Friday, July 31, 2015

Faculty Focus: Education

The Faculty of Education here at Brock encompasses the Education, Early Childhood Education, Adult Education, and Concurrent programs. As many readers will know, getting a job in the field of education can be very competitive. But not to worry! These specific resources can help you to get your foot in the door:

Resources in the Centre/on Careerzone

  • Cafe Connect Program (for more details, click here)
  • Mentorship Plus Program(for more details, click here)

Books (ALL books are located in the centre)

  • 101 Alternatives for Teachers
  • The Inside Track: Getting Hired to Teach in a Canadian School

  • Teachers College & Teacher Resume Samples Binder
  • Career Paths for Teachers Binder
  • KOM Consultants Binder
  • Faculty of Education Resume Sample Binder
  • Considering Teacher Education Handout
  • Teacher Cover Letter & Resume Guidelines
  • Teacher Accomplishment Statement Chart
  • Skill Words for a Teaching Resume Handout
  • Board of Education Cover Letter Template
  • Personal Teaching Philosophy (Templates & Sample)
  • Applying to DSBN/Niagara Catholic/Halton District/Peel District/Hamilton-Wentworth Boards
  • Degree Exploration Guides (to see yours, click here)

Additionally, our Online Resource Centre through Careerzone contains a whole section dedicated to teachers and teacher candidates. Log-in to peruse through them today & be sure to also come visit us in the centre to check out these great resources in order to help you enter the field of education!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Twitter & Facebook for Job Searching

For many, social media is just a means to keep in touch with friends and family and a way to share photos, jokes, and memories. But for others, social media is also a way to find employment opportunities. From Twitter to Facebook, using social media to job search is not only quick and easy, but it also allows you to tap into the hidden job market to find the opportunities that others don't know about who aren't using social media in this way.

The key factor to utilizing social media to job search is to make the right connections. So, as an example, if you are a psychology major like myself, liking or following the American Psychological Association (APA) could lead to knowing about job opportunities within that association. This goes for almost every area of interest or expertise; there will always be an association you can like or follow in order to stay in the loop with upcoming or current opportunities. Our Degree Exploration Guides are a great resource to help you figure out who to follow within your field. 

There are also more general ways to seek out employment opportunities using social media. Many job search companies and organizations have created pages on social media and post employment opportunities constantly. Here are a few companies and organizations to like and/or follow to help get you started:

Brock Career Services
Twitter: @BrockCareerServ

Twitter: @Indeed

Job Bank

Twitter: @Monster

Twitter: @Workopolis

Twitter: @Glassdoor

Before you know it, your news feed will be full of job opportunities! Just remember that if you utilize social media for job searching, you'll want to make sure that all the content available about yourself is professional. Read last weeks blog for some tips on how to clean up your social media in order to make a good first impression! Thanks for reading!

Scarlet Stark

Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Friday, July 24, 2015

Faculty Focus: Applied Health Sciences

Starting now until Mid August, each faculty here at Brock will be blogged about in order for students to gain insight into the different resources, services, and programs we offer here at Career Services for all the different faculties within Brock.

Our first faculty of focus will be Applied Health Sciences, a diverse faculty ranging from Child Health programs to Sports Management. Even though this faculty includes a wide range of programs, we offer resources to suit all students within this faculty! Here is a breakdown of resources geared towards Applied Health Sciences students:

Resources in the Centre/on Careerzone

  • Med Plus Program (to find out details about this program, click here)

Books (ALL books are located in the centre)
  • Opportunities in Health & Medical Careers
  • Opportunities in Hospital Administration
  • Opportunities in Medical Imaging
  • Opportunities in Laser Technology
  • Opportunities in Sport & Fitness
  • Top 100 Healthcare Careers
  • MCAT Prep Book
  • Degree Exploration Guides for each major within the Applied Health Sciences faculty (ie. Child Health, Community Health, Medical Sciences, Nursing, Physical Education & Kinesiology, Public Health, Recreation & Leisure Studies, and Sports Management which can be accessed online by clicking here or come into the centre)
  • Faculty Specific Resume Samples (in the centre or Online Resource Centre; to access online, click here)
  • Portfolio Samples for Sports Management and Kinesiology (in the centre ONLY)
  • Considering Medical School Resource (in the centre or Online Resource Centre; to access online, click here)
  • Entrance Exam & GPA Conversion Resources (in the centre or Online Resource Centre; to access online, click here)
  • Careers in Healthcare Resource (in the centre or Online Resource Centre; to access online, click here)
So there you have it! Be sure to check out all of these helpful resources and come visit us in the centre soon for all career related questions, concerns, and assistance! Have a great weekend!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cleaning Up Your Online Image

