Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Succeed at Career Events!

The On-Campus Jobs Fair recently wrapped up at Brock and it was a huge success! In light of this event, I thought a blog on how to prepare in order to succeed at career events might be a great way to help guide students for future career events on campus and elsewhere.

Prepping before the event to do well during the event is necessary to succeed! In order to prepare yourself, keep these 6 factors in mind:

1. Do your research!
Find out which employers will be at the event and check out their website! This will help you tailor your documents as well as give you an opportunity to come up with questions you may have about the company that you can ask at the event!

2. Review the opportunities!Many employers post the positions they are looking to fill prior to the career event itself. Check these out! See which positions speak to your knowledge and skills! Again, this will help you tailor your documents and allow you to go into the event with focus!

3. Define your KSA's!Knowing your Knowledge, Skills & Abilities allows you sell yourself to employers! Figuring out what you have to offer employers prior to the event will help you sell yourself to employers during the event! It will also help you develop your elevator pitch!

4. Develop an elevator pitch!It's important to be able to describe yourself, your skills and where your headed career-wise briefly and concisely! Jot down what you want to tell employers about yourself and how you want to be remembered by them and practice this pitch! This will allow you to introduce yourself to employers in an efficient manner, while still highlighting who you are and what your goals are!

5. Bring your documents! And ask for documents!Go to the event equipped with resumes & business cards! And make sure to grab any information sheets or business cards from the employers/recruiters! They are handing this information out for a reason, typically to inform you of the company and how to get in touch with them! You may want to bring a briefcase or professional looking bag to store your documents in too!

6. Dress the part!
Dress professionally! If you are unsure how to go about this, it wouldn't hurt to use your friend Google to look up the company and see what employees typically wear to their career events or on the job! See the photo to the right for help with this!

Thanks for reading! Come visit us at the Career Resource Centre for any questions/concerns you may have regarding career events! We are always happy to help!

Have an excellent day!

Scarlet Stark
Sr. Career Assistant
Psychology Major 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tailoring Your Resume: Why You Need To Do This

Templates are the absolute evil of the career world. There is nothing more bland, boring, and discouraging than a resume that has clearly been taken from a template and not customized at all for the job the applicant is applying for. Luckily for you, you have stumbled upon our blog and can get help to make sure that your resume's are actually being read by employers and taken seriously. Here are some tips about tailoring your resume.

1. Employers will notice
Having hired students before, both here at Career Services and for my own business a few years ago, It is very easy to see when the applicant has put forth a reasonable amount of effort to tailor their resume. Simple things like how recent their employment dates are, what their achievement statements are saying, what skills they are addressing... it all adds up. Take the time, they will notice!

2. Sticking to the template is both good and bad
Templates help you understand the basic structure and formatting of a resume. By no means are they a bad thing altogether, but rather if you stick to them 100% of the time. Feel free to add some of your own style to it, while keeping it professional (a great way to do this is by customizing your information on the top of the page, adding a border, either centering or left-centering your headings, etc).

3. Job qualifications: make sure you address them
One major disadvantage of using a general resume is that you do not always address all of the job qualifications that the employer is looking for. In other words, even if the employers are in the same industry (i.e., retail), they will be looking for different qualities and qualifications in their employees. If you tailor your resume to those qualifications, you will get more interviews guaranteed.

4. Don't forget about the cover letters...
This article is mainly about resumes', but let's not forget about the other half of the application. Cover letters are even more important to tailor, as if you forget to change the direction of the cover letter for each employer they may not look past it to your resume. A lot of the time, the employer will state directly on the job application what kind of employee they are looking for as well as their values and missions. Address these specifically in each cover letter! Taking the extra 10 minutes to do this will make a world of difference.

5. If you think you should be hired, show it!
The best part about tailoring your resume is that it gives you the best opportunity to show the employer that you are the best applicant. After all, the applicant who will spend the extra time to customize their resume and cover letter will likely spend the extra time to make sure they do the best job possible for the employer.

