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Curated career resources

Whether a recent graduate or a sage alumnus, working on developing your career is a life-long process.

Prepared with the needs of SFU alumni in mind, our list of curated career articles have been selected by a Certified Career Development Practitioner with over 20 years of experience working with people in career transition. 

Each article is accurate, up-to-date, linked from a reputable source and focused on to the Canadian Labour Market; they're also useful to those living around the globe. Therefore, whatever stage you are currently in, our one-stop shop of curated career resources will provide you with the information you need to help smooth your path to a rewarding future.

For more information or to request other topics for reflection contact Laurie Williams, Manager, Programs & Services at laurie_williams@sfu.ca.

Taking control of your career

How to Take Charge of Your Career

In reality there are lots of factors that could combine to make your career take unexpected turns. If you’re looking to take control of your career, taking a proactive stance can make a huge difference in what you do and where you work.

Most Canadians Who Switch Careers Are Happier For It

Changing careers is not a decision taken without a lot of thought and planning. Most people who change their jobs think and plan for up to a year. These stories exhibit careers that relied on transferable skills.

Cut Through Career Uncertainty 

Forecasting tools? Do not let this article put you off. The author outlines practical tools for making decisions about your career.

How to Manage Your Career for the Next Decade

Even though we know that we have to manage our own career, many of us do not take this seriously until we HAVE to find a job. The author of this article sets out several tactics you can follow to be the candidate that went the “extra mile.”

Want to be more productive? Try doing less.

How many times a week do you hear friends and colleagues utter the words “I am so busy?” ‘Research evidence supports that if we want to ramp up our productivity and happiness, we should actually be doing less.’

Job search

Implementing a Job Search Strategy

Job search is the act of looking for employment, due to unemployment, underemployment, discontent with a current position, or a desire for a better position.  You will be more successful if you develop an action plan to explore possibilities.

Slow out of the gate, University grads fare better than other Canadians...

Even though it seems like a struggle to find that first job after you graduate, Canadian statistics tell us you are far better off having a university degree when looking for work.

How to get jobs in Canada

It takes a lot of planning and focus to find work in Canada. The tips in this article will stand you in good stead and may even help find you find a job faster.

Labour market information

What is labour market information? Do I need it?

Labour market information can help you make a good decision when you are looking for work in a particular area. It can help you find out what industries or fields are growing; where the opportunities exist; who is hiring as well as what qualifications may be needed for a particular position.

Guide to Using Labour Market Information

This Guide from WORKBC offers statistical data on where you may find work, salary scales, and regional demographics, all things that can inform your job search.

The Strategic Side Gig...

By working outside your field, even part time as a volunteer, you can build new connections, add to your skills and knowledge and use different talents all of which can prepare you for future roles.

Labour Force Characteristics by Province, Monthly, Seasonally...

This monthly website from Statistics Canada will assist you in determining labour force characteristics for each province/territory such as employment, unemployment and part time employment.

Trend analysis - Explore the market

The Government of Canada Job Bank can assist you in finding information on occupations, wages, job outlooks and more.

Self-employed Canadians: Who and why?

Self-employment is particularly prevalent in British Columbia and an important part of “employment growth” in the province. Work-life balance and independence are two of the major reasons people choose this way of working.

Employee or independent contractor factsheet - Province of British Columbia

The Employment Standards Act broadly outlines the different qualifications for working as an independent contractor. This fact sheet will clarify the definitions of these roles.

What are freelance jobs? A guide to freelancing

Finding a different way to work is an interesting pursuit. If you choose to be a freelancer – a one-person business – it requires you to take a risk. Perhaps the risk is worth it to you. This article outlines some of the conditions of success.

Resumes & cover letters

How to write a good resume 

A good resume presents who you are; what you have to offer to an employer and how you can add value to their organization. Recruiters take about 30-45 seconds to review your resume so making it concise and convincing is worth the effort.

5 Resume Tips That Will Get You Hired

Whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced professional an up-to-date resume will enable you to apply for that job, to which you aspire, as soon as you see the posting. It is wise to review and revise your resume every 6 months.

How to write an amazing cover letter 

Each cover letter you write is to be tailored to the job to which you are applying. From the greeting to your accomplishments to the closing, it should show you have done your research; have personalized your application with relevant accomplishments, and will be proactive by following up. 

Are Cover Letters Still Relevant?

Sometimes you will see a job ad that asks for a cover letter and other times not. It is important to develop a concise and persuasive cover letter even if you don’t include it in your application. Writing a customized cover letter helps you synthesize what you have accomplished and what you can do for any employer and it could help you make the A pile with recruiters.

Five tips for a stand-out resume

It is important that your resume stand out from the other hundreds of applicants that may be looking for the job you want. Follow these tips to make recruiters notice your resume.

27 proofreading tips that will improve your resume

No matter how hard you have worked on positioning your resume and cover letter for the job you are applying for, one spelling or grammar mistake can push your resume aside. Be sure to Spellcheck your writing but DO NOT rely on it. Print out your resume, take the time to review what you have written (perhaps have other people review it as well) to ensure that there are no mistakes.

Job interviews

Job interview tips and preparation 

From matching your qualifications to the job description to deciding what you will wear, the job interview can be intimidating – unless you are prepared. Do the same preparation for telephone interviews, video interviews, or in person meetings. Create a research plan and anticipate the questions you will be asked.

