answer a minimum of 39 questions about work preferences and the service matches you with careers that line-up with your preferences.

You can access Career-Cruising through CareerZone under the Online Resource Centre tab, and then by clicking on self-assessment.

Here's the thing... some of these matches may be way out there. For example, I am studying Sport Management, and my top 5 matches after answering the first round of questions are as follows:

39 Questions Answered:
1. Parking Enforcement Officer
2. Martial-Arts Instructor
3. Volunteer Manager
4. Waste-Management Technician
5. Military Officer

Huh. It seems I am destined to be a Parking Enforcement Officer or a Martial Arts Instructor, not exactly what I had in mind. After answering 39 questions it is hard to tell what kind of careers might be right for you, or find one that might suit your fancy. You have the opportunity to take additional questions after the minimum 39, and I strongly recommend it. My top 5 matches after completing 116 questions are as follows:

116 Questions Answered:
1. Sport Agent
2. Martial Arts Instructor
3. Volunteer Manager
4. Human Resources Specialist
5. Venture Capitalist

Though my apparent calling to be a Martial Arts Instructor remained, after completing more questions and the skills assessment on Career-Cruising I began to see more interesting, related career paths such as a Sport Agent or a Human Resources Specialist. You begin to notice trends, with clusters of employment beginning to show. It's through these trends that Career-Cruising becomes useful as you might find a related path or similar career from one of your matches. At the very least, it gets you thinking about a plethora of different options.

On Career-Cruising, either through selecting one of your matches or simply searching a career, you can research some useful information on that career including:

- Job Descriptions
- Working Conditions
- Related Careers
- Education Required
- Sample Career Path
- Salary
- Information Interviews


So, if I choose to act on my calling to be a Martial Arts Instructor, I can research a plethora of information on that career, what to do to get there, and what to expect when I am there as well as any related careers that may further catch my eye.

All in all, take your results with a grain of salt! Your career is not set in stone by the degree you pursue or by the results in your self-assessment. Like any self-assessment, Career-Cruising is a tool, and if used correctly and in the right context, it can do a lot of good.


Have a great reading week! Our Resource Centre is closed on Monday, but operates regular hours for the rest of the week. Drop by to come and have your resume reviewed by yours truly or another Career Assistant!


I actually love working here
(I love working here!)
Anthony Mancuso
Senior Career Assistant
3rd Year Sport Management