“Your presence on social media can have a big impact on an employer’s decision to hire you.”
That’s just one of the tips David Hall, a co-op consultant and public relations professor shared at Algonquin’s first Make the Transition from College to career day on March 4.
The college’s co-op office, in partnership with the Students’ Association, Employment Services and Bayshore Shopping Centre held the event in the Student Commons from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The event consisted of several 15-minute presentations from Hall, and many other speakers giving their tips and expertise on a wide range of subjects, like managing your money, what to wear to work and other ways of making a smooth transition from college to the work force.
“We thought it would be a good idea to gather a few folks around a table and talk about some of the soft skills you’ll need when trying to make the transition from the classroom to employment,” said David Hall, a co-op consultant and public relations professor at Algonquin. “These tips aren’t some of the technical skill you develop in class, but the soft skills you need every day and employers are looking for.”
Each speaker shared their advice and personal tips, giving the audience everything they need to start preparing for the work world.
One tip for making a good first impression came from Matt Wheatley, a co-op consultant, who explained what an elevator speech is and why it’s important.
“An elevator speech is your opportunity to introduce yourself to a professional,” said Wheatley. “It’s basically a 20-to 30-second speech, the length of an elevator ride, promoting yourself and why you should be hired to your prospective employer.”
An elevator speech can set up a great first impression and help an employer decide if they want to pursue you as an employee.
“It’s not a documentary so keep it brief,” said Wheatley. “And make sure it’s understandable not only to your prospective employer but to whoever you’re giving your elevator speech to.”
Alyssa Beltempo, a fashion director at Bayshore raised the importance of appearance and how you dress. Beltempo spoke about what different pieces of a well put together outfit can say about you and the type of worker you are.
“It only takes seven seconds for a potential employer or potential customer to have a quick up-and-down look at you and assess what they think of you already,” said Beltempo. “This makes it really important that you visually portray why you’re a great candidate, and a well-put-together outfit can say exactly that.”
Each speaker had a wealth of knowledge to offer the audience, including Hall, who spoke about creating a professional online presence for yourself.
With the rising use of social media such as Twitter and Linkedin, Hall’s presentation on professionalizing your media presence offered the audience advice on the dos and don’ts for managing your online profile.
“What you post on social media says a lot about who you are,” said Hall. “Employers will be looking at your social media profiles when they look to hire you, so it’s important that you represent yourself as the professional you want to be seen as when on social media.”