CAREER OPTIONS CARRIÈRES - Post Secondary, Pour les étudiants cégeps, collège et universités Fall 2018 - 20

HOW TO BUILD
RELEVANT
EXPERIENCE
WHEN YOU
DON'T HAVE ANY
RELEVANT
EXPERIENCE
By Dan Kennedy, CACEE National Board; Manager,
George Brown Career Services

H

ave you looked at job ads these days? It seems
like every job out there is asking for relevant
experience. Even entry-level jobs are asking
for three years' experience, and sometimes
even more. How can students compete against seasoned
professionals? How are you supposed to compete when
the only job you have ever had is babysitting for your aunt
or that part-time gig at the local McBurgerWendy's chicken
restaurant? If it is indeed an "entry-level" job, the question
comes to mind, "why do I need three years' experience?!" It
can sometimes feel as if the career search is stacked against
the recent or soon-to-be graduate.
If you find yourself asking these very same questions, it
may help you to know that we agree. Today's job and career
market is very competitive. However, acknowledging these
challenges does not change the fact that right now, the
labour market is a buyers' market. Employers are asking for
three-plus years of experience because they can. There are
plenty of people with work experience that will be looking for
many of the same jobs that you will be considering.

START APPLYING FOR
STUDENT GROUP
POSITIONS THAT WOULD
GIVE YOU THE
EXPERIENCE YOU ARE
LOOKING FOR.
20

FALL | AUTOMNE 2018

Complaining about it will not change much. Instead,
you need to start finding places where you can get that
experience in an efficient and timely manner. One of the first
things you will need to do in order to build up your résumé is
to stop thinking in terms "work experience" and start thinking
in about "relevant experience."
Here are some strategies and tactics to help you build up
your relevant experience.

Student Group Leadership
Every university or college has a student association that is
responsible for governing the extracurricular student clubs,
groups and associations. You can connect with your student
association for a list of active student groups or clubs at your
campus. Each of these student groups will have a host of
leadership and executive positions that need to be filled by
students like you.
Start applying for student group positions that would give
you the experience you are looking for. For the accounting
students, the title of treasurer looks strong on a résumé.
Students studying technology management should be thinking
of IT or communications director positions for possible
opportunities to build experience. Not only will you be building
on your skill set, but you will be demonstrating to future
employers that you have leadership and organization skills.

CAREER OPTIONS CARRIÈRES POST-SECONDARY EDITION | POUR LES ÉTUDIANTS DES CÉGEPS, COLLÈGE ET UNIVERSITÉS



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