Thursday, November 27, 2014

Organizing your Job Search Research

Job searching can be a difficult task for people. Usually the person is under some pressure to find a position which can cause them to become anxious and stressed.

The most important thing to remember is that there is something in the market for everyone. Today, we see a lot of graduates graduating with degrees that have a variety of transferable skills (for example, skills you've obtained from overcoming obstacles throughout your university study). By completing almost any degree that doesn't specifically lead you to a career path (ie. Nursing, Teacher's College, etc.) you will be obtaining these skills. These are what will assist you in finding your career path and will most likely be the most used skills on the job.

Since you will have all these skills coming out of university, you will need to know how you use them. Everyone has had a different learning experience and knowing your own will help you determine your desired career. We call this Self Assessment, assessing your personality, values, and preferred working environments. Check out our post of Self Assessments and how you can complete this step by clicking here.

Once you have assessed yourself you should have a good idea of where you would work well and what you would like to be doing. Beginning your research is next!

Your research on jobs should begin with knowing exactly what the job entails (Is it in an office environment? Are you working with a team/group of people? What hours would you be working? What are the challenges people face in this occupation?). All these things can be answered through online research, visiting your Career Centre, or reaching out to those in that occupation using the Information Interview approach.

It would be helpful to keep all the research you've found important to this point in a binder or folder so you are always able to refer to it. Especially when you have looked at a few types of careers, you can keep them separate from each other by using dividers. It may be very likely that you are interested in occupations that are close in nature, but you still want to keep them separate so when the opportunity comes along you know where to go to get your researched information.

Another tip you could explore further is making customized resumes and cover letters to fit the different positions you are interested in so when you see a posting you will be ready to review their qualifications to make sure you emphasize them and then apply!

For more tips on organizing your job search check out these quick tips from TalentEgg here!
Good luck searching and remember our Career Resource Centre at Brock University is always here to help you out!

Alysha-Lynn Kooter
Senior Career Assistant
3rd Year Concurrent Education: Visual Arts 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Is Your Career in Demand?

In today's ever-changing labour market, it is important to stay updated on what jobs are in demand and what jobs are more competitive. Staying updated, while it sounds daunting, is actually very easy and can be done from these two resources:

Job Bank Canada:
This website, updated weekly with labour market news per Canada as a whole, province and territories, and even municipalities, gives ratings for professions in regions across Canada. Want to know where Pilots are in demand... maybe thinking about moving to Calgary? The extensive search criteria allows you to peek inside the labour market for that job in that area.

This resource also does a complete overhaul at the beginning of each year for all of their statistics. This means that in January 2015 we will have a completely new batch of information to draw from! Stay updated, Career Services will be using this resource to develop our labour market and trends binders in the coming months. is unique in that it allows not only a look at if jobs are in demand, but the culture of those jobs and companies. Employees who have worked there review the job, location specific most of the time, and can help identify if that profession or that company is something you want to do or work for.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will also get a quick listing of trending jobs and salaries. The best part is it is all Canadian! is a fun and informative website to use when analyzing the labour market. They also have a mobile app, so you can search your careers demand on the go!

It is important to know where the jobs are in your profession, and to understand where the jobs will be in the future  and where your industry is headed. These two resources are only the tip of the iceberg but provide a bountiful amount of information that is relatively easy to access.

Anthony Mancuso
Senior Career Assistant
3rd Year Honours Bachelor of Sport Management

Monday, November 17, 2014

Volunteerism is more than Meets the Eye

As an employer, when hiring someone you need to know who they are as a holistic package because how much sense does it make to hire someone who knows nothing about you?  Volunteerism is a way to highlight the experience that you accomplish for the reason of that it’s what you’re passionate about. In my experience in my position as a Career Assistant, I have never heard of someone doing something out of the goodness of their heart that wasn’t passionate about their volunteerism area. Volunteerism is something that really does impact a person’s life from day to day. My personal purpose of volunteering and my career is because I aim to inspire and empower others to do great things and to me I want to make sure that I explain this in my resume through the volunteerism section. Let your employer know that you don’t care about the money only, rather that you do other things for the reason that you are just passionate.  Use the strategy of putting yourself in the employer’s shoes, would you really want to hire someone who has no volunteerism?

