You did your search. You looked for the perfect program that matches your skills and interests, all while ultimately landing you in your dream job.
Out of all of the colleges in Burnaby, you chose Brighton College and you made an excellent choice! Our programs provide students with the opportunity to get integrated with the industry while getting hands-on training. However, upon graduation employers may be looking for more than just that.
They’re looking for skills and qualities that make you stand out – what YOU can bring to the table. Out of the several applications a hiring manager may receive, what makes you the perfect candidate?
Preparation is the key to making sure that you’re at your best whenever your job searching.
That said, if you’ve ever been curious as to how to go about pushing yourself towards your goals:
Here are some excellent ways to refine your skills while helping you stand out when job searching.
1. Be Team-Oriented
While employers are looking for candidates who can work diligently and independently, employers are seeking someone who is a good fit for the team.
Upon entering a professional environment, you’ll quickly learn you’ll need to work with people from a wide variety of talents, skills, and tastes. In most organizations, successful project completions require the input and expertise of many stakeholders working together as a team.
As it’s inevitable that you will work in groups completing assignments, your college experience provides the perfect time to hone in on team-building skills. Try taking on different roles in your next group assignment to better understand where you fit in and what makes you successful in a team environment.
Offer your help in any way you can because part of being team-oriented is learning how to be flexible.
2. Get Organized
Getting a handle on good organizational skills is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Being organized will ensure that your job is manageable and you won’t lose track of time.
During your education, you’ll have many assignments with deadlines, appointments with prospective employers and a variety of tasks that you’ll need to keep track of.
Write things down, find creative ways to memorize important facts or start a Google Calendar with a task list. One of the most important skills you’ll take away from school is understanding what works for you when it comes to organizing a to-do list.
During my education, I found that creating time-sensitive lists and utilizing my day planner was the key to success. Even still, I bring these habits to my workplace every day.
As you enter your job search, be sure to figure out what works for you when it comes to organizing your day, week and even year.
The colleagues you meet while completing your diploma or certificate will likely be business connections in the future. Take the time to create meaningful relationships with them, your instructors and everyone else you meet along the way.
The more you practice this habit, the better network of connections you’ll retain down the road.
I have personally called on many of my connections in the industry whether it’s for advice or industry discussion. However, don’t just take my word for it – go out and try it out for yourself!
That’s the whole point of networking. To go out, meet like-minded individuals and put yourself out there outside of your comfort zone.
Having reputable and recognized industry connections is also one of the best ways to make yourself shine when job searching.
If you think of your network as “customer testimonials” – the larger your network, the more impressive you’ll come across to hiring managers.
4. Research Your Options
A job search is a challenging yet rewarding part of your post-graduation life. My advice to you is to research a couple of different industries and jobs while you are still in your vocational program.
Keep a record of different positions and industries that you would be satisfied in – some may even land you the career you’ve always wanted!
Utilize any and all “related searches” as you do your research. For example, if you’re pursuing a career in accounting, try looking at more than just financial institutions. Take a look at entertainment companies, tech startups or government positions – every company will always need an accountant!
The more you diversify your research, the better the scope you’ll have of the job market you’re applying for. It’s always good practice to also learn about the positions, industries and the application process on the careers page while browsing.
Through patience and practice, you’ll know exactly where to go and what to do when you’re ready to start job hunting.
5. Keep Learning
Even after you graduate, it’s important to never stop learning. Companies expect and encourage their employees to have connections with industry relevant associations.
In our current digital age, keeping up-to-date with industry trends and information is crucial to any business.
Take some time to scope out professional memberships, courses or seminars that you could be a part of after you graduate. You’re never “too old to learn” and it’s never been easier to learn new skills with online courses and webinars all from the comfort of your own home.
Keep looking at professional development courses because you might even be able to score a student discount while you’re at it!
6. Start Applying Early
Remember, it’s never too early to start applying for jobs. Even if your program isn’t finished for several weeks, you should still be scanning the job market regularly and preparing your applications while studying.
You can even talk to friends or those in your network to get an early heads-up on new job openings.
Take 30 minutes after class to work on your resume and apply for a few jobs. Trust me, it will make all the difference!
As you prepare for your career search, form good habits early while completing your education. This is an excellent way to start your journey toward becoming a professional in your field. Be sure to take advantage of the time you have now and take these steps while you are still training so that you can be better informed in the future.
Best of luck in your job search and remember that your skills, your talent, and your passion will be the tools to carry you into your career goals.
Standing out from a crowd is only a matter of taking the right steps forward.
About the Author
Ashley Petrie is a Human Resources Generalist at Brighton College. When she’s not helping out staff and instructors, Ashley loves to ride bikes and is a part-time aspiring internet celebrity.
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