There’s more to a job search than simply applying for online postings, though the majority of job seekers confine their job search to exactly that.

It may sound crazy but job postings are not the number one method employers use to recruit. A good job search strategy includes a number of job search techniques and approaches, including utilizing your network — the number one source of productive job leads.

UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF A TARGETED JOB SEARCH

To learn how to uncover opportunities in what’s known as “the hidden job market” educate yourself on a variety of job search strategies to use in addition to searching online postings (you should still apply for positions posted online but that shouldn’t be your only strategy).

Many students panic at the prospect of not finding immediate employment and apply for any and every job that bears even a remote resemblance to their experience or skill set. This is a mistake for a number of reasons…

  1. It’s difficult to succeed at a job that doesn’t mesh with who you are.
    People who do well at their jobs are people who enjoy what they do — and you’re less likely to enjoy your job if you haven’t taken the time to target your job search and direct your efforts at applying for jobs you’re really interested in.
  2. Creating a polished, professional and tailored application package takes time.
    It’s difficult to invest the time and energy into effectively applying for positions you don’t truly care about — which is why applications from students who apply for “anything that comes up” aren’t usually strong enough to be competitive.
  3. Employers can tell when you’re not all that interested.
    When your documents aren’t tailored or you don’t know much about the position or you don’t seem to care about the company, your application shows it. Employers want to hire people who are enthusiastic about the organization and the position being advertised.

So while it may seem like a good idea to bombard the world with your resumé and hope for the best, you’ll experience greater success by really focusing on opportunities that are meaningful to you. That means fewer, stronger applications as opposed to a multitude of weak ones.


Handouts

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The cover letter is your chance to value yourself and to enhance your resume with a personal touch. That is why it is so important that your letter be customized for each job and for the company. Click the links below for some tips on how to make your cover letters the best that they can be.

View York University’s Cover Letter Tips Checklist 

View York University’s Parts of a Cover Letter Resource

View York University’s Second Year Sample Cover Letter

View York University’s Sample Sociology Cover Letter

View York University’s Sample French Studies Cover Letter 

View uOttawa’s Cover Letter Content Resource

View uOttawa’s Cover Letter Sample

Create your own cover letter using our templates on GlendonWorks! Use the activation key “glendonc”

There is no such thing as an irrelevant skill, or irrelevant experience. Any kind of experience can be shown to apply to the job you’re applying for, all it takes is some creativity and some thought. Find out how to communicate your skills, and what employers are looking for, with the links below. 

Take York University’s Becoming YU Skills Articulation Module 

View uOttawa’s List of Employability Skills 

View RBC’s List of Employability Skills for the Future of Work 

View NACE Career Readiness Competencies

Cold-calling refers to contacting a potential employer via telephone; it requires a great deal of initiative and can be quite stressful. Effective use of cold-calling is easier than you think, but it does require practice. Check out some cold call strategies in the links below.

View York University’s Guide to Cold Calls 

View York University’s Guide to Tapping into the Hidden Job Market

View uOttawa’s Infographic on Cold Calls

Linkein is a great tool for putting yourself out there. You can upload your resume, browse job offers, read interesting articles posted by other users, and upload your own content. There is a trick to doing it well, though, and these links can help you get started. We’ve included some links that can help with business cards and handshakes, which are also important when building your brand. 

View York University’s LinkedIn Etiquette Resource

View York University’s Guide to Building Student LinkedIn Profiles

View York University’s Guide to Building Your Personal Brand 

View York University’s Sample Business Cards

View York University’s Guide to Effective Handshakes

View uOttawa’s Portfolio Resource