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  • Writer's pictureMatt Shaw

How to Conduct an Individual Job Search

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

By: Reagan Bradley

So many entry-level jobs require that you have experience. In most cases, what you’ve learned in your program won’t satisfy this need.

An amazing thing about Carleton University is that many of their programs offer a co-op option. Co-ops and internships are a perfect way to gain hands-on working experience before even having left school.

Getting a co-op or an internship placement is easier said than done. I’ve struggled myself but through my experience, I’ve learned the following tricks to conducting an individual job search:

1. Start with the Basics

Most of you will know the following job engine sites: Talentegg, Indeed, Workopolis to name a few. Start your research here. Take a look at entry-level positions in your desired industry to discover what skills and qualifications companies are looking for.

2. Build Your Personal Brand

Once you’ve discovered which skills are needed for the entry-level candidate position, it’s your job to get yourself recognized. Start by building your LinkedIn profile and tailoring your resume. Include all the relevant experience you have whether that be through jobs, volunteer or extracurricular positions. The better your profile looks the more likely you will be recruited!

3. Research Specific Companies

Many companies opt-out of submitting job-postings on major job search engine sites to avoid application overload. Sometimes it takes going to a company website and consistently monitoring their job page to find potential internship opportunities.

4. Conduct Informational Interviews

If you want a job at a specific company, I suggest you research their employees. Take a look at their LinkedIn to see what experience they had before achieving their current position. Once you’ve narrowed down who you’d like to talk to, take it upon yourself to reach out to them to conduct an informational interview. This is a great way to connect with a professional while learning more about the company and the industry.

5. Attend Networking Nights

You’re going to have to get over your fear at some point because networking nights are the best way to get your face out to industry professionals. Attending networking nights shows that you’re a self-motivated student who’s eager for a new opportunity. Take this time to speak with professionals, exchange business cards and learn what companies are out there.

6. Create Personalized Cover Letters

Although having a standardized cover letter is better than having no cover letter at all, it almost isn’t. Your cover letter is your opportunity to sell yourself, which is why it’s so important to tailor your experiences relevant to the job requirements listed on the posting. Use your cover letter as a way to reveal your personality and always remember to express your enthusiasm for the company.

As you read this post company’s are searching for their next summer co-op student or intern. With summer just around the corner I highly recommend you begin your summer job search now.

Good luck!

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