By Molly Wisniewski United States
A job in the Activities Department is dynamic and rewarding. Every day offers new opportunities to create and innovate.
Although devising creative and meaningful activity programs is an important part of the job, administrators will look for several key points on your resume before offering you a position.
Here is how to emphasize your good points and tips on how to sell your skills to land a job in the industry.
No matter what unit you are hoping to work in as an activity professional, you should be comfortable speaking (even singing or dancing) in front of a large group of people.
On any given day, a long-term care unit has staff, residents, family, and visitors present who will often peak their head in to hear what all the fun is about in your activity room.
Can you carry a tune? Play the piano? Or draw and paint? Even if your talent is just a hobby you should highlight it on your resume.
Music and art based activities are highly sought-after as they improve the symptoms of dementia. These therapies are often outsourced, so administrators will usually jump at the chance to hire someone with these coveted skills.
As the number of older adults in need of care grows, so does the instance of dementia and Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Knowing how to effectively communicate with individuals with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia is critical. As Activity Professionals, we have a fantastic opportunity to provide non-medical interventions to these residents.
Not sure where to start? Study up on validation and empathy in senior care.
So, the recruiter liked your resume enough to call you in for an interview?
While your resume reads like you would be a good candidate, there are some things you should highlight while in the interview to ensure you land the job!
Many administrators want to be wowed by activity ideas. They are tired of Bingo and Ball Bouncing routines (and frankly, so are many of the residents). Having a few exciting activity ideas up your sleeve will be a great way to set you apart from other candidates.
Try thinking of:
An Activities Calendar should address five main social and recreational pursuit needs of individuals:
As you create potential activities keep in mind these five points.
This one is interesting and a question that I’ve often heard come up in interviews. Of course, an Activity Coordinator is there for the residents first and foremost. Activities should be devised with each resident's personal preference in mind.
However, as an Activity Coordinator, you will no doubt have a lot of interactions with family members. It can be just as important to keep them active in their loved one's recreational pursuits.
While some family members are naturally enthusiastic there will be others who show concern for the activities being offered to their loved ones.
To answer this question successfully in an interview keep in mind these four points:
Whether you are trying to break into the industry or you are a seasoned professional, a career as an Activity Coordinator is enriching!
Many on the outside think we have fun all day. They don’t understand the work that goes into meeting the needs of residents. Activity Coordinators play a critical role in the care of older adults, and it is essential to realise this before seeking a career in this field.
Administrators are looking for enthusiasm and specific care knowledge and will no doubt want to hear your fantastic activity ideas. Remember to be yourself and allow your energy to shine through!