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Media savvy employees in high regard

OTTAWA — Communication has expanded well beyond the written word to a plethora of audio-visual expressions in a digital world.

Krista Scaldwell, vice-president of communications with Great-West Life, told delegates at the recent Global 4-H Network Summit in Ottawa that those skills are highly sought after in her employees.

She stressed the need for a command of new technologies and a competency in presenting images, storytelling and creating short videos with smartphones.

Interpersonal and public speaking skills are also valued, she said.

Scaldwell said she looks for a social media presence with a professional side that shows what the prospective employee has been working on.

“A professional presence is a big piece,” sad Scaldwell, who ex-pressed concern about sites revealing inappropriate clothing and poor spelling. “Written communication skills have gone into the tank.”

Scaldwell said that’s a problem for companies because it reflects back on them.

A resume needs to match your social media information, and your social media sites must be consistent. She said resumes should detail results and what was learned in-stead of just listing your education and jobs. One example would be increased fundraising dollars from changing a campaign strategy.

“Not enough time is spent on results, what is achieved and being able to articulate that to stand out among other candidates,” said Scaldwell. “If you can’t articulate it in a resume, it doesn’t really matter.

She encouraged delegates to maintain contact with those at the conference because paths may cross again in future. She cited LinkedIn, Skype and emails as easy ways to stay connected.

Search for mentors who can help you develop skills you lack.

“Reach out in your networks to ask who can help,” said Scaldwell.

“The best feedback doesn’t come from friends but people who are truly challenging your thinking.”

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