Job Search: All you need is persistence and preparation!

Job Search: All you need is persistence and preparation!

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Finding a job relevant to your study has always been a difficult task for some students as we often try to find a balance between school, social life and a part-time job (or more). And whether for personal interests or to enhance our resume, we often spend hours upon hours being active in student clubs, student-run events, and/or non-profit organizations. But on top of developing more skills and experiences, I find that two of the most important elements of job searching are persistence and preparation.

Recently, after having my cover letter and resume reviewed by a career peer educator from SFU Career Services, I started applying for jobs. The fields I applied for included administration and marketing as these relate to my area of study. Although I was optimistic about the applications, things did not go my way. In the first month of my job search, I was rejected twice by the City of Vancouver, once by a Vancouver-based company and a few more companies I can’t even recall right now. Despite of the multiple rejections, I expected this to happen. As a result, I powered through and continued to send resumes and cover letters to different employers. Fortunately, after a month of job searching, I got an interview for a marketing job posted on the SFU Business Career Management Centre (CMC) job posting system, which is exclusively for SFU Business students.   

However, without having much interview experience, I was quite nervous and unsure of what to expect. Thankfully for Google, I found sample interview questions and tips and rehearsed on my own in front of the mirror. When the interview day arrived, I was fairly prepared for generic questions such as “Tell me a little about yourself,” and “Can you tell me what your strengths and weaknesses are”. Nonetheless, the employer threw me a curve ball by asking me a question that went something like this:

“So if you were a kitchen appliance, what would you be and why?”

After calming myself down from hearing such a “creative” question, I told him that I would like to be a stove because it could multi-task, which is something I am aiming for. Whether it was this response or my overall performance that distinguished me from other applicants, I got the job and started working the following week.

From this experience, I realized the importance of having my resume and cover letter reviewed by a trained staff, such as the advisors and career peers at SFU Career Services, as this helped me improve and create targeted resumes for different jobs. Also, I should have booked an appointment with a Career Services staff and set up a mock interview because they could have given me positive and constructive feedback on my interview skills and help improve my performance .  

What was really important too was that I was persistent throughout the entire job search process by continuously submitting applications to jobs that I was interested in. I know that job searching can be a tedious task at times, but it is crucial to be determined and optimistic because most students, if not all, go through this stage in life. So remember to be confident and motivated and reach out for all the support and resources SFU offers during your job search and you will get the job you want!

Posted on April 13, 2012