Zoom: A Helpful Tool for Busy Career Professionals
By Giselle Mazurat.
I recently volunteered to be a newsfeed contributor for the CPC Communications Team and I attended my first team meeting in February. During the meeting, Sharon Graham announced that Career Professionals of Canada (CPC) was going to start using an online application called Zoom for CPC meetings and events such as webinars. You may be asking yourself, “What the heck is Zoom?” Zoom’s tagline says it all: “Flawless video. Clear audio. Instant sharing.”
I was delighted to hear about Zoom! For me, the tool means that by simply making use of my computer’s audio and video capabilities, I’ll be able to engage face-to-face with colleagues and clients without the need of flying around the country or enduring long commutes. And I can engage in these meetings from the comfort of my home office.
I set out to do some research about Zoom and here’s what I discovered:
Plans and Features
Most of us will start with the Basic Plan. It’s free and you can use it for as long as you like. You can hold an unlimited number of one-to-one meetings, with each allowed to run for an unlimited length of time. For group meetings or web conferences, you can host up to 100 participants who are able to see, hear, and speak with each other.
Examples of other cool features included in the Basic Plan are:
- Video conferencing features such as high definition video and voice, screen share, and the ability to join the meeting by telephone.
- Web conferencing features including a personalized meeting ID, ability for the host to control the participants’ audio, video, and screen sharing options, and the “raise hand” feature where participants can let the host know they have a question.
- Group collaboration features such as break out rooms where you can split your Zoom meeting into groups to facilitate separate discussions.
- Group messaging that allows participants to chat or send the group a file or screen capture.
The main difference between the free Basic Plan and the three paid plans that are offered is that the Basic Plan has a 40-minute time limit for meetings with 3 or more participants. However, as long as your meetings are 40 minutes or less, you can make use of many of Zoom’s features, all included in the price of $0.00!
If you want to hold large meetings, you can sign up for the Pro, Business, or Enterprise plan (the one plan that allows up to 1000 participants). These plans allow meetings to run for much longer: 24 hours for the Pro Plan and unlimited duration for the Business and Enterprise plans. They also offer robust features such as meeting statistic reporting. Meeting organizers can receive reports showing how many meetings took place in the organization, along with the date, duration, and number of participants for each meeting. The Business and Enterprise plans let you customize your meeting’s URL (yourcompany.zoom.us) and add your company branding to the meeting page and invitations. And, the Enterprise Plan gives you unlimited cloud storage.
Each plan builds upon the other, which means that if you upgrade, you keep the features of the previous plan and receive the additional features of the upgraded plan. Plus, the price is right with the highest being $19.99 USD per month, per host for the Business and Enterprise plans. Zoom offers lots of support such as one‑minute training videos and live training to get you started. You can also do a live chat with a customer support representative when you sign up.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that you can “Zoom” on any device, desktop or mobile.
As a busy career professional, and if your clients are tech savvy, you can easily enjoy face-to-face meetings with them for résumé development and review, interview coaching, social media training, and more. These are just a few examples of how Zoom can help to enhance communications, strengthen client relationships, and save you time and money.