Do some labour market research and start to network. This is the advice that Career Services regularly gives to students who are unsure about what they want to do when they graduate.
Talk to people in the know
The best way to find out what it is like to work within an industry is to talk to people who work in it. They know what a typical day is like, what they like most and least, and how they got to be in their current position. Talking to professionals gives you access to information that is not available in job descriptions or websites.
Minimize risks, shine in interviews, and find hidden jobs
Minimize the risk of pursuing a career that doesn’t actually fit with your skills, experience, personality and/or values.
Insider knowledge can help you to create winning targeted resumés and shine in interviews. Once you know what really matters to an industry or organization, make sure that you showcase these. A job description doesn’t always tell the full story about what an organization is genuinely looking for.
Developing relationships with industry professionals is probably one of the most important things that you can do to successfully manage your career. Building your professional network offers the opportunity to continually learn and develop while opening hidden doors.
Approximately 75% of available jobs are not advertised. Rather than post online, organizations recruit via their professional networks creating a “hidden job market.” To access these opportunities you need to be trusted, valued and liked enough to be referred to a job.
But I hate networking
Networking doesn’t appeal to everyone. Here are our top five tips to make it as painless as possible!
- Be prepared: Figure out the format of the event (is it all networking, or is there a panel/information session element?), the purpose of the event (is it a hiring event or simply networking?), and how you will answer the inevitable question of “so, what do you do?”
- Set some realistic personal goals: Will you stay for a minimum of 30 minutes? Will you stay until you have spoken with at least five people? You don’t need to speak to everyone in the room or stay for the full event, but set yourself some achievable goals so that you don’t just arrive…and leave.
- Dress for success: How you dress will depend on the event and the industry. If the event does not stipulate a dress code, you can always ask. Dress according to your industry—look at your dream organization’s website to see how their employees are dressed. This is not an interview, but you still want to be seen as a professional.
- Know if the Canucks won last night: You are not only going to talk about business! A great way to connect with people is to engage in genuine conversations, and this doesn’t always have to be industry focused. Keep up-to-date with current news and events.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself: You might get nervous, forget a name or accidently interrupt a conversation—this is not the end of the world! Don’t let one mistake put you off attending future events.
Come to Industry Day at Cap U
On Thursday, November 3, Career Services is offering Capilano University students the opportunity to network with industry professionals and learn more about their industries and careers. We hope you can join us for Industry Day at Cap U!
Submitted by Eilidh Sligo, Career Services
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