In order to approach the job search strategically, you need to consider what you have to offer and what you are looking for. Once you have some idea of the kind of work that will suit your current needs, you can craft a targeted strategy to help you land an exciting opportunity!
Ask yourself some initial questions
- What type of job do you want? What skills do you already have?
- What types of work would be interesting for you (e.g., research, teaching, admin, entrepreneur....)? How come?
- Who does the sort of work you’re excited about (e.g., academia, non-profit, private or public sector, industry...)?
- Who shares your interests?
- Who might need employees with your skills and experience?
- How can you best use your experiential and knowledge capital?
- What types of employers would be interesting for you?
- How much relevant experience do you have? If not too much, where can you get it?
Know your field
Find out as much information as you can about the fields that you're interested in
Do your research
- Look up companies online (their focus/mandate/mission, who’s expanding/who’s shrinking), trends, new developments, current literature, and more.
- Identify the experts. Look for industry or professional associations, current employees, and leaders in your fields of interest.
- Which specific employers do you wish to target?
- Do they have competitors?
- Use the 'Your degree' pages for Arts, Science, Applied Science, and Land and Food Systems to learn about companies and professional associations that often hire student with your academic backgrounds.
- Use these career resources for historically marginalized populations to get tips on how to find work where your intersecting identities are valued and you are supported to thrive.
- Remember to blend hard info, like data gathered from your online research, with soft info, such as advice or tips from informational interviews.
Access the hidden job market
The hidden job market refers to jobs that are not posted or advertised online. This happens for many reasons. It may be that employers are trying to save money or it could also be that they prefer to find candidates through referrals. What is important to know is that you can access it! Because employers spend about 80% of their time searching for candidates through their networks, you should also be prioritizing networking.
Watch this short video to continue to learn about the hidden job market, as well as additional job search strategies to consider.
Consider your current priorities
Your degree combined with experience sets you up to do many different types of work. And there may be times when you find the job search process particularly challenging - whether that be due to a stagnant or declining economy, being interested in particularly competitive roles or many other reasons. There may be times when you have to focus on urgent priorities like paying rent that require you to take a survival job. Know that this is ok and common!
Remember that your career is a life-long journey of consecutive decision-making. If you aren’t able to land your dream job now, consider taking other work while continuing to develop your skills in preparation for a future job more aligned with your interests or goals. All experiences offer opportunities to learn, grow and build professional relationships.
As a student you have access to LinkedIn Learning. Use it to bolster your resume.
Access the online job and volunteer board for UBC students and alumni.
Career events and workshops
Whether you're looking to improve your job applications or explore your career, UBC has events and workshops to support you.
If you have questions
Contact the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers for career-related information, or to drop in to career advising.