What is mentoring?

Mentoring to work is a very useful tool for supporting highly educated newcomers to find a job or to build a sustainable path towards a job. Any volunteer who has knowledge, experience and network in own sector/domain can be a mentor. Please watch the following video to know more about mentoring.

Practical information on mentoring

Some practical information might be useful for both mentors and mentees who are starting a mentoring process. Please find more information in the following slides.

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Six domains of mentoring

Entering a local labour market requires getting to know the local customs and systems, and responding to them. We defined 6 relevant domains that help a newcomer to better understand the Flemish job market and its habits. So that the way of applying for a job, and the preparation for it, can be tuned. The six topics can be found on the figure below.

By clicking on one of the circles you will be directed to a page with more information on (i) how to structure mentoring sessions on this topic and (ii) find direction towards supporting questionnaires and exercises.

Skills, Talents & Aspirations

Before the session

  • Invite mentee to prepare a few reflection exercises that can help to reveal:
    • Aspirations

During the session

Material / Links

CV / Resume

Before the session

  • Ask mentee to send you his/her CV upfront or download it from his/her profile on the platform (or to bring it to the session)
  • Invite mentee to check on the platform the information on writing a CV/resume

During the session

  • Give feedback on the current CV
    • Style
      • How attractive is the look & feel?
      • A nice template can make a difference (cf. resume templates in MS Word, online templates)
    • Content (cf. career passport)
      • Enough focus on what the mentee can offer (skills & experience, talents & aspiration)? (vs. diploma’s, loyalty, …)
      • Is a career objective included (a top paragraph outlining relevant skills of mentee + what career one is seeking)
    • Career gaps
      • If gaps in the career, how can you draw the attention away from it, or make it a strength?
  • Iterative process: Ask the mentee to integrate the feedback by the next session; then review again

Material / Links

Motivation / Cover Letter

Before the session

  • Invite mentee to check on the platform the information on writing a motivation letter
  • Ask mentee to share with you the vacancy + 1st draft of the motivation letter.

During the session

  • Give feedback on the 1st draft.
    • Make sure all key topics are covered
      • Introducing oneself
      • Mentioning the (kind of) job one is applying for (or looking for)
      • Showing that one’s skills & experience match the skills & experience needed to do the job
      • Encouraging the reader to read the CV
      • Finish with a call to action (e.g. asking for an interview or a meeting)
    • Keep it short (max 1 page) + find out who to address it to
    • Matching cover letter to the job
      • Summarize why you are right for this job (linking your skills to the job requirements)
      • Tailor your cover letter to the company (what is appealing for you to work for this company)?
      • Make sure that the reader can ‘read’ your motivation & eagerness to go for this job

Material / Links

Personal Branding & Networking

Before the session

Personal Branding - Learning to sell yourself

  • Invite mentee to check on the platform the information on Networking & Social media , especially the Networking Guide and NIMAP tool ‘The importance of Networking’.
  • Ask mentee to prepare the 3 questions of section 4
    1. Who are you?
    2. What is your story?
    3. Why do you want to work in that field/company/job?

    Networking - Making effective use or your network

  • Invite mentee to check the MESH Workbook for mentoring, section ‘My networks – network map’ and ask mentee to reflect upon the reflection questions of this section:
    1. Who are in my network?
    2. Who do I wish to be in my network?
    3. How can I grow my network?
    4. What can I give to my network? How can my network help me?

During the session

Personal Branding - Learning to sell yourself

  • Make sure the mentee’s resume stands out, including a compelling career objective
  • Assist the mentee in perfecting his/her elevator pitch (on the platform + practice on ‘selling him/herself’ with confidence
  • Networking - Making effective use or your network

  • Identify what is needed for mentee to network more effectively? (Strengths & weakness in network? – what elements/skills to develop to be able to network more effectively? - …)
  • Polish LinkedIn as most important online business network

Material / Links

Find vacancies

Before the session

  • Invite mentee to actively look for suitable vacancies + to experiment with job sites available on platform (*)
  • For each suitable vacancy identified: to what extent does it match with his/her Career Passport (= list of criteria)
  • If needed: add relevant features to your Career Passport.
  • Mentor can send relevant vacancies to mentee on the platform

During the session

  • Discuss the vacancies.
  • Challenge mentee his/her suitability for the job.

