Well folks, we are off to a fresh new month, the weather is getting cooler and soon there will be snow. Oh, and a lot of you are going to be hurting for cash when you realize that OSAP money doesn’t go as far as you thought it would. This may have something to do with the fact that you have been drinking $50 a day of it and living the high life, if that is your thing. It might also be because it is very expensive to live in Toronto. Either case, it might be pertinent to reflect on your financial priorities.
After two years on OSAP, and amassing a huge amount of debt, I am in the position where I am trying a year without. SO, with no other options, it is time to get a job.
My college was so kind to offer me a grant to help with tuition. However, I need a means to live, so, for those of you out there that are in need of money, as I am, I am sharing some strategies I have learned over the years to getting a job.
First, you need to be realistic. You need to know how many hours a week you can work without it impeding on your studies and extra-cirriculars. For myself, I have decided that I can work 20-25 hours a week, while still being able to attend class and participate in the many clubs I am a part of. You may be different.
Second, you need to check out the University of Toronto Job Search Portal. This is THE place to get jobs on campus, student jobs off-campus and work-study positions for those on OSAP. Keep in mind, however, that those of you on OSAP are limited to earning $50 a week before OSAP decides that you are earning too much and will cut back on your entitlement. Also, make sure that you report all earnings to Admissions & Awards or else you will find yourself in hot water.
Next, you need to put together a resume and cover letter that is targeted to the job you want. This means doing a lot of work. You will need to write a unique cover letter and customize your resume to what the job posting is asking for. No job history? No problem. Simply do up a functional resume that focuses on your skills, abilities and achievements as opposed to actual places of work. Most people at university will be using functional resumes. For tips on how to write this kind of resume, I suggest checking out the wikihow site.
Even if all goes well with your application, be prepared to simply never hear from about 80 per cent of the places you apply to. What one employer likes in you might not be the same as another, so be strong. For myself, I was actually quite lucky. I applied to 10 jobs and was invited to six interviews. This isn’t normal, but I’ve been at this a while, and have learned a lot of these lessons the hard way. Believe me, I have dealt with my share of rejection.
If and when you get that illustrious interview, dress up. Don’t go in baggy jeans and a torn tank top. Even if you are going for a job that you know is casual dress, the employer will take your efforts as a sign of respect and initiative to do a good job.
Finally, do your best to relax. People get way too stressed out with the job search process. There is a job out there for you, and you just need to realize that it may take a lot of hard work to get. It will happen. Trust me.
Also, it might be good to check out some further tips by viewing Emily’s post on getting a part-time job on campus.
Do you have any job search techniques to share? Add them to my comments.