A ROOM WITH A POINT OF VIEW
How to help a student land a job after graduation
From NEWS CANADA
If you’re the parent of a young adult in their last year of college or university, you’re likely worried that they may have a difficult time finding a job in their field once they graduate.
Fortunately, there are some creative ways to break into a tough market. Here are some ideas you can explore together.
Go on a working holiday or internship abroad. Research shows that youth with international experience are more likely to be employed later on, making an internship abroad a valuable and exciting option for getting a great job back at home. Future employers will be impressed by the cultural knowledge and professional skills gained through international work. Young people can expand their networks, enhance their language ability, and acquire leadership skills to create a favourable impression on future employers looking for employees with international experience. Encourage your student to check out International Experience Canada (IEC), a government-run program that offers youth a unique opportunity to gain valuable work experience while travelling abroad. Work permits under IEC are generally less expensive, more flexible and processed more quickly.
Leverage unexpected connections. Although many students may think they don’t have great professional connections, there are plenty of hidden opportunities to develop a network that can become a great resource upon graduation. Look to professors who are industry leaders, older classmates working in a related field, and alumni networks through their post-secondary institution. You can even explore departmental social media groups that often post job vacancies for their current and former students.
Check out career services. Most colleges and universities offer extensive help with kickstarting their students’ careers for up to two years after graduation. Benefits can include resumé and cover letter workshops, partnering students with alumni mentors, lunch ‘n’ learns, job fairs and industry conferences and panels. You can also check out local, provincial and federal government career services in your community.
Do your research. When your child lands a job interview, it’s time to put the research skills they’ve learned to work. Being well-prepared can help them stand out from the competition. A great interviewee will be knowledgeable about general industry trends and the latest headlines, as well as company-specific insights and information. Checking out the organization’s social media pages and website are also excellent ways to display genuine interest and an effort to learn more.
Turn an internship into a job. Smaller and medium-sized companies can often offer interns more responsibilities and opportunities to try out different tasks and departments because of their smaller scale. This, in turn, means that there can be more room to shine, as extra effort is more likely to be noticed by management and top decision-makers in work-places with fewer employees.
More information on work and travel abroad at www.Canada.ca/IEC.