Wednesday, June 27, 2012

7 Things All New Grads Should Know

1)    Your Level of Education is Unique in Canada
As a university graduate you have gained a level of education that most Canadian citizens haven’t achieved. As of June 2011, only 24.6% of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 64 had obtained a university degree. So be proud of your education and remember to highlight it on the top of your resume!

2)      You Can Apply for Jobs Outside of Your Field
Just because you graduated in Psychology doesn’t mean you are limited to applying for counseling positions. Allow yourself to be creative and consider the extremely valuable transferable skills that you developed throughout your degree. Consider consulting our Degree Exploration guides online to view these skills as well as occupations suggested by your faculty.

3)      Do Not Lose the Connections That You Gained During your University Studies  
      Now that you’ve graduated it’s tempting to leave your university life behind. However, the networking that you conducted during your time at Brock can continue to be valuable to you throughout your career. If you had a professor, instructor, or another staff member at Brock that you feel you gained a valuable relationship with make sure you stay in touch! Add them on LinkedIn or drop by for the occasional visit. They can prove to be an excellent reference to provide for an employer or even a friendly contact if you are ever in need of a mentor within your field.

4)      Continue Learning and Develop More Marketable Skills
       If the job you are applying for requires a university degree then you will be qualified over an applicant that hasn’t received this level of education. However, after you’ve passed this checkpoint there will be a number of other skills and experiences that each employer will require of potential employees. So my best advice to you would be to continue learning! You don’t need to go back to school, but teaching yourself new skills relevant to your industry will continue to benefit you and make it easier when job hunting. 

5)     All Your Experience is GOOD Experience! 
      So you worked at a camp for three summers but you’re not going into childcare or teaching – you just graduated from a Business Degree..?! NEVER fear! It’s easy to get caught up in the “Related Experience” section that you want to have on your resume and forget that all experience can be related, as long as you’re constructing solid achievement statements! Think about the skills you enhanced at your jobs rather than focusing too much on the job title. As a Camp Counsellor you were organized, you time-managed and you demonstrated excellent leadership – all things that an employer in the Business sector is looking for. If you’ve worked in the industry before OF COURSE that’s a plus, but if not you’ve still got what it takes, you just have to prove it!

6)     Give Employers a Taste of Your Personality
           It’s important to stay professional during an interview but it’s also extremely important to show the employer a bit of your own unique personality. Once you are hired these people are going to have to work with you so give them a reason to want to! The workplace isn’t only about getting work don’t – co-workers form friendships with each other and can work on many projects together, so it’s important that they all get along! So remember to smile and show them that you are not only a hard worker but a fun person to be around!

7)      Get Comfortable with Social Media – it’s Getting you Hired (and fired..)!
Social media is the fastest growing employer recruitment and job search strategy today –everybody is using it, it cannot be avoided. Sites like LinkedIn are designated for job search and networking, but even Twitter and Facebook can be helpful job search tools for the average job seeker so it’s important to keep all of your Social Media professional. Employers can see everything you do on there (trust us – many employers hire people to do their check-ups!) so ensure that the image you’re projecting online is a positive one. Then you can feel comfortable exercising all of the benefits to Social Media in job search today! 

*Keep an eye out for Ashley’s upcoming blog post where she will review a book called “How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Other Social Networks” for more helpful information about online and social job search!

Thanks for reading!

- Ashley and Brittany 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Six Alternative Options After Graduation!

1) Travel Outside of Canada 
You know that fantasy vacation you daydreamed about going on during lecture? Now's your chance! The summer after graduation is the perfect time to get some traveling in before jumping into the commitment of full-time employment. Exploring a new country could even lead to a job opportunity abroad – so keep your eyes peeled for networking opportunities! Don’t allow yourself to feel trapped within Canada; we have a beautiful planet full of adventure and opportunity waiting to be discovered.
  • Visit Going Global to view resume layouts for different countries and information on working abroad!

2) Apply for an Internship 
Even for entry-level positions, it is necessary now that applicants will have some relevant experience in their field before they can expect to be hired. Many employers will be looking for direct involvement within the field, whether it’s accounting or archaeology, in order for them to feel comfortable investing their time and money into hiring you. Never turn down a relevant internship (even though some may be unpaid) since this qualifies as excellent and relatable experience to put on your resume. Consider finding a part-time job to complement your unpaid internships. 

3) Work Part-time
The reality is, a lot of new grads won't be hired in their fields right away, or sometimes for any full-time positions after graduation. This could be a result of the competitive job market, unmet  qualifications, or just a lag in the need for hires in certain fields. The best you can do is keep applying, upgrading your experience, and finding a way to make money in the meantime! Working part-time gives you the chance to make money (which of course is important in order to pay off those students debts and take care of the bills), enhance and hone relevant transferrable skills, and it also gives you time to intern or volunteer in your career-related field in order to better qualify you for your desired job! And hey, you might find new interests for yourself in the process!
  • Career Zone posts full and part-time positions from all over Niagara and some parts of the GTA, so take a look! Or take a look at some other job posting boards here.

4) Volunteer
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience in your field, or to try something entirely different! There are always a multitude of positions to work with children, youth, special needs, in schools, in hospitals, in food banks, etc. You could volunteer in your community to get to know it better, or maybe a community less fortunate than yours. Or you could go to a different province or country and gain a new perspective on life, your career, and the world! Volunteering looks great on your resume, but its also a great way to ensure you remain well-rounded after having specialized in one field for four years. So if you can manage it, volunteer outside of your comfort zone - you never know what you mind find out about yourself!
  • You can check career Zone for volunteer positions, or take a look at Information Niagara in order to find a position best suited for you!

5) Consider Further Education at Brock University
Was there something you particularly enjoyed about your post-secondary school experience? Are you looking to further qualify yourself for your field of study? Or maybe it's necessary to gain further experience in order to qualify for your career goal? Then consider looking into graduate studies! Brock University offers over two dozen MA programs and almost ten PhD programs that cover every faculty. While doing your graduate studies at Brock you will have the opportunity to apply to research and TA positions in order to assist in paying for your further education, and some programs even guarantee these spots for their grad students!

6) Start a Business
What better way to enhance your skills and network in your field without working full-time than to start your own business? Working for yourself is a great way to be immersed in the industry, and to really explore all sides of the field. Or it could be a fun, quick way to make money with some friends once you're all done school, and to take a break from your program of study for a while. Or even further, it could a great start to a new and interesting career path!
  •    Find out how to start your business here!

For some other suggestions for what you can do immediately after you graduate, here's a fun list.

Happy Choosing!

Ashley and Brittany

PS. Feel free to do more than one or all of the options! You're a new Grad, you've got tons of time :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Grad LINK: Easing the Transition

Attention all Graduates!

We at Career Services know how difficult it can be to make that transition from student to professional. Grad LINK is a service designed to prepare YOU, the graduating or graduated student, for that transition. By registering for Grad LINK, you will be connected to various job postings, workshops, job search information, employer recruitment sessions, and much more! By registering you can also join the network through your LinkedIn account!

With GradLINK you will Learn:

  • Inside tips about employers and job opportunities
  • How to make those important connections with employers and other students and alumni
  • How to set and achieve your career goals
  • How to use and enhance your Experience Plus Transcript

GradLINK keeps you connected and informed, so why not be a part of it?

Register for Grad LINK here today!

See you there,


Monday, June 4, 2012

Congrats to Brock's new grads!

On behalf of everyone at Career Services we would like to send a huge congratulations to
Brock University's graduating class of 2012!!

It's been a long, difficult, and memorable road and we couldn't be more proud of you! 

Whether you're continuing your education with post-grad studies, going straight into the work field, or continuing your job search, Career Services is still here for you! We will always consider our alumni a member of the Brock University community and continue to provide you with any career and post-grad related assistance that you need. 

We are more then happy to assist you with:
  • Cover letter, resume, and CV reviews
  • Letter of intent/personal statement reviews
  • Post-graduate information
  • Study/work/teach abroad information 
  • Entrance exams information
  • General career search strategies 
  • Mock interviews and interview information
  • Portfolio development (even for our non-visual arts grads!)

If you are moving away from Brock University and the Niagara Region, feel free to email us at if you need any assistance in your career search or post-graduate information.
And don't forget to follow Jack McIsaac on Facebook and Twitter (@JackMcIsaac) for any career related information.

Congratulations class of 2012 and best of luck with your future endeavors!

~ Ashley