We have spent a majority of our time in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program talking about building ourselves into well-rounded Early Childhood Educators and what we will do once we get out in the field. To help on our ECE Job Search we have at the end of the program a Career Search Strategies course and here are some tips I got from it.
This past month we started the course on Moodle so that we will be prepared to look for work after finishing our program.
The first part of it talks about Networking.
In every career networking is beneficial but especially so in the ECE field.
Having multiple connections and support systems in other Early Childhood Educators can help you in many ways. They could help you secure a job, provide you with ideas or council you in any topics you may have questions on. In the Networking section of the course we were asked to create a LinkedIn account and to add our work experience, skills and any relevant information that an employer may want to know about us. It was a fairly simple first task and if a future employer ever searches for my name on LinkedIn I feel it will be an easy way for them to get an idea of who I am from more that just my resume.
Another part of the Career Search Strategies course was identifying our skill set. This section talked a lot about hard and soft skills and helped us define what those skills were. I have previous experience working in a lot of different fields so I had a fairly good idea of what my personal skill set was but it was nice to make a list and put it down on paper so I could identify which areas I was strong in and other areas I could work on. The assignment for this module was a quiz with different scenarios and you had to define which skills the person was using. I found this difficult at first but after a few scenarios it became a lot more clear as to what skills were used for which scenario.
Overall I think that it was beneficial to me to really break down where my strengths and weaknesses were.
The last part of the course was resume building. We took the skills we learned about ourselves, our previous work experience and any valuable courses or certifications we had to build our resume. We learned that there are many different styles of resumes and what would work best for our specific field. To finalize the Career Search Strategies course we had one on one interviews with Darlene, Stenberg’s Career Strategies Manager and she gave us some helpful feedback on our resumes. This portion of the course really gives us a chance to have a real experience with an in-person interview. It was great to be able to get feedback in a ‘test interview’ type setting that we can take forward with us to our real life interviews after we finish our practicum in March.