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The HR Blog Exchange- Guest Post By Lois Melbourne: Using Your Experience To Mentor Students and Entrepreneurs

Originally posted: May 12, 2009 on TrishMcFarlane.com

This Guest Post authored by Lois Melbourne is part of the HR Blog Exchange, a fun project that from a Twitter conversation.  See the details here.

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the Greatest HR Circus in the world.  Trish is a good ring leader and has invited me as a guest act.  I appreciate the opportunity to be in the ring with a little spotlight.  I want to move the big tent spotlight to the easy ways you can use your expertise to make a big difference in people’s life.  I am fortunate to have the experience of being mentored and of mentoring.  I enjoy both.  I mentor students and entrepreneurs because I am paying it forward for all the wonderful mentors I have had and still have in my life.  We don’t do it to find applicants, but it can obviously be a reward for giving back to the community. I also focus on these in details in my 1-1  mentoring opportunities.

In ring #1, we address the issues most pertinent to students preparing for the job market. The following list includes the type of information students have asked me about:

  • How do I know a corporation is looking for employees?
  • How is the application process different for corporate jobs than when applying for a retail or grocery store position?
  • What key words are critical in a resume and why?
  • What is the role of a recruiting firm vs. a recruiting department in a company?  How do I talk to them?

In ring #2, recognize and reinforce the critical topics that may seem obvious to you, but are still new or unknown to students, such as:

  • Knowing and nurturing good interview skills.
  • What NOT to do, such as over inflating a resume.
  • Knowing that recruiter firms should never charge an applicant.

In the center ring I focus on something I am very passionate about:

  • How to choose an industry/career that you can enjoy.

My mentoring allows me to do these things regularly, but I realize not everyone can do them all. The important thing is to do what you can, knowing that you are contributing to the workforce of tomorrow – paying it forward, if you will.  Some may consider looking for the first career position a trapeze act.  But with your expert guidance, at least these students will feel that they have something to hold on to.

Lois is a ringleader of her own circus with a blog at www.aquire.com/blog, writing about HR technology in workforce planning and succession planning, as well as leadership, cool employees and her software customers.

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