Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #11
02192018Mon
Last updateMon, 19 Feb 2018 1pm

I keep hearing that I should be using social media to find a job. Do employers really use social media, and if so, do you have any tips?

Dear Working Wise:

I keep hearing that I should be using social media to find a job. Do employers really use social media, and if so, do you have any tips? Signed, Unsure

 

Dear Unsure:

 

Every employer and industry is different, but a growing number of organizations around the world are using social media to find skilled workers.  

 

Jobvite's fifth-annual Social Recruiting Survey of 1,000 recruiters found that 92 per cent of American companies are using social media to hire staff.

 

LinkedIn remains the leading network for staff recruitment, but Twitter and Facebook are on the rise with two-thirds of organizations now using Facebook.

 

Many social media sites are also adjusting their services to make it easier for job seekers to search their social networks for connections at companies where they want to work.

 

The survey also found that more employers are checking social media sites to spot potential problems with applicants.

 

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (OIPC) has cautioned Alberta organizations to ensure they are not violating the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) when conducting background checks using social media. They even released a Guide For Social Media Background Checks, which is available at http://oipc.ab.ca.

 

Using social media for employment background checks is risky, because employers can not limit the amount or type of information that they collect. However, it would be hard to prove that an employer didn’t call you because of something they saw on your blog.

 

Don’t let a poor social-media profile cost you your next job opportunity. Use these tips to take control of your online identity and start using social media to your advantage: 

o   Search the Internet for your name and clean up any undesirable content;

o   Separate your personal and professional social media lives using separate pages, groups/circles, or privacy settings;

o   Choose your social media friends with care—what they say and do reflects on you;

o   Avoid blogs and forums about controversial topics like politics or religion. Use an alias if you can not resist participating;

o   Delete unprofessional photos/posts and replace them with things you would like your future employer to read and see.

o   Create a Linked-In profile—similar to an online resumé—and start connecting with professional colleagues that you already know. Be sure your profile is consistent with your resumé. Endorse your contacts’ skills and they will likely endorse you.

o   Participate—social media is about interaction. Follow professional blogs and join industry groups/circles on your social media sites and contribute opinions, interesting articles, news, trends, questions, etc. Share and re-tweet posts by others in your network to raise your profile and increase the chance that others will reciprocate;

o   Link your social media profile to the web pages or YouTube channels of groups, teams or projects that you are involved in; and

o   Follow your local Alberta Works social media channel to get the latest job postings and job fair news. Alberta Works operates seven jobs-focused Facebook pages around the province plus one Twitter feed in Calgary. Links to all of these social media tools are available at http://bit.ly/VrqyIs.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.


It’s nearly time to start applying to post-secondary schools and my 17-year-old son still isn’t sure what he wants to study. I’m worried that he might waste time and money taking courses that will be of no use to him, or worse, not even go to school.

Dear Working Wise:

It’s nearly time to start applying to post-secondary schools and my 17-year-old son still isn’t sure what he wants to study. I’m worried that he might waste time and money taking courses that will be of no use to him, or worse, not even go to school. How can I encourage him to find a path and follow it? Signed, Concerned Father

 

Dear Concerned:

 

I am glad to hear that you are interested in your child’s education. You play an important and influential role in helping your son make good decisions—even if it doesn’t feel that way some days.

 

Step 1—Self-discovery is the foundation of solid career planning that will lead to a career he loves. Getting to know yourself can be tricky, though. The Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site http://alis.alberta.ca offers a free online, self-directed career-planning tool called CAREERinsite that he may find helpful. He may also prefer to use the This Is Your Life career & education planning workbook, which is available in the Publications section of the ALIS web site.

 

Step 2—Encourage him to explore the career possibilities. Discovering careers that fit his list of wants and interests may just be the thing to get him excited about his post secondary education. The ALIS web site features a wealth of information on career options including detailed profiles (http://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo) of more than 500 occupations, including typical wages, duties, work environments, employers, and educational requirements. ALIS also features video profiles of more than 200 careers from Baker’s Helper to Utility Planning Technologist.

 

Step 3—Have him narrow down his choices. You could suggest that he interview people who work in the careers that interest him. Informational interviews will give him a real-world view of the job plus they might open up other exciting opportunities. Job-shadowing, volunteering and part-time jobs are fantastic ways for students to pick up valuable work experience and try out careers before they spend years in post-secondary.

 

Step 4—Help him choose a program and then a school. The ALIS website has a helpful section for Post-Secondary Students that can help your son find a program and choose a school using the EdInfo website at http://alis.alberta.ca/edinfo.

 

Step 5—Apply. The ApplyAlberta web site has made it easier for students to apply to one or more post-secondary institutions, authorize transcript transfers, and avoid having to fill out the same information over and over. Check out the ApplyAlberta web site at https://www.applyalberta.ca.

 

Step 6—Visit www.alis.alberta.ca/payingforschoolto find out about the costs of post-secondary education and how to pay for it.

 

Finally, if you would like any more tips to help you work with your son, check out the Career Coaching Your Teens: A Guide for Parents publication on ALIS.

 

Planning out your education and career can be both fun and empowering. Having a plan and a goal will help your son get excited about post secondary and keep him motivated while he tackles the next few years of endless reading and cramming for exams.

 

Good luck to you both.

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

 

 

 

I’m 20 years old and I haven’t figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I can’t think of any careers that excite me and I’m worried about not being any further ahead after spending four years in university. Where can I get the answers I nee

Dear Working Wise:

I’m 20 years old and I haven’t figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I can’t think of any careers that excite me and I’m worried about not being any further ahead after spending four years in university. Where can I get the answers I need? Signed Frustrated and Future-less 

 

Dear Frustrated:

 

I empathise with you—most of us don’t know what our forever career will be when we are twenty—and research shows that few of us have a career that we stick with until retirement.

 

The work world is a bit mysterious to those looking in from the outside—most jobs are not represented at career days—and it is not always clear how you can break into a specific field.

 

Many people train for one career and end up falling into a number of different jobs as time goes on. Even if you find work in a career that you trained for, jobs tend to change—your interests and goals change too.

 

What I can tell you for certain is that the majority of future jobs in Alberta will require some sort of post secondary training or education.

 

I can also assure you that any education or experience you gain today will serve you well in the future.

 

An architect can draw on his past experience as a waiter when he designs a new restaurant. And a project manager can draw on her English degree when she’s writing proposals.

 

You might want to try the free CAREERinsite website to help you discover exciting careers you never knew existed.

 

CAREERinsite uses questionnaires and journaling tools to help you determine a career focus and life goals. It’s comprehensive and once you create an account it saves your progress, career searches and goals. You can come back and access it for up to five years later to help track your progress. Check it out at: http://careerinsite.alberta.ca.

 

Once you have a short-list of potential careers, you can use the nearly 200 Occupational Videos on the Alberta Learning Information Service web site http://alis.alberta.ca to see which career excites you most.

 

The videos are a great research tool, because they focus on someone who actually works in the occupation. The video shows them in their workplace, and lets them explain in their own words what they like and find challenging about their job.

 

You can also use the Occupational Info (OccInfo)database to research more than 500 careers. OccInfo includes important details about careers including: duties, working conditions, salaries, advancement opportunities and educational qualifications. OccInfo also includes a new section on emerging careers. Check it out at: http://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo.

 

Finally, you can narrow down your short-list even further and ensure you make a smart investment in your education by checking the anticipated future demand for your career ideas. You don’t want to train for a career or learn a skill that is in decline. You can find a report that forecasts the supply vs. demand for 140 careers, 10 years into the future, at:

http://eae.alberta.ca/lmi.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.


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