February 7, 2024 – P4E Career and Job Fair is an online event, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a collaborative effort among the University of Guelph, the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College. Employers generally offer full-time, co-op, and summer roles.
Most are international students pursuing the dream of studying, living and working in Canada. In class, I shared tips to help them manage their culture shock. I tell them I an ready to help them after arriving in a place with cold weather, funny food and people who talk funny — like me.
Sometimes, later on, I hear from them after they connect with me on my LinkedIn profile. I like the birthday greetings! I more usuallly receive messages looking for jobs or tips to polish their LinkedIn profile. They remembered how I repeated “put your LinkedIn profile to work for you” in class!
Now is the time to put all the persuasion skills we talked about in class to work. It’s time to tell relatable stories that leads to a job interview. It’s time to engage in storytelling with a personal purpose.
Use career support services
After graduation, my essential employment advice is the same as I offered in class. Use every support service and assistance available to you from Conestoga. You paid for it in your tuition.
If you’re not a Conestoga graduate and looking for a job, I urge you to investigate alumni support services at the school you attended. Or, contact Conestoga to access their government-supported free career services: https://www.conestogac.on.ca/career-centre
I also share job postings in my social media feeds and job search links for the Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo area.
They are international students pursuing a dream of living and working in Canada. I share tips to help them manage their culture shock after arriving in a place with cold weather, strange foods and people who talk funny — like me.
They share cooking recipes, movie recommendations, and a career enthusiasm that inspires me. I learn more than I teach.
After graduation, my essential employment advice is the same as I offered in class: use every support service and assistance Conestoga College offers. Students paid for the services in their tuition. I was consistently impressed with career counselors’ advice when I invited them to host in-class workshops, so I urge students to book a career support session at this link.
And if you’re looking for career advice and you’re not a Conestoga graduate, I urge you to investigate alumni support services at the school you attended. Or, contact Conestoga to access their government-funded, free career services offered to the general public.
Ontario employment rules
The Ontario Employment Standards Act spells out the rules and regulations for employers and employees in the Province of Ontario, related to hiring, workplace environment and dismissal.
I also share job postings in my social media feeds and job search links for the Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo area.
Communitech in Waterloo Region
Technology and high-tech companies work together in Waterloo Region to grow the local tech economy, through the Communitech association.
When was the last time you received a handwritten note in your mailbox?
And, no, I’m not talking about all those “personal” advertising flyers in faux handwriting asking to buy my house. Some of them look like they are written by primary school students. Others have tiny, perfectly printed characters that reminded me of notes left behind by a serial killer in movies.
I’m talking about a genuine, handwritten thank you card. Or a personal note.
Yes, I’m talking about analog communication in a digital world.
It happened to me last month. I donated money to a local charity, and they replied with a handwritten note thanking me. Wow!
It made me feel fantastic on a day when more than 100 new emails stuffed my inbox — most of which I probably won’t read.
I read every word of this thank you, written in flowing script writing that took me back to a time before the internet, when letters, notes and cards were commonplace in my life.
Back to the farmhouse where I grew up, to when my mother with write and mail send letters to her mother in London – Ontario. When she sat at the kitchen table night after night in the first week of December, sending out Christmas cards with thought notes included inside.
Back to a time of writing essays in pencil on foolscap paper in primary school.
Back to when I started writing my class notes in a fountain pen in high school, because I enjoyed the experience.
Back to the late 1980s, when I worked at the Cambridge Reporter newspaper. I vividly remember when readers — occasionally — dropped a thank you note in the mail about a story they liked. Or offered me a story idea on paper. I don’t think I saved any of them when the paper closed in 2003, as I was waded deeper in to my bottomless email inbox.
The study found that people expressing gratitude underestimated how pleased people would be with a handwritten note. And they overestimated the potential awkwardness that someone might feel receiving a heartfelt thank-you note.
The exchange of a handwritten thank you note also brought emotional benefits to both the sender and recipient.
And it’s more than just saying thank you to a neighbours for watering your garden while you are away on holiday.
I found business coaches promoting the power of hand written thankyou cards on the business website Forbes.com. They’re highlighted as glue to build personal networks for career success.
The simple act helps both card creators and recipients, reduce the risk of suicide, because researchers believe it builds a sense of purpose and social connections. At the very least, the cards are enjoyable to create, send and receive.
Thank like you speak
But what to say? Hallmark, the greeting card company, of course, offers advice at hallmark.com. Basically, saying thank you is easy if make it easy. Be yourself.
“Writing tip: If writing a thank-you takes you back to high school and turns your writing awkwardly stiff or formal, then relax and try to write like you speak. If you’re a person who would say, “Thanks so much for watching our dog!” then say, “Thanks so much for watching our dog!” Just exactly like that.”
Today, it’s probably never been more important to build relationships with people online – and in-person – to find the job you’re looking for.
And it’s about ensuring your social media activity doesn’t scare away potential employers. Or get you fired from a job because of what you posted online. Cybervetting by employers is now the norm.
As a communications coach and former online journalist, I cringe when I see and hear some of the things people post online. Things that wouldn’t make me want to hire that person – and perhaps prompt me to fire that person.
Please join me on May 31, 2021, for a free webinar where we can talk about social media and your job search in a free webinar hosted by IdeaExchange.org. That’s what we used to call Public Library in Cambridge, Ontario.
We’ll talk about how to tell your story and present your personal brand online. How to build it. How to protect it.
We’ll talk about ways of using social media to tell the story about you as the ideal employee to your ideal employer.
And we’ll talk about how to use social media tools like TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find jobs that were never advertised — and how to connect with people who can help you find a job.
Please join me for the free webinar starting at 10:30 a.m. so we can share our ideas and talk about telling your story to help you find the job you want.
Please use the form below to contact Kevin Swayze, so he can put his business storytelling experience to work helping you find, shape and share your message with impact.
Contact Kevin by email or contact him by mobile phone: 226-924-4237.