by Ethan Paquet
Whether you are just starting out on your career journey or looking for a career change, volunteering is the best way to strengthen your network. This message was part of a series of job search workshops Holland College’s Events Management class recently hosted with support from the college’s Student Union.
Elmira Moghimi, Program Officer with PEI Connectors, facilitated the workshop and said volunteering has many benefits job seekers may not know about. “Volunteers get the chance to meet with business owners, community leaders, and people who have the same or similar interests.”
The first step to volunteering is to create a list of the people you would like to be part of your network. Then develop your elevator pitch. “Practicing how to describe yourself in about a minute helps you to be confident and comfortable talking to people.
An elevator pitch can be used any time you meet with an employer or industry leader. The listener should walk away knowing exactly who you are and what skills you can bring to the table. Focus on who you are, your area of expertise, your work experience, and your relevant skills. With practice, it can be easily memorized and helps offer a great first impression.
It is important to keep your professional social media profiles updated with current information and a professional picture. “Make sure everything is clear and include information about your educational background and work history.”
From there, you are ready to start volunteering and building your network. “Volunteer work can help you gain experience and meet people working in your field of interest. If you are looking for a job, volunteer work will help bridge the gaps in your resumé.”
The more you put into the experience, the more it will pay off in the end. “By being a dedicated and effective volunteer, you can get a new reference, which is useful when applying for a paid job in that industry or for a post-secondary program.”
About PEI Connectors
PEI Connectors is an initiative of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce. It works to sustain PEI’s economic growth by offering support to businesses owned and operated by newcomers. It also connects new Islanders and new graduates to business and community leaders to grow professional networks and expand career opportunities on the Island.
Services are offered at no cost to the recipients and encourage and provide necessary resources and connections between job seekers and entrepreneurs.