As students walked across their respective convocation stages this past spring, they may have been thinking “now I need to start applying to career type jobs” Sorry folks, but you are 6 months too late.
In 2017 more than half of Canadians 25-64 had either a college diploma or university degree. This is fantastic for our country; however, it creates an extremely competitive job market after graduation. Despite low unemployment rates in Canada, the fact we have so many educated citizens creates high unemployment in some sectors. Thus, despite the low rates, Canada has a competitive job market in many fields. If we accept the premise it is a competitive job market, the new grad needs to think backward. The new grad needs to develop a backward design for their career search. What I mean by this is; students should begin an active career search 6-8 month prior to graduation.
Grads need to begin their career search early as the search and hiring process takes time. A recent MBA graduate related over 6 months they submitted 189 resumes, received 5 interviews which resulted in one offer. Six months prior to graduation is not unreasonable to begin the search. Consider the time it takes a company to post, review resumes, pre-screen, interview (multiple candidates), and make an offer. For some companies, the entire process can take months. Many large companies begin their search for new grads as early as November each year, for positions that would start in the following May. Soon to be graduates that wait until they cross the stage miss out on 100’s of positions that were posted months before graduation. The goal of career services in post-secondary is to mitigate against these mistakes.
Soon to be grads follow some of these steps.
Remember “if you don’t apply the answer will always be no”