You’ve made it! You’ve finished your first/second/third/whatever year at Ryerson, you passed everything, you angsted about the road, you watched the SLC turn from a tacky mockup outside the RCC to an actual place where students can learn, and now you are realizing that you can’t just live off of OSAP for another four months. Thus begins the most fun* activity to partake in: job hunting!
*fun was used sarcastically.
I don’t just mean “look online”. I mean, actually leave your apartment, and go looking for stores, restaurants, anywhere. Where employers can physically see you instead of imagining you as some horribly irresponsible cliche of a university student. And if you wanna double-down on that being innovative thing that Ryerson is so proud of, try searching somewhere that’s NOT the Eaton Centre. Everyone knows that it’s full of employment opportunities, so everyone applies. Try a little further south, in the Path, as the only people walking by those stores all already have jobs.
Be Scared Of Your Twitter
Or Facebook. Or LinkedIn. Or MySpace. Or Neopets. Anything that can come up when you google your name? Be terrified. I’ve talked with my boss, and she’s rejected applicants when she creeps back on their account and she sees they’ve tweeted about not coming into work, or they post pictures of their expensive drug habits. Don’t be stupid. If you post something in a public forum, assume that your boss is going to see it.
Bring Your Resume In
You know how you pay so many thousands and thousands of dollars to go here? We have a place designed to help you make that money back! It’s called the Career Centre. We have a Summer Job Board available, we have workshops explaining what networking actually is and how to do so, translating skills into employment, and other ways to make your degree useful.
Ask Your Friends
I’ve found out about every job I’ve had for the past two years due to my friends. If they know you’re looking for a job, and they know that you’re responsible, then you have an insider reference to wherever you’re applying already. Who would you be more likely to hire: a person you’ve talked to for five minutes, or a person that you’ve talked to for five minutes and who has the respect and trust of an already-great employee?
I know it seems like a joke, but LinkedIn is Legit with a capital L. I’ve never personally used it, but I have friends that have found actual, paid work in their field (the dream of Gen Y), just from having a profile that was posted and updated on sites like LinkedIn, or the Ryerson-owned Magnet.Today. Like any form of social media though: drive carefully. Because if you post that you can code in Java/are an amazing videographer/give great speeches, but really did one project once/use your iPhone camera/once gave a drunked Best Man speech, you’re inevitably going to burn some bridges before you have the chance to even start.
Note: aiming high does not mean “aiming unreasonably”. Yes, you might not that get that perfect paid full-time internship in your field right off of the bat – that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply. Because you followed the previous steps, you already have your resume ready, and what’s stopping you from applying? The chance that they’ll say no? It’s not like they’re going to magically find you without applying, and you have no idea what’s going to happen – but it’s far more likely that they might pass your resume forward than burn your reputation.
Now, as an employee of Ryerson, as the school year ends I begin my summer job hunt. May the odds be ever in our favour.