CAREER RESOURCES 101: An SFU Student's Guide to Career Readiness

CAREER RESOURCES 101: An SFU Student's Guide to Career Readiness

By: Malinda Pathacharige | Special Projects Assistant
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This past summer I had the privilege of working as a co-op Special Projects Assistant with SFU Career Services.  While the main focus of my role was to support upcoming Career Services programming initiatives, I devoted a fair chunk of my time to gathering and distributing career resources.

Every morning the other co-op student and myself would scour through all the major career blog sites to dig up articles (or infographics or videos) that were either inspiring, informative or interesting. Being students, we always asked ourselves how engaging and relevant each piece would be to the typical SFU student or recent graduate. In order to do so, we considered the main areas of concern for our audience, such as work search strategies, career development, leadership etc., to find content that addressed each of these topic areas.

The fact that we knew our audience well meant that we were often quite selective with the content we shared. Despite the strict criteria we applied to find click-worthy pieces with credibility from reliable sources, we often had no trouble gathering enough content to disseminate through our various communication channels.

The best part about this daily content curation process for us was that we found our own career and work search strategies sharpen with each article we sifted through. I quickly realized there is a ton of information out there, but also understood that had it not been for my role or the environment in which I spent my working days, I would have been largely unaware of all this information.

This led me to think about how my peers may be gathering their career-related information. Are students actively seeking out such content? How aware is the student body of all the career related support our own SFU Career Services provides?

I wasn’t convinced our audience always knew where to turn. So to make the lives of all my fellow SFU students and recent graduates a little bit easier I have compiled several lists highlighting resources you simply cannot afford to miss out on!

Let's start off with the easy, low-committal sources of information:

 

SOCIAL CHANNELS

Facebook: Find your newsfeed increasingly cluttered with annoying ads, pointless BuzzFeed lists, and selfies of the same people? One solution to your problems could be curbing your Facebook addiction. Another would be to populate it with more interesting pieces of content that you can benefit from in the long run.

The easiest way to do this is “Like” facebook.com/SFU.Career for a daily dose of career tips! (This is also a great way to find out about our various upcoming events and contests!)

Twitter: This is where we don’t like to hold back. When a career article catches our eye, you can bet we tweet that out!

Follow us at @SFU_Career for a steady source of career information. Our feed is filled with a wealth of great content!

The Briefcase: What do we do with content that we simply can’t bear to see get lost in your home feed? We gather the top most inspiring and note-worthy articles and videos, and share it with our readers through The Briefcase… our weekly newsletter!

Sign up for The Briefcase at https://secure.campaigner.com/CSB/Public/Form.aspx?fid=1019050. (This will also give you the first look at upcoming on-campus recruiting events and featured job postings!)

YouTube: Are you more of a visual learner? Well we have a selection of career videos produced by our own SFU Career Services!

This video is one of my favourites, and a definite must-watch: https://www.youtube.com/user/SFUstudentservices

Our Learning Community: The “OLC” as it is known is SFU’s very own hub of original career related blogs and articles. Many of these articles have been written by SFU students who have been highly involved in the community, gone on international internships, or have been placed in highly coveted co-op positions. These students, and various Career Advisors have a ton of information to share, and it has all been gathered in the OLC. A few of my favourite blogs found on this site include the CSI Blog, Dave’s Diary, and ENGAGE.

Be warned, you could literally spend hours reading through these various SFU blogs and articles! http://www.sfu.ca/olc/blogs

 

CUSTOMIZED ADVICE

There will undoubtedly be certain points in your degree where you start to question your major, career opportunities, and fret over your future. Thankfully the Career Services website is a great place to turn to in those situations (or to avoid them altogether).

What Can I Do With a Degree In…? This page is aptly named to reflect a question many of us have wondered. Thankfully there is an entire library of information and resources simply a click away! Regardless of your major, you’ll find a list of answers for each department at SFU. 

For a good sense of what job opportunities or work environments a particular academic field may lead you towards, explore our One Major, Endless Possibilities page: http://www.sfu.ca/career/WCID.html

Career Advising Appointments: Sometimes articles and websites just aren’t enough. Make it a priority to become actively involved with shaping the direction of your career by speaking one-on-one with a professional Career Advisor or Career Peer at SFU Career Services.

Advising topics vary depending on your specific need. For a list of topics covered / to book an appointment, refer to http://www.sfu.ca/career/contact-us/career-advising-appointments.html

 

HANDS-ON ENGAGEMENT

For those who don’t believe in taking a backseat with their careers, we offer various workshops and series throughout the year. Here are the big names to keep an eye out for in Fall 2014:

Resumes & Cover Letters: Confused on how to use your resume and cover letter efficiently and effectively to gain the interest of your targeted employer?  Come and learn some strategies that will help you put your best foot forward. 

Jobs on Campus: Looking for employment on campus?  Find out about the primary departments that routinely seek students, learn more about their hiring practices and other details to increase your success.

Networking at Fairs Week: Are you ready to meet and network like a pro with employers at the 2014 Fairs Week? If you want to be a shining star and maximize your time and opportunities at the 2014 Fairs Week, join us in this workshop to learn about career fair etiquette and effective networking techniques.

Classroom to Career (Cohort Program): Register for our popular 5-part Classroom to Career Series and set yourself up for success. We guide you through the key steps of launching your career—from gaining clarity on the types of opportunities you might want to pursue, to using innovative approaches to work search that can help you find a job faster. Workshop topics include: Exploring Career Possibilities, Work Search, Resumes & Cover Letters, Interviewing, and Managing Your Online Presence.

Teaching Opportunities Fair: Brings together school districts, private schools, teaching overseas agencies, non-profit organizations and other teaching-related opportunities. Focus on careers in teaching and education, local and abroad.

[TIP: Stay in the loop with all campus career workshops and events by following our social media channels! The list of offerings will be entirely different for Spring 2015, so keep an eye out for further information. Workshop registration is conducted via Symplicity http://www.sfu.ca/wil/symplicity.html ]

 

ABSOLUTE, CAN’T MISS EVENT OF FALL 2014:

If you’re not ready to employ any of the above-mentioned suggestions for your career development then you do not want to miss out on the biggest SFU career event of all.

Fairs Week 2014: Spanning 3 days, Fairs Week is your venue to connect with over 100 employers, not-for-profit organizations, and educational institutions.  

Save the date and find out more here: https://www.sfu.ca/career/students-alumni/recruitment-fairs-students/fairs-week/student-home.html

Surprisingly this is just a handful of what SFU Career Services provides for students! I hope you have bookmarked and made a mental note of the various resources I have mentioned above.

As September draws near, think about which workshops and events you’ll want to attend this semester. And as always, keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter to find out more about our upcoming events and contests!

Posted on August 28, 2014