Job Search Related Information
Job Tips - Resume Development
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Make sure someone has a look at your resume before you submit it to a potential employer.
Proof reading your resume is a must, and having other eyes look at it will prevent the embarrassment of submitting a resume that has spelling mistakes, improper punctuation or grammatical errors. Your resume can make the difference between getting an interview or not.
Preparing Your Marketing Tools Your resume and cover letter are your own personal marketing tools. They should make you stand out from the crowd so that the employer will want to invite you in for an interview. While you may spend hours writing and refining your resume and cover letter, the employer will only take a minute from his or her busy schedule to look at them. With this in mind, ask yourself how you can best get your message across to each potential employer.
Developing Your Resume
Resumes usually contain the following elements:
skills and/or accomplishments
work experience, education
a statement about references
While there are many formats you can use, the functional resume format - which focuses on skills and accomplishments rather than work history - is most appropriate for people with limited work experience. Even if you don't have any work experience, you can sell yourself by highlighting some of the skills and attributes you identified in your personal skills profile.
Customize each one to the company you're applying to and the job you're applying for. Yes, this means a little more work on your part, but think of it this way: The cover letter gives you a chance to point out exactly why you are perfect for this particular job.
Cover letters usually have three parts:
Opening - states your interest in the company and the job. Tells how you found out about the job opening or the company and why you are interested.
Middle - tells the employer what you have to offer the company by highlighting one or two qualifications you think would be of greatest interest. Points out special training or experience you have. Demonstrates that you know something about the company and/or industry.
Closing - expresses your appreciation for the employer's time and asks him/her to contact you or states that you will follow- up with them.
Cover Letter Example:
68 Pine Street
Cooksville, ON. PTA 5X3
September 5, 2009
Ms. Holly Peters, Manager
Cool Threads Clothing Store
25 Main St.
Cooksville, ON A1B 2C3
Re: Application for sales clerk position
Dear Ms. Peters:
Your ad in the August 10th edition of The Cooksville News for a sales clerk greatly interested me, as this position is very much in line with my immediate career objective - fashion design and/or retail.
I really enjoy working with people and have developed excellent communication skills as an assistant coach of a junior soccer team. This, combined with the fact that I am a highly motivated and conscientious worker makes a customer service position at Cool Threads a perfect fit for me. A resume detailing my skills and work experience is attached for your review.
I would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you to further discuss my qualifications. In the meantime, many thanks for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
(sign your name)
Cover Letter Checklist
Does your letter address the exact name and title of the contact person?
Did you use a natural writing style - professional but friendly?
Does your letter show that you know something about the company?
Does your letter demonstrate energy and enthusiasm?
Did you expand on your resume rather than repeat its content?
Did you sign your letter and give a phone number and/or e-mail address where you can be reached?
Did you have others check your letter for spelling and grammatical errors?
Get a jump start on your job search by attending one of our helpful workshops!
Participating in a workshop is a great way to better prepare yourself for the workplace. We offer several workshops that are designed to help young people get their foot in the door, or advance their career.
We cover topics such as: Succeeding in an Interview; How to Market Yourself for a Job; Workplace Safety; Customer Service Training and much more.
We deliver these workshops in a group setting and/or one-on-one at our Job Connect offices and in local high schools. If you want to register for a workshop, send us an e-mail at: JobConnect@algonquincollege.com (or) call your local Job Connect office.
Job Tips - Job Search
Now that you have your resume, cover letter and references, you can begin targeting businesses or organizations that you'd like to work for.
Apply for jobs at places that interest you - even if they are not advertising a job. Many jobs are never advertised, and even if employers aren't looking for someone at the time, they may keep you in mind for future openings. So expand your job-search and call businesses where you would like to work.
Find out who is responsible for hiring - get their names and their job titles. This is called tapping into the hidden job market. You could land a job by being at the right place at the right time and by making a good impression.
Be flexible and willing to take on casual work, any job that lasts five days or less, to gain experience while earning some money. Casual work can lead to full-time work or, at the very least, contacts that can steer you towards other opportunities.
