Thursday, February 28, 2013

How To Ace Skype/Video Interviews

There may come a time in your job-seeking days when you will not be preparing to enter the office of an employer for an interview, but rather, be opening your computer.

It's becoming more and more common for certain interviews to take place over a video chat, usually in the form of Skype interviews. You may be offered a Skype interview in a few different scenarios; namely if the job you are applying to is overseas or out of town and thus an in-person interview is not an option. Of course this type of interview should be taken just as seriously and be approached in the same manner as you would a typical interview - here are some tips to make sure you overcome your video interview jitters:

  • Make sure you are familiar with how Skype or other webcam program works. You definitely don't want to be confused as to how to make a call or set up your account minutes before your scheduled interview. Do some practice calls with friends beforehand if that makes you feel more comfortable.
  • Dress professionally! Even though technically you will only be seen from the waist up, this is not an invitation to wear your pj pants! It is important that you dress in the same kind of business attire you would have if you were meeting in person.
  • Don't be camera shy. Make sure to smile and sit up straight while you're on camera! It is common for people to constantly adjust themselves because they can see themselves on their computer screen; resist the urge to do this. As an aside, also make sure your camera is set up and at the right angle when you call; adjusting it during the interview is probably not a good idea!
  • Set up your space appropriately. I would suggest not having a cluttered desk as the backdrop for your video interview; so make sure to clear up any mess in the room you will be in. Also ensure that the lighting in your room will be sufficient and won't cause you to be in a shadowy area.
 Ideas inspired from

Other than that, you know the drill. Prepare your socks off! Research the company, have questions prepared for them, and review your resume to reflect on the skills and experiences the employer will want to hear about.

- Lia 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hey You! Be My Reference?!

In the season of summer job hunting, grad school applications and an end of the term coming up, there seem to be a lot of reasons to ask for a reference. The question is, how do you do it? Here is a list of dos and don'ts when it comes to asking for a reference letter, in any situation!


  • Ask for a reference in good time.
  • Don't just ask for a reference, ask for a good reference.
  • Be ready to provide your referee with any pertinent information for them to use to write the reference.
  • Send a thank-you letter following the receipt of the reference.

  • Just ask for a reference, ask to meet with the potential referee about the possibility of them being a good reference for you.
  • Ask any less than two weeks before the reference is due.
  • Send out a mass email to all of the possible references.
  • Use someone who hasn't seen your work in the area that is listed on the application.
  • Assume that the reference will say yes.
  • Take offence if the reference says no.
Hope this stuff helps and as always, feel free to drop by the Career Resource Centre Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm until exams begin!

Good luck!

Sr. Career Assistant

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Reading Week Hours


Career Services will be open from 

9:00 - 4:00 Wednesday and Thursday

during Reading Week. 


We will revert back to regular hours (9:00-4:30 Monday to Friday) beginning Monday February 25.

Enjoy your break!
- Ashley

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

On this 14th day of February...

Career Services would like to say:


**Despite this lovely holiday, we will still be open 9:00am-4:30pm for your resume, cover letter, and job search needs. As for valentines, you'll have to go elsewhere.

x's and o's,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fall Jobs Now??

The buzz is in the air at career services. And by buzz I mean the CA staff are getting ready for their interviews for the senior CA positions.

Yes, they are applying now for next september. Early you think, wrong I say. And our department is not alone in this. In fact, many on campus postions available for next September are being posted now or will be posted within the next couple of weeks.

So if your interested in working on campus, and I will tell you from experience that it is awesome, then I would start looking today for upcoming positions.

CareerZone will be your best bet to find the most variety of on campus positions available; however keep checking BUSU, Human Resources, and Recreation Services because they do not always post on our job posting board.

By keeping an eye out everyday, you will ensure that you will have enough time after a job has been posted to develop your application package (if you need one), fill out an experience works profile if they ask for this (do this via your, develop your tailored resume and cover letter, and finally come in so that we can have a look at it and help you to make it the best it can be.

The good thing is is that reading week is coming up. This means you will have some extra time to work on your resume so that it is prepared for that job you want to apply to when it comes available. It is difficult to sometimes prioritize finding a job over school, so use reading week to your advantage to job search and prepare. Or catch up on work ( unless your going away, to which case I say I envy you).

Moral of the story is keep an eye out now for opportunities for September because you might be too late if try and look for stuff then.

Have a good reading week!
Senior Career Assistant

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No Fear Phone Interviews!

In an age where the job market isn't the greatest and opportunities to travel for work are vast, more often than ever employers are interviewing candidates via other means than face to face interaction! In this blog I will provide you some tips on how to survive the PHONE INTERVIEW!

1. Use a landline. No matter how much planning you do to ensure you're in a good service zone, you can't control dropped calls. The last thing you want is to hang up on the interviewer - they may not call you back!

