Career services’ Andrew Bascome advises students on how to job search smartly
As the academic year draws to a close, it’s crunch time for students. While exam prep is a big part of that crunch, many students deal with a second pressure: finding work after school is over.
Luckily, Andrew Bascome, a career developer assistant at George Brown College, has five tips to share on how to lockdown a job after school.
1. Keep track of your job search
Bascome said that sometimes students don’t have a strategy when they search for jobs. But keeping a log to track your applications and responses is a helpful way to lighten the load from the expectations and anxiety that comes with job-hunting.
“It helps students to commit to an opportunity,” he said. “If they apply today and two weeks later they don’t hear anything, it’s good to follow-up, and then at least they know they tried,” said Bascome.
He suggested using the following template for the job log: name of organization, date you applied, whether you applied online or in person and any comments, feedback or follow up.
2. Use your network
Connecting with classmates and alumni is also key. Bascome said that every person you meet in your program can be a connection to future opportunities.
“Some (students) may land opportunities before finishing school or have them lined up, and once they’re in those opportunities it’s good because they might tell you about upcoming opportunities where they’re working.”
So keep your school friends and frienemies close, folks.
3. Volunteer where you want to work
We know, the goal is to find work, not work for free. But Bascome explained that volunteering could get you shortlisted on the organization’s openings too, as employers will often refer to their volunteer pool to hire.
4. Use your program placement for insight and experience
If you’re in a program placement, it’s a good opportunity to learn about a potential employer and gain as much experience as possible in your field, with less pressure than working there.
One way of learning about a job, Bascome said, is to sit down with your supervisor and have an informational interview.
“You’re just trying to gather information, so there’s no pressure on you to get the job and they’re not expected to offer you one,” Bascome explained.
In these informational interviews, he suggested asking questions like, “What’s required to be an employee in the organization? Who may I speak with to know more about opportunities? Is there anyone else I can connect with?”
Job hunting is a stressful and nerve-wracking task, but Bascome said that it’s important to remember to use everything you’ve learned, particularly in your placement.
Knowing that employers will ask for relevant experiences, Bascome pressed the importance of showcasing placement experiences as much as possible, using it as a foot in the door and being proud of it.
“You worked hard for so long, so let employers know what you can do,” he said.
5. Use GBC’s career services
Finally, don’t be afraid to access the free resources offered to you at the career services center. Bascome advised speaking to a career counsellor for resume critiques and networking tips. This service is also available for alumni.
Career services have offices at Casa Loma (C317), St. James (B155) and Waterfront campus (017).