If you think you need any help trying to customize your resume and cover letter, just remember these tips. If you need a little more guidance or would like someone to edit your documents, drop by the career resource centre at Brock University and we can help you portray your best you.

Anthony Mancuso
4th Year Honours Bachelor of Sport Management
Lead Career Assistant

Monday, January 18, 2016

What Can I Do With My Degree?

“So you want to be a lawyer or the Prime Minister?” This is often the comment I get from people when I tell them I am a political science major. As someone who works in a Career Services department and who has no interest in entering politics or law this is an incredibly frustrating statement. For those of us in the social sciences and humanities, we and society in general often minimize our job prospects to the handful of well-known careers in our respective fields. For instance, those in psychology may believe that they can only be psychologists. Those in history may believe they can only be historians, archaeologists, or archivists. Those in English may believe they are on a path to becoming authors. For those like me in political science, we often assume our degree will lead to a life of long hours, travel and scandal as politicians or as a lawyer. 

We seem too focused on jobs that incorporate the knowledge we gain in our degrees. This may be the case for those in other faculties and science/math based programs. For instance, most students in the Faculty of Education want to become teachers, while many people in the nursing program have ambitions to become nurses or healthcare providers. However, for those of us in the social sciences and humanities, our job prospects are not as cut and dry and for many of us, we have no idea what we want to do after we graduate. Adding to this frustration of seeing those in other programs know what they want to do, the countless “studies” and articles written about degree career prospects all show that we as social science and humanities students are doomed to be unemployed after graduation and suffer a lifetime of under-employment. What is the purpose then of our degree? Did we waste all our money and time? Short answer - NO!

A popular question we get as Career Assistants in the Resource Centre is “what can I do with my degree?” To this I often ask if they know who Martin Dempsey is. Dempsey is a US General and former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reporting to the Secretary of Defence and the US President. As one of the highest ranking military officials in the United States, Dempsey holds a Master’s degree in Literature from Duke University where he wrote a thesis on Irish literature. Dempsey serves as a great example of someone who had a meaningful and successful career outside the "traditional jobs" English majors occupy. Like Dempsey, we must look beyond the information we learn throughout our degree and look more broadly at how we learn and engage with course material in order to better understand a) the skills we can bring to an employer and b) the endless job possibilities available to us. 

Instead of knowledge, those of us in social sciences and humanities should focus on transferable skills. Organization, teamwork, communication and leadership are all transferable skills that we gain throughout our undergraduate degree and are invaluable in any workplace. We gain these broad transferable skills by attending lecture and recording notes, preparing and presenting in seminars, researching and writing papers, and so on. Aside from these broad transferable skills your program may focus on more specific transferable skills. A full list of degree specific skills can be found on our degree exploration guides. By thinking outside the "traditional jobs" of our fields and focusing on the transferable skills we gain throughout our degree, those of us in the social sciences and humanities will find that a diverse selection of jobs and industries are available to us. While jobs directly related to our degree may be hard to come by, our degrees give us the skills we need to succeed in other job categories. 

Don’t be tied down to the restrictive list of traditional jobs for your field, think outside the box and DO NOT give too much weight to the studies that underestimate your degrees worth. Every degree and graduate is unique and can bring something to an employer. Stop by the Career Resource Centre in the Learning Commons and let us help you realize your degree’s value and job prospects. 

Mike Pratas
4th Year Political Science Major
Lead Career Assistant 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Summer Jobs

S: Start Early

U: Umm isn’t an option, start your engines... literally, there are so many job search engines for your viewing

M: Meet with people that help you become the best version of yourself! Like career services (shameless promotion)

M: Make use of your free time at the beginning of the semester and search!

E: Everyone wants to start late. But most of the jobs are posted early. Make sense? Not even a little, but that the reality!

R: Rule the world! When you start now, you can be picky over what jobs to apply for! There may be a job that is perfect for you! You won’t get this luxury later in the year.

