Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Related Careers: The Same but Different

It is easy to get stuck in the mindset that there are only a few careers out there to chose from. 

Aside from being a teacher, fireman/firewoman, doctor, lawyer, what is there? LOTS! Ok so maybe those examples are a little elementary, but I hope you can understand the point I am trying to make.

In ALL fields there are well known jobs, and jobs that may have unfamiliar titles. Part of the job search process involves identifying jobs in our fields, but how can we do that if we don't know what they are called? Related careers exist in all fields, and can offer you a job that can potentially meet your needs without being stuck in the " I have to be a XYZ"!
For example:

Aside from being an elementary/secondary teacher, what else can you do?

There are instructor positions, one on one tutor positions, positions where you are in a teaching role, but you may not be in a classical classroom setting. These jobs may have different names, and the names of the positions may change depending on where  you work.

So how do I find these jobs?

These jobs can be found by simply keeping an open mind. When browsing job postings, don't zone in on well known job titles. See what comes up, and click on unknown titles to learn more.

Easier than that, sign in to career zone and go to CareerCruising. On CC you can search positions but you can also type in a position and on the left hand side there is a RELATED CAREERS button that will provide you with a list of jobs that are the same but different.

 When I say the same but different,  I mean that it can satisfy your inner needs. Your reason for wanting to be in that job or field but may have a different setting, goal, or you may be working with different people.

Be open to all job titles, and don't be afraid to learn more about them. Google is your best friend!

 If you would like to chat more about related careers, or what related careers may be in your field, come on in to Career Services and chat with any of our friendly Career Assistants. We would love to help you!

Becky White
4th year Tourism and Environment

Monday, February 23, 2015

Acing the Unconventional Interview

You’ve applied to a job that interests you and have found out you’ve been invited to take part in a Skype interview. How should you prepare? How is it any different than a face-to-face interview? It is important you prepare for unconventional interviews (over Skype or the phone) just as much as you would a face-to-face interview. Here are a few strategies for success!

Phone Interviews
  • Prepare. Since the employer won’t be sitting right in front of you it is ok to have a cheat sheet. Have a checklist of potential interview questions with some point form notes and practice your responses over the phone with a family member or friend.
  • Location. Be sure to pick a quiet room with no background noise for your interview. Also, clear your workspace and lay out your resume and any additional documents you may want to refer to in an organized manner prior to your interview to avoid wasting time fumbling through papers when you should be answering questions.
  • Etiquette. Just as in a face-to-face interview be sure to introduce yourself to each interviewer and thank them at the end. Don’t be shy to ask the interviewer for clarification or to repeat a question if you couldn’t catch what they said. Following the interview, you should send an email thanking them for the interview and reiterate your interest in the position. Having a 5 second delay in your responses to collect your thoughts is ok.
Skype Interviews
  • Location. Just as with a phone interview, it is important you choose a quiet room with no background noise for your Skype interview. Don’t let the interviewer call into question your organizational skills with a cluttered background, ensure that your environment is as professional as your attire.
  • Practice. Login to Interview Stream through CareerZone and practice your interview. Interview Stream allows you to record yourself answering questions and provides feedback and tips of non-verbal behavior and communication missteps. You can also send your recorded interview to us (career@brocku.ca) at the Career Centre for additional feedback.
With the right preparation you can ace these unconventional interviews. As always if you have any questions, want some feedback or advice please stop by the Career Centre Monday-Friday 9-4:30 or email us at career@brocku.ca.

Happy interviewing,

Mike Pratas
3rd year Political Science Major
Senior Career Assistant 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Winter Reading Week Hours 2015

With reading week (finally) here next week, it might be a good time to jump-start your summer job search. Did you know that we are open during reading week? Drop by to have your resume and cover letter reviewed, get help looking for summer jobs, or help with anything else career related! Graduating and unsure of your next steps? We can help narrow it down!

Our hours of operations are as follows:

Monday - Family Day - closed
Tuesday - Presidents Day - closed
Wednesday - open 9-4:30 
Thursday - open 9-4:30
Friday - open 9-4:30

We hope everyone has a great reading week -see you next week!

Anthony Mancuso
Honours Bachelor of Sport Management - Year 3
Senior Career Assistant 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Interview Prep

With summer jobs being posted and resumes being sent out, students are starting to think about how they will prepare for an interview. Interviews are an important step in the hiring process; they can make or break your chances of landing that job.

We have a lot of resources at the Career Resource Centre to help students prepare and be successful. Some of these include our Interview Handout, our Interview Techniques Binder, our Mock Interview service and print resources such as Interview Magic, Job Interview Phrase Book, and Knock’em Dead Job Interviews. As a student you can take full advantage of these resources by coming in to see us at the Career Resource Centre!

