You’ve likely walked by your university’s career centre at some point during your studies in Canada. Why not walk in? Career centres provide a number of services in varying formats that can help international students achieve their career goals after graduation. These include helping them find volunteer or paid work, editing resumes/cover letters, offering advice on the Canadian job market and most importantly personal advising on anything career-related.
Discovering Volunteer Opportunities
One of the ways the career centre can assist is by helping you locate different volunteer opportunities. Evidently, volunteering is not working, but it can help you prepare for a career in a multitude of ways. For example, volunteering can help you explore a particular sector; if you’re interested in health sciences, volunteering with a local non-profit or Fraser Health can of course be very beneficial to confirm if you want to work in that sector. Further, volunteering exposes your skills and knowledge to people that do work for the organization, possibly guaranteeing you a job later on! And lastly, volunteering is still a valuable experience, it shows employers that you are so dedicated to the cause!
Developing Resumes/Cover Letters
A second way the career centre can help is by informing about the proper format and things to include in both cover letters and resumes. Canadian resumes and cover letters can be slightly different from resumes and cover letters in other countries. Thus, it is important to understand the differences. Writing both of these in the best way possible can make it more likely that you will get the job you’re seeking! Often, the career centre will provide this information in workshops that it holds for international students. Or, through personal one on one advising.
Finding Jobs in Canada
Third, the career centre can help international students actually locate jobs in Canada. They may do this by introducing students to Canadian job search engines, or even connections in their field of interest. This is of tremendous value to international students who have recently arrived. They may also help students find the best ways to search for jobs that don’t require PR or Canadian Citizenship. Or, they could introduce students to co-op, a paid work experience program that gives you experience specifically in your field of interest.
Adapting to the Canadian Job Market
Next up we have adapting to the Canadian job market. The career centre staff deeply understands different trends in the Canadian job market,. From what’s in-demand career-wise, to salaries, benefits and much more, they know it all. This can be especially important for students who wish to start their careers in Canada. It’s good to know what’s actually available and what’s expected to continually be in-demand. Further, it’ll help international students understand the job levels that exist in the Canadian job market. From contracts to internships, to temporary, to mid-level and senior positions, there are numerous levels.
Career Advising for your Career Pathway
A lot of the advice that career centres can give you will be done through online publications, one on one advising, small group advising or workshops! One on one advising however is likely the best option for students who are seeking advice on a specific career idea or career pathway. In advising, students can get advice on how to create goals to achieve their career dreams, the necessary hops they’ll have to jump through including degrees, certifications and external exams, and other necessary advice. Advisers can help students create a plan for their optimum career pathway, guiding them to their dreams as best as they can.
Your career centre is really a place worth visiting. They can offer tons of advice through workshops, personal advising and online publications. These can help you achieve your dream career right here in Canada. Having a plan with a timeline will help you feel more confident about getting a job after school ends. So, why not go get that advice? You already pay for it via tuition and fees, so may as well use it!
Further, coming to Canada and knowing you intend to start a career here can feel daunting. But, as international students, you have access to this amazing resource that is the career centre! So, try to stress less about the process and know there are people excited to watch you thrive in your new Canadian life and career.