Job Hunting

Helpful Resources

So here’s where you can find all of the job hunting tips you may need. This may seem kind of unrelated to the theme of this blog, BUT no matter how cheap you try to be, you still need money to pay for everything and make yourself a desirable future employee.

This page will cover information on;

Something to remember; you’re selling the best qualities about yourself that are applicable to the job that you’re applying for. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, but focus on what you can bring to the table when it comes to that particular job

Resume’s

First thing before you even start looking for jobs, you need to get a decent resume together

Resume’s can be tailored a bit to the specific job you are applying for whether it be a retail job, lab job or even a more corporate one (this can be done once you know where you’re applying to). But a good resume is super important before you start looking at jobs.

I am a little biased when it comes to websites, but this is definitely a good start when it comes to building your resume.

It includes different types of resumes, including visual examples of different styles which is often a lot more helpful then someone just telling you what to include on a resume.

Types of resumes (as found on the website above, click on the types to see examples);

  • Chronological – experience is listed based on the date in which you worked/still work
    • Often the best choice when you have a lot of previous work/volunteer experience
  • Functional– includes multiple sections within the resume; ie. education, skills, related experience
    • Often the best choice when you don’t have a ton of experience but have a lot of skills learned from school that you want to still showcase on your resume ie. lab experience
  • Combination– a mix of both the chronological and functional
    • Works well if you have a bit of experience and decent exposure to classroom experience that is easy to connect to a possible job opportunity

Choose one of these types of resume styles based on your level/amount of experience. 

Some important points to remember

  • Despite how much it sucks, how your resume looks is ridiculously important
    • Make sure your resume flows well and formatting is kept standard
    • Keep the way you write dates out in the same format ie. January-May, 2010 and March-June, 2009
    • Make sure to number your pages if you have more than 1, and include your name and contact information on BOTH pages
    • Keep the same style font throughout the body of the resume
  • If you have enough experience and skills 2 pages is not a bad thing, it means you have experience and a fair amount of it
  • BUT don’t simply make your resume 2 pages just so you can say you did, if you don’t have enough experience, keep it to a page
  • You don’t need to write References available upon request  at the bottom of your resume, if the people interviewing you want them, they will ask 
    • Always make sure you have your references on a list printed out and ready to give to you interviewer in case they ask (this will also be in the interview section anyway

Most importantly, if your university/college offers free resume and cover letter help take it. It’s always a great idea to run something by another person, especially someone that has probably seen hundreds of them. Use your resources.

Resume Heat-Map; How Recruiters look at Your Resume

 Cover Letter’s

Despite what you may think, you need a cover letter for almost every job you apply for.

  • It’s your chance to connect the job experience you have with the skills needed for the job you are applying for.

Examples:

Different types of cover letters

Some tips;

  • Print out or have a copy of the job posting when you are writing your cover letter, you need to match up the requirements and duties listed in the job description to previous work experience YOU have
  • Don’t make your cover letter too wordy. Especially in the first paragraph. Get to the point, and introduce yourself in the best way possible
  • Stay positive and be confident when you write your cover letter

How the Cover Letter is divided up

  • Address and names of both you and the employer/person who is recruiting
    • Make sure you keep address formats consistent
    • You can use your school address for jobs in the city your school is in, or use your home address (it all depends on the location of the job)
    • Refer to the hiring manager/employer by Mr. Ms. or Dr. whatever the case, research and figure out if they are a male or female- LinkedIn can often be pretty helpful
    • If a name hasn’t been given, use To Whom It May Concern,
  • First paragraph
    • This is where you introduce yourself, talk about the program you’re taking, the school you go to, as well as connect something interesting about the job and what you can do for the company if they hire you
      • This first paragraph is where you can show off the fact that you have done some research on the company and what they do
  • Second paragraph
    • This section is where you connect the information found in the job description to your previous work or volunteer experience as well as what you have learned in school.
      • The more work/volunteer experience you can showcase in this section the better
    • This will be your longest paragraph, but make sure that you focus on connecting what you have done and how it will make you the best person for the position you are applying for
  • Third paragraph
    • This is another chance for you to sell yourself, summarize the main points you made in the second paragraph
    • Make sure to thank the person in charge of hiring (and the person you addressed the cover letter to) that you appreciate their time
    • Also this is where you will put your e-mail and cell number so it is easy for them to contact you

Interview’s

Here are a few of my personal tips when it comes to interviews.

  • Know your resume, and the skills that you can bring to the table
  • Read through the job description before you go, and make sure you can explain and match up the skills you have with what they are looking for
  • Bring a copy of your references with you, I often bring a portfolio as well with past work that I have done as well as copies of my resume and cover letter
  • Make sure to dress for success, often a full business suit is your best bet (more often for business jobs)

Make sure you are prepared for at least these 4 questions;

  • Why are you here? What brings you to our company? i.e What do you know about this organization?
  • What kind of person are you? i.e. What are your goals, values, personality traits?
  • What can you do for our company? What can you do for me? i.e What are you skills, special knowledge, and aspirations?
  • How much are you going to cost? i.e. what are your salary expectations? What will you cost in training? etc.

I have also often been asked to describe/introduce myself right at the beginning of an interview;

  • It is best to state your name, the university you go to, what you’re studying and discuss a bit of your previous work experience and a quality that would definitely make you stand out to the people interviewing you

ALWAYS- Provide examples of previous work experience or school projects that you have done when you are asked a question. And when talking about a project make sure to conclude with the end result and how it well you did on the project, what conclusions you drew from the experience etc.

For example; When have you had to work in teams and how have you dealt with any conflict that has occurred?

  • School project (include a brief description, it is best if this is relevant to the job you are applying, if not work your example in your favour).. no one was taking the lead, so I took it upon myself to organize and lead the group in order for us to achieve our goals of a successful report and presentation on…

For further information on answering techniques including the STARR techinque for behavioural questions. Check out the University of Guelph’s CECS website here