I (Anthony) actually received consideration for my seasonal employment because my employer was so intrigued by my volunteer section on my resume, as community involvement was a big area of focus for their organization. Thinking about it objectively, the best way to get something is to give something in return, and giving back to your community while also contributing to a cause you care about is a great way for employers in the community to give back to you... by offering you a position!
Some of the great benefits of volunteering
We offer a variety of resources for students looking to volunteer. Careerzone always has volunteer opportunities being posted for Brock students and Alumni to access, year round. There are both local and abroad opportunities being offered all the time. We also have a resource that offers a list of websites available to look at more volunteer opportunities. This resource can be found on careerzone on our online resource section, as well as in our resource centre. 

Brock also offers Volunteer Plus, a program designated to reward those who spend an ample amount of time volunteering during the year. Be sure to track all of your volunteer experience on Experience Plus to qualify! There are 3 levels:

Bronze: 30-40 hours
Silver: 41-75 hours
Golf: 76+ hours

All volunteer experiences can be recorded on your Experience Plus transcript! It may seem like a lot to volunteer for 76+ hours, but over the course of an entire year it is actually very minimal. Volunteer hours for Volunteer Plus are tracked from September 1st-August 31st, so you have all year including the summer to get involved!

Written by:
Tyler Harris
Career Assistant
3rd Year Psychology Major

Co-written and Facilitated by:
Anthony Mancuso
Senior Career Assistant
3rd Year Sport Management Major

Friday, November 14, 2014

Follow Ups and Thank you Notes

 So you have done your research and found a job you think would be  a great fit for you. You carefully edited your resume and wrote a killer coverletter and were invited for an interview - which you aced! So... now what do you do?

The next step in the interview process is about following up with your interviewer.

 It is important to thank the interviewer(s) within 24 hours of meeting.

What do I say?
Send separate notes to everyone involved in your interview to thank them for their time, the opportunity to be considered, and also lets you reaffirm your enthusiasm for the position. Don't be afraid to restate your  relevant skills, and why you would be a great fit for the position. Did you forget to mention something during the interview? You may add it in your follow up, just make sure it is concise. Restating your relevant skills could also be used to demonstrate your understanding of the company's needs and challenges.

 An effective thank you note is short, sweet, and to the point. Aim for around 6- 10 sentences. You don't want them to lose interest in your message.

Thank you notes can be physical notes, or follow up e mails. Make sure you proofread your e mails before you send them. You don't want to  tarnish the great first impression you made with typos. Be sure of their names and how to correctly spell them.

Thank you notes and follow ups can boost your chance of getting a job. A survey by AccountTemps (2013) found that 76% of Canadian executives polled said that sending a thank you note demonstrates initiative and courtesy. The act of simply thanking someone for their time and the opportunity to be considered for the position can set you apart from other applicants.

If you would like more information, or you would like to see some sample follow ups, please feel free to stop by the Career Resource Centre and check out our Interview Techniques Binder, or chat with a Career Assistant. We are always happy to help you! Mon-Fri 9-4:30 

Becky White
Lead career Assistant
4th Year Tourism and Environment

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Degree exploration... don't forget the bigger picture!

During the middle of the semester I always catch myself thinking "What am I doing all this work for?". After writing midterms and finishing assignments, the stress can cause you to doubt what you've been working for. A lot of students have been coming in asking about what they can do with their degree simply because they need encouragement to get them through the rest of the semester.

As much as it can become hard to keep pushing through assignments and exams at this point, it is important to know that you are doing all of this work for a reason. You are becoming educated in a field that holds opportunity for the rest of your life. The skills you learn not only from your textbooks but also from you balancing your work are crucial to your success in your future career. You will be able to take on bigger jobs and more stress if you handle it day by day like you have been doing throughout school.

