Define your worth to the employer. Convince employers that they should invest in you.
Progressive employers view talented graduates as a valuable resource for future growth. Employers hire people who have demonstrated that they want the opportunity to grow.
Many employers have said to us that without an established track record, they will tend to hire someone because of what attitudes, energy, and character strengths they see that can be a foundation for training and future development.
Think about your skills, your strengths, and your experiences in school.
How have you applied yourself to your studies? What strengths and skills helped you succeed? If you have had the opportunity to work in an industry related co-op placement, then there is some assessment that the employer may obtain, based on your employment reference.
The skills you learned in part-time jobs are transferable to other employment. Employers look for evidence of the ability to learn quickly, get along with coworkers, and work in an organized, self-motivated manner. Extracurricular activities are taken into account, as is volunteer work. List your accomplishments and talk about them.
As an entry-level employee with no co-op history, the employer doesn’t have a track record to measure your performance. Instead, they look at grades, honours awarded, scholarships received, and Dean’s list citations. Tell them what you have done and how you did it.
Put yourself in the employer’s shoes, and understand the employer’s point of view, concerns, and needs:
- Is this person someone we can invest time in to train them?
- Will this person be staying with us long enough for us to benefit from having trained them?
- Does this person have a willingness to cooperate and be a good team player?
- Is this person someone who communicates effectively?
- Does this person have realistic salary expectations?
Hiring managers hire people that show confidence, enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and work hard, and flexibility in an interview. These attitudes make a positive impression which lead to job offers.