Sunday, August 9, 2020

Career Planning

Career Education


    Whether it be our daily activities or big events in life, the need for planning is essential. Since career planning is a life-long process, knowing how to plan allows you to take ownership of your journey and provides you with a sense of direction. In planning your career, you can identify the skills you need to have in order to succeed in various aspects of life, such as your interpersonal skills. Career planning helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses and how to improve on them. Additionally, career planning makes you aware of the resources and information needed to find the knowledge required to achieve your future goals. Below are some tips to help you get started with your career planning. 


John C. Maxwell Quote: “To grow yourself, you must know yourself ...

Know Yourself 

When you have a better understanding of yourself and your capabilities, you will gain insight into your values, which drives your will to achieve the goals you desire and manifest them into reality.  Knowing your interests and personality also allows you to understand your preferences for certain types of occupations, work environments and work conditions.  Furthermore, knowing yourself brings awareness of the skills and abilities you have and the skills you may need to develop or acquire for specific jobs of interest. Finally, knowing yourself can help clarify what problems you want to solve in the world and the impact you want to make in your community.   



Conduct Research 

The next step in career planning is to conduct research. Research is necessary in career planning as it allows you to add onto the developing knowledge you have acquired, with respect to the desired occupational fields of interests. Ways to conduct research includes creating a pros and cons list that highlights the work environment and the hours and security that might influence a career decision. In that manner, you will then be able to evaluate the listed career options. Secondly, after determining an account of potential jobs, you can conduct informational interviews that allow you to have a one-on-one meeting with employers to discuss their typical job duties, while answering any questions you may have. Thirdly, connecting with alumni, students, supervisors, co-workers, professors or even other professionals to create a well-established network to pave way for better opportunities in your career journey by unlocking hidden job markets or even directing you to information that would be resourceful in your career. 

Discover Possibilities & Experience More

Once you have a greater understanding of yourself, the next step is to explore potential career pathways.  It is important to remember that career exploration is not always a linear process. It is common to experience as it broadens your knowledge because there are many facets to a particular career, such as nursing. In addition, career pathways are never always clear from the beginning, thus exploring many careers removes the ideology that it is a linear pathway. One would say that navigating through many careers is also motivating because you are beginning to get a grasp of the many options out there, while developing a framework to achieve your goals. One of the fundamental ways of exploring career  options is by gaining experience. Gaining experience in a variety of fields related to your skills, interests or degree gives you an introspective view of thinking about the criteria most important to you. To get started as a Brock University student, please visit the CareerZone portal at and select the “Gain Experience” tab in the student resource menu section. Within this section, you will find volunteer resources, internship resources (paid/unpaid), quick tips on ExperienceBU and many more. Another tip in exploring careers is to make a chart outlining the pros and cons of each experience gained in relation to the career of interest. This will help compare and contrast ideas visually. 


Taking action for social change

Activating Your Plan 

Thirdly, the next step is to act. Even though you might have done all the research you can, you will not be able to successfully journey through your career without first acting. This is important because this trek is a continuous process that requires repeated efforts. The first step in taking action is to review your essential documents. This includes anything you might use for an application, such as a resume, CV, cover letter, autobiographical sketch, etc. To get started as a Brock University student, please visit the CareerZone portal at and select the “Cover Letter & Resume” tab in the student resource menu section. Within this section you will be able to find resume guidelines, cover letter resources, workshops and many more. For further assistance, students can book an appointment with a Talent Development Specialist to have an extensive review. Next, taking action also means building your network. This can be done via platforms such as LinkedIn and Ten Thousand coffees or even participating in events and associations. 

Learning to Create a SMART Career Plan 

Now that you know the fundamentals of career planning, creating SMART goals.  This is an important step in helping to manage expectations and provide tangible next steps.  

Specific: Is it definitive? 

Measurable: Is it meaningful? Can you measure the outcome/growth? 

Attainable: Is this within reach? 

Realistic: Is it reasonable? 

Timely: Is it time sensitive? 

Please Connect With Us At:

Instagram: @brockcareerzone

Twitter: @BrockCareerZone


Friday, July 24, 2020

Creating a Standout Cover Letter

As we head in to August and start to think about employment and volunteer opportunities for the fall and winter, it is important to start prepping our job search documents to make sure they stand out in the competitive market. Cover letters are a great way for employers to understand a little bit more about who you are, what your qualifications and skills are, and how you might complement their organization. Before you start writing a cover letter, it is important to understand the document’s purpose. A cover letter is sent alongside your resume to provide detailed information on your skills and experiences.​

Here are some important reminders to get you started:
  • The letter is meant to be an introduction to you and your skills and why you are qualified for the job. 
  • Don’t simply repeat what’s on your resume -- rather, include specific information on why you’re a strong match for the employer’s job requirements. 
  • Think of your cover letter as a sales pitch that will market your credentials and help you get the interview. 

