Landing a Job & Launching a Career - Recap

On May 14th, the Guelph S2BN chapter welcomed Dr. Alex Lang to the University of Guelph. After a non-linear career path in industry, Dr. Lang shared helpful words of advice- from the job search to landing the job, plus everything in between. Here is a summary of all the helpful tips he provided!

1. Looking for the job – This process can sometimes be overwhelming and feel like a job itself.

  • Stay organized! Try to make this process less overwhelming by creating small tangible goals and keeping great notes. You may be applying for several jobs, so staying organized and knowing who you talked to and when to do follow-ups can be helpful.

  • Utilize company websites, LinkedIn, and recruiter sites to find job opportunities and make use of networking opportunities. Have business cards that have a blurb about who you are and have an elevator pitch ready for networking occasions.

  • Don’t be intimated if you don’t have all the requirements on the job posting. When in doubt – apply anyways!

2. What do I put on my resume? How do I use LinkedIn?

  • Tailor your resume to the position you are applying for. Have a master CV that lists all of your activities, but be sure to pick and choose the most relevant ones that best fit the job description.

  • Use strong and dynamic words that highlight your accomplishments, not what you did! Do this using numerical values in concise bullet point statements with key words that match the job description. Don’t forget to proofread!

  • If you don’t have certain experiences on the ad, try to have a working knowledge by looking on government websites or using online training tools like Coursera or LinkedIn Learning.

  • Keep an up-to-date, professional, and active LinkedIn profile. Make sure to follow companies you like, interact with others and perhaps try writing an article yourself! Meaningful interactions will help you get noticed and expand your network.

3. Okay, I got a job interview, now what?!

  • Be sure to prepare well by researching the company and the products they have. Press releases or reports on their company website will be helpful place to start.

  • Recognize what skills and qualifications you may not have compared to the job description and try to address them.

  • Develop answers to behavioural questions using the STAR format - Situation, Task, Action, Result – and practice them beforehand.

4. Interview Day

  • Dress appropriately for the desired role and be sure to bring enough resumes for a panel interview and writing utensils. Prepare questions to ask the interviewers.

  • Be confident and show your personality in the interview, your future employer would want to know what it would be like to have you on the team.

  • Within 24-48 hours, be sure to do a follow-up to thank them for their time and reiterate why you are a good candidate for the position.

5. I got the job! Am I done now?

  • Be sure to continue to build your network at your new position.

  • Look at the job descriptions for the other positions that you may be interested in pursuing in the future. You may need to develop the skillset soon to ensure you are career ready!

Thanks, Dr. Lang for sharing your experience and these helpful tips with us!

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