2. Write EVERYTHING down! This goes for what you're going to say to the employer, and for what the employer says to you! While it's bad interview eitiquette to bring a list of your skills and experience with you to the interview after you've prepared it, one of the benefits to interviewing over the phone is that the employer can't see that! So take advantage - while preparing your answers for common interview questions, write it all down and keep it in front of you, right beside a list of your skills, strengths, weaknesses and a copy of your resume for reference! And as I said, make good notes about information the employer gives you over the phone. Keep pens and paper handy!

3. Speak sloooowly. It's always a good idea to practice speaking slowly and clearly for any interview but especially on the phone. It's one thing when an employer can see you in person because they can at least read your lips but on the phone they are completely reliant on their ability to comprehend you via listening and it's important to do everything you can to ensure you're getting the pertinent information across! That means no gum or food, by the way! Just because they can't see you does not mean they can't hear your chewing in their ear... *shivers*...

4. Be as professional as you would irl (in real life... n00b). So I know we've been touching on the benefits to being physically invisible to the interviewer, but just remember that body language translates into verbal language often! Sit up straight, smile, get dressed up! Whatever it is you have to do to project that professional image!

Finally check out Interview Stream, a neat resource that films you engaging in a mock interview! Great for practice for any sort of interview, but especially for things like the phone or skype! You can also send your video in to our office for feedback! Check it out by visiting CareerZone and clicking on Resources. You can also book a mock interview with!

These are just a few tips but if you wanted some further information or further help on interview prep feel free to drop by to see us at the Career Resource Centre just inside the Learning Commons from 9-4:30pm Monday - Friday!

Good luck,

Sr. Career Assistant

Monday, February 11, 2013

Summer Job Search in Your PJs!

Despite what your parents may tell you - door to door summer job shopping is a thing of the past. If you've tried this method you will have noticed that most companies will tell you that you need to fill out their online application and that they don't accept resumes in person. Though some summer job postings will still be advertised in the newspaper and through 'Now Hiring!' signs on the inside of shop windows, we recommend consulting the following online job posting boards in order to ensure you have access to a wide variety of job postings:

General Job Search Sites

Work Abroad Sites

On-Campus Job

For a more extensive list of general and abroad job sites stop by Career Services in the Learning Commons! And be sure to check these sites frequently since they update often.

- Ashley, Sr. Career Assistant

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Creating a Standout Resume

After explaining to students that there will be huge competition for jobs, especially if the posting is online, we are often asked “Well then how do I make myself stand out?”

This is a completely valid question. The answer? Well, unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer. Primarily, I would suggest calling the organization that you are applying to just to ask a couple questions. Doing this will allow the company to know your name which may subconsciously (sneaky, I know!) have them review your document more closely. I would also encourage you to network, network, network (it's super important). It is so much easier for employers to hire if they know you first. In fact, if you network enough, and an employer likes you, they may offer to chat with you about the position, foregoing the whole application process in the first place. You are making it so easy for them, if you do that right!
But... if you have decided  to apply to online postings, which, don't get me wrong,  is something you should totally be doing as well just to cover your basis, then I can offer you a couple of suggestions about what to include in your resume to make it stand out. Additonally, I can tell you things employers look for specifically and things that they hate to see.
1. Personalization- the more tailored you can make your resume (and cover letter for that matter) the better. It will show that you took the time to research the company which shows them that you are motivated and seriously interested in the position.
2. Achievement Statements- this format really makes it easy for them to see how you can impact their company by showing them obviously what you achieved in your past experiences. The achievement statement consists of three steps. They are:

  1. Action verb: Presented in past tense
  2. Steps or actions taken: These are the steps/actions you took to achieve something
  3. End result: This is the impact/results of your action(s)
3. Relevant Experience and Skills - the most important thing you can show on your resume are the experiences and skills (technical/language) that you have which the employer is looking for. This will be different for each profession so do your homework and know what is necessary for the positions you apply to.
4. An easy to read layout - come on in to the resource centre located just inside the Library Learning Commons and we can show you what this looks like.
1. Bad Grammar and Spelling Mistakes- this may seem like and obvious one, but it happens more times than you think. This goes for e-mail correspondences as well. Proofread!
2. To whom it may concern!  -This is a cover letter bugger, but this salutation is a huge no no. Try and find the name of the person doing the hiring or address the letter to the hiring comittee or human resources manager.
3. Too little or too much information- You want to try to avoid only stating your duties or overstating your accomplishments with paragraphs. Strike a good balance with the use of clear and succinct bulleted achievement statements.
These are some basic tips I can provide you with. Remember to do your homework on each of the employers and positions so that you can really be as specific as possible.
I hope that these tips can assist you in writing an awesome resume which employers will love to read. Whether you are applying online, in person, or giving in a resume at the interview (benefit of networking) employers will be able to see that your resume hits all the right things.
For a more extensive look into your resume come by the centre and we can help answer your questions.
Rosemary Tamburini,
Senior Career Assitant