Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Career Services just wanted to wish you a Happy Holiday!! 

We hope that you are able to take some time this holiday season so spend time with loved ones and enjoy a well deserved break. Remember this is a great time to start thinking about Summer Job Opportunities, updating your resume, or networking with individuals in your field. 

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

- Hillary & Lia

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

RBC Mentorship: January Applications

Are you interested in learning more about the banking industry? Do you want a chance to meet with RBC professionals? Here’s your chance!

Career Services offers a dynamic partnership with RBC to promote mentorship between students and professionals. During the course of the academic year, as a student in the RBC Corporate Mentorship program you will meet with an RBC staff member each month. Participation is voluntary, and you will need to commit to 3-4 hours per month.

In previous years mentors have had the following jobs with RBC:
  • Investment and Retirement Planner
  • Financial Planner
  • Branch Manager
  • Financial Services Representative
  • Investment Advisor
  • Client Care Manager
  • Commercial Account Manager

Applications for the 2012 Mentorship program will be available in January via the Career Services website. Keep your eye open for this great opportunity!

- Lia

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Your Personal Brand

From the crocodile on your polo to the initials on your underwear, you are branded. Why do you automatically know what the words Nike and Coca Cola mean? It’s because they’re the top two recognized brands in the world… they’re so international the only other word that beats it is “no”. And it’s all because of their strong brand campaigns. Everywhere you look there are brands: the browser you’re reading this from, the chocolate milk the guy across the hall is drinking… where does your name stand in the mix of things? It’s time you become more than the brands you use and stand out by developing your own personal brand.

You might wonder what the point of branding yourself is. Simple, who do you think will look more professional, the applicant with a plain resume – or the one with a logo and business card? Personal branding is the process of marketing ourselves to others and making our name represent our specialties.

To brand yourself you must first know yourself. Is your self-impression equal to how people perceive you? Do you know your strengths and skills well enough to specialize? Here’s a few ways you can start defining your name to the public:

1.       Business Cards
Carry a few with you at all times – you never know when you could give one out! And if someone ever asks for your information it’s an easy solution.

2.       Resume
Your resume should describe your skills and focus on your area of specialization.

3.       Portfolio
Keep a collection of work you’ve done in relation to your specialization so you may showcase your work to potential employers.

4.       Blog/Website
Having a blog or website to showcase your work is a great asset. You could even include this information on your business card.

5.       Linked In
Complete your LinkedIn profile and connect with professionals. The people you are connected to are just as important as the words on your page. Remember – this is a professional profile, don’t go adding people you met at the bar or old highschool friends unless it’s for networking purposes.

6.       Facebook Profile
Use your privacy settings! Facebook even updated the interface to make it easier for you. Keep your status updates professional – using lyrics to describe how sad your life is is unnecessary.

7.       Tweets
Is your twitter account focused on specific topics or are you tweeting people about how much you drank last night and responding to every possible trend. If your account isn’t protected then your tweets had better follow your personal brand.

8.       Wardrobe
Your wardrobe makes a lasting impression. A classmate of mine always wore a skate hat & wanted it to be part of his brand image. Once you make a decision like that you have to stick with it. If he showed up in a suit one day it would seem out of character for his brand. Chose a wardrobe that suits you and your personality.

9.       Email Address will probably not receive an email after she drops off her resume. If you haven’t already switched to Google do it now! will look a lot more professional, and it’s more efficient than Hotmail too.

By branding yourself you are attaching your name to a specific area of expertise. To make your brand last you need to walk, talk and breathe it. Create a brand manual to assist you in keeping to your brand. The manual should describe in detail what your brand is, why it was created, future goals and standards. Take a look at Brock University’s Brand Toolkit for reference.

Begin creating your personal brand over the holidays so the next time you tell someone your name, they’ll know exactly what it means.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Large Company vs. Not-for-Profit: Who do you want to work for?

Deciding on the type of company you want to work for after graduation is usually not a question many people ask. Usually students have an idea if what industry they would like to be a part of, but haven’t considered the advantages or disadvantages of working for a corporate versus non-profit organization. There are many differences and it is something that you have to think about as it corresponds with your working style greatly.

