Job hunting tips:

-Positive attitude
-Job sources
-Direct contact
-Work search steps
-Employability skills profile
-The hidden job market

Finding jobs on your own:

Some people believe that the difference between those who find jobs and those who do not is simply luck, but this is not normally the case. Those who find jobs are successful because they know how to conduct an effective job search. They devise a thorough plan and have a good strategy.

Positive attitude:

Looking for a job is matter of attitude. Assume a positive attitude. Remember, as a student or graduate you are now looking for the job you want. People who have already decided they do not have a chance, are not likely to succeed. Rate the following statements "true" or "false", taking note of those that rated false, determining what you might do to improve.

-I am pleased with my self-image.
-I have fulfilled some of my personal goals.
-I consciously work toward achieving my goals.
-I know what obstacles may stand between me and my goals and have devised a plan to get around them.
-I have a long-range career objective.
-I am confident the career program i have now is helping me reach that objective.
-I am continually developing my technical skills.
-I am continually developing my social skills.
-My career plan is flexible enough that i am free to alter it if i so desire.
-I have an up-to-date resume prepared.
-I seek advice and guidance of others to get an objective view on my career.
-I thoroughly prepare before job interviews, so i know as much as possible about the company and position i am applying to.
-I prepare questions to ask at an interview.
-I do my best to look neat and act courteous at an interview.
-I treat all my co-workers/students with fairness, honesty and respect.

Job sources:

You must organize your job search. To do this intelligently you must understand and utilize all available sources of information. The people you know are one of the best sources available to you, yet one that initially is not properly utilized. Pride is a big factor here. Not many people like to admit that they are looking for a job. However, if you approach others for their help and advice, they will be responsive. Contacts should not only include people you know professionally, but also those you know socially. Don't overlook anyone. This process is often referred to as "networking".


Since a high percentage of job vacancies are filled by referrals, it is important that you begin to develop your network. A good place to start is by listing people who are part of your network. Possible contacts can include:

-Fellow students/colleagues
-Current and former employers
-Business associates
-Friends and relatives
-Religious and political leaders
-Social and community contacts
-Former teachers
-Coaches and team members

Touch base with each one of your contacts and make them aware of your situation. Even though they may not have anything specific to offer, they can give you valuable leads. Don't let it stop there! Ask if they can make contacts for you, or get permission to use their names. This will open doors because it constitutes an endorsement which will have some impact. You may be given names of people you do not know. Begin pursuing these leads. This helps to advance the process of networking. Directories of professional and technical societies can also serve as a source for names of people. These are available in libraries and employment centres.

Direct contract:

You can make the employer's job of finding talented, motivated students much easier by taking your own initiative in approaching employers that are involved in a field of work that attracts your interest.

Work search steps:

1. Identify your interests, skills and knowledge level.

What careers, work, hobby activity are you interested in?
What skills do you have from your past education, volunteer, part-time/full-time job?
What knowledge have you gathered from past education, life experience and from simply "doing"?

2. Establish your career opportunities.

What are you looking for in the long term? Identify short, medium and long term goals with realistic action steps to achieve those goals. These goals need to reflect personal, educational, and career expectations.

3. Prepare/update your resume.

Your resume is a sales tool and one of the first steps in work search.
You might only have 5-10 seconds to attract the readers interest, so your resume is serious business and requires considerable effort on appearance & content.

4. Assess the job market through research.

What job careers are out there and how prominent are they where you live?
What careers are destined for strong futures?
What are the salary/remuneration expectations from available careers?

5. Develop job search techniques and strategies.

Include networking, self-marketing, telephone handling, effective job fair attendance, classified advertising review.
Ouc's co-op education & student employment services centre has a very user friendly website that should be utilized by all students.

6. Develop appropriate cover letters and other correspondence.

No more than three paragraphs explaining who you are, why you are qualified, ask for the interview/job.

7. Prepare for interviews.

Understand interview phrases, know your personal skills checks, review interview questions & checklists, etc.
Be sure to practice.

8. Follow up and follow through!

Be sure to stay in touch with the networks you create.
Do not refrain from asking questions regarding hiring plans for the future.
Maintain a scheduled regular routine of contact with those firms you are most keen to be employed by and who would have appropriate opportunities for you.

9. Accept the position of your choice!

Be persistent with your efforts.
If you have done your homework you will know if the opportunity is right for you when it comes around.

Academic skills:

Those skills which provide the basic foundation to get, keep and progress on a job and to achieve the best results. Canadian employers need a person who can:

1. Communicate

Understand and speak the languages in which business is conducted
Listen to understand and learn
Read, comprehend and use written materials, including graphs, charts and displays
Write effectively in the languages in which business is conducted

2. Think

Think critically and act logically to evaluate situations, solve problems and make decisions
Understand and solve problems involving mathematics and use the results
Use technology, instruments, tools and information systems effectively
Access and apply specialized knowledge from various fields (e.g. skilled trades, technology, physical sciences, arts and social sciences)

3. Learn

Continue to learn for life
Personal management skills

The combination of skills, attitudes and behaviours required to get, keep and progress on a job and to achieve the best results. Canadian employers need a person who can demonstrate:

1. Positive attitudes and behaviours

Self-esteem and confidence
Honesty, integrity and personal ethics
A positive attitude toward learning, growth and personal health
Initiative, energy and persistence to get the job done

2. Responsibility

The ability to set goals and priorities in work and personal life
The ability to plan and manage time, money and other resources to achieve goals
Accountability for actions taken

3. Adaptability

A positive attitude toward change
Recognition of and respect for people's diversity and individual differences
The ability to identify and suggest new ideas to get the job done - creatively

Teamwork skills

Those skills needed to work with others on a job and to achieve the best results. Canadian employers need a person who can:

Work with others:

-Understand and contribute to the organization's goals
-Understand and work within the culture of the group
-Respect the thoughts and opinions of others in the group
-Exercise "give and take" to achieve group results
-Seek a team approach as appropriate
-Lead when appropriate, mobilizing the group for high performance

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