One of our newest and most exciting resources we have to offer to students looking for interview help is Interview Stream. Interview Stream is a web-based, video practice tool that records you while answering up to 10 questions. It allows you to practice verbal and non-verbal communication skills and evaluates you on how well you did. Interview Stream has over 7000 interview questions that you can choose from (or set it to random to be totally surprised!). As a student you can access Interview Stream through CareerZone by going to Student> Log In> Career Services> Online Resource Centre> Interviews> Interview Stream.

Preparing for a job interview will ease your nerves and make it easier to show them your best.  Know exactly what the position is and a little bit about the company and the services they offer. In addition to this, know yourself. Know what your goals are and know why you are applying for this position. Ensure you know the time, place, date, and dress code for your interview so you are prepared and well on time. We hope to see you at the Career Resource Centre if you have an upcoming interview! 

Alysha-Lynn Kooter, Senior Career Assistant, 3rd Year Intermediate/Senior Concurrent Education, Visual Art 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

On-Campus Jobs for Next Fall - Start Looking Now!

The time to look for next falls on-campus jobs is now! A common mistake we see at the Career Resource Centre is that students will come into our centre in September looking for on-campus jobs for the school year. However, these jobs actually hire for those positions in the Winter semester prior! Therefore it is important to start looking now - some jobs have already been posted, and some jobs have already been hired for. If you want to work on-campus during the 2015-2016 school year, now is the time to apply!

Job postings will begin to flood the job-search websites below for on-campus jobs:
- careerzone.brocku.ca
- busu.net
- brocku.ca/dining-services/employment
- experiencebu.brocku.ca
- brocku.ca/student-life-community-experience

Here are some places to apply that will be posting on these websites!
- Campus Book Store
- Footnotes
- Career Services
- Health Services
- International Services
- Student Development Centre
- Brock Press
- Campus Security
- Computer Commons
- James A. Gibson Library
- IT Services
- BUSU Office
- Youth Univeristy
- Isaac's
- Guernsey Market
- Starbucks
- Union Station
- Walker Cafeteria

... and so much more.

Remember, Career Services can help you every step of the way. We can review your resume and cover letter, help you apply to jobs on CareerZone, and even help you with your interview skills! By taking advantage of our services and taking our advice you increase your chances of getting a job.

Good luck applying to on-campus jobs!

Anthony Mancuso
3rd Year Honours Bachelor of Sport Management
Senior Career Assistant

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Core Elements for Job Application

Resources offered by the Career Resource Centre such as editing resumes and cover letters are unknown to an extent, or not used to the full extent. Career services uses a broad range of different editing strategies that are all to give individuals the best opportunity at 
success in job applications.

A resume is a summary of different jobs  and experiences that an individual has gotten skills and 
qualifications from. A cover letter is a tailored document outlining why a  person is passionate or wants to pursue a certain job. It is important to  note that a cover letter and a resume work in a communal fashion to  convey qualifications and expertise.. What makes Career Service’s  really special is that the Career Assistants all have experience and 
training writing cover letters and resumes.

What a cover letter or resume review looks like is a student coming in  with a hard copy of their resume or cover letter and they can sit face  to face with a career assistant. This is a drop in service, there are additional resources and these are accomplished by friendly customer  service.

References are a vital document, essentially for applying to jobs. There  are 3 different styles of references: One being an academic (professor or teacher), the next being a personal (close friend), and  the last being a professional (a boss). These points of view give your prospective boss an opportunity  to get to know you holistically.
Stop by the Career Resource Centre and get your career documents reviewed today!


Tyler Harris                                 Kaitlyn Daw
3rd year Psychology                   3rd year English Language & Literature 

Friday, January 30, 2015


With the spring and summer months approaching, it’s time to shift those New Year’s Resolutions to something more career-focused. Why not spice up your summer job application with an e-portfolio? How to go about creating one you ask? Well, we've got the rundown to get you up to speed on establishing a strong online presence without the technical difficulties.

Before we dive into things, we recommend thinking of a layout of how you’d like your personal portfolio to look. Feel free to draw inspirations from websites which you find aesthetically pleasing. Now it’s time to gather the resources you want to showcase for the world to see.  Consider including the following:

               About Me
o   A section to tell the visitor about yourself and what you have to offer

o   This is good to include as a PDF or an interactive section

A Blog
o   A great way to show your interests and career-related activities to show your passion towards your field of interest

o   Experience Plus Transcript, performance evaluation, completed self-assessments

Extra-curricular Activities
o   Volunteering (athletic/social), sports teams (played/coached), school competitions

We recommend checking out our checklist here for more ideas. We encourage including pictures, pamphlets, and awards to add merit to your work. The next step is to choose an online platform which is easy to use and full of functionality. Here are a few worth checking out:

 www.wordpress.com (if you're feeling brave)

Some online websites that assist with portfolio creation might have upgrade options if you’re looking to maximize your exposure. We recommend having a section for your resume for prospective employers looking for a quick snapshot of your skills.

Once you get your sweet, new website running, be sure to make note of it on your cover letter to draw employers' attention to your work. Remember to stop by our Career Resource Centre and take advantage of our amazing resources if you’re having any trouble.

