Job Application Tools/Resources
If you’re getting ready to look for work you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find information on getting ready for the job market, creation of application documents like resumes and cover letters, tips on interviews, and places you can look for work.
International students are an important part of the TRU community and we understand the unique set of opportunities you face when exploring career options.
Career and Experiential Learning offers individual career coaching. Please contact us to make a free appointment.
Working in Canada
International Students in Canada may work on or off campus without a work permit if they meet the eligibility requirements of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Social Insurance Number
Anyone who works in Canada must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in order to legally be permitted to work and to have access to government programs and benefits. For more information on SIN cards, visit Service Canada. For more information on the code of practice, visit SIN Holders’ Responsibilities.
The purpose of the cover letter is to:
- Pique the employer’s interest and to introduce your resumé
- Highlight the skills you possess which are most important to the employer
- Focus on what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you
Cover letter sections
The introduction of the cover letter should:
- Capture the reader's attention
- Be written in a clear and articulated manner
- Make a strong first impression
- Speak specifically about why you are intered in the particular organization
A well written introduction shows competency, attention to detail and strong writing skills.
The body paragraph of the cover letter should:
- Be one or two paragraphs in length
- Mention relevant education, skills and experience
- Explain how your abilities can be an asset to the employer
Below are some guidelines that can help you create a strong cover letter body:
- Add any relevant information that shows you will be a good employee for the company
- Consider using bullet points in the body (such as for a list of skills you offer)
- Tell the reader how you will be a valuable addition to their team and what sets you apart from other candidates
- Group similar topics together (like skills, education, experience)
- Make sure the information is relevant to the position you’re applying for
This is the part of your cover letter to concisely articulate why the employer should consider you for a position in their company.
The close paragraph of the cover letter should:
- Reinforce why you are a good fit for this position
- Thank them for taking the time to consider your application
- Include detailed information on how they may contact you if they have further questions
Below are some guidelines that can help you create a strong cover letter close:
- Be sure to sign the letter with a pen as well as your name typed
- If you are sending your cover letter electronically, include a scanned copy with your signature
- "Sincerely yours,” is a strong closing statement
- Do your research about the company and learn about their core values and what types of skills they seek in their employees
- Use the information you learn about the company to customize your cover letter
- “Pepper” your cover letter with the same vocabulary the employer uses in their website, marketing material, job posting, annual reports, and more
Cover letter examples
This handout covers every aspect of building a resumé in great detail. Use this document for guidance on how to organize and write your resumé, and for many examples.
This document lists many words to use in resumés and cover letters.
This handout outlines the sections of a well-organized resumé in brief detail.
This document from the CPA covers tips for creating resumés and cover letters.
It’s important to present your information in a comprehensive and attractive document to demonstrate the contributions you will make to a future employer.
Below are the different types of resumés available along with samples. The type you used should be based on your skills, experience and the position you are applying for:
A chronological resumé lists work experience from the most to the least recent work experience and provides details about the work positions.
This type of resumé should be used if:
- You have experience in the field you are seeking employment in
- Your work history is stable with limited time gaps
- You have a long history with no large gaps between jobs and when you’re not drastically changing your career direction
- You have strong editing skills
A functional resumé lists your abilities in “skill groups” that focus on transferable skills and abilities. This allow you to highlight the skills you acquired through your education and volunteer experience. This style is suitable for recent grads or mid-career changes.
This type of resumé should be used if:
- You have limited work experience in the industry you are pursuing
- You want to emphasize your transferable skills
- You are making a career change to a new industry or occupation, or are a recent graduate
Once you have determined what you can offer an employer, researched the job market and decided on a presentation method, you are ready to build the content of your resumé.
Interviews are an opportunity for students to impress potential employers and speak directly to why they would be a suitable employee for their organization. Some companies may conduct one or two interviews to make sure they find the best fit for their organization. Below are some links on how to prepare for an interview.
How to prepare for an interview
Proper preparation for an interview will eliminate nervousness, uncertainty and help you provide the best answers to your interview questions. Most of all, preparation increases your confidence, which will show through to the employer by influencing your demeanor.
Much of the preparation for the interview may have already been done when creating your cover letter, but it’s important to have the company’s nature, products and goals, skills they are looking for and the job posting information fresh in your mind.
- Research the company to be up to date
- Consider how your skills fit with the employer’s needs
- Be familiar with and practice a variety of potential questions (see below for more information on interview questions).
