Monday, June 29, 2015

Linkedin for Students

If your a student and do not already have a Linkedin profile of your own, follow these 5 easy steps and you'll be on your way to utilizing one of the best social media platforms for job searching and professional networking!

1. Choose Your Picture (Wisely!)
It doesn't have to entail booking a professional photo shoot, but there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. If you are making "the duck face", are with a large group of people, or are engaging in non-work related behavior in the photo (chugging a beer with friends or crowd surfing at a concert), it might not be the wisest choice for your Linkedin photo. Remember, Linkedin is for you to connect to professionals & employers and is really about making a good first impression. So make that impression count and keep your photo as professional as possible.

2. Make Your Headline
Your headline is one of the first things others actually read on your profile before they get to the other content. Highlight what you are currently doing and what you are looking for. For example, "Student at Brock University" isn't eye catching and is rather vague. A headline like "Marketing BA Candidate at Brock University Seeking Internship Opportunities in Business Promotions" is specific and informative.
3. Write Your Summary
As the section title suggests, summarize what you are currently doing and mention your goals and future plans as well as any other skills or interests related to this. Make sure your content is concise yet professional! And if you'd like, mention opportunities you are looking for! This will help your audience figure out your overall objective professionally and may lead to connections which can aid you in reaching your goals.

4. Add Your Experiences
This includes: work experiences, volunteer experiences, professional development, certifications, diplomas/degrees and awards (to name a few). Obviously, you may not have content for every category, but that's perfectly alright! Just like with a resume, you don't need to have an experience for every section. However, adding your experiences may highlight areas you could be working on or areas in need of improvement. For example, if you have no volunteer experience, perhaps it's time to explore some volunteer opportunities so you can implement that section into your profile.

5. Customization
Adding work samples, photographic examples and content, creating a personalized URL, and adding specific keywords to your "Skills" section are all ways you can customize your profile and set it apart from the rest! Linkedin is constantly updating the ways in which you can customize your content, so keep in mind that customizing your profile will be an ongoing work in progress, much like a resume!

So there you have it! A simple guide to creating the perfect student Linkedin profile! And don't forget, we offer free drop-in Linkedin Profile Reviews here at the Career Resource Centre at Brock. Using our newly developed criteria checklist, we can go through your profile and ensure that the content is the best it can be. Additionally, we offer handouts on building your student profile and are more than happy to aid in any way possible! So what are you waiting for? Get Linkedin today!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

6 Things ALL New Grads Should Know

To end this month long theme of graduation related blog posts and information, here are 6 things ALL new graduates should know:

1. Know Your Network
So you have a network of 500 + people on your Linkedin; but how many do you make an effort to keep in touch with or catch up with professionally speaking? Make sure you know your network and everyone in it. By this I mean making meaningful connections that can open up opportunities for both parties! Even if your network is small, make the effort to maintain contact. Also, keep in touch with your graduating class and professors; these connections are great to maintain, especially if the thought of doing graduate school has ever crossed your mind!

2. Know Your Skills
Identifying the key skills you gained through your education, work, and volunteer experiences is imperative to finding work that correlates to your expertise. If your skilled at writing and have extensive experience writing blogs and articles, you can narrow down fields to work in by looking for those skills in job postings. This will help you to be on your way to utilizing what you know professionally to land the perfect entry level position! Our Degree Exploration Guides can help with identifying degree specific skills so be sure to check them out!

3. Know Your Transferable Skills

We've all had that job where we said to ourselves "What am I learning from this experience?". Often times, it's occupations in the service industry like serving coffee at your local Tim Horton's or waiting tables at Boston Pizza. However, never forget the transferable skills being gained through these types of positions. Not only are skills like teamwork and customer service being gained, but also other valuable skills like time-management and organization. So if the job of your dreams isn't available right now, never turn down other opportunities! Where there is work, there are transferable skills to be gained!

4. Know Your Goals
And when I say goals I mean both short term and long term! The job of your dreams may not be hiring right now, but that doesn't mean you should put your life on hold. If something is in the way of a long-term goal, work on your short-term goals, and vise versa. And never stop setting goals for yourself! It's truly the difference between those who find themselves stuck in a "rut" and those who progress! For some extra goal-setting tips, check out another great blog post here

5. Know Yourself
It's the classic scenario: you are in an interview and they ask you to "Describe yourself in 5 words" or "Tell us your biggest strength or biggest weakness". Even though we spend all day with ourselves, these questions are sometimes the most difficult to answer. This is why knowing yourself inside and out is beneficial! Write down some strengths and weaknesses or words you feel encompass your own personal brand in order to get to know yourself better. This will not only help with goal-setting and networking, but will also make interviews not only easier, but much more successful! 

6. Know Your Resources
If you need help, it's important to know where to get it. For example, as Brock Alumni, new graduates will have access to extensive career resources both in the Career Resource Centre here at Brock and on-line through Careerzone and the Online Resource Centre. From career document reviews, to workshops, to job search help and interview practice, and even graduate school information, we've got you covered on all fronts! Be sure to check out Grad LINK via Linkedin and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter too! Utilize the resources you have available to you to succeed!

Again, a big congratulations to ALL graduates! Hopefully these must-knows will help you not only get to know yourself better, but also make the transition from university to work seamless & successful!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Monday, June 15, 2015

Alternative Paths for New Grads!

