Students often combine their studies with many types of work experience that equip them to confidently take on the ever-changing professional world after they graduate.
The job market looks especially different after the last year and finding work opportunities can seem more competitive and challenging than before. Here are some practical and actionable advice for students looking for a job.
Be flexible with your short-term employment goals
Students should start by doing some research on how the pandemic has affected their industry of choice, in terms of the positions available and the current working conditions, whether it’s in-person or virtual.
Being open to jobs in different industries where students can apply their transferable skills is also recommended.
Transferable skills include the interpersonal, communication, organizational and problem-solving skills obtained through previous jobs, volunteer work, participating in extracurricular activities or simply completing a university degree. These skills are not industry-specific.
Stay up-to-date on who’s hiring
We recommend following articles such as ‘Who’s hiring in Canada, external link’ from LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on companies with current job opportunities. Hashtags such as #NowHiring on LinkedIn and keywords such as ‘Immediate Hire’ on Indeed.com are also useful resources.
In general, many industries such as technology, entertainment, health care, online education, e-commerce and cybersecurity are actively looking for candidates right now.
Create strong, tailored job applications
It’s always important for students to customize their resumé and cover letter for each specific job – but since the pandemic, it’s crucial.
Your application is a marketing document to get you the interview. Incorporating keywords in the job description that match your skills and experience, to make it past the applicant tracking systems that many companies use to screen resumés before a pair of human eyes sees them.
The Career & Co-op Centre has online resources to help students create a resumé employers will love, external link and learn how to write compelling cover letters, external link.
Practice virtual interviewing
Virtual interviews have become more common during the pandemic. To make a good impression on an employer, the career experts recommend practising virtual interviews to get comfortable speaking into a webcam, answering common interview questions and preparing for technical difficulties.
Seek opportunities to build new skills, gain experience and grow your network
There are lots of free online career learning opportunities available for students navigating the job market.
We suggest signing up for webinars, external link, accessing skill-building opportunities through LinkedIn Learning, or other e-learning platforms, and building professional connections through google docvirtual coffee chats, external link.
Networking can help students tap into the hidden job market, which includes positions that may only be available to people referred to the hiring manager. Online networking can help establish professional relationships with individuals in a role or company of interest through a mutual exchange of ideas and information.
Ask for help, practise self-compassion and patience! Job searching is a difficult process even under normal circumstances. With online learning, lockdowns and prioritizing mental wellbeing while caring for loved ones, it’s even more challenging for students to research and apply for jobs.
*Ressources: Ryerson University