Why Social Networking Skills can be an asset to your Job Search / Career

Think for a moment about how many hours a week you spend online using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. Now imagine all the other people using those same sites around the world, and the incredible potential of that network to persuade, communicate and connect. Inevitably these tools have moved beyond the social realm and have begun to make their way into the work environment – and employers want to capitalize on this trend.

Don’t underestimate the value that social networking skills can add to your job search portfolio. More and more companies today are looking for employees with expertise in this area to help them brand and market their services through online networks. In today’s global economy, you might work from Vancouver, correspond with clients in Beijing, attend a virtual Skype meeting with colleagues from New York and send a Twitter blast to reach thousands of followers all in one afternoon. It pays to be well versed in working with these tools.

Tip:  Add your social media proficiency to your resume in a “skill summary” or “highlights of qualifications” section, and don’t forget to mention it in an interview if it is appropriate for the job.

And if you’re really savvy in this area…why not consider a career in social networking? Perhaps you can turn that passion into a job in this emerging field. Familiarize yourself with these and other job titles:

► Social Media Manager

► New Media Coordinator

► Digital + Social Media Specialist

► Content Strategist

► Web Communications Coordinator

For more information on how to use social media in your job search, please drop by our Self-Serve Resource Area and speak with one of our Employment Resource Specialists.

 

 

 

Why job searching from home might not be the best strategy

The way you approach your job search will be influenced by your own personal circumstances. Maybe you’ve recently lost your job and are looking to make a quick jump back into the labour market. Or you’re facing a disability that affects your ability to work. Perhaps you’ve taken time out of your career to raise children and are unsure how to bridge the gap back to work. Or retirement is not what you pictured it would be and you’d rather be out in the community working 3 days a week. Regardless of where you are coming from, you can access services through your local WorkBC Centre.

Here are some reasons why it’s important to get out of the house to job search:

Looking for work can be costly – often there is financial stress attached to the job search process. Printing costs (toner, paper), buying daily newspapers and making phone calls can be particularly expensive. These are just some of the things you can access free of charge through WorkBC.

Multiple levels of support available – you can drop in today for 1-1 help. If you need more in-depth services, Case Management is also available, and rest assured you will be guided through this process.

Workshops and Resume help – when it comes to proofing your resume and cover letter, a second opinion is always valuable. If this is your first time writing a resume or if you’re preparing for an interview we offer workshops on these and other topics.

Quiet and professional space – it’s a good practice to keep a schedule and give yourself a reason to leave the house while unemployed. Seeking a neutral workspace will allow you to leave your dirty dishes, housemates, TV, and other distractions behind.

Access information about the local Labour Market – WorkBC staff are knowledgeable about labour market trends and can show you how to incorporate these into your job search. Don’t hesitate to ask us about job leads – we work in partnership with local employers to help connect you to employment.

Surround yourself with other job seekers – it can be motivating to be in the company of people who are in a similar situation.

Additional job search resources – browse the books and handouts available and don’t forget to ask if there is a specific resource you are looking for. Also check feature boards and job binders for immediate opportunities, networking events and other ways to connect to your community.

 

Creative Resume Layout Ideas

1. Try using long shaded boxes to break up the different sections of your resume. This will allow you to use more width across the page, which is especially useful if you are trying to condense a lot of information.

Example:

Highlights of Qualifications
  • 4 years of proven Customer Service experience
  • Tech-savvy: skilled at using MS Office, database and social media software
  • Awarded “Employee of the Year” by Westjet in 2010 and 2012
  • Languages: English, French and Spanish (written and spoken)

2. Be clear about who you are and what your target role is by branding yourself. This can be as simple as a title below your name and contact info (ie. “Strategic Project Manager”), a short phrase or even bullet points. Examples:

 

Anne Jobseeker anne.jobseeker@gmail.com
Port Moody, BC 604.604.4444


– Award-winning Chef with pastry making prowess –

Martin Jobseeker martin.jobseeker@gmail.com
Vancouver, BC604.604.4444


-Communication – Design – Marketing – Project Management – Client Relations –

 

3. Rather than using horizontal sections, why not break up the page vertically? If it’s appropriate for the information you want to include, perhaps a list of your skills in the left-hand margin as a quick reference. Example:

 

Sheila Jobseekersheila.jobseeker@gmail.com
Squamish, BC604.604.4444


– Red Seal Certified Electrician with 8 years experience –

Skills:

  • Residential Projects
  • Electrical Wiring
  • Commercial Installation
  • Circuit Breakers & Transformers
  • Employee Supervision
  • Safety Systems
  • Quality Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Renovations

 

Projects:

 

Squamish Savings
Squamish, BC

Summer 2013

The Zephyr Café
Squamish, BC

Spring 2013

Whistler Tennis Club
Whistler, BC

2012-2013

Squamish General Hospital
Squamish, BC

2011

Gleneagles Community Centre
West Vancouver, BC

2010

Western Front Society Building
Vancouver, BC

Spring 2010

 

4. If you’re in a creative or sales/marketing field, consider using a graphic resume. This type of resume uses visual imagery and infographics to present your accomplishments and work history. Link here to read a previous blog post about how a graphic resume can work for you.

