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How U of T Career Exploration & Education Helped Spice Up My Career Plans

Here’s how the U of T Career centre helped rejuvenate my career plans.

It can be a little scary to graduate without knowing exactly what you want to do or who you'd like to become. While I know that I'd like to travel and explore the world immediately after graduation, I'm not 100% sure what I'd like to do after I finish becoming an expert on world travel. Since I'm going into my fourth and final year, I decided to take advantage of the career resources available to U of T students and see what my options are.

In addition to hosting CLNx workshops, U of T Career Exploration & Education offers one-on-one online appointments with career educators and peer advisors. Last month, I attended a 20-minute resumé and cover letter review appointment and a 30-minute career exploration chat.

Here are some of the tools I learned from the career exploration session and the resumé review:

Student Life Career Exploration & Education Website

1. I Need To Market Myself To Employers

Apparently, the best way to appeal to employers, is to not only list your strengths and skills; but, it's important to mention the ways that you've helped previous companies and organizations maximize their full potential. For example, my resumé previously listed all the companies I'd worked at and what the roles entailed.

After a session with the career educator, I've switched this all around. Now, I list out all the achievements I made at x company, how I helped them grow, the ways I benefited the company, and how I can help my future employers reach their goals and make steady achievements.

Essentially, I learned to think of myself as a promoter or marketer––even if the product is technically me. Employers want to know what you can bring to the table, and this is the most helpful tip I learned from my career educator.

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2. My Resumé Needs To Be As Readable As Possible

I'll admit, I didn't only learn the importance of a having an easy-to-read resumé at U of T Career Exploration & Education, but also in a class on Strategic Business Writing offered by Innis College.

Truthfully, employers rarely have time to read through large chunks of paragraphs and decipher their meaning. Most of the time, employers are skimming through tons of resumes and the ones that stand out, are the ones that are clear, organized and readable. This means it's important to make use of white space and bullet points.

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3. I Have More Career Options Than I'd Previously Considered

Before attending this appointment, I felt like a fish on dry land –– sweltering in the heat and purposeless. So much of my life has been spent in school, I've become accustomed to the too-common anxiety about what my life would look like after school.

After a couple of minutes with my career advisor, however, I realized that I actually have a lot to offer future employers and dozens of career options. For one, I'm fluent in Spanish, and extremely comfortable with editorial work, which includes crafting journalistic pieces, editing manuscripts and even social media marketing.

Career Exploration & Education definitely helped ease my anxiety about life after university. It's nice to know that U of T doesn't just throw you in the deep end after graduation. There are options and resources available to help guide students as we embark on life in "the real world".

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