- Prepare a variety of example stories. Choose stories that can be adapted to a variety of questions, using recent experiences from work, school, volunteer positions, hobbies or any other real life experience. Consider using stories that were negative experiences but had positive outcomes, and think about how you contributed to that using your knowledge and skills
- Gather any documents you might want to take to the interview, such as your résumé, cover letter and reference letters
- Relax before the interview to maintain confidence and better be able to listen and respond to questions
Remember — enthusiasm, confidence and energy are contributing factors in who is hired.
Employers may use a variety of components in their interview process. This may include:
- Pre-screening (phone or short interview)
- Skills test
- Panel interview
- Group interview
- Second and third interviews
Types of interview questions
Generally, these questions are open-ended questions with a preference that you respond with work related answers.
These questions typically involve a case scenario where they are looking for a response describing your thought process and how you would solve a scenario.
These questions often start with the phrase: “tell me about a time when you…”. These types of questions are based on the assumption that past behaviour is often the best predictor of future behaviour. Employers use this style of interview questions to assess a candidate’s experiences and behaviours in order to determine if you have the right characteristics to succeed in their company.
Sample behavioural questions
- Describe a time when you demonstrated initiative
- Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work
- Describe a past example that demonstrates great team work
- Give me an example of a time when you had a conflict with someone at work or in school
Answering questions in an interview
The goal is to provide the best answer possible during an interview. To help focus, listen to what is being asked and respond with a clearly thought-out and articulate response, review the tips below:
- Listen to what is being asked
- Think about the question before answering
- Ask for clarification of the question if it’s not entirely clear. If you’re still not sure, ask, “Did I answer your question?”
- Nervous? Say so – it might help break the tension
- Body language can indicate your interest. Remember to sit up straight, maintain eye contact and limit fidgeting
- Smile, be enthusiastic and stay positive
Ending the interview
Interviewers will often ask if you have any questions for them. This is a good time to ask any questions you may already have in mind, but asking even one or two questions is a great way to show further interest in the position. Some questions you might ask are:
- What skills and abilities does your ideal candidate have?
- What is the key objective you have for this position?
- What can a new employee do to make a positive first impression?
- What is the process from here?
- When do you expect to be making your decision?
- May I contact you in a week if I have not heard from you?
Remember to say thank you at the end of the interview and extend a strong handshake to reaffirm your professionalism.
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.
ResourcesDiscovering Potential Contacts 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
Work on Campus
Aramark is the exclusive food provider on the TRU campus, employing about 40 students across campus in the fall and winter semesters. Available staff positions include: cashiers, kitchen staff and catering staff. Most recruiting occurs in August and September.
- Submit your resumé to the food services director in the Campus Activity Centre Room 123.
- Include your availability and the type of work you prefer to do (cashier, kitchen or catering).
- Phone: 250-371-5720
- Fax: 250-371-5978
- Campus Activity Centre Room 123
- For more information, visit Campus Dish
Co-operative education is an opportunity for students to enhance their education through career-related work experience while studying at TRU. It combines practical in-class education with applied learning opportunities.
Visit the Co-operative Education site for eligibility, application forms and more information.
The Work Study program is a TRU funded financial assistance program that allows Canadian students to work on campus part-time. This program offers work experience, working relationships with faculty and staff, and a regular source of income to students who demonstrate financial need.
Job postings are available in mid-August, and hiring takes place in the fall until all positions are filled.
Students may not begin work until after returning the Work Study eligibility form to the Students Awards and Financial Support Office and completing all paperwork.
Work Study students will also be offered a career planning session to assist them in connecting their Work Study positions to future career goals.
- Enrolled in a minimum of a 60% (full-time) course load
- Maintain a 2.00 GPA
- Canadian citizen
- Demonstrate financial need (if not on government student loans, students may complete a bursary applcation process)
- Complete a Work Study application through myTRU
- Complete the application form and return to the TRU Students Awards and Financial Support Office for assessment. Out of province students, please attach a copy of your most recent loan document or a copy of an official notification of award from your home province.
- A student finance advisor will assess your financial needs and eligibility for the Work Study program. Once approved, the eligibility form can be picked up from the Student Awards & Financial Aid Office by the student.
- After obtaining the Work Study eligibility form, students can contact the supervisor of the desired position for an interview.
- If hired, the supervisor signs the Work Study eligibility form and the student returns it to the Students Awards and Financial Support Office, and makes an appointment with a student finance advisor to complete paperwork. Bring a void cheque with you to the meeting.
- Minimum wage with a maximum of eight hours per week (up to 240 hours or $2,500 for the academic year)
TRU Students' Union
The TRU Students' Union (TRUSU) provides a variety of services to all students of TRU to ensure students are valued and supported.