A cover letter is an important way to showcase how your unique combination of skills and experience meet the key requirements of the job description. ​It is your chance to show a clear link between your knowledge, experience and abilities and the needs of the employer.​ One of the best ways to demonstrate this connection is to customize your cover letter to the specific position you are applying to. 

Here are some tips to help you understand how to dissect a job posting. This will help you identify priority skills and experience for a job, and provide you with direction for tailoring your application.​
  • Read through the position summary and qualifications​
  • Categorize the job responsibilities into common themes. This could be a specific area of expertise or competency required for the job (e.g. event planning) ​
  • Connect the skills and qualifications to the responsibilities involved in each theme

We hope you find these tips as useful as they have been to us! If you have any questions about cover letters or other job search documents, please feel to email us at or access our cover letter resources on

Friday, July 10, 2020

Networking from a Distance & Experiential Learning

Networking from a Distance and Experiential Learning

        Though we have been accustomed to face-to-face interactions, this new time has propelled us to one that is primarily online. As a result, daily activities such as networking, has shifted to online platforms, which may be unfamiliar to some of us. However, instead of focusing on the unfortunate circumstances, look on the bright side! Even though networking has moved online, there is ample opportunity to connect with others on a global capacity. Online platforms help us expand the network we already have into other communities with similar interests.


        To network means you are interacting with others and reciprocating information that can strengthen your social connections and help develop your communication with professionals. People in your network can include friends, family, co-workers, classmates, professors, alumni and many more! These networks are an effective way of gaining knowledge about different opportunities in your preferred field of study, while exploring individuals’ outlooks and experiences.

Benefits of Networking
        One benefit of networking is that it builds credibility and visibility. When you network, you create a presence for yourself. This is important because it builds engagement among the relationships you have. When you establish a good profile for yourself you are also building trust with employers, co-workers or anyone else you may come in contact with.

Other benefits of networking include: 
Gaining insight into the day in life of your desired career.
Greater understanding of various career journeys and how       one’s career has developed overtime.
Becoming aware of new openings and opportunities for work or even an internship.
Increasing the number of your contacts.
Providing you with a support system for advice and recommendations.

How can you Network?
        To help you get started on your networking journey, we suggest using LinkedIn and Brock
University’s platform of Ten Thousand Coffees. LinkedIn is a professional platform that can be used to build your profile, find jobs or internships, strengthen professional relationships, and connect with various individuals to help you navigate your career journey. For more extensive help in creating your LinkedIn profile and making connections please go to > Student Resources > Social Media & Branding, to find a variety of helpful documents and guidelines.
Brock CareerZone on Twitter: "Attention Brock students!!! Looking ...
        Ten Thousand Coffees is another great online platform that connects students (undergraduates and graduates) - across a large group, where individuals seek out help from others and learn from one another. Ten Thousand Coffees works by virtually connecting students and alumni based on their career goals and interests. To get started please visit Brock University’s Ten Thousand Coffees at (

Experiential Learning

        Experiential learning is the process of gaining new knowledge through hands-on experiences in your environment. It is also a means of schooling or gaining new information through self-reflection. Learning experientially allows you to make connections between concrete materials taught in school and in real-world contexts. The advantages of experiential learning include, on-the-spot feedback from your supervisors, the opportunity to implement your transferable skills and cultivate thoughtful work habits.

Ways to Get Involved
        Some ways to get involved is to look for some course-based experiential learning opportunities at your institution. Brock University has some program specific experiential learning opportunities built into the courses. You can learn more here ( Students can check out guidelines on internships, going abroad, volunteering, job postings and getting involved at Brock or in the community by visiting > Student Resources > Gain Experience Tab or Going Global Tab. All of these are great tools of experiential learning because they help you gain a better understanding of your skills and its application to the real world.

Instagram: @brockcareerzone
Twitter: @BrockCareerZone

Friday, June 26, 2020

Putting it on Paper: How to Transfer your Skills to your Documents.

Although it may not seem like an easy task to articulate your skills onto your resume or cover letter, there are a few very effective ways to translate your skills on your job search documents. Today, we will discuss a few tips on how to create effective statements that highlight your skills and keep you competitive in your job search.
Instead of simply listing duties and responsibilities of an experience on your resume or cover letter, we suggest asking yourself a series of questions to help formulate more impactful statements. These questions include:
  1.          What was the Challenge? What did you do? What tasks were you involved in?
  2.      What Action did you take? What steps did you take to complete a task or challenge?
  3.       What was the Result?  What was the outcome(s) of the completed challenge/task?