Social media has not only changed the way in which we communicate with one another, it has also changed the way in which we look for job opportunities. With more and more employers utilizing platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, job hunting on these platforms has become easier then ever before. But one more thing has also become easier too: screening applicants! Employers and recruiters often check you out 
the same way you are checking them out. This is why it is important to clean up your social media and/or online image. If right now you're saying "Me? I would never post anything inappropriate for a potential employer to see!", try a simple Google search of you're full name. If anything comes up which you wish hadn't, the content that relates to you on the web, especially via social media, may need a cleaning more so than you initially thought. Here is an easy three step method to cleaning up your on-line image:

Delete Existing Negative Content
Sometimes, this step is easier said than done. If someone else has posted something damaging about you or of you, it may require reaching out to them in order for the content to be removed. But remember: even if your Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin profile is riddled with inappropriate unprofessional content, there is always the option to delete the account entirely and start from scratch. Although this means you are losing contacts, it may be the best way to re-brand yourself entirely, as well as help you to make wiser decisions about who you decide to network with in the future.

Create New Content
Once all that negative content is gone, start filling up you're social media and professional profiles with positive content. Whether it be work related, school related, or even nice weather related, maintaining positive content is key in order to successfully re-brand yourself and in order to squash all that preexisting negative content. As already mentioned, you may need to start you're Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin profile from scratch; but no worries! Re-branding yourself takes time but will be worth it in the end when recruiters start to call and e-mail you with job opportunities!

Ensure Consistent Maintenance 
Now that you have re-established yourself online, be consistent and try and maintain you're newly created online image! Ensure that all you're online content is in line with both personal and career related goals and also follow, friend, or link with fellow professionals in your field or sector. Another great tip is to utilize advanced settings and filters so you can control what others can post about you as well as control who can see you're content and who can post content linked to you're name or profile.

So now that you've got a squeaky clean online presence, you can now confidently share you're Linkedin URL under "Contact Info" on a resume or add that Twitter handle to you're business card knowing that you're image online is a positive reflection of what you have to offer employers and recruiters. If you'd like more tips, check out "Find a Job Through Social Networking: Use Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and More to Advance Your Career" by Diane Crompton and Ellen Sautter, a book you can find here at the Resource Centre! Thanks for reading!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Monday, July 13, 2015

Consistency & The Personal Brand

Personal branding is now easier than ever, with most people already having a personal brand, even if they haven't actively identified it yet. Think of your personal brand as your "image", or the way in which others see you and what you have to offer. Outlets like social media help people promote this image, but often times, inconsistency can occur between the image you are portraying online or on the job, and who you actually are as a person. With that being said, here are three reasons why consistency is beneficial while you are identifying and shaping your own personal brand:

If you are consistent with your personal brand, you will most likely experience a new found sense of confidence. But why? Because evaluating your strengths and positive characteristics helps you realize what exactly you have to offer, which naturally makes you feel good. In doing so, you also realize what you don't have to offer, which isn't necessarily a bad thing or a confidence crusher. It simply means you can now live in accordance with your strengths and build your personal brand to focus on what you can do, rather than what you can't.

Consistency leads to credibility. If you are good at something and do a good job every time, others will notice. Personal branding and credibility both go hand in hand, but never forget that consistency is also key. If 4/10 jobs aren't done correctly, people will notice. If 10/10 jobs are done correctly, people will also notice. People want to know they can trust your work, so delivering your best every time will not only help you shape your own personal brand, but will also help you remain consistent with your strengths, all the while creating a positive reputation of yourself to your audience and peers.

