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Daniel Cooper

SFU Student
Arts + Social Sciences › English

a close up of a laptop screen with a man jotting down notes in the background
There are a variety of co-op positions available for almost any faculty. You can gain a full year or more of valuable work experience in your chosen field and you even get paid!

So, you’re at university to get yourself a degree, and that degree is going to get you the dream job that you’ve always wanted, right? After you graduate, maybe you’re thinking of sending a few resumes off, just to see what happens. Did you know that employers evaluate you on your resume before they even meet you? If you want to increase your chances of landing that dream job, you really need to make your resume stand out from all of the rest, especially if you want to land that interview.

So, how do you distinguish yourself from all of the other applicants - especially if everyone also has a degree? What can you do to prevent yourself from becoming another face in the crowd? An easy way to stand out is to have a variety of applicable experience on your resume, whether that is work related, volunteer oriented, or even relevant hobbies. So when you do get that interview right out of university, rather than telling them about what you’re interested in, you can show them all of the things that you’ve already done. It’s easy to start building up, and all of these options are available to you while you’re still at SFU.

Here’s a collection of websites I wish I’d known about when I started university, and something you should take advantage of before you graduate.

Co-operative Education

There are a variety of co-op positions available for almost any faculty. You can gain a full year or more of valuable work experience in your chosen field and you even get paid

Work and Learn

If Co-op isn’t your thing, perhaps you can find something of interest at the SFU Work and Learn website. The Work and Learn site displays opportunities for teaching, researching, work-study, and volunteer positions. These roles are typically on campus, and work around your school schedule, but you must be eligible for certain positions.


When creating your resume, your experience doesn’t always have to be work related. There are a multitude of volunteer positions that can help you to gain skills and talents that are transferable to your future job.

School Clubs

There are many clubs on campus that you can join. Find something that interests you; you’ll meet new people, and if you end up taking on an official position in the club or working on a project then you’ll have something new to enhance your resume.

Declare a Major

Here’s a tip, this may not seem to be the most obvious advice, however once you declare a major your SFU email is connected to the undergraduate department’s email list. The undergraduate chair often sends out emails to this list, and occasionally volunteer and work opportunities are passed on through this channel. These opportunities are almost always specifically geared towards your faculty and are the perfect opportunity to gain experience in your field.

If you’re unsure what you want to do, and maybe haven’t committed to a major, the One Major, Endless Possibilities site can show you some of the future possibilities different majors can offer you.

These are just a few options - in the end it depends on what you’re interested in and what you want to pursue. But the key takeaway is don’t wait until you graduate to start fleshing out your resume, take advantage of your time at SFU and get ahead of the crowd. You won’t regret it when it comes time to actually send that resume off!

About the Author

Daniel Cooper

SFU Student
Arts + Social Sciences › English
Daniel Cooper is a fourth year student studying English Literature and History. He enjoys reading, writing, and cooking in his spare time.
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