Non-Profit          Advantages: Obviously working for a non-profit is extremely rewarding. The misconception still exists, however, that those who dedicate their lives to working non-profit work more hours for less money. This simply isn’t true. There are so many skills to learn and growth within organizations by taking this path. As non-profits get more sophisticated in how they do their business, they are looking for anyone to utilize their skills to change the lives of others.
                                Disadvantages: Working for a non-profit means you have to work miracles with very limited resources. Usually, there are no concrete ways to measure just how much of an impact you are making. The ability to raise money is extremely important, so every penny spent has to be planned and accounted for. This leads to many working in this field to burn out early in their careers.
Large Corporations         Advantages: Working at a large corporation means you get to meet a lot of new people who are of all ages and stages in their career. More people stay at large companies because they have security and enjoy the work they do. Many large corporations also offer perks such as trips and gym memberships to their employees who have worked there for a few years.
                            Disadvantages: Job descriptions are often set in stone and there may not be a lot of room to move around once you get your foot in the door. Promotions can only go so high and many people dislike the routine of the standard 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. job. Many new grads do not get the opportunity to work in a position where they make decisions, so all work must be approved by someone else which can be frustrating and time consuming.
Thinking about this information now can save you making a costly mistake in the future. Choosing what kind of environment suits your work style should be high on your priority list and is a great question to ask an employer on an interview. So what will it be, non-profit or large corporation? You decide.
- Rachel

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tips for Introverts on Networking

So you're a little shy. Maybe you like to keep to yourself sometimes. You're an introvert - and that's okay!! Your skills and accomplishments are just as important as everyone else's. It also means that you, as a student or potential job-seeker, need to learn the ropes of networking!

Never fear, Career Services is here!

As an introvert myself I've learned that successful networking is beneficial to both my personal and professional goals - I've learned to be more confident and clear when explaining my past experiences and have also learned to take more initiative in setting up a networking experience. It's amazing how the more you practice, the more comfortable you are in speaking to and/or meeting with professionals!

Here are a couple tips for my introverted friends out there:

  • Remember those things called Information Interviews? They're a great way to network one-on-one with professionals who are in your current position of interest. These are less intimidating situations that can allow you to obtain great information from a professional. They can happen in-person or over the phone. A great stepping stone to other forms of networking!
  • Do your research before attending networking events or meeting with employers. If you feel more comfortable with your knowledge on the company, you'll feel better about getting up to approach professionals or other people within a networking setting.
  • Know yourself! If you're confident about your skills and abilities, talking about them with others will come a lot more naturally.
  • Practice, practice practice. Not sure about your interview skills or how you would answer certain questions that employers may ask you? Try your hand at Interview Stream to perfect responses to a variety of questions you may come into contact with.
  • Update your online profile(s). Yes - that means twitter, your blog, LinkedIn, and even facebook. Make sure your social networking sites that are meant to be private stay private, and update the rest to reflect your achievements and career goals. A lot of networking nowadays can take place online - so make sure that you maintain a professional online image.
Bottom line: Always take advantage of networking opportunities regardless of your comfort level!

Make sure to stop by Career Services if you have any questions or would like to go over some more networking strategies.

- Lia

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Basic nuts and bolts of building a business

Starting from scratch this weeks V-log descibes the overview of the legal and tax considerations of starting a business including how to register and structure your business. Emphasis on the importance of understanding the entire “ecosystem” of your business, including distribution partners, industry contacts, lawyers and human resource specialists.

The resources below offer a foundation upon which you can build your knowledge and skills in these areas

See video Here!

Building you a better Career

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Schedule

Brock University is in full exam mode, but why not update your resume or research future employers during your study break?

Career Services is OPEN during the holidays and our hours are regular.

Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm.

We are closed when the University is closed, from December 24- January 2 and reopen on Tuesday January 3, 2012 at 9:00am

We want to wish you all the best while studying for your exams and to those lucky Badgers that don't have exams- enjoy your break!

-Hillary & Lia

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Writing Resumes

Resume Writing takes time and energy. Its is the one document that showcases all your eduaction, skills, and experience and is a key document for so many applications; work, post-grad, scholarships etc. A resume is a personal document that can be customized and tailored to your liking, however requires some key information in order to best highlight yourself.

Your resume is fundamental to any job search because it provides important inforamtion about you such as;
  • your career goals
  • your work/volunteer experience and extracurricular involvement
  • your academic/educaional achievements
  • your skills and accomplishments
Your resume is a representation of you on paper. The information you choose to include, the words you use, and how you express yourself in writing are all critical.

Here are some quick tips for creating your resume:
  • have a job/career goal in mind when writing your resume
  • keep your information relevant to the job/employer you are applying to
  • highlight your accomplishments as opposed to general job duties
  • have it proofread, and review it for spelling/grammatical errors
If you have any questions regarding resumes, or looking to have it reviewed- please stop by the Career Resource Centre. We offer a FREE drop-in, no appointment necessary review. Feel free to check out our online resume workshop found HERE

Happy Writing!