By now, you may have taken Career Studies and the terms “resumé”, “interview skills” and “job application” are old news. But with leadership goals, impending independence or maybe just a little (or a lot of) extra online shopping going on these days, getting a part-time job is probably more on your radar now than ever. With that in mind, here’s a quick refresher course on some tips to keep top of mind as you become the ideal applicant for that prime part-time job…
A great resumé is easy to skim. Employers are comparing lots of candidates, so you want your strengths to jump off the page at them! One of the simplest ways to do this is to use clear headings and concise bullet points. And when you’re using bullets, don’t forget to always check that they are written in the same tone and that you don’t switch between present and past tense.
A good resumé is 100% truthful and carefully crafted to let you flex all your job-related skills. Remember, skills aren’t just things like knowing a code language or being great with kids; they can also be broad skill sets like leadership, communication, organization, idea generation, or responsibility. Lead your bullet points with strong verbs (led, created, taught, supported, etc.) to highlight your strengths and show you’re confident in your experience and potential.
It’s always worth taking the time to personalize your cover letter (the one-page letter you attach with your resumé). Use it to show more of your personality and passions, and how your skills relate specifically to this job and this company. Start with a basic framework, then make each letter unique to that role and employer.
Without a doubt in some interview someday you’re going to be faced with one of those “Which Marvel superhero are you most like?” or “How do you go about building the perfect burger?” questions. Don’t let them throw you off! Rather than stressing over a non-existent “right” answer, focus on showcasing a strength or a unique quality as the rationale for your answer.
When you get asked about weaknesses or areas of growth, stay positive and keep your focus long-term. What skill sets do you need to develop in order to be a leader in this environment? What skills are you currently trying to learn? What area could you grow in to add even more value to this company, perhaps beyond the skills outlined in the job description?
You may be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer at the end. When you are, take the opportunity to ask questions that show you’ve done some research on the company, that you’re interested in what they do or how they’re growing, and that you want to learn and add value as much as you can.
Laurier’s Career Centre is packed with resources that can help you find (and secure) a job that’s just right for you. From one-on-one advising to pro headshot sessions to guidebooks covering a wide range of fields and professions, our Career Centre team loves supporting Laurier students (and alumni!) in showcasing their strengths and finding the perfect career fit.
Flip through some of our career profiles to find out what fascinating roles some Laurier grads are taking on, and just what’s involved in the day-to-day of your dream job.
Check out great jobs scored by Laurier grads.
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