Types of Sources

Applying Directly to Employers

Whether you show up at their door, call their hotline, meet them at a job fair, or find them on the Internet, the most popular method of searching for work is to apply directly to the employers that interest you. The advantage to this method is that the employer knows that you have taken the effort to apply to them specifically with a resume and cover letter. Its the surest method there is that an employer will see you.

Sometimes it is fruitful to apply to companies who haven't listed any job openings. Small-to-medium sized enterprises are flattered by these applications, and will at least keep them on file until they have room for another person. If the employer is significantly impressed by an applicant, they may create a position just to have that person in their organization. The drawback to this method is that if the employer is very large and attractive to students, they will likely receive thousands of unsolicited resumes and they may not have time to go through them all.

Your Personal Network

Networking is a great way to learn of openings that aren't formally posted. Business students are indoctrinated with the importance of maintaining a large network of loose ties, and for good reason. The more people you have vouching for your competence/reliability/work ethic, the better chance you stand of landing jobs from people who know you through association. This is because your CREDIBILITY has already been established. Employers also dislike going through the arduous and costly process of publicly advertising a position, so if they can find a reliable person without undertaking that effort, they will. For that reason, many positions are never advertised.

Placement Offices

Placement offices are an invaluable resource for students and recent graduates who are looking for work. In addition to job postings they tend to offer the following services:

Information: Corporate profiles and annual reports, career development materials and videotapes, undergraduate and graduate surveys, newsletters, student handbooks, and even Internet links to other job-seeking resources.

Seminars: Instruction may be provided by placement office personnel or external presenters on a number of topics: resume and cover letter writing, the CACEE application form, interview skills, job search techniques, networking, and job retention techniques.

Mock Interviews: The opportunity to practice interview skills and perhaps even obtain a videotape of yourself for your private review are tremendous tools both to improving your presentation and building confidence.

Critiquing of Application Materials: Drop off your resume, cover letter, or CACEE form and placement office personnel can offer suggestions on how to improve them.

Job Fairs: Placement offices will sometimes arrange annual job fairs where employers can make personal contact with large numbers of students or soon-to-be graduates. Students can often obtain valuable insights into the kinds of qualifications these employers are seeking, and can tailor their electives or community service activities accordingly.

Newspaper Ads

Newspapers - local, provincial, or national - are a great source of employment opportunities. Sometimes interesting positions can be found in the classified section, but more often the better jobs are found in the Careers section. Just because you choose a local paper, it doesn't necessarily follow that all the postings will be local. Rural townships are often willing to advertise widely in order to fill positions. Corporations will also advertise widely because they know they can lure qualified candidates away from their current location if the prospect of working for their company is attractive enough.

Job Fairs

Whether corporations, career offices, or government agencies host them, job fairs are a fantastic way to meet employers you are interested in. You can get a great deal of information very quickly, and even meet the recruiters of the companies you are interested in. Or perhaps drop off some resumes or business cards, as cover letters won't be expected. For a job fair, like the interview, your first impression is very important, so don't show up unless your dress and grooming are impeccable. You don't need to make any pretence about being interested in only one company here - its quite acceptable to flirt with everyone.

Government Listings

Governments are great repositories of information that the public can access. Job opportunities are no exception. They have hotlines, websites, bulletins, and even newsprint devoted to recruiting individuals. In order to treat their applicants equitably, they are often required to post widely any and every position they have, which is not the case for private sector recruiting.

Societies and Associations

Professional associations can be excellent sources of job openings directly in your field, and they are also great networking opportunities. But unless you are already employed as a professional, you will probably find the membership fees too steep simply for the purposes of a job hunt.

Private Employment Agencies

Headhunting outfits are a gateway to some of the best jobs available in the industries they serve. This is in part because they have a reputation for scouting only the best candidates, as well as charging employers high commissions for successful matches. It probably won't cost you anything to submit your resume to one of these agencies, and it increases your exposure to great employers. Expect this to yield results for those with truly amazing qualifications.

Other Sources

You might want to also consider other sources like: