Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Prepare Yourself

Prepare Yourself Header
It's important to understand what type of work you're looking for and what you have to offer an employer before seeking out jobs. Check out the sections below to see how you can prepare yourself to look for a job that's best for you.
 Personal Assessment

Think about your own abilities and skills, and how they can be applied to a position you are interested in.

  • What are your career goals?
  • What is your immediate job objective?
  • What special skills do you have that will help you succeed?
  • Why are you interested in the career or industry you have chosen?
  • What are your special strengths, and how do these apply in a work environment?
  • What experiences have you had that are relevant to your career goals and position you are seeking?

Answering these questions can help you develop a better understanding of what you can offer an organization and the position most suitable for your skills and interests.

 Networking

The vast majority of job openings are not advertised, but filled by word of mouth. Networking is about building relationships with peers, class mates, instructors and industry professionals. Everyone you meet can help you move your job search forward.

Resources

Discovering Potential Contacts in your Personal Network

This document discusses the four types of connections you may already have in your network.

Benefits of Networking
  • Key strategy for securing meaningful work
  • Proven strategy for tapping into hidden job market
  • Insight into businesses, organizations and industries you desire to work
  • Employers typically hire people they know – better chances when employer knows your name and face
  • Opportunities to build relationships that can provide invaluable information and advice for your career development

Networking Hiring Model

 Industry Research

Ask yourself, “What skills and qualifications are employers looking for?”, and use your answer to better understand where you can excel in the market.

Some great ways to conduct your research:
  • Search online materials for new developments in your industry
  • Job shadowing industry professionals at their place of employment
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in your area of interest
  • Gain experience through work, especially through Co-op and volunteer opportunities

Search job postings and carefully review job descriptions to better understand what employers are seeking. The Canadian Job Bank is a great tool for searching job market trends, finding jobs and employers, and exploring career options. Check out the video below for how to research your industry.

Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)

COPS makes predictions on the number of job openings across Canada for 140 occupations.

 Informational Interviews

Informational Interviews are extremely valuable opportunities to tap into the hidden job market, learn more about your industry and employer of choice!

Advantages of Conducting an Informational Interview
  • Understand the realities of employment
  • Learn more about career field and skills needed to succeed
  • Determine where you might fit into a particular organization
  • Make personal connection with those in your desired industry
  • Gain confidence in talking with people while learning from them
  • Expose yourself to a variety of jobs and personalities in different organizations
  • Because this is not a job interview, you can control interview by deciding questions
Arranging Informational Interviews
  1. Contact person to set up interview by:
  • Telephone
  • Cold calling
  • Email followed by telephone
  • Having someone who knows the person make appointment for you
  • Introducing yourself at a networking event (Job Fair, Employer presentation, etc.)
  1. Suggest time and place that suits work schedule and nearby employer location
Before Informational Interview
  • Research company / organization
  • Prepare interview questions in advance
  • Update resume and bring with you  use this to share your experiences, education, skills and abilities. You may also want feedback on your resume.
After Informational Interview

At the end of the conversation, thank person for taking time to meet and offering advice and career information. Consider following up time to time with update on work-search progress.

 Career Action Plan

Our career experts can meet with you one-on-one and build a personalized career action plan. Your action plan will show proven job search strategies, connecting current opportunities with future possibilities, preparation for informational interview, and many more helpful tips from our expert Coordinators.

Career Action Plan