Guelph goes organic - The Ontarion

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Guelph goes organic - The Ontarion

170.5 ◆ february 7th, 2013life 21So the career fair is over – now what?Wayne GreenwayYou have just come back from therecent Career Fair. You followedall the right steps.You created an effective businesscard that gave your contactinformation on it with your keyaccomplishments or qualificationson the back.You did your research on yourtop ten target employers. Youknew why you genuinely wantedto meet these people and you hadgathered enough research on eachof them to ask them pertinentquestions that will both impressthe company representative andinform your career job strategy.You dressed appropriately, justas though you were representingthat company at an importantevent. Your 20-30 second introductorypitch went well becauseyou had rehearsed it thoroughly.It gave the key information: whoyou are; the kind of work you areseeking to fit with the employer;where you are at in your studies;one or two relevant accomplishmentsfrom your summer co-opand/or academic experiencerelevant to their business andopenings.Your thoughtful questions engagedthe recruiters and youexchanged business cards. Beforemoving to the next booth,you wrote down details aboutthe conversation on the back oftheir business card, so that, inyour follow up correspondence,you could easily remind them ofthe conversation you had withthem. It seems like each meetingwent extremely well, exceptfor two companies that you nowknow you will not be pursuing.Now you are home and the workhas just begun. If you can engagethe people you met in further discussions,then you stand a muchbetter chance of finding a careerjob that matches what you areseeking and what they are lookingfor in an employee.You already have a head start asyou wisely prepared a rough templatefor a thank you email beforeyou left for the career fair. Nowyou need to customize it with acouple probing questions, pertinentto the job, in a way thatgives you a chance to highlightyour strengths.The follow up email is veryimportant because the representativessee so many peoplethat you need to say somethingto help bring your conversationto the forefront of their memory.You will want to thank theperson for the opportunity tospeak with them. If you includesomething from your note on theback of their business card, it willhelp them to remember you. Youwill also want to restate the samepitch that you used throughout theday, highlighting achievementsthat specifically pertain to whatyou learned in your conversation.Naturally you will want to closethe letter with a request to meetwith the person at their earliestconvenience to learn more about …and discuss next steps in exploringhow you could add value to theircompany’s operations. It is an excellentidea to say that you will bein touch with the recruiter nextweek to arrange a meeting time.Then you will want to be sure tothank them again for their timeand consideration.It’s important to keep track ofthese details by company nameand to put all future actions to betaken in a day planner. Naturally,calling when you said you wouldis prudent and ongoing follow-upis important. Bright, upbeat andfriendly messages every 10 dayswill likely get you a reply.Once you have made contact, besure to keep in touch periodicallythroughout your job search withan interesting relevant article ornews story.Now that you have mastered thelive career fair process, your nextstep is to get yourself ready for avirtual career fair.Initial attempts at offering virtualjob fairs did not go well but nowthat technology is improving, HRdepartments are rethinking theirvalue. Shelly Gorman explains thechange in a recent report to theKenan Flagler Business School.“In today’s virtual career fairs,job seekers and recruiters useavatars to enter a virtual world.Participants can chat live throughtext, voice or video; conduct interviewsusing that same technology;and visit networking loungeswhere they can interact with differentemployers and other jobseekers. Virtual career fairs caneven allow managers who wouldnormally be unable to attend livefairs to talk to candidates speedingup the interviewing process.”In the same report, Groman describedMonster Canada’s VirtualCareer Fair, which featured 21 employers,and “generated more than400,000 page views, 18,000 visits,21,000 job views and collectedmore than 12,000 resumes.”It is certainly convenient for careerjob seekers because you canstay in the comfort of your homeand some virtual job fairs can runfor several days compared to thetypical one-day model of traditionalcareer fairs.The preparation process isalmost the same with a few importantdifferences: You will wantto take extra care to ensure thatyour social media sites are professionallooking and that yourprofile photo, Skype picture andusername all have the same professionallook; be sure to take thecompatibility test, if one is offered,as it will help you see howyour strengths best match withwhich employer’s needs; be sureyour spelling and grammar arecorrect before you click the sendbutton; and do not use text slang oremoticons in your replies. It is veryimportant that you dress just likeyou were going to attend a careerfair because you may be interviewedin a video chat. It’s alsoimportant that the backgroundvisible in the call be clean and tidy.Just like in a traditional job fairyou will talk with recruiters tohelp them to see how you could fitfor positions now or in the future.Like many things it’s all aboutpractice and with one live careerfair under your belt you will beready to do even better at the nextone, whether it is live or virtual.pet of the weekLouis is a Labrador/Border Collie mix born on 4:20,and will be turning six this year. His favourite pastimesinclude snuggling and playing fetch. He is currentlysingle, but is a king among men!If you have a pet that you would like to submit as “Pet of the week”,send your photo and the name of your pet to onphoto@uoguelph.caal ladhaWhat happens next?Kiera VandeborneYou’re sitting in a lecture hall, sippinga can of pop while strugglingto stay awake. As the lecture ends,you toss your empty can in the recyclingon the way out. For mostof us, recycling has become partof our routine, something we doout of practice – but have you everstopped to think about what happensnext?From an aluminium can to aglass bottle, each item you throwin the recycling bin tells a slightlydifferent story after it gets collected.Depending on the material, thelength of the process and successrate of recycling differs. For thoseinterested in finding out just exactlyhow it works, there are manyuseful resources available.One of the more obvious wayswould be to spend some time onGoogle (or preferred search engine)figuring out how recyclingplants operate. Local recyclingplants will have information availableon their website to informcurious citizens of their working.Here in Guelph, the plant hasopened up a new education centreto raise awareness of recycling andthe mechanics of what happensonce your recycling gets collected.From the first week of Februarythrough until the end of March,the U of G community will beparticipating in Recycle Mania.This eight-week program is runthrough all of North America andaims to create awareness and getstudents excited about recycling.This year, U of G will be focusingon the story of “what happensnext?” in hopes of connectingthe community to their wasteand the process it endures afterconsumption.For those who have never consideredthe story of their stuff, youmight be surprised by what youcan learn. Of course the Internethas some great informationfloating around, and if you are amember of the university community,keep a look out for thenext eight weeks to find out whathappens next.

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