Wajeeh Alvi, Career Assistant
3rd Year Computer Science, Brock University 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gaining Experience for Your Resume and Future Career

 I can't get a job because I have no experience because I can't get a job because I have no experience....

What can you do about that conundrum? Many employers will post a minimum level of experience that they would like their applicants to have, but often times that is just on their "wish list" for the perfect candidate. While we don't suggest that you go applying to jobs that state they would like 15 years managerial experience, there are things you can do to get your foot in the door with limited experience.

Having ZERO experience can be limiting, but if you are reading this blog you are already interested in your career path and will be willing to take steps to gain some relevant experience... right? Right. Some of the ideas below may help you build your skillset.


Many skills (and transferable skills that are applicable to all employment) can be gained through volunteer work. The types of volunteer positions out there are endless and can be tailored to suit your career goals. Often times organizations are very happy to have volunteers, even if only for a few hours. Volunteering is something that can easily be squeezed in to a busy school schedule. Start early to accumulate the most experience, but do not be shy about starting if you are almost graduating, or have graduated.

Blogging/ Managing your Online Presence

Blogging or other types of website management are useful technical skills to have. Blogging for an organization as a volunteer  is useful for exploring topics that may be outside of your familiarity zone. Managing a career/ industry related blog helps you to stay current on trending issues and shows your interest in your field.

Managing your online presence is so important. Having a work appropriate online presence can be created through linkedin, twitter, involvement in online industry related forums or groups ( many can be found on linkedin). Have you googled yourself? What comes up? Many employers will google you and check you out online. Take control of your image and make it as wonderful as you are.

Contract Work

Temporary work contracts may be available to both undergraduate and graduated students. Keep in mind, it may not be your dream job right off the bat, but  its a foot in the door, and any experience is good experience. Short contracts are excellent for networking and creating relationships with people in your field. If it went well you will have gotten some experience, and hopefully a glowing positive reference letter that will help you gain more experience in the future.

On Campus Involvement

Involving yourself in the many different on campus activities can give you experience in a vast variety of different situations. Some of the ones that come to mind for me are: politics, event management, administration, project management, volunteer coordination, and the list goes on. On campus involvement allows you to grow as an individual and improve upon your leadership skills. If you start early, you may be able to "work your way up" the ladder and take on a leadership role in your later years of school. These higher positions speak volumes about your personality, dedication, and transferable skills and shows you are able to act as an ambassador -  an important trait for any business.

Summer/ Part Time Positions

Summer time is a great time to get a job and start racking up your experience. Starting with jobs that give you a wide variety of transferable skills and building from there is an excellent way to boost your level of experience. You learn how to work with different people, in different situations. It doesn't have to be your dream job just yet, but if you can find a picture perfect summer position that's even better!

Come on in to Career Services if you would like any advice on how to get involved on campus, or find a volunteer or job opportunity that suits your career related goals. We would love to help you!

Becky W.
4th Year  BA Tourism and Environment
Lead Career Assistant

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Goal Setting in the New Year!

Getting back into the school setting after a relaxing holiday can be overwhelming. All of a sudden you have assignments to prepare for and final marks to think about. It is so easy to fall behind, but setting the right achievable goals can lead you to a successful term.

First you want to decide what your goals are! Here at Career Services we made a tool to help lead you to the completion of your goals, we call it the Goal Action Form. We use this tool often with students especially if they are preparing to write up big career documents (such as a CV or Portfolio) or if they are applying to grad school or teacher's college. However you want to use this tool, it can provide anyone with a visual step by step process to keep them on track. We have a bunch of these at the Career Resource Centre that you are welcome to come pick up any time!

Goal seeing is an important method of deciding what you want to achieve in your life. It separates whats important from whats irrelevant or a distraction. It is also a tool for motivating yourself, and building your self-confidence based on successful achievement of goals.

If you don't already set goals, try starting now. As you make this technique a part of your life and use the resources that surround you, you'll find your goals accelerating and you will wonder how you did without it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy 2015!

Everyone here at Career Services would just like to wish everyone a happy new year. The second semester has just started, and we are open for business again!

As a reminder, we are open Monday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm. Drop-in any time to use our services which include the following:
- Resume, cover letter, CV, letter of intent, portfolio, and LinkedIn profile reviews
- Job search (full-time and part-time, off-campus and on-campus), summer job search
- What can I do with my degree?
- I don't know what I want to do after I graduate!
- I don't know if I am in the right program!
- Going abroad (teaching, working, studying...)
- Post-grad options

- Interview preparation
- Self-Assessments

... and so much more. It is difficult to keep track of all of the services we provide!

You can also email us a career@brocku.ca if you cannot make it into the Career Resource Centre or are out of town, or you can talk to us on the chat between 9am-4:30pm on the Career Services webpage.

Stay tuned to our blog for a plethora of informative posts this year.

Anthony Mancuso
Senior Career Assistant
Honours Bachelor of Sport Management - Year 3