Through every discipline, you can find opportunity. Your drive, persistence, and effort is what will get you that job. Those are the things you learn without realizing when you are working through midterm or exam season. We learn to get through harder and harder exams that produce higher stress levels as we approach graduation. As we accomplish every term, we actively are creating a more innovative individual. As we work through our degree we not only learn the things we need to know about our field but we learn things that apply to the bigger picture or the working world as a whole. Teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, etc. are all the things we learn in every discipline that are connected to real jobs out there. These are the things that can make a successful future.

So, as you are thinking about your degree and the stress of that next assignment, remember that you are doing all of this for a great reason. You are working through this to improve those skills we don't always think about that are crucial in the job market.

If you are concerned about your degree or direction into a career, feel free to come by the Career Resource Centre to talk to a Career Assistant about it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Other Career Assessments - The Needle in the Haystack

Welcome everyone!

In the past few blog posts, we have outlined some very useful career-assessments offered at Brock such as career-cruising and Type Focus. There are a plethora of different career-assessment options that I highly recommend taking that are offered both within and outside of Brock. third career assessment that is offered on Careerzone is called TalentToday. This self-assessment is relatively new, and is always growing and expanding. When I first took the self-assessment, it was fairly primative. Now, after months of feedback and development, the self-assessment tool is much more complete, and offers some really unique insights on your personality and motivations. They offer some neat graphs and visuals on tendencies such as stress management and teamwork. (see right)

There are also some really great self-assessments outside of the ones offered on CareerZone. offers a plethora of information and links to many different career assessments. Here's a quick summary provided by juggle on some well-known self-assessments that you can take, that are offered through

- Princeton Review 5-Minute Career Quiz: "This short career quiz that helps you understand the type of jobs suited to your interests and preferred work style. It’s a favourite of bestselling career author Richard Bolles. To take the assessment you will need to register (don’t worry, it only takes a few seconds)."

- Myers-Briggs Personality Type: "This video will help you discover your Myers-Briggs personality type. It will show you the four facets of personality and help you discover the four-letter personality type that fits you best."

- Holland Code: "This test will discover your best job based on your strongest career interest among six occupational themes."

Self-assessments are a great tool; they help identify your evolution as a professional. There are so many career assessments available, many of them free. I recommend taking a few of these favourites and trying to find similarities between the different results!

Monday, November 3, 2014

What does it all mean?: The Importance of Knowing Yourself

Finding a rewarding and fulfilling career is not an easy task. There are so many things to consider when deciding on a field, and occupation. Regardless of whether you feel a bit intimidated by selecting a career, or whether you are just interested in knowing all the facts, knowing yourself is the most useful thing you can do in your job search.

In my experience, people tend to search for jobs backwards. They hone in on one particular job title and say  "I want to be THIS!" instead of finding a job that would suit them, and weighing different careers. Having only one job in mind limits your research and potentially closes your mind off from related careers you may be interested in. While there is nothing wrong with having a directed vision and knowing where you want to go, we here at Career Services like to give you every resource we can to help you be successful in your career related quests. :)

Completing personality assessments (that can be accessed for free on careerzone -  I like typefocus for the purpose of this topic!) are an excellent place to start reflecting on what is important to you, and the workplaces you would succeed in. In addition to career and personality assessments, you may find it useful to reflect on your personal thoughts on:

Your Values:
  • What is important to you? 
  • How would you uphold your values in the workplace?
  • Does the workplace of the job you are interested in support your values?
  •  Is the job you are researching a fast paced job? 
  • Would you be required to work under pressure?  
  • How do you perform under pressure?
  •  Do you enjoy performing the same tasks every day, or do you like variety?
  • Do you enjoy having some degree of creative freedom over your work?

Working With Others:
  •  Would you prefer to work as a team or by yourself?
  • Would you like to help others through your work?
This is only a sample of the many questions you could ask yourself when it comes to evaluating yourself and certain jobs. This information is useful because it can assist you in your job search. There are many related careers out there that are within the same field, but may be more customized to your specific values, wants, and needs and will ultimately make you happier in your future position.

 If you would like to talk more about assessments, the career search process ( ask to see the triangle!), or knowing yourself  then come on by to Career Services. We would be happy to help you!

Becky White
Lead Career Assistant
4th year Tourism and Environment (Hons.)