J: Journal the progress of your job hunting so you can keep track of your progress

O: OH MY GOODNESS HELP! These moments is natural, trust me, I have them on the daily. That’s why there are resources like our Career Resource Centre along with other amazing facilities like the YMCA that is there for you. So don’t be afraid to reach out!

B: Boost up your resume and supporting documents all the time. This can be done by tailoring your documents through each job individually. We have some great tips readily available for you!

S: Stay positive! Control what you can, and let go of the things you can’t.

This was our fun way at saying, you have to start early! It’s amazing how early jobs are posted, so begin your summer process as soon as you can. Now, let’s chat with just the two of us on this. I really want you to get the position of your dreams. But what would that look like? Just imagine it… Seriously, take a few moments and just reflect, I’ll wait right here.
Welcome back. So think about the steps you need to do in order to achieve that dream goal. I can guarantee that people are going to need relevant experience and that is the beauty of having a summer job!

Happy searching, and all of the very best in your applications! 

Tyler Harris & Anthony Mancuso
Career Assistant

The Rock Driving Meme | SO HAVE YOU STARTED LOOKING FOR A SUMMER JOB YET? I ALREADY FOUND ONE. | image tagged in memes,the rock driving | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Seasonal Jobs & Potential Permanent Positions

It's December and seasonal employment positions seem to be everywhere! Many retail stores are on the hunt in order to find the perfect seasonal employees to help them survive the most wonderful - yet most busy - time of the year. For many, seasonal positions are ideal. It's a chance to get some extra hours over the holidays when money can get tight. But for others, seasonal jobs just don't fit the bill. Perhaps something more permanent is what they had in mind.

If you are hesitant about your seasonal employment opportunity because of a lack of permanency, have no fear! I have come up with a few tips to turn your seasonal employment opportunity into a possible permanent position.

To Infinity & Beyond
Try and view your seasonal position as a permanent one. And if you are interested in a more permanent position within the company, be sure to express this to superiors right from the get-go! It's easy to act indifferent if you think you'll be out of a job in a matter of weeks so try and think beyond the word "seasonal". View the position as one with infinite potential rather than limited potential!

Presence & Productivity
Being present and productive are key when it comes to seasonal opportunities. Being present includes being on time and being aware of what is going on around you. By being present and aware, you will see opportunities for productivity. Use these opportunities to your advantage to not only show that you are a hard-working, capable, and valuable employee, but also to highlight that you have initiative and you are not afraid to use it!

Following & Leading
At any new job, we must shadow more seasoned employees and ask questions in order to learn more about our position. But once comfortable, flex those leadership skills! Take on a project or ask your superiors for opportunities to take on new tasks or be the leader for a particular initiative. Never be afraid to ask for leadership opportunities within your position - it shows that you are not afraid of a challenge which is something all employers love to see in their employees!

If you find out your seasonal position will end soon even after you've done all that you can to make it permanent, keep the below tip in mind:

It's Not You - It's Me...
Remember that many employers might not have the means to keep you given their budget or number of allowable employees after the holiday season ends. But don't take it personally! In that case, it's not that you weren't a good employee, it's simply that they don't have the room for an additional employee. This is by no means a reason to burn bridges and is not necessarily a jab against your skill set or abilities! Always leave seasonal opportunities on a good note because you really never know when an opportunity within the company might come up again. And if you are interested in these opportunities, communicate this to your superiors so they can contact you as opportunities become available.

As always, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with our resources!

Happy Holidays everyone! 

Scarlet Stark
Sr. Career Assistant
Psychology Major 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Hours

It's the most wonderful time of year again! We hope everyone has a great exam period and enjoys their time at home over the holidays. The Career Resource Centre and Career Services will be open over the holidays for students to take advantage of while they aren't as busy as they are during the semester. Take advantage and come see us for resume reviews, summer job search, or any other career questions! Our hours are as follows:

The Career Resource Centre:

December 1st to 23rd: 9:00am-4:30pm

December 24th: 9:00am-12pm

Career Services (ST 119):

December 1st to 23rd: 8:30am-4:30pm

December 24th: 8:30am-12pm

With the exception of:
Wednesday, December 16th: Closing at 1:30pm
Friday December 18th: Closing at 12pm

Note: Both are CLOSED December 24th (12pm) to January 3rd

Happy Holidays! 

