Your next step in the career planning process is to do something about it! This step involves actively seeking employment in a position or company that you would like to work in. The following are some key steps to landing meaningful employment:
1. Know Yourself – You should have already completed this step during the other stages of career planning, but if you haven’t, do it NOW. This step allows you to become familiar with your strengths and assets which you will then highlight in a cover letter, resume, and in your interviews!
2. Prepare Your Resume – Your resume is something you should be proud of and not something to be thrown together at the last minute. Your experiences should reflect your accomplishments and skills that you think would make you the most desirable candidate for the position you are applying to. Career Services offers an online workshop – The Basics of Resume Writing – through CareerZONE ("Workshops" tab), as well as free drop-in resume reviews in our Resource Centre during our hours of operation. We offer one-on-one assistance and advice about how to improve your resume and how to best highlight your achievements. We also have resume templates in our Resource Centre that can help you in formatting your resume to ensure it is professional and up to par with employer expectations.
3. Tailor Your Cover Letter – Yes…your cover letter needs to be tailored to each and every job you apply for…ALWAYS! Writing specific cover letters for each job may seem like hard work, and it may very well be, BUT Career Services has tons of resources that can help you! Our Basics of Cover Letter Writing workshop, also on CareerZONE, and our drop-in cover letter review services, can assist you in highlighting how exactly you meet the employer’s expectations, as well as how you would fit in with the company, in a tailored cover letter. By using the job posting and company website you can get a lot of crucial information that will make this process much easier. Our cover letter templates and sample can help you with format and content, after that it’s just a matter of “responding” to the job posting by specifying how you meet the employer’s criteria with concrete examples from your experiences!
4. Be Professional – Make sure you always act professional when meeting with potential employers - they want to know that you would take the job seriously and would represent the company well. Stop by the Resource Centre to learn more about appropriate attire and how to act during interviews and career events! In addition, remember that in these high-tech times, employers are now turning to social media to help them get to know candidates and employees – Hint: be professional even on your Facebook because you never know who might stop by to check out what you are really like! In addition, do a quick Google search of yourself to see what comes up because employers will be doing this as well!
Relax, be yourself, be professional, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t land your dream job after your first application! Job hunting can take time and you may have to work your way up to your ideal career, but following these steps will ensure you start with your best foot forward. Happy job hunting! :)
Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
4th Year Public Health (Honours)
4th Year Public Health (Honours)