Kinds of Jobs
There are 5 main areas in which young people with little or no work experience can often find jobs:
- Hospitality - hotel, restaurant, tour guide
- Office work - typist, receptionist, clerk
- Labour - construction, warehouse, landscaping
- Retail - grocery, retail outlet, cashier
- Recreation - camp counsellor, pool attendant, childcare
Put some feelers out. Get in touch with people you know who are working at places you're interested in or are in a career that appeals to you. Let them know you're looking and see if they can help you - even if it's just giving you the names and phone numbers of people you can call.
This is a great way to get meaningful work experience while learning new skills, meeting different people and contributing to your community. Contact organizations that need volunteers. Try to find volunteer work that will add to your existing skills set or help you explore different career possibilities.
Consider participating in the co-op program offered at your school. In addition to gaining practical work experience, you can get a feel for whether a career interest is worth pursuing.
Did You Know....?
50 to 75% of good jobs come from friends - and friends of friends - by word of mouth. Apply for jobs at places that interest you - even if they are not advertising a job. Many jobs are never advertised, and even if employers aren't looking for someone at the time, they may keep you in mind for future openings.
Job Tips - The Interview
When you apply for a job, in most cases you will need to attend an interview. The interview can be stressful if you are not prepared, and most jobs are won or lost during this critical hiring practice. You'll have only a short period of time to demonstrate that you are the person to hire. It may seem daunting, but there is a definite art to preparing for an interview. All too often, people - including your interviewer - have a tendency to judge a book by its cover. So, you'll have about 30 seconds to make a good first impression at your interview.
Keep in mind...you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Common Interview Questions
Being nervous is quite normal and expected in an interview setting. To calm your nerves, your best bet is preparation...
- learn as much as you can about the job and the company before arriving
- know the reasons why the employer would benefit from hiring you
- prepare questions that you think the employer might ask you - practice answering these questions
- know the location and time of the interview and arrive 10 minutes early
- think of some questions you can ask to show further interest in the employer's business
Don't be surprised if your interviewer takes notes. You should also bring a pen and paper so that you can jot down key points.
Surviving the Process
What should you do during the interview? Be honest, calm, polite, concise, interested and emphasize all your positive points. Be sensitive to your interviewer's nonverbal cues and respond appropriately. If you don't understand a question, politely ask for clarification and always be truthful in your answers. Be prepared for questions relating to your resume, courses, and grades. Once the interview is complete, thank the interviewer for their time and be sure to ask for a business card.
After the interview, it is courteous to follow up with a thank you letter expressing your gratitude for their time and restating your interest in the position.
Tips for successful interviews...
- dress more formally than you would normally for the job
- arrive 10 minutes early - review
- bring extra copies of your resume - minimum of 2
- introduce yourself first - don't wait
- be ready to shake hands - do it firmly
- show your energy and enthusiasm for the job
- listen closely to the interviewer
- make eye contact - demonstrates confidence and honesty
- answer all questions carefully and honestly - think before you answer
If you don't get the job...
- Don’t give up - finding a job can take time...
- try not to feel depressed and dejected - stay focused
- send a thank you letter anyway - there may be other jobs
- review your cover letter, resume and interview techniques
- ask the employer what you could have done better
Don't try too hard to impress the interviewer. Just relax and be yourself.
Job Tips - Electronic Resume
Organizations lose productivity when positions remain vacant. Technology has now provided employers and recruiters with new tools to expedite the recruitment and hiring process, enabling quicker access and evaluation of job applicants and their qualifications.
Some organizations are utilizing electronic mail as a delivery option for resumes. Many recruiters prefer to receive resumes electronically because it moves applicants quickly through the hiring process; they either scan the document visually or send it on for computer scanning, electronically forwarding to hiring managers those resumes that meet job requirements.
Other organizations request job seekers visit their website and complete applications online. Applicants are directed to complete a number of fields and insert a plain text resume.
Plain text or ASCII is the text of choice for resumes transmitted electronically or via the Internet. ASCII bridges the gap between the multitude of word-processing and electronic mail programs because it is universally recognized by personal computers, Macintosh computers, UNIX workstations, and mainframe terminals. But not all organizations are either set up or want to receive their resumes or applications in electronic format, so you must identify and comply with organizational requirements before you apply.
