As a job mentor, my main responsibility is to help my young professional friend find a new position. But, rather than discussing what he’s supposed to do to reach his job search goals, my post is geared toward my weekly responsibilities (not one but many) and what I have to accomplish to be more helpful and highly proactive in his search process.
Here are my weekly responsibilities as a job mentor:
- Review weekly reports submitted by my mentee that detail each day of the week and the different outreach approaches that are taken to connect with other professionals (emails with resumes, LinkedIn messages, telephone informational interviews, and letters sent to HR directors vs. PR professionals).
- Provide feedback on the reports to make sure my mentee is maximizing different types of outreach opportunities. For example, I noticed early on that a great deal of his outreach was through LinkedIn, but there was not a lot of participation in Twitter chat sessions, with other PR professionals. Each week, I try to let him know exactly which chat sessions or Twitter hashtags (i.e., #prssa, #jobhuntchat, #happo, #prjobs) are great opportunities to not only network, but also learn tips and techniques for job hunting from other students and pros.
- Review job listings and pass along any opportunities that I hear about during the week. I try to keep my eyes open and send along the opportunities as I see them, or I will make the direct connection, if the individual offering the position is a friend, or personal contact through one of my networks.
- Prepare for weekly interviews by discussing what questions might arise and how to answer them including: how much are you looking for in terms of salary, why do you want to work for our company, and what assets do you think you will bring to our organization? We also review a few questions that are appropriate to ask the interviewer (these vary depending on the company/position), including the question about follow-up, especially if the interview concludes and the interviewer doesn’t mention the next steps in the process.
- Suggest in-person opportunities to attend each week. Social networking is great to make connections that can lead to an interview, however, there is nothing like the in-person networking event to really get to know potential employers or other professionals, who might lead you to an opportunity. I’ve already let my mentee know that this week’s job search event is HAPPO in NYC. HAPPO is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a series of events across the country. The HAPPO event in NYC is being held at Connelly’s Pub, and will have a wide variety of agencies including Burson Marstellar, MS&L, Devries, Peppercom, and Ruder Finn, who are actively hiring. The HAPPO event also has Meryl Cooper, managing director of the Home & Lifestyle at Devries Public Relations, and author of a book called Be Your Own Best Publicist, giving a brief 10-minute talk with some tips for job seekers. I’ll be attending the HAPPO event, as one of the HAPPO NYC champions, but also I’m there to network and to share mentoring advice.
- Be available to answer questions as they arise during the job search process. Being a job mentor is not just a once-a-week discussion because questions arise right before interviews, just afterward and really at all times during the week. I try my best to answer in a timely manner because the job search can be stressful. Sometimes I’m just there to guide, provide support and give encouragement. I realize that mentoring (just like any job) is not necessarily on a set schedule and you can work after hours too. But, just like any job, I’m not on the clock and I work to get the job done.
As a job mentor, what do you have to accomplish each week to be more helpful and proactive in your mentee’s search process? And, as a job seeker, how are your job mentor’s helping you?