September marks a fresh start for all of us. Whether it is the beginning of a new school year or a time to get back to business as summer winds down, the fall is a time to make a conscious effort to think about furthering career goals and exceeding expectations.
This summer, the media was flooded with articles citing that youth unemployment is off the charts with more students and recent grads going longer without a job, a phenomenon that can seriously affect your chances of landing a job you actually want down the road.
In my experience, it’s very easy for students to focus on the here and now: “I’m a student, so I’m going to go to class and get my work done.” In this era however, getting a piece of paper isn’t enough.
What are you doing – on top of your studies – to supplement your resume? With steep competition for relatively few jobs, it is necessary to differentiate yourself.
Let’s start the conversation:
You: I’ve got decent grades, but my work experience is the same as all other students: a service job, research work for a prof and maybe a summer camp. How am I going to do differentiate myself from the other candidates?
You: I do volunteer. I’ve run bake sales and hosted parties as fundraisers for different charities and clubs, but the volunteer experiences I’ve had aren’t very well connected to my field.
Me: Then look elsewhere! There are lots of organizations on-campus and in your city (or online!) that are non-profits which provide real-world experience. There are also businesses that accept interns, or you can approach a business you are interested in working for and offer your time and effort for free to gain experience.
For example, our organization, Students Offering Support, provides university students the opportunity to gain relevant experience by not just running parties and speaker events, but by running a social business, helping thousands of students pass exams while raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for education projects in Latin America. SOS volunteers gain the experience that employers are demanding.
We have more than 1500 volunteers on 30+ university campuses in Canada, with positions available at all universities in Canada as well as in our head office in downtown Toronto.
If interested, check out the list of opportunities here or if none fit, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see if we can connect you to an opportunity that helps you develop yourself AND help others at the same time.