Putting these questions into a statement form is what we call CAR statements or Achievement Statements. These are key to creating a standout resume and cover letter. We recommend that your statements start with the result, using past tense action vers, to create the most impact with employers. Here are a few good examples:

  • Provided front line service to customers ensuring all questions and inquiries were handled in a timely manner
  •  Created a positive work environment by communicating with stakeholders in an effective manner and resolving conflicts independently
  • Increased company sales by 10% by providing a high level of customer service skills and demonstrating extensive knowledge of merchandise to clients
  •  Initiated and launched a campus-wide campaign for the Niagara Food Bank, collecting and delivering 2000 pounds of non-perishable goods to local families
Another tip for translating is to emphasize skills that are sought after by employers. These skills demonstrate the ability of employees to stay in and progress in the workplace. Examples include:

  •       Positive attitude
  •       Communication skills
  •       Teamwork/collaboration
  •       Strong work ethic
  •         Interpersonal/relationship-building
  •       Adaptability
Using these skills in action:

  •        Increased team morale by maintaining a positive attitude while transitioning to a work-from-home environment
  •        Created an online HR database within a tight deadline by maintaining a strong work ethic and utilizing detailed organizational skills
  •        Ensured volunteers had a positive experience throughout the event by using key relationship building and inter-personal skills
We hope that you find these tips as helpful as they have been to us. Please reach out to with any questions or concerns you may have in reference to articulating your skills and experiences on your job search documents.  We would be happy to assist you in your efforts to stand out in your job search!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Mental Health and Tips on How to Work from Home.

Mental Health is a very important topic that affects many but is often overlooked. Mental health is not just the absence of mental illness, but it is a state of existence. It is being able to cope with the needs of life everyday, in terms of how we relate to stress and others which is generally reflected in our choices. As a result, here are some listed resources that Brock University has to offer to help those coping with mental illness and find the support they need.

Personal Counselling (Morneau Shepell for Brock University): 1-833-276-2533
Student Health Services: 905-688-5550 x3243
Community Addictions Services of Niagara at 905-684-1183

Due to COVID-19, there have also been many changes such as working or schooling from home. This sometimes proposes a challenge, as there may be ample of distractions that keep one from staying organized and on track. One can counteract that by creating a positive working environment that cultivates growth. This can be done by starting your day off with a positive mindset and taking time for yourself throughout the day. Even though we might get bombarded with the many tasks at hand, it is also important to focus on the present and doing things one at a time. This can be achieved when one tries to be optimistic as it allows us to see new opportunities for growth throughout the day, which helps us learn from different situations.

So, how can students create positive work and study spaces in the home environment? One important aspect is resource management. This is a process of learning to maximize one’s resources efficiently to aid in the success of your project or task. Listed below are some tips that Career Education at Brock University has come up with to make the daily tasks a bit easier when working from home.

1. Routine is Key
Having a routine can help us to cultivate daily habits and prioritization. Even though, it will take time to get used to, by establishing a routine you can organize your time well to complete the tasks at hand. In addition, in a working environment a routine also lets your associates know your availability.

2. Avoid Distractions
Avoiding distractions is important because it allows for clear thoughts when completing tasks. One tip is to sometimes break away from work to let your mind rest, so that when it is time to approach the task again, your mind is refreshed.

3. Preparation
Preparing for your day can ease the anxiety or stress from working from home, as it allows you to manage any problems that might occur. Preparing for a workday also makes you ready for any request that come in and has a positive effect on your overall lifestyle.

4. Check-ins
By having a check-in with yourself and your colleagues it gives you the opportunity to stay on track with your goals because you can clarify any concerns that you may have to keep you on path.

5. Choosing Dedicated Workspaces
Dedicated workspaces allow you to separate your work habits from your leisurely habits. This helps to create structure throughout the day. This is also related to avoiding distractions, because you can distance yourself from disturbances, to increase productivity.

6. Set Daily Goals
Daily goal setting is important because it provides you with an outlook of how your day will be like. This helps you focus your time and resources to complete a project, while motivating you in the long run.

7. Update your documents/LinkedIn profile
While working from home, it is also important to update your documents to get rid of outdated information and thus making your form of written communication effective. Document revision also aids in keeping other aspects of your life up to date such as your connections with others, on LinkedIn. To get a head start, you can have both your cover letter and resume reviewed by a career assistant, by submitting it through our Brock career email at 

8. Research Online Resources.
It is imperative to stay proactive and seek out resources if you need help while working from home because it develops a growth mindset. 

