Doing Everything to Get the Job You Want

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

“As a child I read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica for fun. Had I known the Internet was coming I would have spent more time outside.”

When you have a vibrant personality, sometimes you just need to let it show. So when you read Maria’s LinkedIn profile and the blurb from above, you can tell she is letting out her fun side.

For many of our clients, including Maria, they come to Champions for advice and help after experiencing failure while trying to find a job on their own. We often serve as a last resort for people who feel as though they are seemingly sending their resume into the void, applying for job after job and never receiving a phone call in return.

Maria had never needed a resume before, she had always been able to network her way into work through her own personal connections. However, after a long career in the restaurant industry as a Chef and Restaurant Manager, Maria wanted to make the switch to an administrative role in the oil and gas sector - and this switch presented her with numerous challenges.

“When I was applying for work in the oil and gas sector, I was literally competing against people from all over the world,” Maria explains. “Recruiters get bombarded with applications and I needed to find a way to stand out and get a foot in the door. I had sent out hundreds of resumes with no response and was extremely discouraged thinking that the two years of education I had put in to switch careers was a waste. That’s where Champions was able to help.”

At Champions, Maria and her Case Manager, Mat, were able to revamp her resume. She was able to develop a disclosure plan to talk about her hearing impairment to an employer – something she hadn’t done since she was fired as a young woman because of her disability. Finally, she participated in our “Jump Start Your Job Search with Social Media” workshop to learn how to manage her online brand and network more effectively online.

Yet it is one thing to learn the skills to be successful in your job hunt, and it is a whole other thing to apply them.

“I’m really not surprised Maria found a job so quickly, or in her job target area,” says Rod Ruff, who facilitated the social media workshop with Maria. “Out of all the clients who have taken this workshop, I have never seen someone dive into LinkedIn and use it so effectively.”

One of the points we emphasize in the social media workshop is that Linkedin is only one part of the networking puzzle. Real networking is developing relationships with people who share your interests and can help realize each other’s goals.

Maria was able to master the combination of face-to-face networking while using LinkedIn as tool to facilitate her job search. When she found out that the career fair at the Calgary Oil and Gas Expo was sold out, she signed up to work it instead. It was here that she met several engineers who recommended she target smaller firms, as they would be easier to get in the door with.

Knowing this, Maria monitored the website of a local oil and gas consulting firm and when a position opened up she was able to apply almost immediately. She included a link to her LinkedIn profile with her resume, and her completed profile wowed the people at the firm so much that she was able to skip the telephone interview and move right on to a face-to-face meeting.

But it was at her interview where Maria was really able to shine.

“Prior to Champions, I had always tried to be really professional in an interview, but Susann (Employment Readiness Facilitator at Champions) showed me that it was more important to let my personality come out during the interview process,” says Maria. “Being myself made all the difference. We laughed the entire time during the interview and when it came time to disclose my disability it simply wasn’t an issue.”

Maria was offered the position as a Project Analyst with the company, which she was happy to accept. All of us at Champions wish you the best in your new job Maria and we are definitely going to miss having you here.

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