What makes you different from everyone else? This question is difficult to answer without a consistent personal brand. If you have no idea what makes you unique as far as strengths and skills, you can easily get lost in the crowd. The best way to remain consistent with your personal brand while standing out from the crowd is to identify what your audience wants and needs from you (and deliver!), and understand what sets you apart from the competition.

If you'd like to explore more on personal branding, check out "Personal Branding for Dummies" by Susan Chritton which actually inspired this blog post. We have a copy of her amazing book here at the Career Resource Centre so pop by to get more tips and information on how to identify and work on your own personal brand! If you can't come to the centre but want to read more, check out our other blog on personal branding here. Thanks for reading!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Using Linkedin for Career Success!

It's one thing to simply have a Linkedin profile, but it's quite another thing to utilize this platform to maximize the amount & caliber of job opportunities that come your way. This is a rather simple thing to do that involves utilizing the job search function, working within your network, and joining or following groups, organizations, and companies you wish to work for!

The job search function on Linkedin is a great starting point to begin using Linkedin for career success. Using Linkedin, you can search by job title, keyword, company name, and company location. You can even save jobs to apply to later, save your searches, and look at past applications! In this sense, Linkedin helps you organize and plan your job search, making it super easy to hunt and apply for the perfect position.

You can even discover jobs within your network without even searching, allowing you to leverage your connections! At the bottom of the "Jobs" page on Linkedin, you'll find jobs coming from within your network, meaning you can easily reach out to your connections for details about the job or find out information regarding hiring and interviews for that particular company. This is a great way to use those already made connections to your advantage while you are job searching.

But beyond just utilizing the "Jobs" tab on Linkedin and working within your already established network, there are also other ways to find the position of your dreams and achieve career success. Joining groups or following companies or individuals which relate directly to your skills and career goals is another way to search for employment. By joining these groups and following these companies, you will be notified when positions become available without even searching! You can also begin making connections with other professionals within these groups and companies in order to expand your network and learn more about the industry you wish to work for.

Another great way to expand your network is to follow professional associations and related to your field. For example, I follow the American Psychological Association (I'm a psychology major!), which allows me to learn more about professions in psychology while also allowing me to join discussions and network with well established professionals. Check out our Degree Exploration Guides to find the associations that relate to your major!

With platforms like Linkedin becoming more and more popular, it's clear to see that we've come a long way from the traditional format of physically handing in resumes to employers which has truly made the duties of the job seeker much more simple and streamlined. So what are you waiting for? Job hunt the easy way by utilizing Linkedin for career success!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Friday, July 3, 2015

Smart Start 2015!

Looking back and reflecting on my first year here at Brock University, the first word that comes to my mind is "chaotic". I had a hard time navigating my way around campus, had little knowledge of the resources available to me, and did not get involved in any on-campus activities. Now I am in my third year at Brock and I am not only an extremely active member on campus, but I am also well versed on all that Brock has to offer me as a student! But instead of being like myself in first year, why not start university on the right foot? Luckily, there is a way for new Brock students to start university with an arsenal of knowledge on how to become an active member of the Brock community!

Smart Start is a program implemented by Brock University to help make the transition to university seamless for first year and mature students. Aside from getting the grand tour of Brock facilities and faculties, new students will also get the opportunity to visit the Career Resource Centre and our expo table to begin thinking about career options and exploring different degrees and skills, and to find out about all the great involvement opportunities that Brock has to offer, like the Mentorship Plus Program!

Whether it be tips or advice on getting an on-campus job or exploring the different career options based on faculty and program, we at Career Services are all about providing the resources students need so they can reach their career goals and their fullest potential during their time here at Brock.

In order to keep up with all that we have going on at Career Services, my best advice for incoming students is to follow us on social media. Upcoming events, new resources, professional development, employment opportunities, as well as tips and tricks on everything from interviews to social media for job searching are posted regularly on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Click HERE for our Twitter page and HERE for our Facebook page and get in the loop today! See you at Smart Start!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Monday, June 29, 2015

Linkedin for Students

If your a student and do not already have a Linkedin profile of your own, follow these 5 easy steps and you'll be on your way to utilizing one of the best social media platforms for job searching and professional networking!