TRUSU hires about 24 students each year to work at the information booths, front desk and student-run coffee shops.
Most recruiting occurs during the summer and hiring takes place in late August. Jobs are posted throughout the year as positions become available.
- Submit a resumé to the TRUSU student desk in the Campus Activity Centre, first floor.
Teaching Assistants (GTA and UTA)
Teaching assistants (TAs) work under the supervision of a faculty member.
To be eligible for the Teaching assistant position, students must meet the following criteria:
Undergraduate teaching assistant
- Enrolled in an undergraduate program at TRU
- Completed at least 50 percent of their current program of study
- Enrolled in at least 3.0 credits for the semester in which they would be employed
- A minimum GPA of 3.5
- Demonstrate English language proficiency
Graduate teaching assistant
- Enrolled in a graduate degree program at TRU
- Must be in good academic standing
- Demonstrate English language proficiency
- The teaching assistant opportunity will be advertised in the relevant department as well as in Career and Experiential Learning
- Once hired, the student TA must complete paperwork to let HR know who has been hired, initiate the payroll process, and inform IT for email access. Forms can be accessed by the faculty member through: One TRU or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
NSERC/ SERC Grants
Faculty members vie for funding from a variety of sources to engage in research. Often they will hire upper-level students to assist with this research.
At any given time there are 20-25 students engaged in research work on campus.
Students will typically apply directly to individual faculty members who secure research funding. These positions are contract positions so they are technically outside of TRU collective agreements.
U-REAP provides an opportunity for talented undergraduate students to engage in original, independent research, scholarship and the production of creative works. About 25-30 students participate each year, and the standard award is $4,500 over the course of the project, which will be in the form of a scholarship.
- Enrolled in an undergraduate program at TRU, and be taking a 60% (full-time) course load.
- Completed a minimum of 60 credits of undergradate studies at the time of application.
- A minimum GPA of 3.2. Students who do not meet the GPA requirement may apply and are encouraged to include an explanation of the circumstances leading to a lower GPA.
- Have a faculty member who is willing to supervise the project.
- Must not have received a UREAP award in the past.
- Must not hold a UREAP and an NSERC/USRA at the same time for the same project.
- Call for proposals will go out at the beginning of each term for the following submission deadlines:
- During the last week of October
- During the second week of February (before break)
- Student completes the application form submitted to the Office of the Associate Vice President Research and Graduate Studies
- The adjudication committee reviews proposals
- Successful applicants will be informed within one month of the submission date
For more information, visit U-REAP award program page. Here you will find deadline dates, the application process and more.
Service Learning Non Paid
Service Learning provides students (both individuals and cohorts of up to five students) with faculty supervised opportunities for civic participation and community involvement. Service Learning carries elective credit: third- and fourth-year students may take count up to six credits of Service Learning toward their degrees; with departmental approval. Service Learning courses that are directly related to the students program of study may be used to satisfy majors requirements.
Meet with us to gain the tools you need to find a job. One-on-one sessions are tailored specifically for you — you will walk out of our office with strategies that you can use immediately to help you find work. Our faculty are working directly with employers who want to hire you. Come and talk to us, and we can share insight on their strategies.
Employers we are currently working with include:
- Acres Enterprises
- Alstar Oilfield Contractors
- Anglo American
- Apache Corporation
- Arthon Industries Ltd
- Baker Hughes
- Bechtel Construction
- BC Hydro
- BG Group
- Calfrac Well Services
- Canadian Natural
- Capstone Mining
- Cenovus Energy
- CN Rail
- Dawson Construction
- Dowland Construction
- Dechant Construction
- Diavek Mines
- Emil Anderson
- Fluor Canada
- FT Services
- Golder Associates
- Graham Construction
- Horizon North
- IDL Projects
- Imperial Metals
- Imperial Oil
- JV Driver
- Kinder Morgan
- LNB Construction
- Mining Association of BC
- Mount Milligan
- New Gold
- Okanagan Aggregates
- Operating Engineers
- PCL Construction
- Precision Drilling
- Precision Well Servicing
- Rio Tinto
- Savanna Energy Corporation
- Shell Canada
- SOS Staffing
- Spanish Mountain Mine
- Spectra Energy
- Sureway Construction
- Swamp Cats
- Teck Cominco
- Thompson Creek Metals
- Thompson Valley Erectors
- Trican Well Services
- TRI-GEN Construction
- Troyer Ventures
- Tumbler Ridge Jobs
- Yukon Zinc Corporation