I want to wholeheartedly *thank you* for taking the time to apply for this position with the Downtown Victoria Business Association. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and other applicants through letters, resumes & portfolio.
At this point, I’ve selected a candidate who’s accepted the offer as our junior content marketer this summer. (Don’t close this yet, there’s some special content in here I created just for you.)
THAT said – I understand how vulnerable it can feel to “put yourself out there” with lots of job applications to get a great co-op placement. I did co-op myself, moved 17 times in 4 years (not a typo) – so, I get ya. It can feel like a wild ride.
Also, if you’re reading this, and are interested in joining the events side of our team, look for another position with us that could be listed as we speak on your co-op career site. it’s not on my team, but it’s a great position for a dynamic person with hospitality experience.
Here are some words of support for you, on this journey to landing the position that’ll be an outstanding fit for you, I’m sure:
1: Be confident & Focus on the good stuff.
Be confident in who you are and what you have to offer. Harvest your life experience for the unique qualities that make you an amazing person, whom others love, support and appreciate. Look back at how much you’ve already accomplished in the last few months or years. Really, take stock. Would you of 2016 be impressed by you of 2018? Yes. I’m sure of it.
There’ll be ups and downs in this journey. No matter what happens, keep trusting in your ability to grow, learn, overcome challenges while staying open for the opportunities that are coming your way. Always focus on the good stuff, mentally let go of the rest (ain’t nobody got time for worry and anxiety!) and keep moving forward, one step at a time. #youvegotthis
- Be flexible & Stay Curious: As a co-op student with a Fine Arts major, I had a work term as a webmaster, one in a cultural department, one teaching computer science, and a bunch of others I honestly can’t remember. The *BEST* work terms were the ones that were out of my comfort zone (webmaster), where I was hired for being a great personal FIT in the team. Which means, I had to stay true to who I am, throughout the hiring process.Always Stay Curious about the opportunities you’re tempted to explore. Career paths are more like rivers — they ebb, flow, and twist and turn. You often don’t know what’s next or what’s coming your way. Some of the best jobs are the ones you never thought about. Eyes and heart open, explore what’s out there, and say YES to the hunches that are leading you in new, exciting directions! You really do never know.
- Be You: Ok, ok, being professional is important. But always be you in all that you do, and what you share with potential employers. People love meeting people, so be confident in sharing what makes you uniquely, you. That’s the only way you and employers will be able to tell if you’re “meant to be”.
- Be Proactive & go for what you want: Right now, you’re seeing a job board at school that’s incomplete. Why? Because ALL job boards are incomplete.There are many, many businesses that’d love your help, but have been too busy to pause and start their hiring process.
Here’s what you can do:
-First, think about what kind of experience you’d love to gain. Where do you want to feel challenged and want to grow?
-Next, think the kind of workplace you’d love to be in and the general work culture. Some people need structure, others more flow and freedom. Know this about yourself.
-Then, research businesses or nonprofits you’d help. There are SO MANY in this town! In fact, you can use our website to view what’s downtown by category: https://dvba.cldevs.org/members/business-finder/
–Finally, go IN PERSON to drop off a resume, introduce yourself and express interest in what they’re doing and helping out. People love it when others care about them! Show you care. Ask questions, and explore how you can contribute to what they’re doing. This is about creating a relationship, that can lead to an opportunity.
- Stay top-of-mind: If you’ve applied somewhere and you really, really want the job, also drop off a CV in person, call, send a follow-up email. It’s 100% fine and will help you out. Promise. Stay inspired, excited for what’s next, and keep at it! One of these jobs is yours.
- Apply early. Set an internal deadline to apply for positions as soon as possible. This also gives you a chance to be the first to make a first impression. That always helps1
Lastly, a few practical tips on your resume & letters and emails:
- Letter Structure: Make it about why you’re a great fit for them – even if it’s your reaching out to inquire about a possible position. The best letters have personality, character and show how complementary the applicant is with the organization and the position. Just like an online dating profile, you’re wanting to express how this “relationship” can work, and who you’re a right fit for.
- Resumé: this is how you can show you’re awesomeness A few stealth resumé-writing and reviewing tips:
- All experience is experience – remove the “volunteer” heading, it adds no value to your resumé.
- If a job title is unclear or doesn’t match what you did, then rewrite it to match the experience
- Highlight what you learned and how you grew and show quantified results with a few numbers.
Eg. Implemented 3 new Instagram strategies which doubled our engagement rate in 2 weeks. Or, Proactively reached out to 10 new people which created 3 opportunities the team pursued.
- If you’re stating unrelated job experience or experience that feels unspectacular for the position you’re applying for, see how you can highlight something from it that makes you feel competent and confident. (show us why you’re awesome!)
- Bonus points: I always use a mixed functional resume, so I can include skills and talents in categories. Then, my experience I grouped by topics area, so it’s easy to review and relevant to jobs.
- Bonus point #1 : Make it pretty and more interesting—you can use Canva to do that fairly easily. Canva is a free design web-based design tool even non-technical people can use. They have great templates.
- Bonus point # 2: If you have portfolio pieces, also use Canva using the presentation design and publish them to the web. You can then simply use an URL shortener (bit.ly) to redirect to it. Easy and super sleek looking
- And my *biggest secret* that works super well: When you’re done creating your application package (especially the letter), put it aside for a bit, then review a print version reading it *out loud* not for content, but for how it makes you FEEL. You’re aiming for a feeling that leaves the reader curious, confident and excited to meet you. Do this “emotional audit” with a partner if you prefer, works well too. Anytime you feel “meh”, see how you can tweak your language. <<—– this one tip is GOLD.
With all that said, even if we didn’t have a chance to meet, I wish you all my best in NAILING this job finding (not searching, but FINDING) process. Remember, you’ve got this: Your dream job is out there!
Downtown Victoria Business Association
Anne-Sophie joins DVBA after running her own online-based business, from Kelowna, supporting with socially-minded entrepreneurs globally to develop their leadership and create effective, emotionally-intelligent marketing. Aside from entrepreneurship, she’s also worked in the media as a print and radio reporter and TV host, and as a Senior Communications Advisor at the Canadian Museum of History and for the Federal Government.