Schools Training

Getting Ready for Your Job Search

5 MAR 2014
Career Path : Career Tips

Sometimes, it happens by choice. Other times, something unexpected occurs that forces you to find a new job. Since you never know what might happen, it’s important to always be prepared to find employment. Good preparation can be the determining factor between your dream career and an endless, painful job search.

The basics

Since you don’t know how long your job search is going to take, take care of the basics first. Whether you’ve left your job voluntarily or received a pink slip, you may still be eligible for continuation of some benefits, unused sick pay, accrued vacation pay, and other payments. If you’ve been terminated, make sure to ask your employer about all the items above, then file for unemployment immediately. Having the financial resources available to properly conduct your job search empowers you, as it means you won’t have to accept the very first offer you get.

Don’t leave anything behind

Make sure to clean up your computer before leaving by deleting personal files and emails. If you are resigning, avoid burning bridges. Try to leave on the best possible terms. You can accommodate your employer by letting key personnel know in advance that you’re leaving. Though your employer may not like that you’re resigning, leaving gently instead of abruptly will make them more willing to provide you with a positive letter of recommendation, which will help with your future employment search.

Your resume and cover letter 

Simply put, a well-written resume and a compelling, personalized cover letter is your ticket to a job interview. For a potential employer, a cover letter often creates a critical first impression. Make sure to list your school. If you can, take the time to read educational articles about the company and write a personalized cover letter for each employer you send your resume to, demonstrating that you’ve done your research and are ready to step in and be a productive team member. Employers read thousands of resumes, most of which fail to stand out. Going the extra mile takes more effort, but can often be rewarding.

Contact Information 

Make sure your contact information is up to date. If you’re currently employed, don’t use your contact information at work; use a personal email account. If you have a cell phone, keep your voicemail inbox clean and tidy so that potential employers can leave you a message when you’re unavailable.


Plan ahead by compiling a list of references and some letters of recommendation. You don’t have to submit these along with a job application, but being ready to hand them over, or even volunteering them yourself, shows that you are committed, well-organized and have nothing to hide. Gather contact information from your co-workers or customers, so that you can use this material when the time comes. You can even provide references from your school. Look through Canadian college directories for contact information.

Reason for Leaving 

Employers are likely to ask about your employment history. Be prepared to answer these questions frankly and directly. Whether you were fired or decided to quit, the stories behind these events can reveal a lot about your character. Use them to your advantage!