Follow us on our Social Media!!

Instagram: @brockcareerzone
Twitter: @BrockCareerZone

Friday, May 29, 2020


As we are heading into the month of June, many of us have now been confined to our homes for several months. It goes without saying that the COVID-19 virus has been deeply disruptive to our normal routines and school/work schedules, and with the weather changing, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a productive mindset. With that said, continuing to learn, build skills, and gain experiences remains important to us as university students. We want to take this time to share with you some of the things that have afforded us the opportunity to continue EXPERIENCING MORE as a student at Brock.


 Although you may be apprehensive to continue job/career searching during this time, we urge students not to back down. Industries and companies are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways, and stopping or delaying your search may cause you to miss out on great opportunities that are available during this time.
With this in mind, taking advantage of webinars, CareerZone CafĂ©’s, and Virtual Drop In’s hosted by the Career Education team may help inspire you to continue working hard on your search and give you a chance to connect with fellow students in similar positions. Furthermore, we are still providing career consultations on job search strategies, interviewing, recruitment, personal branding, and the labour market in a virtual setting.


Creating and maintaining a strong network is key for us as students as we continue job/career searching. Make it a priority to reach out to new potential contacts. This not only gives you an opportunity to seek out information in sectors you are interested in, but also is a chance to get some insider advice you may otherwise not have had access to. You should aim to learn as much as you can from the person you are engaging with, so we recommend you let this guide the conversation.

We recommend using LinkedIn to start connecting with professionals in your desired industry. If you have already created a profile and established a network, we recommend reaching out to them through the LinkedIn messenger to maintain your relationship- even if it is just to check in. If you are just getting started with your network, send a personalized message referencing who you are and why you would like to connect. We have found this particularly inspiring, as learning from and connecting with industry professionals has been a great reminder of our goals for the future.


 It can be particularly difficult to continue engaging your mind in the work from home setting, but there are several options to continue learning. LinkedIn Learning, which can be accessed using your Brock login credentials, offers thousands of online courses that you may find interesting or helpful. Professional associations in your industry of interest may offer virtual programming- these may also offer opportunities for building your network. We also recommend subscribing to podcasts that focus on your professional or academic interests- these are a great way to learn and engage without the added pressure of coursework.

We hope you find these tips as helpful as they have been to us. Please reach out to with any questions or concerns you may have regarding our services at CareeZone, we would be happy to assist you in your efforts to EXPERIENCE MORE during this unique time.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Farewell Message from Graduating Career Assistants and Introduction to our Summer Career Assistants

The past 2019/2020 school year has been rewarding and a learning experience for many. As the fall and winter term comes to an end, this blog post is to just express our sincere thanks and appreciation to our fellow co-workers that made CareerZone so great. Below are self-reflections and closing remarks from some of our graduating career assistants.

“Working with the Coop Career & Experiential Education department was a highlight of my time at Brock University. I joined the team as a Goodman Career Assistant in my second year of study in September 2017. I was able to learn and develop my skills under the guidance of the Goodman team lead by Ashley Chimenti. In my first year I learned a great deal about the job application process and how crucial it is to build your network. I would advise students attend the networking and Exploring Careers in series of events organized by the Career Education department. The events are a starting point to building a network and meeting helpful alumni if you make it happen.

Later, I was given the opportunity to work with the department as a Summer Career Assistant in 2019, and the summer was also when I transitioned to assist the department as a Plus Programs Assistant. I was able to help students from a whole new dynamic as I provided them with guidance on building their Experience Plus Transcripts which can be used to strengthen a portfolio or job application and kept as a record of a student’s involvement during their university career.

I returned to the department in my final year of study as a Senior Goodman Career Assistant in September 2019. I spent many hours talking to students and encouraging them to get involved and attend Goodman Career Events. Although, the year was cut short due to the Covid-19 virus, the Career team was still highly functional working from home for the remainder of the year.

Throughout my time with the department, the staff were always welcoming and very helpful. My advice to all incoming students would be to book an appointment with a Talent Development Specialist. The staff are very knowledgeable and can offer great advice on building your dream career. As I finish my Bachelor of Business Administration degree, I look forward to furthering my education as I prepare to write my Certified Financial Analyst exam. If you are already a student at Brock University or are thinking of attending the school, my most important takeaway would be to get involved with the Coop Career and Experiential Education Department.”

