Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Succeed at Career Events!

The On-Campus Jobs Fair recently wrapped up at Brock and it was a huge success! In light of this event, I thought a blog on how to prepare in order to succeed at career events might be a great way to help guide students for future career events on campus and elsewhere.

Prepping before the event to do well during the event is necessary to succeed! In order to prepare yourself, keep these 6 factors in mind:

1. Do your research!
Find out which employers will be at the event and check out their website! This will help you tailor your documents as well as give you an opportunity to come up with questions you may have about the company that you can ask at the event!
2. Review the opportunities!Many employers post the positions they are looking to fill prior to the career event itself. Check these out! See which positions speak to your knowledge and skills! Again, this will help you tailor your documents and allow you to go into the event with focus!
3. Define your KSA's!Knowing your Knowledge, Skills & Abilities allows you sell yourself to employers! Figuring out what you have to offer employers prior to the event will help you sell yourself to employers during the event! It will also help you develop your elevator pitch!
4. Develop an elevator pitch!It's important to be able to describe yourself, your skills and where your headed career-wise briefly and concisely! Jot down what you want to tell employers about yourself and how you want to be remembered by them and practice this pitch! This will allow you to introduce yourself to employers in an efficient manner, while still highlighting who you are and what your goals are!
5. Bring your documents! And ask for documents!Go to the event equipped with resumes & business cards! And make sure to grab any information sheets or business cards from the employers/recruiters! They are handing this information out for a reason, typically to inform you of the company and how to get in touch with them! You may want to bring a briefcase or professional looking bag to store your documents in too!
6. Dress the part!
Dress professionally! If you are unsure how to go about this, it wouldn't hurt to use your friend Google to look up the company and see what employees typically wear to their career events or on the job! See the photo to the right for help with this!

Thanks for reading! Come visit us at the Career Resource Centre for any questions/concerns you may have regarding career events! We are always happy to help!

Have an excellent day!

Scarlet Stark
Sr. Career Assistant
Psychology Major 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tailoring Your Resume: Why You Need To Do This

Templates are the absolute evil of the career world. There is nothing more bland, boring, and discouraging than a resume that has clearly been taken from a template and not customized at all for the job the applicant is applying for. Luckily for you, you have stumbled upon our blog and can get help to make sure that your resume's are actually being read by employers and taken seriously. Here are some tips about tailoring your resume.

1. Employers will notice
Having hired students before, both here at Career Services and for my own business a few years ago, It is very easy to see when the applicant has put forth a reasonable amount of effort to tailor their resume. Simple things like how recent their employment dates are, what their achievement statements are saying, what skills they are addressing... it all adds up. Take the time, they will notice!

2. Sticking to the template is both good and bad

Templates help you understand the basic structure and formatting of a resume. By no means are they a bad thing altogether, but rather if you stick to them 100% of the time. Feel free to add some of your own style to it, while keeping it professional (a great way to do this is by customizing your information on the top of the page, adding a border, either centering or left-centering your headings, etc).

3. Job qualifications: make sure you address them

One major disadvantage of using a general resume is that you do not always address all of the job qualifications that the employer is looking for. In other words, even if the employers are in the same industry (i.e., retail), they will be looking for different qualities and qualifications in their employees. If you tailor your resume to those qualifications, you will get more interviews guaranteed.

4. Don't forget about the cover letters...

This article is mainly about resumes', but let's not forget about the other half of the application. Cover letters are even more important to tailor, as if you forget to change the direction of the cover letter for each employer they may not look past it to your resume. A lot of the time, the employer will state directly on the job application what kind of employee they are looking for as well as their values and missions. Address these specifically in each cover letter! Taking the extra 10 minutes to do this will make a world of difference.

5. If you think you should be hired, show it!

The best part about tailoring your resume is that it gives you the best opportunity to show the employer that you are the best applicant. After all, the applicant who will spend the extra time to customize their resume and cover letter will likely spend the extra time to make sure they do the best job possible for the employer.

If you think you need any help trying to customize your resume and cover letter, just remember these tips. If you need a little more guidance or would like someone to edit your documents, drop by the career resource centre at Brock University and we can help you portray your best you.

Anthony Mancuso
4th Year Honours Bachelor of Sport Management
Lead Career Assistant

Monday, January 18, 2016

What Can I Do With My Degree?

