An effective job search strategy: strolling York Lanes

students check the list of employers

York Lanes was bustling with students and employers on Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Career Centre’s annual Career Fair. The fair provided an opportunity for students to connect with a variety of employers, promote their skills and experience, and explore a range of career opportunities.

Right and below: Images from York’s 2005 Career Fair

In addition to connecting with employers, York students visiting the fair were also looking for more specific information from employers, including: What are some of the skills and qualifications needed; what benefits are provided; are there corporate training programs offered; and how can a new hire succeed?

One student in his second year in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies’ Administrative Studies program connected with a company that was able to help him: “I had been on the company’s Web site over the summer and really wanted to talk to someone about the management trainee program. I was able to speak with one of the managers as well as someone who graduated last year and was currently in the training program. It was great to hear first-hand what it’s like to work there.”

students speak with a career advisorEmployers who participated in this year’s Career Fair also benefited from the event and had high praise for York’s students. “It’s our first time at the York Career Fair and it is definitely an opportunity we will tap into in the future,” said a recruiter from the music chain HMV. “Not only are the students we’re speaking with from a variety of disciplines, but they also come from across the GTA so we’re able to connect with a diverse population in one place.”

Representatives from TD Canada Trust also found the fair beneficial. “We typically go to universities with the highest quality candidates and York fits that perfectly,” said a TD Canada Trust recruiter. “It also fits the market for both part-time student employment as well as graduate employment.”

“Connecting students with opportunities is what the Career Fair is all about.” said Scott Fennell, manager, employer relations at York’s Career Centre.

Sometimes the connections that occur are unexpected, as one student in her third year in York’s Public Policy & Administration program experienced. “I had such an amazing day! I found out about a perfect opportunity at just the right time because I spoke with one of the employers who has a background in public policy,” said the student. “She told me about a position within a different organization for which she volunteers. This position is exactly what I need to have on my resumé in order to apply for an internship program I’ve been interested in for some time. I’m so happy I met her!”

two students talking about job opportunitiesIf students did not see the type of organization or job they were interested in at the fair, advisers from York’s Career Centre were on hand to speak with them about other career options and help with strategies to access opportunities that were right for them. One student about to graduate from the Faculty of Arts said, “I came to York because I could combine courses like Religious Studies and Creative Writing. I’ve absolutely loved my programs but now that I am getting ready to graduate, I’m in a bit of a panic about what I can do in the future. I spoke with someone at the Career Centre booth who made me feel so much better and directed me to resources so I can find a job that’s right for me based on my skills and what I’ve learned here.”

Students who missed the event can refer to the list of participating organizations on the Career Centre‘s Web site to follow up with the companies on their own. Students with questions about their career or job search can also drop into the Career Centre during office hours to meet with a career adviser.

This article was submitted to YFile by Julie Rahmer, manager, communications & Web services, York’s Career Centre.