From all the staff at Career Services :) 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Creating a Personal Brand on Social Media

Social media can be a great tool for individuals looking for employment no matter what position they are currently in. Websites such as LinkedIn have been developed as a professional social network, however, people may be surprised to hear that Facebook and Twitter can also be used to find employment. Marketing on social media can sometimes be hard, especially for the younger generations where it is a habit to use these sites for personal reasons. Here are some tips to find a job on social media:

1. LinkedIn: One of the good things about LinkedIn is that there is no page limit. This means individuals can add all things they find relevant and avoids the process of eliminating some experiences. It also means you can include as many recommendations from colleagues or previous employers to expand on your descriptions of your experiences. You can also include all of your relevant work experience and skills you've developed. Finally, make sure you are active, make meaningful connections and join relevant groups. Engagement shows employers your dedication and enthusiasm for the job search.

2. Twitter: Your Twitter bio should outline your general interests, your current position and the field you are working in. If you are actively seeking a job make sure to follow companies you are interested in and influential users in your field. Finally, use hashtags, retweets and favorites to get noticed by professionals! Just make sure they are relevant and appropriate.

3. Facebook: Work on making your profile professional rather than personal. Begin by untagging or deleting any content that you think is inappropriate and make your profile as private as possible (aside from your employment history, location and professional skills and interests). Look for groups that focus on issues you are interested in and that other professionals in your field making it easier to network. Sometimes you may find job postings in these groups!

In general, make sure to create your own online personal brand. This can help you identify what makes you different and unique about you compared to everyone else. Using keywords can help employers who are searching for specific skills find you online. Finally, don't use inappropriate words or statements! This will weaken your personal brand and make you stand out in the wrong way to employers.

Career Services at Brock University has tons of resources on social networking for career success including books, handouts and magazines!

Sarah Mitchinson
Senior Career Assistant

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Navigating CareerZONE

CareerZONE is a campus resource that provides you with access to a variety of career and job search tools, and will help you connect and prepare for the world of work. From job postings, resume templates and online workshops CareerZONE is a Brock student’s one stop shop for everything career related!

First, go to and click the student login tab along the top. Your login information is the same as your student portal (one less password to remember!).

Once you login you will have access to a variety of resources including …

1. Job Postings
The CareerZONE job posting board has a variety of domestic and international summer jobs, volunteer opportunities, on-campus jobs, internships and full time jobs listed. Updated on a regular basis and not customized to any specific program, Brock students in all disciplines will find something that interests them on our job board.

 2. Career Services Events Calendar
Throughout the year our department hosts a variety of career and job fairs, further education events, workshops and employer recruitment events. This calendar is being updated as new events are announced so check back often and don’t miss out on some amazing opportunities!  

3. Online Resource Centre
Many of our resources in the Career Resource Centre can be found here. It is divided into different sections to make it easier for you to navigate the variety of resources available.  Some sections include:

Career & Job Search -> This section includes resources on general job search sites and interview tips, using LinkedIn and social media for your job search, Niagara Region employment and volunteer agencies and a link to the directory of Careers and Employment in Canada among others.

Career Assessments -> Links to Career Cruising, Typefocus and Talentoday career assessments are listed in this section. To find out more about these assessments check out our previous blog posts on Career Cruising and Typefocus

Cover Letters, Resumes, CVs & Letters of Intent -> This section includes everything from checklists, templates and examples for all common career documents. We even have sample resume’s for every program at Brock!  

Interviews -> Resources include handouts on informational interviews and general interview tips along with a link to Interview Stream, an online tool which helps you prepare for an interview by providing feedback and tips on non-verbal behavior and communication missteps.

