No Canadian Experience (Student)
ANNELISE, A BCIT STUDENT FROM CHINA, WITH NO WORK EXPERIENCE EMAILED ME RECENTLY, FRUSTRATED THAT EMPLOYERS WOULD NOT HIRE HER BECAUSE OF HER LACK OF CANADIAN EXPERIENCE IN HUMAN RESOURCES. THIS IS MY RESPONSE TO HER.
By Julie McMahon, IBBC
Hi Annelise: Consider using the SCRAP tool when job searching:
Situation: Can you state the current situation from the other person’s perspective? (ie. the employer’s perspective). If not, you will need to know intimately the “situation” of the other side so that you can plan ahead. What are the employer’s current concerns, what are the challenges/issues on their plate right now? What is a particular Hiring Manager’s personality style, interests and passion? What is the company’s mission and vision? How are they ‘connecting’ to industry?
Complications: This is all about knowing the facts and information that you need to succeed. You need to know the facts – what are the objectively reported labour market trends here? I would suggest getting onto www.workbc.ca and downloading relevant market information on your industry sector of interest as well as information on human resources as a profession/occupation. And check out industry/occupational trends for the next year, 5 years etc… What are the complications in the marketplace that are potentially impacting new grads and what additional associations/resources/websites/companies are available to help you tackle those issues. What additional certifications or credentials could you do today or online right now that would give you an industry standardized “edge” to put you ahead of the competition? Labour Market Information gathering also includes going to networking events, making good use of social media and scheduling information interviews with desired companies you wish to work for. This activity is designed to give you as much “inside information” as possible in order to be able to make sound decisions going forward. Finally you need to do some self-reflection. The job hunting cycle has 6 clear stages: Assessment, Preparation, Search, Contact, Interview, and Work. Decide what stage you are really at right now. If you are at the stage of still assessing things, then you’re not ready for real ‘contact’ with an employer so be honest with yourself about your ‘job readiness’ level. And even when you get to the ‘work’ stage, the learning cycle starts all over again and you begin another ‘learning process’ within your new workplace!
Resolution: Now that we have the information we need to proceed, we want to ensure that we know what the resolution is, volunteering? More training? Doing an internship with the company of your dreams? You decide!
Action Plan: Develop your “strategic plan” just like a company would. That means going out there and beginning the “doing part” of what you have decided to do. That might be many things. In my experience as an employment counselor, group work like joining a Job Club through your local employment resource centre is great training and builds the momentum that you need to stay focused on your goals. And it’s a great networking opportunity as well.
Persuasive: If you can influence, you may not have to negotiate. Develop your plan to the point where you become confidently persuasive in your presentation style right down to the writing of your resume and cover letter. Communicate passion for what you do because you truly believe in your Action Plan. Your calling card is flawless and your look in the eye is “unstoppable”. You now look for potential opportunities rather than focusing on barriers to entry and you are proactively pursuing a great career in HR.
Good Luck and keep me posted on your progress!
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