1. Choose Your Picture (Wisely!)
It doesn't have to entail booking a professional photo shoot, but there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. If you are making "the duck face", are with a large group of people, or are engaging in non-work related behavior in the photo (chugging a beer with friends or crowd surfing at a concert), it might not be the wisest choice for your Linkedin photo. Remember, Linkedin is for you to connect to professionals & employers and is really about making a good first impression. So make that impression count and keep your photo as professional as possible.

2. Make Your Headline
Your headline is one of the first things others actually read on your profile before they get to the other content. Highlight what you are currently doing and what you are looking for. For example, "Student at Brock University" isn't eye catching and is rather vague. A headline like "Marketing BA Candidate at Brock University Seeking Internship Opportunities in Business Promotions" is specific and informative.
3. Write Your Summary
As the section title suggests, summarize what you are currently doing and mention your goals and future plans as well as any other skills or interests related to this. Make sure your content is concise yet professional! And if you'd like, mention opportunities you are looking for! This will help your audience figure out your overall objective professionally and may lead to connections which can aid you in reaching your goals.

4. Add Your Experiences
This includes: work experiences, volunteer experiences, professional development, certifications, diplomas/degrees and awards (to name a few). Obviously, you may not have content for every category, but that's perfectly alright! Just like with a resume, you don't need to have an experience for every section. However, adding your experiences may highlight areas you could be working on or areas in need of improvement. For example, if you have no volunteer experience, perhaps it's time to explore some volunteer opportunities so you can implement that section into your profile.

5. Customization
Adding work samples, photographic examples and content, creating a personalized URL, and adding specific keywords to your "Skills" section are all ways you can customize your profile and set it apart from the rest! Linkedin is constantly updating the ways in which you can customize your content, so keep in mind that customizing your profile will be an ongoing work in progress, much like a resume!

So there you have it! A simple guide to creating the perfect student Linkedin profile! And don't forget, we offer free drop-in Linkedin Profile Reviews here at the Career Resource Centre at Brock. Using our newly developed criteria checklist, we can go through your profile and ensure that the content is the best it can be. Additionally, we offer handouts on building your student profile and are more than happy to aid in any way possible! So what are you waiting for? Get Linkedin today!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

6 Things ALL New Grads Should Know

To end this month long theme of graduation related blog posts and information, here are 6 things ALL new graduates should know:

1. Know Your Network
So you have a network of 500 + people on your Linkedin; but how many do you make an effort to keep in touch with or catch up with professionally speaking? Make sure you know your network and everyone in it. By this I mean making meaningful connections that can open up opportunities for both parties! Even if your network is small, make the effort to maintain contact. Also, keep in touch with your graduating class and professors; these connections are great to maintain, especially if the thought of doing graduate school has ever crossed your mind!

2. Know Your Skills
Identifying the key skills you gained through your education, work, and volunteer experiences is imperative to finding work that correlates to your expertise. If your skilled at writing and have extensive experience writing blogs and articles, you can narrow down fields to work in by looking for those skills in job postings. This will help you to be on your way to utilizing what you know professionally to land the perfect entry level position! Our Degree Exploration Guides can help with identifying degree specific skills so be sure to check them out!

3. Know Your Transferable Skills

We've all had that job where we said to ourselves "What am I learning from this experience?". Often times, it's occupations in the service industry like serving coffee at your local Tim Horton's or waiting tables at Boston Pizza. However, never forget the transferable skills being gained through these types of positions. Not only are skills like teamwork and customer service being gained, but also other valuable skills like time-management and organization. So if the job of your dreams isn't available right now, never turn down other opportunities! Where there is work, there are transferable skills to be gained!

