5 tips for getting the job
The purpose of a college education is to give you the skills and resources you need to get your career moving. But once it ends, it’s on you to take those skills, and get yourself employed. Colleges do their best to connect you to employers and job opportunities, but it still may come down to a simple job hunt. Fear not, though. Here are some tips to help ensure that hunt goes as smoothly as possible, starting while you’re still in school.
1) Start now
This first tip is simple: Don’t wait until school’s over. Job searching will take time, and you need to give it that time. Even if the first company you apply to is the one that hires you, the process can still take months. Unpaid months. Get a running start if you can. If you’re worried about losing opportunities due to your ongoing schooling, then simply provide your anticipated graduation date in your application. You have the resources, now the onus is on you to have the drive to get your career moving.
2) Get to know people
When it comes to employment, a good professional network is more useful than a thousand job postings. A professional network, essentially, is who you know, a group of people with industry connections.
But how does one get this network? It begins in school, and it starts with your fellow classmates. They all want to get into your industry. They’ll all be professionals one day. Getting to know your cohort, and keeping up with them when school finishes is the first step in forging that network, and it can make them lend career support to you.
Secondly, there’s your instructors. In college, they’re industry professionals, too. Get to know them, and stay in touch. If they’re teaching at a college, it means that they want to help, and may similarly connect you with opportunities.
Finally, it’s possible your program will give you a field placement, internship, or co-op opportunity. When you’re there, get to know the professionals you’re working with. Even if the company doesn’t hire you (a likely thing, as you’re there to learn, not to try out for a job), leaving a strong impression and staying in touch may lead them to help you out and connect you with opportunities.
3) Use our resources
College being about employment and all, they possess some very practical resources you can use to get your job search going. For example, Centennial College’s Career Services and Cooperative Education Centre can net you counselling, portfolio development, and links to online job postings via the HireCentennial portal. Have a look:
Of course, while the school will provide you with resources, the onus is still on you to make the final step, and actually use what you have.
4) Treat job hunting like a 9-5
If you’re no longer at school, and you’re looking for a job, the temptation to take it easy, and revert to laziness is there. With nowhere to go, you can sleep in till 10 in the morning, stay in your pyjamas till 1, send out a couple of resumes and call it a day. That won’t work. You need to wake up early, hunt hard, and finish late. In a world where 200 people apply to every LinkedIn posting (seriously, check the number beside each post), sometimes you need to cover the market, and spread your resume far and wide. Or better yet….
5) Create your own work
If you’re stuck job hunting at home all day, perhaps you can create some work for yourself. That same blog again tells another story, where one woman turned her passion for stationery into her own business. In fact, Centennial College is looking to support entrepreneurs that see themselves creating their own work with their new ACCEL (Accelerator for Centennial Community Entrepreneurs and Leaders) program, which will be taking in its first group of entrepreneurs-to-be in January. The aim of the program is to find students looking to create their own jobs, and connect them to the resources and guidance they need.
I won’t sugar coat it: Employment isn’t simple and straightforward. It takes time, determination, and a bit of luck. College will give you the tools, and with the right attitude, you can put them to use, and secure your dream career.
By: Anthony Geremia