I had the opportunity of attending the Professional Preparation Conference 2014. The conference is to help OISE students prepare for the professional field and network with future employers.
The conference is intended for OISE students in their final year, but I thought it would be good to familiarize myself with the conference so I could be better prepared next year.
Here are my tips on preparing for the 2015 Professional Preparation Conference:
- Its a professional conference, so dress professionally. I know this sounds simple but its true. I attended the first day in jeans and a sweatshirt but I stood out like a sore thumb. Most students dressed up in blazers, dresses and dress pants as they were meeting potential employers and/or had interviews following the conference. If you are trying to make a great first impression with your future employers or peers to network with, you should be dressed appropriately.
- Visit the student success centre prior to the conference. Some employers may request to set up interviews or accept resumes for their open positions. Jackie Button was the speaker for Resume Writing & Interview Skills. She advises students to take the alternative, non-traditional approach for their resumes. Making them look and sound dynamic sets you apart from the competition. To learn more about alternative, non-traditional approaches to resumes and CV’s, head to the student success centre and make an appointment with them.
- Read the employment section of your desired school board for restrictions. I learned that most school boards have teachers use the database ApplyToEducation.com to apply to their boards. 75% of Canadian school boards use the database to seek out potential candidates. It would be beneficial to check out which school boards use the database. (As of December 2014, TDSB and YRDSB do not use ApplytoEducation.com) Additionally, some school boards may also have page restrictions for the resumes they look at. This may be the time to condense or expand your resumes.
- Keep your options open. I was blown away by the vast number of speakers, employers and professional support available at the conference. There are employers from various settings: local, national and even international. Its amazing that there are many options outside of the classroom. To see the list of organizations in which attended the conference, view my blog post: Oh the Places You Will Go…
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