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
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

Monday, October 6, 2014

Career Assessments: A Guide to Your Future

Whether you are graduating this year or just starting your first semester it is important that you start to think about what you want to do in a career… but where do you start looking? Still don’t know what you want to do?


Self-exploration activities, or Career assessments help you learn about what makes you unique. They identify your personality, interests, skills and values among others, which you can use to generate job titles and career options.  All of our career assessments can be accessed through CareerZone in the Online Resource Centre.

Taking a career assessment, even if you know what you want to do, may give you peace of mind that you are going in the right direction or may show you career options you may never of thought of that you may be interested in exploring.

Take some time to discover yourself and plan for your future today!

As always, if you have any questions feel to stop by the Career Resource Centre or email us: .

Good luck!

Mike Pratas
3rd year Political Science Student

Senior Career Assistant 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Goal Setting: An Important Tool in your Student Toolbox

 If you don't know where you are going, how will you get there? Goals work much the same way. In our busy lives, it seems difficult to think about the future when all we are doing is  trying to keep our head above water in our course work. However, having clearly defined goals sets you up for success.

 By taking the time to identify what is important to you, and what you would like to accomplish, you are setting parameters for yourself that you will work within.  For example, if you have decided that you would like to increase your average this semester, you may be more inclined to  take more time on your homework, not procrastinate (not that you did that before... right?), or politely decline an invitation to weekend plans with your friends in favour of studying a little harder for an upcoming test.  So you see, having predetermined goals affects your behaviour in future situations. Keeping goals and results that you would like to achieve in the back of your mind nudges your actions in a successful direction.

Setting goals is important to your future because it helps you decide where you would like to go. It helps you understand whats important to you, and keeps you moving with positive momentum. These goals don't have to be academic in nature. Setting personal goals is important too! There is more to life than academic pursuits, and by setting personal goals you will be helping yourself  to become  well rounded. Goals take persistence, commitment, drive, and energy. These positive traits are useful in so many of life's situations.

If you would like to learn more about setting goals, check out our post on SMART goals here.

If you would like to talk about your career related goals, come on in to Career Services. We would love to talk to you!

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