 

Using Online Maps to Help Target Your Job Search

Scenario #1: You know the type of job you’re looking for, but don’t know which companies around you to target.

Scenario #2: You’ve recently relocated to a new city.

Scenario #3: You’d like to work in a specific geographical area, ie. closer to home, within walking/biking distance, etc.

All of the three scenarios mentioned above are instances where using online maps can help you with your job search. It’s useful to think creatively and outside the box when attempting to find employment that fits within the balance of your life.

Simply follow these steps:

  • Open your Internet browser (ie. Safari, Firefox, Google)
  • Search for the map of your choice (Google maps, Mapquest)
  • Use the zoom function to define the area where you’d like to focus your search
  • In the search bar on the map page, enter the type of business you’re targeting (ie. for the hospitality industry, you could enter “restaurant” or “hotel” or if you’re an IT professional you might search for “software” or “web”)
  • Start with searches that are general to generate more results and narrow your search from there (ie. from “web” to “web development”)
  • Use your cursor to scroll over the results, link to their websites and to see if the companies you find are hiring
  • Alternatively, you could use this system to create a list of employers to cold call or for networking purposes

You might be surprised at all the possibilities for employment that lie within your desired area! Good luck with your search.

The Skills for Jobs Blueprint Re-Works Education

In early May, the B.C. government introduced a new strategy to allocate more of the $7.5 billion invested annually in education and training towards better preparing students for skilled trades positions.

The Skills for Jobs Blueprint: Re-engineering Education and Training plan was developed with the objective of maximizing the potential of BC’s workforce (with a strong emphasis on preparing workers for employment in LNG-related roles and skilled trades).

The blueprint focuses on 3 key areas:

  • A head start to hands on learning in schools
  • A shift in education to better match in-demand jobs
  • Stronger partnerships with industry and labour to deliver training and apprenticeships

Of the one million job openings expected by 2022 in British Columbia, 43 per cent will require trades or technical training.

To learn more, read the Skills for Jobs Blueprint.

A New Take On The Hunt For Work

For the majority of people, job search consists of scouring websites, newspapers and job boards for postings and responding with a resume and cover letter. While this is a perfectly functional part of the process it can leave you feeling disempowered and at the mercy of the employer. Add to that the fact that many times you don’t even get a response about your application and this can be very disheartening.

Why not put yourself in the driver’s seat? If you have clarity on your workplace values and the skills you have to offer it is possible to seek out a company that is a good fit for you and will lead to satisfaction at work.

Use your research skills to find the leading companies in your field. Access their websites, social media feeds and/or newspaper articles to learn more about them, including company culture, mandate, treatment of employees, green initiatives, etc. Make sure to look for a “careers” section on their website to see if there are any job postings.

Once you have a list of your top companies, think about how you can make inroads. Consider composing a broadcast letter expressing your interest and outlining your work history/accomplishments, or attend networking or open house events if you can. Cold calling is another option.

Here are some sources to help you get started on compiling your list of companies to target. The Book of Lists is a resource published by Business in Vancouver every year listing the top companies in BC. Also consider using Google maps to find businesses in your area. Another great tool is the Canada Top 100 Employers competition that ranks employers based on things like diversity, environmentalism and region. http://www.canadastop100.com/national/

Job Boards You May Not Have Heard About

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

Turn on computer. Open Internet browser. Go to Craigslist site and search for jobs. Repeat. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you use another favorite site other than Craigslist, but do you ever get tired of job searching in the same pattern over and over? It’s time to broaden the search.

There are many job boards out there to explore, some geared toward a specific industry/field of work or location and others that are broader in scope. Hiring can be a time consuming and expensive process for employers, so don’t assume that one site can possibly cover them all. What follows is a list of other useful job boards, why not choose one or two to explore?

Techvibes.com hosts Canada’s technology-related job board covering social, mobile and start up companies

Charityvillage.com for jobs in the nonprofit sector

Eluta.ca search for jobs with Canada’s Top Employers

Creativecity.ca job postings in the arts and culture sector

Freshgigs.ca for marketing jobs and work for creatives

Escapethecity.org is devoted to helping people escape corporate jobs in favor of more meaningful work

Indeed.ca is one of the most used job posting sites in the world

Civicjobs.ca links to careers in municipal government

Go2HR.ca is the leading BC tourism and hospitality career resource

Jobs.gc.ca to search for jobs with the Government of Canada

Rigzone.com or careers.infooil.com for jobs in the oil and gas industry

Thinkbeyondthelabel.com connects candidates with disabilities with employment opportunities

Eco.ca is a website and job board for those seeking environmental careers

Goodwork.ca for jobs with environmental organizations, green business, nonprofits, education, government

Tradestrainingbc.ca posts opportunities for skilled trades in BC

Keep in mind that this is just a sample of useful job boards. You may find other sites in your search that are targeted toward your specific industry. Another great place to find job boards is through association or company websites. Creativity is key when searching online – keep your mind open!

Port Moody ESC