Ah, Reading Week! It’s that special time during the winter semester when you can wind down a bit from all that class time, sleep in, visit family or even take a trip somewhere down south.
Sounds relaxing, right?
Most of us are aware that Reading Week is actually there for reading and catching up on school work, but students often look forward to just taking a break from everything.
After Reading Week, the end of the semester tends to creep up faster than expected. And since those few short weeks will most likely be spent scrambling to get major assignments done and studying for exams, it’s easy to forget about the need to search for a job.
This year, plan ahead. Here are 10 job search tips you can do over Reading Week to improve your chances of scoring your dream job by the end of the semester.
1. Update your resume
Chances are that your resume hasn’t been updated in a while. Add any relevant experience you have gained since your last update (internships, awards, seasonal work, etc.) and mark everything with appropriate dates.
2. Find out about career events or resume clinics at school
Take the time during Reading Week to find out when your school will be hosting any career fairs, workshops or resume writing help clinics. Mark them on your calendar and attend the ones that interest you.
Not sure where to look? Check out TalentEgg’s Events section and visit the websites of your career centre and faculty or program.
3. Take note of references you may need
Maybe there’s a professor, a teaching assistant, a student team member or an internship employer you need to talk to about acting as one of your reference contacts for future employers. Plan meetings with whoever you need to talk to before the end of the term.
4. Consider setting up a small website
When it comes to applying for entry level jobs, standing out from the crowd can be difficult – especially in the late winter or early spring when so many students are scrambling to apply for jobs. Consider setting up a small page on WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger to showcase your skills and experience more uniquely than the average Microsoft Word attachment.
5. Get on LinkedIn
If you don’t like the idea of setting up a web page, you should at least think about getting on LinkedIn and joining a few groups related to your field. More people are finding jobs through social media these days, and you could be one of them.
6. Make an application schedule
Tell yourself: “I’m going to apply for x-number of jobs per week until the end of the term.” If you spread your application submissions over the few weeks following Reading Week, you’ll be able to manage your time better between school work and job searching.
7. Research employers
Before you send off an application, it’s important to show that you know a thing or two about the employer. Customize your cover letters and highlight your skills by showing what you already know about the employer in a way that would impress them.
8. Aim for quality over quantity
Some people get the idea that sending out identical versions of the same cover letters and resumes to as many employers as possible will get them a job. Instead, craft each application individually and proofread them at least twice.
9. Brush up on your writing skills
Cover letters are not meant to be boring. Don’t be afraid to show some personality in them. Read other examples of cover letters online and practice writing out your own.
10. Look for networking opportunities
Career fairs are always great to help you get started on the right path toward landing a job, but don’t just stop there. Ask people you know if they have any connections with people or the types of jobs you’re looking for, and don’t be afraid to use those connections to your advantage.
You have just one week until almost everything starts to pile up toward the end. Use it wisely. Remember that good job searching is like a marathon, not a sprint!