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Job Preparation

Resumés and Cover Letters

Employers spend approximately six seconds the first time they look at your resumé. We can help you create effective, tailored documents to help you grab employers' attention in that short period of time.

Top five resumé and cover letter tips

  1. Consider which skills you have to offer an employer.
  2. Review job descriptions carefully to see what the individual employer is seeking.
  3. Use a resumé format that best links your skills to the needs of employers using evidence-based statements.
  4. Tailor each resumé and cover letter.
  5. Check, double-check and triple-check your documents to make sure there are no spelling, grammatical or typographical errors.

Online resources

In person

Are you looking for one-on-one feedback on a resumé or cover letter you’ve created? You can log in to the Student Life Portal and set up an appointment with an employment advisor or co-op co-ordinator. Please bring a copy of your resumé or cover letter and a copy of a job description (if you have one).

Interview Help

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first part of the application screening process and landed an interview.

Your employer will be looking for key things from you during your interview. These include:

  • Examples of where you demonstrated the core skills/qualifications.
  • Evidence that you have researched the organization and know what it does and what its challenges are.
  • Solid interpersonal and communication skills.
  • An ability to respond to situational ("What would you do if...?") and behavioural ("Give me an example where you...") questions.
  • Seeing if your answers are consistent the information you have supplied in your resumé and online profile.

Interview preparation tips

  1. Review the job description. Take the time to review the job description to look for key skills the employer is seeking.
  2. Research the employer. Review the employer's website. Who are their competitors? Does the employer have mission statements?
  3. Review your resumé, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile, ensure you update it in case the employer reviews.
  4. Practice. Research potential interview questions and practice what you are going to say. Please see below for some Career Centre resources to help you.
  5. Get ready for the big day. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed. Print extra copies of your resumé in case the employer needs it. Plan your route so you are sure to arrive 15 minutes early for the interview.
  6. Use the STAR technique. Describe the situation, task, action and result.
  7. Send a personalized thank you note to each interviewer. Thank you notes enable you to thank the employer and add any information you might have missed. Good thank-you notes can have a significant impact on the hiring committee.

Online resources

In-person

We offer practice interviews. Log in to the Student Life Portal and set up up a 60-minute appointment with an employment advisor or a co-op co-ordinator. Please bring a copy of your resumé/cover letter and a copy of a job description (if you have one).

Job Search 101

Start now

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.

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:

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. Set up an appointment on the Student Life Portal.

Are you looking for one-on-one feedback on a resumé or cover letter you’ve created? You can log in to the Student Life Portal and set up an appointment with an employment advisor or co-op coordinator, or contact the Career Centre by phone at 905.721.8668 ext. 3824 or by email at careercentre@uoit.ca.

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