It’s that time of the year again! Where students of all backgrounds are conducting their job search, whether it is for summer employment, on-campus positions, or entry-level roles for recent graduates. To some, job hunting may present itself as a challenge due to confusing job requirements or application rejections. No matter your job search scenario, you can overcome job search anxiety and find a path to success by following five simple tips!
1. Know Your Career Goals
One of the best ways to start your job search is through self-reflection and awareness. Through introspection you will be able to recognize your talents and successes, and areas for improvement.
Ask yourself the following questions:
a. What are your strengths?
b. What are your likes and dislikes?
c. What are your interests?
d. What do you want to gain from the experience? Setting short-term and long-term goals.
Having an idea of your career goals will also allow you to construct a plan that will lead you to your desired path.
2. Plan Ahead
The next step is to plan! To get your foot in the door, have some action steps in mind can help you achieve your goals. One step in doing so, is to piece together an image; What is required of me now, to get to where I want to be? This form of introspection, accompanied by mustering the courage to make it happen, will guide you on the right path. Another key component in planning, is being proactive. Work ahead to refine and control your career narrative. It is advised to refrain from starting your job search at the last minute, but instead you can start acting in advance (through preparation) for the future. One way of doing so is to work out how you can uniquely display your qualifications for a role. For example, conducting informational interviews and researching key points of the company/organization you are interested in, can be collected and addressed in your application. During your planning and preparation, it is also important to anticipate the needs of the positions you desire. What do I need to know? What certifications do I require? Participating in training and workshops in advance will help you acquire these skills before it becomes an issue. Lastly, planning is closely followed by organization. Keep a calendar of the due dates and keep record of your application processes.
3. Get Resume & Cover Letter Help
Resumes and cover letters are key documents that are often requested by employers to help select ideal candidates. To stand out, you need to be compelling in describing your narrative. Instead of listing your experiences, you need to frame your experiences and qualifications like you are telling a story. To help you get started you can visit Brock University’s CareerZone Portal https://careerzone.brocku.ca. This is where you can find a plethora of resources (i.e., guidelines, resume statements, etc.). You can also submit your drafted resume and cover letter to the CareerZone email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for review.
4. Utilize All Job Search Resources
Not only does CareerZone have resources available in constructing your resume and cover letter, but it houses other tools to help maximize your job hunt. These include the CZ job board (on/off-campus opportunities), Outcome Campus Connect job board and a section dedicated to job search websites that ranges from employment in summer camps to government positions. Another useful tool is LinkedIn (a professional networking site), where you can connect with individuals with similar fields of interest and utilize the job search tool. This platform will also help you to build your online presence and make you visible to recruiters. Making use of associations and your informal and formal networks are a great source of exchanging information. Another great tip is navigating organization/company platforms to look for available opportunities.
5. Stay Positive!
Job search may be tiring, but it is important to remain optimistic and navigate the application process with confidence. Remember, job hunting is an active process, not a passive process.