Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jobs Applications....Womp womp.

Happy Monday. J

I don’t know about you, but I’m super feels like we’re a few months into the semester but it’s only been a few weeks! I’m usually pretty good with handling a new semester, but the added stress of applying for a work term seems to be taking its toll. If you’re applying for summer jobs, you know what I’m talking about. L

Now, we could handle this in one of two ways:

1. Turn into caffeine-crazed drama queens with no hope for the future and a conviction that everything will crash and burn and omgwhat’shappening mylifeisover.

...That escalated quickly.

2. Actually try. Try really really hard to get a job.

Step 2 is obviously the more logical (and sane) path to take. However, it can be quite a journey to take.

Look back at my last blog post to learn the important first step of job applications: properly targeting your resume and cover letter. Make sure your applications blow the employers away!

Then comes the next step: acing the interview. I’ve spoken about that in a previous blog post as well!

The last step is the best one: tasting the sweet, sweet victory of landing a job.

But (there’s always a ‘but’, eh?), your journey doesn’t end just because you’re employed! Here are a couple of tips for success on your first day:
-          Be early! Since it’s your first day, it’ll take you a bit of time to settle in, and you’ll want that leeway time.
-          If you’re torn between going formal or casual, go formal. It’s better to be in dress pants when everyone else is wearing jeans, than to have the opposite situation.
-          Listen and observe. Make sure you get a deep context of the situation before you speak up and suggest changes. You will learn about the environment and about the people you will be working with.

For a few more tips, check out our Professionalism on theJob tipsheet!
Bye for now,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Guide to Another Successful Semester

 Hello UTSC-ers! 

I hope your break went well. Are you all ready for another (hopefully!) successful semester? If you are still stuck on that vacation boat and are having some difficulties getting school work done, then, here's a refresher to some tips that can help you stay focus and earn that well-deserved 4.0 GPA this semester

Step 1: Set SMART goals for yourself
Setting goals is an important and powerful process in motivating yourself to earn that 4.0. Be sure you create specific and realistic goals to avoid being overwhelmed. Remember, set SMART goals! (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely goals)

Step 2: Have a positive attitude
I know getting a bad mark on a course is not a pleasant feeling.. but don't let that get you down. Be positive about your ability to succeed... because eventually, this will be reflected on your transcripts. There's a quote I heard from a workshop when I was in first year and has stuck with me after that: "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm," Winston Churchill.

Step 3: Manage your time
To-do list! I said this a couple of times already in previous posts, but let me just reiterate again that having a to-do list  is an important first step in getting school work done efficiently

Step 4: Read!
Of course the next step is doing the work necessary to succeed.. and that is to read! Reading a ton of materials is a crucial part of university (reading the assigned material before lectures is even better!) Don't forget to supplement that with note-taking as well.

Step 5: Actively attend your lectures
Attending your lectures diligently is another key to academic success. This means you participate during the discussion while taking notes. Asking questions will also enhance your learning process.

Step 6: Record and Review your lectures
Listening actively in class involves recording your notes through writing or audio recording. Don't forget to re-read your lecture notes and course materials after class.

Step 7: Prepare for exam
Procrastination is usually the killer of student's GPA. So, make sure to be on top of your course readings and assignments.. it is definitely not too early to start preparing for your midterms. Also, keep definitions and practice questions in hand when studying for exams.

Some resources that can further complement these tips: this Tipsheet about 8 steps to academic success and Study skills Peer Counselling Appointments that can be booked on the intranet. 

Lastly, there is a workshop called Let's Get Motivated! Strategies for discipline and effective study habits offered by one of the Academic and Learning Strategists that can help you improve your study habits and maintain your motivation while tapping into your resiliency.  This workshop is on January 29th at 1:00 - 2:00 pm in Room AA160. You can sign up for this workshop through your intranet.

As always, you are welcome to stop by our office (AC213) and an Academic & Learning Strategist can offer their insight and help you boost your study strategies.

Have an awesome weekend,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Job Search Woes

Welcome back from the break! I hope you’re rested up and ready to tackle a new semester.

I’m currently seeking for my first co-op work term (I’m in the management program, remember?), and it’s not at all what I expected. Here are a few points of thought for those of you who might be in the same boat, or who might be looking for a summer job!

Two obstacles I seem to run into during the application process:

1. Properly targeting my resume and cover letter

I can’t stress how important this is. For those of you who have taken a co-op work term prep course, you’ve heard this same song dozens of time. Even if you haven’t heard of this before, now is a great time to learn!

Do not use one cover letter and resume for every single job. Take a few minutes to read through the job description and identify the skills the employer is looking for. Look at your own experiences, figure out where you’ve demonstrated those skills, and focus on those in your resume and cover letter. I assure you, you have a far greater chance of success if you put in the extra few minutes to target your application and not just pass out a generic one to as many employers as you can. Like they say: it’s quality, not quantity.

2. Rejection is a fact of life

It sucks, I know. I was terrified to send out my first job application a few days ago because I don’t want the stream of rejections to begin. A job might look like it’s perfect for you, and you may target your application really well, and still end up without a call for an interview. Rejections are bound to happen. Perhaps the organization just wasn’t the right fit for you, who knows!

The important thing to remember is that getting down after a few rejections won’t help you. Keep your chin up, and keep applying. Don’t forget, applying for jobs is a job too. Don’t let yourself slack at work!

If you ever feel like you need some guidance with your application, book a critique appointment with our Peer Advisors on the Intranet, or come into the office (AC213) and ask to make an appointment with our Career Counsellors or our Employment Coach.

Good luck with everything you pursue!