Tag Archives: work

Job Hunting Advice for the First Time Student

If you’re new to the working world with no experience, no references, and are driven by the sole purpose of getting any job that comes your way, job hunting is gonna be tough. I haven’t updated my blog for the past few weeks because I’ve been busily working on my resume, writing cover letters, and applying for jobs. The whole process took a lot longer and was more difficult than I had anticipated (and is ongoing, since I still haven’t been hired) [Update, I’ve been hired] . So, here are some things I’ve learned from the past few weeks that I thought I’d share for any first-student-job-hunters. Here are three things you’ll  need to have to get a job:

1.Resume Write a good resume. It will take time, and it will take a lot of mental effort to conger up with the right magic words that will sell you to an employer. Don’t fret. There are many valuable resources online to aid you. One great resources for general resume, cover letter, and job interview tips is ResumeBear.com. This blog has all sorts of advice and words of wisdom that will be very helpful to anyone looking for employment, be they experienced or not. Don’t forget to get your resume critiqued. Ask a family member or someone you know who holds a managerial position to review your resume. You can also ask a teacher or counselor. If you’re in a post-secondary institution that offers co-op, ask a few friends you know that are in a co-op program to take a look at your resume.  Every post-secondary institution has some sort of student career centre, where the staff specialize in helping students build job-hunting skills. Look up your school’s career centre and sign up for a workshop on how to build resumes. A good resume will bring you that much closer to getting a job. No typo’s. (those silly little mistakes that are more from you forgetting to put a space between words or hitting “s” instead of “a” on your keyboard)

2.Cover Letter  (optional, depending on circumstance) A cover letter is a summary you give employers of why you of all people should get the job. Cover letters are where you will stand out, and are often the first thing an employer  at when they’re sifting through piles of resumes. How to write a cover letter depends on your job. All in all, a cover letter should give reasons why you feel you’re best suited for the job, with some reasons/examples to back you up. Don’t go repeating your resume. Depending on the nature of your application, say if you’re applying for a job your aunt is hooking up with, or if you apply to a job at a career fair, you may not have the opportunity or need to write a cover letter. The key is to say what your resume cannot. Here’s some resume cover letter tips you can follow to help you.

3.Interview Skills So once you manage to bull earn your way to an interview, you’re going to have to answer questions and prove to your potential boss that you are worth their time and money. My best advice would be to go on YouTube.com and search “interview tips.” There are all sorts of good videos there. Here’s one I particularly liked that describes how to answer the “Tell me about yourself” interview question, which can be pretty overwhelming if you’re not prepared. Practice, practice, practice, and when you think you’ve had enough, practice. I don’t mean in front of your mirror; no, you need to practice your answers to your family, your roommates, your friends and your teachers. This isn’t to say they’ll know any better than you about what your interviewer is looking for, but repeated practice will give you  confidence. That, my lovely reader, is the an important key to passing an interview.

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Would you ever… work or study abroad?

Would you ever cross oceans and continents, leaving your family and friends and everything familiar behind in the name of your future? Take international students for example. At the University of Waterloo, where I attend classes, there are a number of students from different parts of the country, continent, and all over the world. I know some people who have also moved far from people they care about for a job. Would you do it? Have you already? I wonder where the biggest challenges come in adapting to a new environment. Language is probably a really big one. There is only so much one can learn from the classroom. Food is probably another issue. The most difficult hurdle in adapting to a new location is likely the cultural difference. In a different society, different behaviours are deemed deviant; what may be unacceptable where you are from might be accepted in a new environment.

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