Material / Links

  • All-in-one4her > Work > Roadmap to a job
    • Orientation (most recent bottleneck jobs – vacancies booming)
    • Job search (job search platforms – temporary job agencies - temporary jobs)
    • List of helpful tools  don’t hesitate to share other relevant material that we can add in this list !!

Preparing for a job Interview

Before the session

  • Invite mentee to read on the platform the information on a Job Interview , and to prepare for a role-play with you in preparation for the job interview.
  • Ask the mentee to send you the vacancy for which he want to try out the job interview.

During the session

  • Assume the role of interviewer, and do a dry-run of the interview. Use the checklist of most common interview questions + killer questions (cf. NIMAP tool)
  • Use the STAR-method (cf. NIMAP tool) to evaluate the skills of the mentee  the STAR-method is also a great way for the mentee of preparing convincing examples of key requirements for the position.
  • Observe body language, check whether the answers of the mentee are to the point and convincing,

Material / Links

Structure of a mentoring session

It might be helpful to follow a structure for the mentoring meetings. Below a 5 step mentoring process is defined. You find more information by clicking on the steps. You can anchor each meeting on a summary check for the first meeting, and the following meetings. (doc’s summary check first meeting and summary mentoring meetings)

Five step mentoring process: every single meeting


Be aware you’re in a mentoring sessions


Say hello
Ask how the other is doing
Check if something needs to be said before starting


Agree on the most important topic and set a goal
Make the goal very concrete (SMART, well-defined)
Design a step-by-step plan/strategy


Summarize and agree on next steps: Who does what? Timing?
Make a next appointment: Date? Topic? Prepare?


What works? What’s missing?
Check the ecology: how do mentor and mentee feel about the collaboration?


Be aware you’re in a mentoring sessions

Download Summary check-in Document Download Summary each session Document


  • The First Session
    • Present yourselves (in steps, go with the flow)
    • Why did you both enter this mentoring programme?
    • What do you both expect of the mentoring?
    • Practical agreements on the meetings/frequency/… (Share the essentials)
    • Your communication style preference (diplomat or direct) and what you really like in communication.
  • Sample Structure of a Session
    • Say hello, ask how the other is doing, is there something that needs to be told before you can start,…


  • The First Session
    • Use the journey to agree on the most important topic at that moment
    • Ask the question “When we’ll end this session, what do you want to take home?” or “When would you consider this meeting succesful?” or…
    • Define the outcome of the topic and make it ‘well-defined’ (use the 1-2-3 of coaching guideline)
    • Go through the questions of the outcome model and make an overview of the issue
    • Stress strengths and define what can be added to reach the goal
  • Sample Structure of a Session
    • Define the outcome of the mentoring journey as a whole (Set the Mentoring goal). Ask questions like “When we’ll end this session, what do you want to take home?” or “When would you consider this meeting succesful?” or…
    • Focus on the present situation of the mentee, and watch the preconditions (housing, space to focus on a job,…)
    • Define the first step, the first topic to work on


  • The First Session
    • Make a next appointment
    • Define the topic of the next meeting
    • Check if something needs to be prepared
  • Sample Structure of a Session
    • Resume the topics covered, define the take away’s
    • Make clear agreements about plans and actions
    • Schedule the next meeting (platform), maybe also the topic
    • Define some ‘homework’ if necessary. Anything to prepare/reflect upon by the next session?


(starting form what’s going well)

Mentoring Organisations


We see the mentee who does the work in this mentoring process and the mentor supports the mentee in his work by giving advice, sharing knowledge and his network. In your sessions you can advise him/her and do some of the work together (cv, motivation letter, job search, etc.) but let him work further on this by defining clear actions until the next session. You can make use of the platform for defining and agreeing on some actions till the next session. For any further questions, let your mentoring organisation know.
Just be aware of cultural differences which can make you feel that you cannot build trust or lose trust. Be patient and continue open communication with your mentee, you will see that it will open up a window of trust with your mentee. For any kind of problems and any feeling of loss of trust or lack of commitment from the mentee, contact the mentoring organisation. They can help you to find answers for specific situations or they can take an active role and communicate with your mentee with a mediatory role.

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