Job Search 101 for Students
Job searching takes time and effort. By putting it off, you might miss out on a potential opportunity. Start now and get a head start on your competition.
Consider your priorities
Setting your priorities will help you organize your job search. Priorities can include:
- balancing your schoolwork with your job (deciding how many hours/week can you work)
- developing skills
- gaining experience
- having fun
- making money
- meeting people in a field of interest
- participating in the Internship program for Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science (FESNS) and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS).
Think about what you have to offer an employer
Employers are looking for evidence that you can do the job. Your qualifications come from your education, paid and unpaid experience, extra-curricular activities, hobbies and interests. Use our skills inventory to put together your list of skills <insert link to a skills exercise)
Consider how your job search fits in with your career goals
You can research career areas online by logging into the portal and using Career Cruising and TypeFocus Careers. Review our tip sheets on what you can do with your degree. You can also meet with a career counsellor to discuss your goals.
Spread the word
It is estimated that 70 to 80 per cent of positions are never advertised. Talk to your friends, family, professors, teachers, previous employers, neighbours and others about your job search. Conduct information interviews to research your career and develop your network.
Search job listings
Check out the job listings in the Student Life Portal. In addition, check out some recommended job search sites. Job listings change frequently; we recommend checking the listings at least twice per week.
Update your resumé and cover letter
Did you know that, on average, employers spend less than 20 seconds reviewing your applications? As a result, resumés and cover letters need to be tailored for each position. Check out our online resumé and cover letter workshops. Use our resumé rubric and have your documents critiqued by an employment advisor.
Work on your interview skills
To stand out at the interview, you need to be well-prepared. Check out our online Interview Workshop and interview resources. You can practise your interview skills using Perfect Interview online and have a mock interview with an employment advisor.
Review and update your online presence
Did you know that, according to a recent survey from Jobvite, 78 per cent of recruiters have made a hire through social media and 93 per cent are likely to look at a candidate’s social media profile? Keep your profile up-to-date and professional. Check out our online job-search resources.
Know your rights
All job searchers in Ontario are protected by various employment laws, including:
- Employment Standards Act: View a short video describing the act.
- Ontario Human Rights Code: States that every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination or harassment because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.
- Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act: Learn more about Health and Safety for Young Workers.
Set concrete and realistic goals
Think about how much time you can spend on your job search. If you are currently in school, you will be balancing your job search with your studies. Remember to check in and see how you are doing so you can adjust your plan. You can meet with an employment advisor to review your progress.
The Career Centre is here to help.