“So you want to be a lawyer or the Prime Minister?” This is often the comment I get from people when I tell them I am a political science major. As someone who works in a Career Services department and who has no interest in entering politics or law this is an incredibly frustrating statement. For those of us in the social sciences and humanities, we and society in general often minimize our job prospects to the handful of well-known careers in our respective fields. For instance, those in psychology may believe that they can only be psychologists. Those in history may believe they can only be historians, archaeologists, or archivists. Those in English may believe they are on a path to becoming authors. For those like me in political science, we often assume our degree will lead to a life of long hours, travel and scandal as politicians or as a lawyer. 

We seem too focused on jobs that incorporate the knowledge we gain in our degrees. This may be the case for those in other faculties and science/math based programs. For instance, most students in the Faculty of Education want to become teachers, while many people in the nursing program have ambitions to become nurses or healthcare providers. However, for those of us in the social sciences and humanities, our job prospects are not as cut and dry and for many of us, we have no idea what we want to do after we graduate. Adding to this frustration of seeing those in other programs know what they want to do, the countless “studies” and articles written about degree career prospects all show that we as social science and humanities students are doomed to be unemployed after graduation and suffer a lifetime of under-employment. What is the purpose then of our degree? Did we waste all our money and time? Short answer - NO!

A popular question we get as Career Assistants in the Resource Centre is “what can I do with my degree?” To this I often ask if they know who Martin Dempsey is. Dempsey is a US General and former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reporting to the Secretary of Defence and the US President. As one of the highest ranking military officials in the United States, Dempsey holds a Master’s degree in Literature from Duke University where he wrote a thesis on Irish literature. Dempsey serves as a great example of someone who had a meaningful and successful career outside the "traditional jobs" English majors occupy. Like Dempsey, we must look beyond the information we learn throughout our degree and look more broadly at how we learn and engage with course material in order to better understand a) the skills we can bring to an employer and b) the endless job possibilities available to us. 

Instead of knowledge, those of us in social sciences and humanities should focus on transferable skills. Organization, teamwork, communication and leadership are all transferable skills that we gain throughout our undergraduate degree and are invaluable in any workplace. We gain these broad transferable skills by attending lecture and recording notes, preparing and presenting in seminars, researching and writing papers, and so on. Aside from these broad transferable skills your program may focus on more specific transferable skills. A full list of degree specific skills can be found on our degree exploration guides. By thinking outside the "traditional jobs" of our fields and focusing on the transferable skills we gain throughout our degree, those of us in the social sciences and humanities will find that a diverse selection of jobs and industries are available to us. While jobs directly related to our degree may be hard to come by, our degrees give us the skills we need to succeed in other job categories. 

Don’t be tied down to the restrictive list of traditional jobs for your field, think outside the box and DO NOT give too much weight to the studies that underestimate your degrees worth. Every degree and graduate is unique and can bring something to an employer. Stop by the Career Resource Centre in the Learning Commons and let us help you realize your degree’s value and job prospects. 

Mike Pratas
4th Year Political Science Major
Lead Career Assistant 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Summer Jobs

S: Start Early

U: Umm isn’t an option, start your engines... literally, there are so many job search engines for your viewing

M: Meet with people that help you become the best version of yourself! Like career services (shameless promotion)

M: Make use of your free time at the beginning of the semester and search!

E: Everyone wants to start late. But most of the jobs are posted early. Make sense? Not even a little, but that the reality!

R: Rule the world! When you start now, you can be picky over what jobs to apply for! There may be a job that is perfect for you! You won’t get this luxury later in the year.

J: Journal the progress of your job hunting so you can keep track of your progress

O: OH MY GOODNESS HELP! These moments is natural, trust me, I have them on the daily. That’s why there are resources like our Career Resource Centre along with other amazing facilities like the YMCA that is there for you. So don’t be afraid to reach out!

B: Boost up your resume and supporting documents all the time. This can be done by tailoring your documents through each job individually. We have some great tips readily available for you!

S: Stay positive! Control what you can, and let go of the things you can’t.

This was our fun way at saying, you have to start early! It’s amazing how early jobs are posted, so begin your summer process as soon as you can. Now, let’s chat with just the two of us on this. I really want you to get the position of your dreams. But what would that look like? Just imagine it… Seriously, take a few moments and just reflect, I’ll wait right here.
Welcome back. So think about the steps you need to do in order to achieve that dream goal. I can guarantee that people are going to need relevant experience and that is the beauty of having a summer job!

Happy searching, and all of the very best in your applications! 

Tyler Harris & Anthony Mancuso
Career Assistant's

The Rock Driving Meme | SO HAVE YOU STARTED LOOKING FOR A SUMMER JOB YET? I ALREADY FOUND ONE. | image tagged in memes,the rock driving | made w/ Imgflip meme maker