Further Education -> All of our “Considering Grad School” information series handouts are listed in this section including resources on teachers college, law school, med school and social work.

Going Abroad -> Everything you need to know about international internships, teaching opportunities, exchanges, working and volunteering abroad can be found in this section. A link to Going Global, a country-specific career and employment database containing more the 30,000 pages of information is also included in this section.

Resources for Teacher Candidates -> Resources on applying to school boards, teaching specific cover letters and resumes and teaching interviews are all included in this section

4. Workshops
Online workshops are available on a variety of topics including cover letters, resumes, portfolios, CVs and even basics of interviewing! All workshops completed can be tracked on experienceplus.

As you can see CareerZONE is full of a variety of amazing resources to help Brock students in their job search. We hope you find the information and resources your looking for and encourage you to visit us in the Career Resource Centre if you any questions or would like more information on any and all things career related!

Mike Pratas
4th year Political Science Major
Lead Career Assistant 

(Twitter)    @brockcareerserv
(Facebook) @brockcareerserv 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Next week the #ItAllAddsUp campaign will start here at Brock. The It All Adds Up campaign encourages students to figure out how they are making their university experience all add up to the career of their dreams in order to inspire other students to pursue their goals with everything they've got! As students, we all know classes, assignments, and grades are very important as far as our overall career goals. But there are many other things that we are doing as students outside of the classroom as well that truly make a huge impact on achieving our career goals and personal aspirations. Essentially, everything we are doing is all adding up!!

From volunteering, to going abroad for a semester, to attending campus events or workshops, there are SO many ways students at Brock and other universities can add to their skills gained from their degrees! If you happen to be a Brock student, utilizing Experience BU to stay on top of upcoming events, workshops, and on-campus happenings will allow you to not miss out on the experiences that matter the most to you! And on top of this, we even have a way to track how you are making your experiences all add up through the Experience Plus Co-Curricular Transcript!

So now it's your turn to tell us how YOU are making it all add up by visiting our booths around campus next week:

Booth Times/Locations

November 2 - Computer Commons - 9-11
November 3 - Computer Commons - 1-3
November 4 - MC A Hallway - 9-11
November 5 - Computer Commons - 9 - 2
November 6 - MC A Hallway - 9-11

Can't make it to any of these booth times? No problem! This campaign is also accessible for students to participate in virtually! Take a picture of yourself showing how you are making it all add up and use the hashtag #ItAllAddsUp and #BrockU on social media (Instagram/Twitter/Facebook) to inspire fellow Brock students and students from other universities across Canada to get involved and pursue their goals with passion and integrity! Click here to check out the It All Adds Up website for even more details on this campaign!

Oh - one last request:

Don't forget to like us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter and Instagram! By clicking these hyperlinks, your only a few steps away from connecting with us and there's nothing that excites us more!

Have a great day everyone!

Scarlet Stark
Sr. Career Assistant
Psychology Major 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Thank You

This post is all about saying thanks! We began the Brock Career Services blog June 2011 and later we were lucky enough to be recognized in 2012 as one of the top 10 college and universities campus career blogs. Our success is all thanks to the 344,739 individuals who have stopped by our page and gave us a follow, commented or just stopped by to read our posts. We cannot thank you all enough for making this possible. Right from the bottom our career hearts, thank you.

As a result of our success and popularity, we have been making more posts on our Instagram (@brockcareerserv), Twitter (@brockcareerserv) and our Facebook page (@brockcareerserv). On these platforms we post about upcoming events, job application tips, internships, volunteering and much more! It would mean the world to us if everyone who loves our blog would share the love on our other social media platforms as well. We are looking to spread career knowledge with as many people we can.

Thank you so much again, and our team will continue working to improve blog and social media presence as well as helping out Brock University students, community members, and faculty.

Thank you (had to say it one more time)

Tyler Harris

Senior Career Assistant

(Twitter)    @brockcareerserv
(Facebook) @brockcareerserv