Niraj Dave, BBA
“As my time as a career assistant, I enjoyed getting to learn about the different job opportunities, passions, and career goals of students. It really opened my eyes to the wide variety of career paths that were available after graduation and the significance of conducting research related to career planning. One advice I would give to students is participate in informational interviews, volunteering, completing a co-op placement or even job shadowing as part of your next steps, to get exposed to areas you may be interested in. As part of my next steps as a nursing student, I plan on finishing my last year of nursing school and begin working as a nurse.”

Autumn Wild, BSc. Nursing

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


The job interview. The most nerve-racking, anxiety-raising, sweat-through-my-shirt terrifying experience in the world… or is it? For most, the answer is yes, BUT we’re here to change that. With the right preparation, you can strut out of your next interview knowing that you NAILED it. Read till the end to find out how to practice your skills AND enter a contest for a MOVIE NIGHT PACKAGE!

We’ll walk you through the 4 P’s of successful interviewing with more tips on how to feel calm & collected walking into your next interview.

1. Prepare
  • Know yourself. What are your skills, interests and values that relate to the position? We know, it’s a tough concept to grab, so check out the self-assessment tools found in the Student Resources section of the CareerZone Website to learn about yourself.
  • Know your accomplishments. How do the skills listed in the job posting relate to your own skills & experiences? Practice explaining them through the SOAR technique here
  • Know the organization. Do some research on the company’s website to find out about their mission statement, strategic plans, company culture etc, as well as the job posting to understand your requirements!
2. Practice
  • Write out your answers, and read them out loud. Trust us, it works
  • Keep it natural. Don’t memorize them, just the key points that you want to resonate with the employer!
  • Prep some questions. When the employer asks you “do you have any questions for me?” have some prepared!
3. Engage & Be Positive!
  • Leave that lasting impression by showcasing a positive attitude and eagerness for the job. 
    • Sit straight, with your shoulders facing the interviewer. Be engaged, and try to avoid the nervous fidgeting!
    • Actively listen to questions, maintain eye contact with confidence
    • Be direct. Try to avoid rambling or going off-topic

4. Own it, sister!
  • If you’ve read this far, you’re already more prepared than most interviewees. Feel reassured that you’ve prepared for your interview, and walk in with confidence!
All this month CareerZone is running a CONTEST where you can practice your interview skills using "Interview Stream"
- How do you participate you might ask?
  • It only takes a few minutes of your time to participate!
1. Visit to "Create Account"
2. Click on "Conduct an Interview" and choose "Create for Me"
3. Complete "Mock Interview Madness Contest" Interview

Don't forget to check all our social medias (Instagram: @brockcareerzone or Twitter: @BrockCareerZone) for a contest running this week as well!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Mock Interview Madness - InterviewStream


Are you looking an internship, summer, or part-time job? Do you want to brush up on your interview skills? Well, this month is perfect for you! CareerZone is hosting its annual Mock Interview Madness contest!!

What is the Mock Interview Madness contest?
The Mock Interview Madness contest runs from March 1st, 2020 to March 31st, 2020. Schools all across North America will be participating in this contest. In order to win the overall contest, the rules are simple...we must get the highest amount of students to participate!

How can you participate in the contest?
It only takes a few minutes of your time to participate!

1. Visit to "Create Account"
2. Click on "Conduct an Interview" and choose "Create for Me"
3. Complete "Mock Interview Madness Contest" Interview

Mock Interview Madness Contest PRIZE
By answering the "Mock Interview Madness Contest" question, you will be automatically entered into the contest.

1. Chance to win a gift card for dinner and a movie!!!
2. Help Brock CareerZone win a grand prize of $500!

Additional Social Media Contest
CareerZone will also be having an additional social media contest which will run from March 9th - March 13th!!! The contest will be on Instagram and Twitter platforms and here is how you can participate in the contest: Comment/reply on the post "What is your greatest Interview fear?". This question will be posted on both Instagram and Twitter.

Students that comment on the post with their response to the question, will be entered in the contest for a chance to win a $25 Dining Gift Card, as well as CCEE swag!

The Importance of InterviewStream
Do you have an upcoming interview? Are you looking to improve your interview skills? The InterviewStream application can help with that!

InterviewStream is an interview tool that uses webcam and microphone recording. The application can help students make an excellent first impression, while setting one up for a successful interview by providing feedback and tips of non-behaviour and communication missteps.

Check out the InterviewStream application and enter into the Mock Interview Madness Contest.

If you have any questions in regards to the contest or want interview preparation resources, please stop by CareerZone and talk with one of our Career Assistants!

CareerZone Hours:
Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm; Extended Hours on Thursday's from 8:30am-6:30pm
**drop-in service, no appointment needed**
#ExperienceMore #WILpower