Entering the Co-op program may have been a breeze, but now it’s time to get down to business: Applying for jobs and getting those interviews! Don’t worry if this may seem scary at first as there are tips to help you get your foot in the door as you continue your exciting experience in Co-op.
Once you have access to viewing Co-op positions on Symplicity, don’t feel overwhelmed or disappointed if you realize that you don’t have all the skills the jobs require. The key to getting employment is don’t hold yourself back! Even if you have only 70-80% of the skills the employer is looking for, do apply for the job because you may not need to have all the qualifications to be considered or placed for that position. And if you do get shortlisted for an interview, it’ll be your chance to demonstrate that you’re not afraid to take on a challenge and that you’re willing to give all that you have. Remember, Co-op is a learning experience and so is the job itself!
And speaking of not holding yourself back, don’t just apply for jobs in your faculty. One of the great benefits of Co-op is that you’re free to apply for any of the jobs offered in most faculties, if you have the skills and experiences. During previous terms, I’ve applied for jobs in Arts, Business and Kinesiology. In fact, even though I am a Communications student, I jumpstarted my Co-op career with a Kinesiology job! As a Co-op student, you want to make the best out of your experience by exploring the plethora of jobs out there to see where your passion and career interests lie.
When you get into the interview stage, don’t panic because your Co-op coordinators have got you covered! They’re not there to hand out jobs to you, but they are there to provide you with useful tips and advice to improve your interview skills. Your coordinators know how stressful and intimidating it can be to meet potential employers face-to-face. This is why they are here to support you with their insightful tips and feedback to make your interviews less stressful.
If you don’t have time to meet up for a mock interview, you can always do it in the comfort of your home with Interviewstream, a new way to practice interviews in front of your computer with a webcam, so that after you’re done you can replay and listen to how well you answered the questions. The Interview Question Database has hundreds of practice questions that are helpful when practicing for the actual interview. Although interviews are by their nature unpredictable, these resources will help make you less nervous and more confident when you finally meet your employer.
The Co-op program is no doubt an excellent opportunity to register as you gain first-hand experience in exploring the job market before graduation. If the employer you’re working for thinks that you’re doing an outstanding work performance, they may ask you to come back and work for them again, which is just another great reason why you should join Co-op.