Back to School: Nine career myths BUSTED to start you on the right career track!



Friday, September 14, 2018 - Cheyene Shuart

Career planning… that’s for the end of university, right? Maybe not! Check out these nine quick, eye-opening career related facts that will encourage you to think twice about putting it off.

Welcome to September, Lancers!

We know that this isn’t always the most exciting month of school – sometimes it can be the most stressful! On top of all the due dates staring you down, there’s the ever-looming reason you’re here in the first place… your future career. If you’re feeling stressed out and lost right now, you’re not alone. At Career Development and Experiential Learning Centre (CDEL) located in the Joyce Entrepreneurship Centre Rm 100 (beside the WFCU), it’s our job to help you plan and achieve the best career path for you! 

We know that there is a lot of information flying about regarding the best and worst ways of planning your career and searching for work, but perhaps we have some answers that can restore your confidence and relieve some of that stress during this crazy first month of the year. Here are some fun facts that can help get you started.  

Myth: I have lots of time to worry about my career later on. 

Fact: Whether your degree leads you to your dream job or whether it is an uncertain first step towards that intimidating future everyone warned you about, it’s important to start thinking about it now. As stressful as that is, there are ways for you to figure out what might be waiting for you on the other side of the degree!

Visit us and we can provide one-on-one Career Planning/What Can I Do With My Degree and Career Assessment Appointments, as well as Career Interest Assessment workshops! These services are great for when you’re feeling lost or uncertain about what is waiting for you at the end of the degree. Kick off your planning by swinging by our drop-in services from 10am to 4pm for some quick guidance to get you started. 

Myth: The resume that high school taught me to create has gotten me this far, so it must be pretty good! 

Fact: Did you know that employers take an average of 5 to 30 seconds to look at most resumes? The truth is, high school only taught us the basics. In fact, most of us don’t even realize our resumes need work!

That’s why we have peer advising drop in hours at the Joyce Entrepreneurship building (the one with all the windows!) from 10am to 4pm every weekday. Whether you’re updating it for part time work or looking for a full-time job, stop in with your resume for a quick assessment, or check out our Resume 101 workshop and Resume and Cover Letter advising appointments! 

Myth: Who even needs cover letters? Can’t I just send out my resume to all of the jobs I find online? 

Fact: As hard as it sounds, you need to tailor your resume to each specific job you are applying for. On top of this, cover letters help to exemplify your communication skills and express your enthusiasm for a job. Sometimes job ads specifically ask for cover letters and they can have a serious impact on your chances of getting an interview. Even when cover letters are not overtly requested, including one can help show your motivation for the position.

CDEL has appointments and workshops that can help you work on your cover letter skills, including our Resume and Cover Letter one-on-one appointments and the Skill Statement and Cover Letter Lab workshop! 

Myth: Most of the jobs I am qualified for can be found online, and most employers want you to apply online now anyway! 

Fact: Job searching is surprisingly tricky. Did you know that only about 20% of the jobs that are out there are posted online? That means 80% of the jobs that are open are located within what we call “the hidden job market”.

Make a Job Search appointment or visit one of our Job Search 101 or Advanced Job Search: The Hidden Job Market workshops to really help you step up your job-hunting game! 

Myth: When a potential employer is asking me to tell them about myself in an interview, they are trying to break the ice. 

Fact: This interview question is one of the most important questions that the interviewer will ask you, and there are some helpful guidelines that CDEL can share to help you nail it.

If you’re looking for help for an upcoming job interview or just want to prepare yourself for some future interviews, stop by during drop-in hours for some quick tips, book an appointment for Interview Prep or pop into one of our Interview Skills workshop. 

Myth: I’m not really sure what to do after my degree, so I might as well go to grad school until I can figure it out. 

Fact: The decision to go to grad school should be based on good reasons, such as specific career requirements or a deep interest in the academia related to the subject matter. Grad school doesn’t count as job experience; getting experience is its own important asset that we at CDEL can help you seek out and building up. Check out our Considering Further Education advising appointment to weigh your post-graduate educational options. 

Myth: Having a CV will help me get a job more easily than a resume. 

Fact: A CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is mainly used to document all of your academic achievements and experiences and is more geared toward applying to PhD programs, research, and teaching careers in academia. 

Come and chat with us about the differences between a CV and a resume if you have any questions!

Myth: I’m an international student and don’t have any Canadian work experience, which means Canadian companies won’t hire me. 

Fact: All experience, Canadian or not, is important. The skills you learn from different experiences that relate to the job you are applying to are the most important things to highlight on a Canadian resume. While having exposure to the Canadian workplace culture can have its benefits, don’t discount your work abroad.

If you need some help working on your Canadian resume or just need to brush up on some dos and don’ts, make an appointment to meet with a Career Advisor, or attend our Canadian Workplace Expectations Workshop and we will help you prepare yourself to meet the Canadian job market head on! 

Myth: Career planning is only important when I graduate. 

Fact: Career planning isn’t just job searching, it’s everything from engaging in volunteering and extra-curricular activities, getting certifications, planning your degree path, and much more.  

No matter what career questions you have, you should not let your worries and stresses get in the way of seeking help. Stop by our career peer advising drop-in hours or check out mySuccess for all the great workshops and appointments that Career Development and Experiential Learning has to offer. 

Hope to see you soon!