Convocation week has just ended here at Brock which means it's time for a blog about alternatives after graduation. For most, the expectation is that they will slide into a career right away and start working full-time. For others, this expectation may not be attainable or ideal. If working full-time right after you graduate isn't your plan, there are many alternate routes that can be taken! Here are 4 different paths to take after graduation that don't involve working full-time, but are guaranteed to give you some practical knowledge while still being a fun learning experience!

1. Go Abroad

Why not skip out before that cold Canada winter comes and head overseas? With so many different work, internship, and volunteer opportunities, your time abroad can be more than just a fun vacation, but can double as a way to gain professional experience while becoming more culturally knowledgeable. Going Global, accessible through Careerzone for Brock students & alumni, has thousands of opportunities overseas, ranging from work to internships to volunteering, in a vast number of countries, from the US to Italy and even Finland! They even provide detailed city guides so you'll know all the logistics, like the cost of living, visa and embassy information, and how to fit in with the local culture.Other sites like Go Abroad also offer valuable resources and information on working, interning, or volunteering abroad. 

2. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to dip your foot in the pool without fully committing yourself so to speak. For example, if working with kids has always been fun for you but your not sure if you want a career in that field, spending a few hours a week volunteering might help you realize if this is the right path for you. Along with being able to try new things, volunteering allows you to network with other professionals, gives you extra experience to add to your resume, and is extremely rewarding, especially when the volunteer opportunity is something you are passionate about. Directories like 211 Ontario offer endless information about foundations and organizations who regularly take volunteers so the opportunities are truly endless. Also, if there is a specific place you would like to volunteer, a quick google search should give you the information to find out about volunteering there and what it would entail.  

3. Intern

Another great way to gain some practical experience that doesn't require a major commitment is through internship opportunities. Much like volunteering, many internships do not require the same amount of time or commitment that a full-time job would, but will allow you to get a feel for the industry and whether or not it's something you wish to pursue further. Internships are also a great way for entry level grads to break into the field! CareerEdge is a great program which offers paid internships to students looking for their big chance to shine! Even the Ontario government offers a paid internship program

4. Part-Time Jobs

If the thought of going right from graduation to full-time work is daunting, why not start with working part-time? This will allow you to gain experience and make money, all the while allowing you time to explore other opportunities simultaneously. Maybe you'll work 20 hours a week and volunteer for 10 hours. Or maybe you'll see that the part-time job you took isn't for you and take on another to explore different industries. Whatever it is you decide, part-time work opportunities are plentiful and are a great way to get your feet wet! Be sure to utilize advanced search options on websites like Careerzone, Indeed, Monster, and Eluta (to name a few) which will allow you to narrow down these part-time opportunities with ease!

So don't feel like you are limited if working full-time after graduation isn't the right path for you! As you can see, other opportunities are available and are just a few clicks away!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Monday, June 8, 2015

Grad LINK: Stay Connected!

Calling all Brock Graduates! This week you will be walking across that stage with your peers to receive your reward for all these years of hard work at Brock! But with graduation can come some bittersweet feelings and, of course, some big questions, like what if I lose touch with important people I've met here at Brock? And how will I navigate my way from university into a successful career all on my own? The team at Career Services has already thought about these questions and, of course, have the answers for you!

Grad LINK is a group on Linkedin exclusive to Brock alumni which allows graduating students to stay connected not only with the team here at Career Services, but also with your fellow graduating peers, Brock staff, and employers. Career and employment related information involving recruitment, networking, and relevant articles is also shared through this group, making the transition from being a full time student to a full time employee much easier by giving you the tools to help you make your mark in the world professionally! 

Registration is simple and the benefits are huge! Follow these 4 easy steps to join:

1. Complete the on-line registration form! Click here to fill it out!

2. Next, review the "Getting Started" presentation to get the most out of the group and gain an understanding of the resources that can help you specifically. Click here to view it!

3. Create a Linkedin profile (if you don't already have one) and make the content reflect who you are as a professional!

4. Join the Grad LINK group on Linkedin!

Once you have registered or created your profile on Linkedin, you may be asking yourself: How can I make my profile stand out to employers and professionals? Well don't fret because we've got you covered in this department too! Check out the Online Resource Centre for some great tips on how to make your Linkedin profile stand out and feel free to come into the Career Resource Centre for a free profile review as well as access to extensive books on Linkedin and how to get the most out of your profile! Also, don't forget to check out past blog posts on Linkedin profile creation to help make this process painless! Click here to read more!

So what are you waiting for? Join Grad LINK today and take advantage of this great alumni resource! And if you have any questions or concerns about Grad LINK, send them to Thanks for reading!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major

Monday, June 1, 2015


First, I'd like to take a minute and say, on behalf of the Career Services department here at Brock, a big congratulations to all those students who are graduating! Through the good and bad, you stuck it out and get to leave Brock not just with a BA, MA, or whatever degree you were pursuing, but with the satisfaction of knowing that all the hard work and sleepless nights have finally paid off!

With that being said, the Spring Convocation ceremonies are right around the corner! The ceremonies and celebrations are taking place beginning on June 9th and ending June 13th, 2015. Be sure to head to to find out when to attend.

This year will also mark the first year that Brock is holding a Convocation Twitter Chat on June 3rd at 2pm! Simply login to Twitter and follow #BrockUGrad to stay in the loop and get all your questions answered! Our handle for Twitter is @BrockCareerServ, so be sure to follow us to get all your questions answered and to find out how to kick start your career! For more information about the Convocation Twitter chat, head to

Finally, don't forget that here at Career Services, we are dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to succeed both as students, and as alumni. From career document review services to job search help, we encourage all new graduates to make use of our resources and our services to get the head start they need in establishing their careers following graduation!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major