Class of 2019, prepare for the hunt

Grad 2019 is just around the corner, and a new group of soon-to-be grads are anxiously waiting to land a job in the “real world.”

To ease some of that pre-graduation anxiety, students can hit up SAIT’s Student Employment and Career Centre for help boosting their resumes and expanding their career network, and the sooner the better, according to An Tran, career advisor at the Student Employment and Career Centre.

“When you do those things now, once you graduate, you’re able to hit the ground running,” she said. 

The Centre offers one-on-one consultations to review resumes in-person or over email – a free service available to current students and SAIT alumni.

But students can start tweaking their resumes now, and expanding their professional network on LinkedIn by adding classmates and instructors, suggests Tran.

“Networking is really key.”

Ending your job hunt with success: 

Ben Thorne, a recent MRU and U of C communications graduate, said that building a network is the hardest, and most important thing for new grads to do.

With some perseverance and a little networking of his own, Thorne found a position with non-profit organization MindFuel, and said he could not be happier with his role today as marcom coordinator.

However, according to Thorne, the reality in the job market is that employers are far more likely to hire a name they recognize, or that was recommended to them than they are someone they’re seeing for the first time. 

“Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” said Thorne.

What employers are looking for:

The future is not as bleak for new grads as it may seem, though.

In a recent survey, the SAIT Student Employment and Career Centre found that employers prize a positive attitude and a willingness to learn in potential candidates.

So, Tran recommends students emphasize both in their resume and cover letters.

In addition, the survey showed that most employers viewed essential skills, or transferable skills as equally important as technical skills.

Those essential or transferable skills include interpersonal and communication skills – things like working well in a team, and demonstrated leadership skills.

Students should be working on building those skills through co-curricular and extracurricular activities, said Tran.

“You might have more technical skills than another candidate, yet if they seem like a better fit team wise there’s a big chance that company may go with that person.

“Technical skills can be trained, but personality and team fit can’t.”

Lastly, Tran recommends that students apply for jobs even if they don’t have years of experience.

“I know it can be really daunting going out into the real world and trying to be an adult, but if the only thing you’re lacking is formal work experience, it may be something that [the employer is] willing to overlook.”

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