When to Send an Electronic Resume
You’ll prepare and send a resume in plain text or ASCII when:
- A hiring manager or recruiter requests one.
- A newspaper employment listing states you should forward your resume and provides an electronic mail (e-mail) address.
- An organization requests on its website that you use its e-mail address to deliver your resume.
- An organization provides an on-line form on its website to quickly forward your resume and cover letter in ASCII text.
What to Say in Electronic Resumes
Electronic resumes start out as either traditional or scannable resumes, so you’ll use the appropriate content from your traditional or scannable resume.
What Not to Say in Electronic Resumes
Don’t use an electronic mail address from work; use a personal electronic mail address.
Avoid unprofessional-sounding screen names.
Remember, when employers open their electronic mail, they see a listing with the subject and sender. It is more appropriate to send a message from Sambates@abc.com rather then Poodlelover@abc.com.
TIP: Choose black text only. Color text will take longer to transmit and may be unreadable
How to Say It in Electronic Resumes
STEP 1: Evaluate the job you are seeking and locate the job requirements.
STEP 2: Determine if you have an existing resume on file that meets the criteria.
STEP 3: If your resume meets the criteria, follow the directions under ldquo;Formatting Electronic resumes.”
STEP 4: If your resume does not demonstrate that you meet the job requirements, save it as a new document.
Work through each section, detailing skills, experience, education, training and credentials that match job specifications.
Tips on Writing Electronic Resumes
Prepare your resume in your word-processing program and use the spelling checker.
Proof the electronic mail address, subject, and your electronic resume carefully before sending. It is easy to hit the wrong keys when using electronic mail so carefully check for errors before transmitting.
Formatting Electronic Resumes
How you format your resume prior to transmittal determines how it will look when received. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure legibility.
- Use left justification for all text.
- Remove all special effects such as ruling lines, bullets, bold, italics, and underline.
- Use uppercase to emphasize section headings, job titles, organization names, colleges/universities, and degrees. (These are just examples; choose uppercase only for the items you want to highlight.)
- Balance spacing and uppercase to complement appearance and legibility. Space text carefully for clarity.
- Set your right hand margin to 6 or 6.5 inches to ensure no more than 75 characters per line. This should eliminate the problem of premature line wraps.
- Convert all text to ASCII.
- Save the entire document as a text file.
Producing Electronic Resumes
When you are ready to mail your resume electronically, follow these steps:
STEP 1 : Copy your resume using the pull-down edit menu.
STEP 2 : Open your electronic mail program.
STEP 3 : Select “compose a message”
STEP 4 : Fill in the address section with the e-mail address of your recipient.
STEP 5 : Use the subject area to state what you are sending, for example:
Resume for Billing Supervisor” or “IT Manager Resumes.”
STEP 6 : Paste your resume into the body of the e-mail message.
STEP 7 : Review the message to ensure adequate spacing, no premature line breaks, and ease in readability.
STEP 8 : Send your message.
TIP : Send a copy of your electronic resume to yourself, print it out, and evaluate its visual appearance
68 Pine Street
Performance-oriented high school student, with an excellent reputation as a responsible and hard-working achiever, seeking a retail position in the fashion industry.
- people-oriented, motivated and honest
- strong communication and teamwork skills
- organized, reliable and methodical
- creative problem-solver
Assistant Coach-Cooksville Soccer Association 99/00
- instructed and supervised junior team
- performed administrative tasks for coach as required
Cooksville Senior High School, Cooksville, ON
- completing grade 11 requirements with 78% average
References Available Upon Request
References are your chance to get credit for things you've done in the past. A reference can be anyone other than a family member or close friend who knows about your work habits or your personality. An employer may want to call your references to find out more about you.
There's no need to list references on your resume - you may indicate that they are available on request. If someone is willing to provide you with a written reference, you might want to have a few copies handy.
Remember to always keep your resume short, easy to read and error free. Have a friend, parent or teacher proofread your resume - a well written resume increases your chances of getting an interview dramatically!
You need to attach a cover letter to every resume you send out, whether you mail, e-mail, fax or personally deliver it. However, your best not to send out the same cover letter to every employer.