On November 25, 2015, World Skills Employment Centre, Hire Immigrants Ottawa and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, held the first ever LinkedIn-a-Thon Event in Ottawa. It was graciously hosted by Kivuto. This event formed part of the Alternative Careers Program which is aimed at supporting newcomers to find suitable jobs which match their skills and qualifications. The Executive Director of World Skills Employment Centre, Mengistab Tsegaye welcomed the audience and specially thanked the sixteen coaches for supporting the initiative:
“This is our fourth Alternative Careers Event and we are delighted this year to bring the new innovative idea of the LinkedIn-a-Thon to support internationally trained individuals in increasing their visibility and marketability through LinkedIn. As the digital world continues to innovate and expand, agencies like ours respond to those changes to ensure that newcomers have the tools and resources to access the employment market.”
Corinne Prince-St. Amand, Director General for the Integration Branch and Foreign Credential Recognition Office, who is a lawyer by training, used her personal example to show how skills can be transferred from one profession to another. Over the last few years she has worked with the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and used her training as a lawyer to contribute towards the work of the department. She congratulated the team on the innovative approach to support newcomers.
Shamsia Quraishi, a newcomer to Canada, provided a testimonial to how LinkedIn was useful in securing her current job:
“I was recommended for a position by someone who worked with my current employer. I noticed that my current boss looked at my LinkedIn profile even before I had a chance to submit a resume. I was then called for an interview. When I went to the interview, I held my resume but he never asked for it because my LinkedIn profile seemed to have been sufficient. I got the job!”
James Baker, Managing Partner at Keynote Group, was the keynote speaker for the event. He too is a newcomer who immigrated in 2006. He has been a Champion for World Skills since 2012 when he first started doing training in recruitment best practices with the Ottawa Job Match Network program. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Ottawa Job Match Network and has even provided about 20 hours of mentorship to one of our Job Match Specialists. In 2014, James championed another venture at World Skills Employment Centre by providing free LinkedIn Training to staff. The motive behind the training was to empower staff to know how to use LinkedIn for recruitment and to leverage the power of networking to increase the hiring of newcomers and their integration in the labour market.
James is a pro-LinkedIn user.
“LinkedIn is currently one of the greatest tools available for finding the job of your dreams, it’s not about the job. It’s about your professional future. It’s about taking a genuine and active interest in your career and your life. It’s about relationships, opportunities, and all kinds of possibilities that could come your way because you are now in touch with hundreds of interesting people that represent a diverse range of backgrounds, talents, connections, and experiences.”
“LinkedIn is the greatest thing to happen to networking so far in my lifetime. It has quite simply leveled the playing field. No longer do you need the bold face confidence to walk into a room full of 200 people you don’t know, with the blind hope that of the six people you speak to, they just happen to be with a company who potentially hires someone like you. No longer are introverts at a disadvantage to extroverts when it comes to networking. LinkedIn allows you to be part of conversation that matters to you, from the comfort of home wearing your pajamas!”
Here are some important statistics which James shared with the audience:
Adding a good quality photo makes you 14 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn
- Profile views increase by 13x when you list skills on your profile
- Professionals were surveyed and three jobs was found to be the best number to list fully on a profile
- It isn’t just for big companies, 60% of LinkedIn members have never worked for a company with more than 200 employees
- 13% of LinkedIn users are on daily, 65% of recruiters use it daily
- 41% of all millionaires use LinkedIn
- 60% of all revenue that LinkedIn generates is from job listings – that is approx. 2bn US for 2015
- There are 11 million Canadian LinkedIn users, that accounts for 50% of all working Canadians!
At the end of the event, everyone left feeling inspired and motivated! Coaches appreciated that they had the opportunity to contribute towards newcomers, and newcomers felt more empowered to use LinkedIn as part of their job search strategy.
Meghan Baldeau from David Aplin Group was very appreciative of the opportunity:
“Thank you so much for incorporating myself and David Aplin, into the LinkedIn-A-Thon. It was wonderful to be a part of! I can completely understand James’ dedication and commitment to the organization and his long term relationship with World Skills – you do great work!!
I was so encouraged and delighted to be a part of the event that I would love to be kept in mind for any upcoming events, that you feel my skills or experience would be useful or beneficial for! Being in the recruitment industry for well over 8 years, I love any opportunity that gives me the chance to give back, be involved and help others; it is part of the passion of why I do what I do. Do feel free to keep my contact information, and let me know of any other events where you are looking for volunteers, speakers, coaches, etc. as I would love to help.”
Need help with your LinkedIn Profile? Connect with us at World Skills Employment Centre.
Thanks to participating coaches:
|Edward Marshall||Ottawa Institute of Logotherapy|
|Shannon Boschy||Investors Group|
|Donna Baker||Keynote Group|
|Greg Black||Keynote Group|
|Meghan Baldeau||David Aplin Group|
|Shamsia Quraishi||AIA Canada|
|Ulyana Zanevych||Volunteer Ottawa|
|Alain Robineau||Carleton University|
|Brent Moore||Carleton University|
|Joshua Abraham||Ottawa Police Service|
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