Job hunting: Resumé, cover letter & interview tips
Job hunting can be demanding. Here are some tips to help you find a potential position, write a job application and prepare for an interview.
Job hunting can take a while, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here are some good places to start your search:
- Online: job boards live online and allow you to search for available positions by field, salary and location (e.g. Indeed, Workopolis, Craigslist, Kijiji, etc.)
- Employment centres: youth employment centres are places where young people can find help locating a job. They also provide services for resumé building, interview tips and housing/personal finance information.
- Connections: if your friend or family member is familiar with an organization that’s looking for staff, you may consider applying.
Although they can be challenging to write, a resumé is required with most job applications. A resumé usually includes a chronological list of your accomplishments such as:
- work experience
- volunteer experience
- special skills
- extracurricular activities
- awards and achievements
You can add specific details about each item on the list and how they’re relevant to the position you’re applying for.
A job application should always be submitted with a cover letter. A cover letter is usually addressed to the hiring manager and includes a description of how you heard about the job, why you’re interested in the position, what you know about the organization and a few specific details about your relevant skills and experience.
Interviews can be both exciting and nerve-racking. During an interview, both you and the employer are able to ask questions to learn more about each other, your compatibility and your qualifications. It’s a good idea to arrive prepared with answers to commonly asked questions such as:
- Why do you want this job?
- What do you like about this organization?
- What three skills do you think this position needs?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Remember to get a good night’s sleep, stay away from caffeinated beverages (your adrenaline will be pumping, so extra caffeine may just make you jittery) and eat something light prior to the interview to keep your energy up.
Getting a job after high school
Finding employment right after high school is an option for many people. You can look for full time or part time work in restaurants, retail stores, the trades, administration and more. Visit your school guidance counsellor, or search Resources Around Me, for support with getting a job.
Get information about how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are connected and what you can do to care for your well-being. Learning about mental health can help empower you with the language to communicate how you’re feeling.
Find resources by group
Practise with tools, tips and resources to help build your skills and improve your wellness in the way that feels best for you. Learn how to identify your strengths, communicate thoughts and feelings, overcome obstacles and connect with support.
Take a quiz
Find out how much you know about specific topics and get resources to learn more.
Play a game
Reduce stress and have fun at the same time.
Map out your support network
Identify who and where your community is to get help when you need it.
Share what’s on your mind
Try different tools to express how you’re feeling.
Make a safety plan
Access tools for safety planning and reporting.
Regain calm and relax with these activities.
Try a self-assessment
Identify how you’re feeling and find resources to support you right now.
Explore lived experiences from other young people across Canada. Learn from real-life youth stories, gain new ideas and ask questions to connect and inspire your own wellness journey.
If you need help right now, you can talk to a trained volunteer crisis responder about anything you're going through. No issue is too big or too small.
Connect with a professional counsellor to better understand what you're going through and help take a step in the direction you want to go.