5 job search tips for new heritage professionals

If you’re a new graduate and searching for work in the heritage conservation profession, the age of COVID-19 makes job hunting a challenge.

Yet, new challenges mean new opportunities.

You can still build connections and create a professional network that can help you launch your heritage sector career. Here’s five tips for those looking for work:

1. Join a heritage network

  • Join CAHP. With over 400 leading heritage professionals from across Canada, you’ll be able to connect with industry leaders and stay connected about developments in the field. New graduates are eligible for CAHP’s intern-level membership. If you’re still enrolled in school, become a student member. 
  • Check out these organizations and programs for new professionals: 

2. Request an informational interview 

  • Identify an organization and position you want to learn more about. (The CAHP directory is a great place to start).
  • Request a 15 to 30 minute appointment with a person working in that position. 
  • Prepare questions ahead of time. Remember, you’re not asking for a job, you’re trying to find out more about this type of role and this organization. If you’re stuck, check out this list of informational interview questions from Berkeley University of California 
  • Do the interview. Keep it professional. Stay interested in the conversation.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about what you’re looking for. 
  • Send a thank you note after the interview. Follow-up with any other contacts you may be referred to.

3. Attend professional conferences and learning events (yes, even online ones) 

  • Get involved in learning opportunities and identify new trends in your industry.
  • Leave time to connect with other leaders. This Forbes article offers some strategies for networking at these events.   
  • Get noticed by asking relevant questions at presentations. 
  • Follow presenters on their social media, if they post it during their presentation. 

4. Offer to help

  • Express your willingness to volunteer on a committee or at an event. Professional associations, like CAHP, are generally run by volunteers and always need assistance.
  • Let the association’s administrator know your willingness to join a committee.
  • Demonstrate your skills and abilities by helping out on a project. 
  • Get to know other industry players who are also volunteering on the committee or at an event.

5. Use social media effectively

  • Have a second look at your social media profiles. Prospective employers may look you up on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Clean up your profiles, asking yourself the questions, Would I want a future employer to see this? 
  • Follow companies and industry leaders on social media to keep up to date on their latest developments and to find out what they value.