Top 50 Popular Job Interview Questions 

You will be more confident going onto a job interview if you anticipate and practice answers to possible questions. There are different types of questions that can be used so prepare for behavioural, situational and direct questions by writing out your answers and examples of your experience before the interview.  If the job is your “dream job” you might want to enlist friends or a career specialist to prepare you for the interview.

21 Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

It is said you only have 30 seconds to make a good impression. Be prepared! Do your homework on the company. Develop questions you have about the job/company. Think of examples to support your answers. Dress for success. Practice, practice, practice!

10 tough interview questions and 10 great answers

Formulating your own answers to tough interview questions will put you ahead of the game. If you can anticipate or quell any fear around the questions through preparation, you are more than half way to success.

Illegal interview questions and how to respond

Interviewers ask all sorts of questions to try to get to know you, even some you may consider “off the wall”. However, some questions are inappropriate. Know your rights. Review these suggestions to be prepared.

4 mistakes to avoid in a job interview

These mistakes are well worth noting so that you can avoid making them. One other to add here is ‘Failing to Follow Up’. Sending a thank you note gives you an opportunity to not only show your appreciation for the interviewer/s time but provides an opportunity to add in anything you forgot or want to emphasize to the prospective employer.

Networking

How to build your job search network

Whether a new graduate or an experienced worker, your network is a most valuable job search tool. Successful networking is building contacts and connections — relationships— either in person or through social media. You may be surprised to learn that you can be a resource to others as well.

Network your way to success

‘Networking is the process of developing and nurturing personal and professional contacts to obtain referrals, advice, information, support, and energy.’ (ICAN Press)

An introvert's advice for networking

In this TED talk, Tech Executive Karen Wickre shares her secret to cultivating professional connections with a minimum of anxiety and awkwardness.

Tips to network on social media like a pro

The Business Development Bank of Canada has some salient tips for networking on line, especially if you are an entrepreneur or want to explore that way of working.

How to get the most out of an informational interview

One of the most effective ways to network is through an informational interview — an informal conversation with someone working in an area of interest to you. If you are curious and ask the right questions, you can gather valuable information.

Your online presence

How to Use Social Media to Build Your Career 

Whether you want to expand your network, establish your “brand” or make new contacts in a business that interests you, social media is a must in today’s world of work. Find some tips, in this article, on how to use social media to your advantage.

7 Benefits of Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network used by professionals to network, locate information about companies, and find job postings. But more importantly, “A whopping 87% of recruiters find LinkedIn to be the most effective when vetting candidates during the hiring process – especially those under 45 (90%)”.

The best ways to use social media to expand your network

There is no question that you must have an online profile today when looking for work. If you are serious about expanding your network or looking for a job, here are some practical tools to build your profile and increase your network.

How to find the perfect job online

We are in the digital age and most job postings are now online. Likewise, it is increasingly popular for recruiters to view your LinkedIn profile, your Twitter and Facebook postings, and your Instagram collection even before they look at your resume. Be sure to remove any inappropriate postings/pictures that would hinder your chances for an interview.

Salary negotiations

Step-by-Step Guide to Negotiating a Great Salary

Everyone wants to be paid fairly for the skills and experience they bring to work. Preparing for salary discussions before the interview can give you a realistic basis for comparison of industry salary ranges and where the company's compensation fits in.

How to Negotiate Salary: 3 Winning Strategies

Depending on where your salary starts can make a big difference in your overall work earnings. Know the marketplace salary range for the job; explain the value you bring to the organization; don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Salary negotiation mistakes to avoid

Salary negotiations rely on a number of variables — your education, skills, experience, the industry and even the company’s available resources. Nevertheless, it is essential that you negotiate your compensation. Just don’t fall into these traps!

Places you can go to get published salary details

Getting what you are worth starts way before the interview. Those who have done their research on compensation for the roles they are looking for are further ahead and more successful in getting what they want.

Navigating in uncertain times

Four Things You Can Do to Manage Stress and Stay Focused

Lieke ten Brummelhuis, an associate professor at the Beedie School of Business, has some solid ideas on how to take care of yourself during these uncertain times.

Industries Trending During COVID-19

“Though the economy has been hit hard by these changes, there are some bright spots. Several [10] critical sectors are surging during the pandemic.”

Tips for the purpose-driven job seeker during COVID-19...

Searching for work in a sustainable industry, or one that has social impact is not always easy. If you follow some of these tips, it may give you an idea of what to pay attention to when looking for work in a non-profit.

What Will Work-Life Balance Look Like After the Pandemic?

Are you tired of working at your dining table? Do you enjoy the flexibility of working from home? Return to work will not be easy. There may be less people, your desk may be relocated, or there may be extended work from home plans for your consideration.

The coronavirus pandemic is changing work...

Just as many employees change the way they work, the pandemic is changing the way many companies are operating – with surprising results!

These are the best jobs and careers for remote work

Maybe you have enjoyed working from home and research tells us we will be less stressed and more productive working remotely. There are so many jobs built around a wide variety of skills, but you will need to be on top of technology!

How to find (and land) a remote job that's right for you

Even though working remotely is attractive, you still have to find work that interests you, fits with your personality and uses your skills and abilities!  It is important to identify your preferences before you start searching for that ideal job.