Lessons from job searchers – teaching at tcet

Is social networking for everyone?  Will it help all job seekers?  I am checking my assumptions after teaching a wide breadth of job seekers.

Before teaching some 60 – 70 people how to use social media in their job search, I had a chance to introduce myself to a few early attendees and ask them about ‘their story’ if they were willing to share.

I met a very interesting person named Jim who immigrated from Turkey.  He was a very smart individual, self described as a sales person clearly with a lot of skill and experience.   Without knowing much about him – I’d probably peg him at a mid-senior level based on his discussion of the profession and skills required.  He was no slouch.

He voiced so much frustration with being a newcomer to Canada and not being able to get Canadian work experience as Canadian businesses sought Canadian work experience before giving it.

For him – I truly believe social networking will help.  Being on linkedin and facebook will allow Jim to collect his network, demonstrate his skill in sales without being asked what kind of Canadian experience he has.  I think by virtue of its global participation, people who participate in social networking are more appreciative of global experience – at least I hope so.

And yet another attendee, John, described with excitement, how he had reached second round interviews for a $15/hr job in a property management / maintenance role.  With this conversation – I wondered how much a tool like linkedin would help him.   Although future employer hr and managers may be online – would they use linkedin to find large scale customer facing staff?  Would a bank use linkedin for branch staff?  (to some extent – I would hope so)

I haven’t seen this discussed anywhere yet.  I am investigating as I have several other presentations to give to individuals in transition.

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2 thoughts on “Lessons from job searchers – teaching at tcet

  1. Rob

    You make some interesting points, Laurie and I’m sympathetic to the challenges that experienced newcomers face in securing Canadian roles. At the same time, hiring managers face real challenges in validating the assertions by those candidates on the breadth,depth and (most critically) the relevance of their experience offshore.

    As an example, I had a candidate for an process design role who had 10 years’ experience in a similar role for a state-run agency in Eastern Europe; on paper, this person seemed worthy of a second-line manager role. He had managed complex teams and had taught line-of-visibility approaches to process design etc. However, on investigation, we were struck by his lack of knowledge about governance and process design in profit-driven enterprises. He assumed, for example, that the RCMP would be a stakeholder in private enterprises’ process design. (Where he came from, the state police WERE stakeholders!). This is where “Canadian” experience would have done him a world of good.

    I’m sure social networks have a role to play in helping both candidates and hiring managers here…I’d like to hear your ideas.

    1. Laurie Dillon Schalk Post author

      Rob – thank you so much for giving the other side perspective.

      I definitely acknowledge it is tough to evaluate off shore experiences and it must be done on a case by case basis, often in person. What is valiant here is that you did go through due process here and provided an opportunity for the individual despite it not ending in a hiring situation.

      Certainly, Canada has not reached a happy medium yet – my nanny’s husband is an architect who is working as a janitor. Its painful to see this and I wonder how I can help – I guess that why I am volunteering here.

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