4. Know Your Goals
And when I say goals I mean both short term and long term! The job of your dreams may not be hiring right now, but that doesn't mean you should put your life on hold. If something is in the way of a long-term goal, work on your short-term goals, and vise versa. And never stop setting goals for yourself! It's truly the difference between those who find themselves stuck in a "rut" and those who progress! For some extra goal-setting tips, check out another great blog post here

5. Know Yourself
It's the classic scenario: you are in an interview and they ask you to "Describe yourself in 5 words" or "Tell us your biggest strength or biggest weakness". Even though we spend all day with ourselves, these questions are sometimes the most difficult to answer. This is why knowing yourself inside and out is beneficial! Write down some strengths and weaknesses or words you feel encompass your own personal brand in order to get to know yourself better. This will not only help with goal-setting and networking, but will also make interviews not only easier, but much more successful! 

6. Know Your Resources
If you need help, it's important to know where to get it. For example, as Brock Alumni, new graduates will have access to extensive career resources both in the Career Resource Centre here at Brock and on-line through Careerzone and the Online Resource Centre. From career document reviews, to workshops, to job search help and interview practice, and even graduate school information, we've got you covered on all fronts! Be sure to check out Grad LINK via Linkedin and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter too! Utilize the resources you have available to you to succeed!

Again, a big congratulations to ALL graduates! Hopefully these must-knows will help you not only get to know yourself better, but also make the transition from university to work seamless & successful!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Monday, June 15, 2015

Alternative Paths for New Grads!

Convocation week has just ended here at Brock which means it's time for a blog about alternatives after graduation. For most, the expectation is that they will slide into a career right away and start working full-time. For others, this expectation may not be attainable or ideal. If working full-time right after you graduate isn't your plan, there are many alternate routes that can be taken! Here are 4 different paths to take after graduation that don't involve working full-time, but are guaranteed to give you some practical knowledge while still being a fun learning experience!

1. Go Abroad

Why not skip out before that cold Canada winter comes and head overseas? With so many different work, internship, and volunteer opportunities, your time abroad can be more than just a fun vacation, but can double as a way to gain professional experience while becoming more culturally knowledgeable. Going Global, accessible through Careerzone for Brock students & alumni, has thousands of opportunities overseas, ranging from work to internships to volunteering, in a vast number of countries, from the US to Italy and even Finland! They even provide detailed city guides so you'll know all the logistics, like the cost of living, visa and embassy information, and how to fit in with the local culture.Other sites like Go Abroad also offer valuable resources and information on working, interning, or volunteering abroad. 

2. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to dip your foot in the pool without fully committing yourself so to speak. For example, if working with kids has always been fun for you but your not sure if you want a career in that field, spending a few hours a week volunteering might help you realize if this is the right path for you. Along with being able to try new things, volunteering allows you to network with other professionals, gives you extra experience to add to your resume, and is extremely rewarding, especially when the volunteer opportunity is something you are passionate about. Directories like 211 Ontario offer endless information about foundations and organizations who regularly take volunteers so the opportunities are truly endless. Also, if there is a specific place you would like to volunteer, a quick google search should give you the information to find out about volunteering there and what it would entail.  

3. Intern

Another great way to gain some practical experience that doesn't require a major commitment is through internship opportunities. Much like volunteering, many internships do not require the same amount of time or commitment that a full-time job would, but will allow you to get a feel for the industry and whether or not it's something you wish to pursue further. Internships are also a great way for entry level grads to break into the field! CareerEdge is a great program which offers paid internships to students looking for their big chance to shine! Even the Ontario government offers a paid internship program

4. Part-Time Jobs

If the thought of going right from graduation to full-time work is daunting, why not start with working part-time? This will allow you to gain experience and make money, all the while allowing you time to explore other opportunities simultaneously. Maybe you'll work 20 hours a week and volunteer for 10 hours. Or maybe you'll see that the part-time job you took isn't for you and take on another to explore different industries. Whatever it is you decide, part-time work opportunities are plentiful and are a great way to get your feet wet! Be sure to utilize advanced search options on websites like Careerzone, Indeed, Monster, and Eluta (to name a few) which will allow you to narrow down these part-time opportunities with ease!

So don't feel like you are limited if working full-time after graduation isn't the right path for you! As you can see, other opportunities are available and are just a few clicks away!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major