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3 Tips for Succeeding in the Job Market

Written by: Sima Kootar, Policy Research Analyst


Hey Social Science! As university students, we all have vastly different goals and dreams. However, it can typically be agreed upon that we are all here for one main reason, to find a job in the future. The advocacy portfolio recently hosted an event with Monique Haan, a Career Coach from Careers and Experience and she outlined her top three tips for succeeding in the job market post-graduation.


These tips are:

  1. Gaining Internship Experience

  2. Maximizing your LinkedIn account

  3. Networking (it’s easier than you think!)



Gaining Internship Experience

Let’s be honest, searching and applying for internships can be a tiring process. However, the best way to accelerate this process is by joining the Social Science Internship Program (SSIP). The SSIP is an academic program that can provide you with paid job experience while earning you up to 1.0 academic credits! They offer a short-term internship program which is a 10-week (4 month) internship completed in the summer with an average salary of $38,962. They also offer a long-term internship program which is a 8-16 month internship program completed in a student’s fourth-year with an average salary of $40,853.

 

So how can you get involved in this program?


Firstly, you must maintain an academic average of at least 70% while completing 5.0 courses. You are also highly recommended to attend an information session which will take place this September. You would then apply on Western connect and be notified of your acceptance by October 2025. Through the SSIP, you will be given access to a large, comprehensive job bank and ability to meet regularly with internship coordinators who can help you find an opportunity that matches your goals.

 

The best way to find an internship that is right for you is to start your search early. For example, if you are looking for a summer internship, it can be beneficial to start searching in September or October. It is also beneficial to tailor your marketing documents. This could look like adding some of the skills listed in a job posting to your resume. Finally, ensure you are following up with recruiters and expressing your gratitude for their assistance. After an interview, it can be very beneficial to send a thank you email. Overall, ensure you are persistent and open with your search and trust that the right opportunity will find you!

 

Creating your LinkedIn account

LinkedIn is an employment-based social media platform with over 1 billion members in 200 countries worldwide. At the Western Careers and Experience office (UCC 210), you are able to get a professional LinkedIn headshot taken for free. Adding a professional headshot to your profile can make all the difference as profiles with headshots get looked at 14x more!

 

Each section of your LinkedIn profile gives you an opportunity to showcase your value and what you would bring to the table in a professional role. In the headline section, it is beneficial to include your current role, your area of study, your career goal, a notable accomplishment, and/or your industry of interest. An example of an effective headline would be: "Third year Western Kinesiology Student | Minor in Psychology | Passionate in helping athletes overcome mind blocks"


In the About section of LinkedIn, you want to outline who you are, the value you bring, and some personal details. This is where recruiters can get to know you beyond your professional experience. It could be beneficial to include some unique qualities about you, what makes you stand out, and what you are interested in pursuing.

 

The Experience section is one of the most important sections of your profile. This is where you want to list your jobs along with a brief description of your role, links to any projects or certificates, and the skills you employed in the job. It is also very beneficial to include some volunteer experience. 20% of hiring managers have hired someone because of volunteer experience and 41% of recruiters consider volunteer experience on par with work experience. And if you don’t have much work experience, don’t worry! You can include licences and certificates, relevant projects you have done, or relevant courses you have taken that enriched your knowledge of your interested industry.

 

 

Networking (It’s easier than you think!)

It is a tale as old as time that university students don’t like networking. And it’s understandable! Some common barriers to networking are social anxiety, lack of patience, lack of structure, uncertainty, and confusion on who to talk to. However, the truth about networking is that it is just as much a part of your job search as submitting applications is. Employers primarily search for job candidates through internal referrals, external referrals, an existing pool of candidates, and during recruitment fairs. 53% of internships come through personal connections and 80% of jobs are not advertised to the public. Given this reality of the job market, it is important to get your foot in the door through networking, even if it means making the first move.

 

The best way to start networking is with your peers. Talk to your classmates and fellow students about what jobs they have worked in the past and their experiences. It can be helpful to join interest-based clubs at Western to meet peers with the same interests as you. Next, connect with your professors. Chances are, your professors are aware of a number of job opportunities in your program and they would likely be happy to assist you in finding one. It can also really help to connect with some alumni. On Western’s LinkedIn page, you can go to the alumni section and gain access to a huge array of Western graduates, many of whom have graduated in your program. Reaching out to these graduates to chat and/or set up a meeting can really enrich your job search and show you how others have used your degree in the job market.

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