Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Importance of Resume and Cover Letter Tailoring

Importance of Tailoring Resumes and Cover Letters -- Review Services offered through Career Zone

For this blog post we wanted to highlight the importance of tailoring your resumes and cover letters when applying for different positions, in order to target specific job industries and employers.  We are going to breakdown how to tailor your resume and cover letter and why this is so important for crafting exceptional career related documents.  

Resume Tailoring

When editing your resume you want to ensure that the content in each section is related to the job/industry in which you are applying for.  It is also useful to list your most relevant experiences first on your document.  You should also ensure you are customizing the language and headings of your document to reflect the relevant skills or competencies related again to the specific job or industry.  For proper format and structure of your document, you want your resume style to complement the experience you possess and meets the industry standards. 

Cover Letter Tailoring

When writing your cover letters, similar to resume crafting, it is important to tailor your cover letter to the specific job, industry and company you are applying to.  You want to show the employer that you took the time and effort to look into their organization and indicate to the employer what is of interest to you and how your skills reflect the job posting.  For each job you are applying for the Cover Letter is an area where you can highlight specific qualifications that you possess that you think would intrigue the greatest interest to the specific employer and job industry you are applying to.  The Cover Letter also gives you the opportunity to discuss your related experience and specialized training that you have that can directly correlate with the position you are applying for. 

Tailoring your resume and cover letter is important when applying for specific jobs and specific industries to ensure you are not only grabbing the attention of the employers, but also you want to make sure you are meeting the expectations and individual employer requirements.  Customizing your Cover Letter for each position you apply for is valuable, it gives you the opportunity to specify and gear your Cover Letter to the needs of the employer and the specific qualifications the employer desires.  In order to increase your rate of success and chances of getting noticed by the employer it is crucial to take the time to tailor your resume and attempt to gain the managers attention.  

Review Services 

At Career Zone we offer various document review services, we can review both your Resume and Cover Letters.  You can visit Career Zone in the Guernsey Market, to work one on one with one of our Career Assistants, they can work through a job posting and help you craft Resumes and Cover Letters that are tailored directly to the positions you are applying to.  We are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, come and stop by!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Networking For Job Fairs

Preparing for a job fair can seem like a daunting task. There can be an overwhelming amount of information to process, so we are here to help you find the focus of your job search and hopefully you can approach the event with confidence!

Proper preparation is critical for any aspect of the job hunt, including job fairs, which are a great and effective way to build connections with employers. So we have helped by providing you with 5 easy steps to prep and get the most out of your job fair experience.

Five Easy Steps To Prepare: 
1. Prepare a list of employers you would like to connect with
2. Be clear with your interests and the skills you have to off employers
3. Research employers or institutions that will be in attendance by checking their website, LinkedIn, and other social media
4. Dress professionally
5. Be patient and stay positive!

There are also a few things to keep in mind once you have arrived at the end. First and foremost, remember to approach an employer with confidence. Introduce yourself and ask questions about their company before diving into questions about the opportunities available. Collect business cards for employers you connect with, and if you have your own offer one to them. This gives you a way to contact them for further follow up after the event has concluded. Exchanging business cards and following up is especially important as it helps you transition from only a connection, to building a relationship with the organization.

Want to put these tips to their use?  Check out the on-campus events that are approaching quickly! Jobs on Campus Job Fair is happening January 25th, 2018 in Guernsey Market, and Grad Send Off on February 6th, 2018 in the Ian Beddis Gym.

Can't make it to those events? Check out the events calendar on careerzone.brocku.ca to find more coming up soon! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Volunteering Abroad: Across Our Southern Border to Across the Pond

Do you want to make a difference while also experiencing a new culture and country all at the same time? There’s an amazing opportunity knocking at your door… It’s volunteering abroad! It’s your ticket to seeing the world while also changing it.

It’s a great way to add experiences and skills to your resume while shaping your career decisions. Additionally, it’s a way to meet new people and expand your network. You will get to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn how people across the globe live day-to-day. 

Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Volunteering Abroad:
1. What type of environment do you want to volunteer in?
2. Where is the company/organization located?
- Make sure to research information about whether you need a Visa and how to obtain one
- Look into the reputation of the company and the country’s culture, including health and safety concerns
3. Is the type of work you want to do related to your future career goals?
4. What are the costs and time commitments required to travel abroad?
- Different countries and programs will have varying costs

Brock University offers unique experiences for those wanting to volunteer abroad, including Alternative Reading Week. During the October and February reading weeks, students are given the opportunity to get involved in local and international community projects. In the past, Brock has partnered with Habitat for Humanity (South Carolina, U.S. & El Salvador) and Outreach 360 (Dominican Republic). Registration filled up quickly but there are still spots for the Habitat for Humanity trip in South Carolina during the February Reading Week! Sign up as soon as possible to secure your spot.
For more information, visit https://experiencebu.brocku.ca/event/67942

SEA 2018: Solidarity Experiences Abroad
SEA is a service-learning program organized by Brock’s Faith and Life Centre that is partnered with many Brock faculties and departments. They work with students to connect their career goals with social justice. They offer volunteer experiences that cater to those studying Education, Nursing or Health Sciences but anyone is invited to help regardless of their program of study!
For more information, visit brocku.ca/sea or email any questions to sea@brocku.ca!

Where You Can Find Other Volunteer Opportunities

Brock University also offers specific programming and information for students interested in taking their volunteer work across the globe. Check out the following:
Solidarity Experiences Abroad at Brock: www.brocku.ca/campus-ministries/solidarity/
Non-Governmental Organizations for Volunteering Abroad: www.brocku.ca/international-services/learn-work-abroad/volunteering/

For questions, information or resume and cover letter reviews, visit CareerZone in Guernsey Market in the new year! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Networking At Events/In-Person

You've found the perfect event to get out there and begin networking for a career. This can be an overwhelming feeling, breath, because you made it through the toughest part. You're reached the right spot to begin gathering knowledge on career networking. Procrastinating may have carried us through our undergrad degree, but the best prep for any event is done in advance. Secure your spot by registering in advance if the event requires. Would not want to travel on a series of buses for three hours and not get in, right? Even worse, walking into the event and giving a blank smile to who could potentially be your next ally. This leads to point number two, research, research, research. Knowledge is power and the more you know of the folks you are with and career cultural norms, the more you will have to talk about! Let's make sure all this hard work does not go to waste and document all these great ideas. Using a small notepad, jot down the names of key people you would like to meet, some questions you may ask and some conversation topic buzzwords to get you through the painful small talk. Being prepared may mean notepad and paper copy resumes to some and to others it may mean a clean, sophisticated business card with your contact information and personal portfolio URL. Now that you have the power it's time to work on the performance.  


Remember how we are not going to procrastinate anymore? Perfect. This means we will be on time and we will arrive early, yay us! Before mingling amongst your future connections, make sure to stop by and grab an event program and floor plan if available. Even if you aren't the one for strategizing every detail, an event planner is an excellent distraction read for all your awkward moments. And that's the thing, this will be a bit of an awkward practice at first. Don't sweat, and be patient, this is a new skill you are working on and all skill development takes time. With a deep breathe you are ready to open your first network. It will be a little messy at first and after some exposure you will begin to develop a rhythm and a know for which questions are appropriate to ask. Start with introducing yourself and asking your new connection about their work and/or company. This will get the conversation to naturally progress towards the opportunities available. Wrap things up considerably, offer a salutation and ask for a business card. Each of you should leave feeling more connected and knowledgeable on what you have to offer each other 

Etiquette is another extremely important topic for networking. We need to understand how our verbal and non-verbal communication is perceived by others in order to portray the right image or intended image. Good body language, a confident & energetic voice, reading a persons business card before pocketing it, and having non-business discussions can be excellent ways to improve one's networking skills. On the other hand, dressing inappropriately can have adverse effects on your networking efforts. As intermediate fashionistas, we advise to  avoid wearing a belt and suspenders, socks that contrast your suit and overpowering scents. We understand it is difficult to refrain from full diva but do try and avoid overwhelming jewelry, elaborate hairstyles, low cut tops,  and etc. With these tips in mind, you are ready to let your nexus unfurl.  

For more information on Networking stop by CareerZone in Market Hall and talk to one of our Career Assistants!