Job search skills & resources

Employment action planning

For those who know

Some students know what career they are aiming for; they see a clear path in front of them. For these students it is important to understand which positions will help them move forward at each stage of their career and education. Understanding all positions related to their career will be a good starting point.

For those who are flexible

Students who are more flexible and open to different career pathways, it is recommended to fully understand your transferable skills and develop excellent job hunting skills. Rewarding employment opportunities can be discovered and obtained if you keep hunting for excellent positions.

S.M.A.R.T. goals

S.M.A.R.T. goals provides job seekers with structure and guidance throughout the creation of their employment action plan.They will assist you to identify what you want to accomplish, the resources you need, and how to measure your success along your journey. S.M.A.R.T. goals are:


S - Specific:  Provide details of your employment goal. "I will apply for ten different jobs."

M - Measurable:  List out the actions or results that accomplishes your goal. "I will search job boards for one hour each day to find a job I would like to apply for."

A - Attainable:  Ensure you have the resources, finances, and support you need to achieve this goal. "I have folks that can proofread my resume and cover letters and encourage me on this journey."

R - Relevant:  Understand why you are creating this goal. "I want to go further with my education and this job will help finance that dream."

T - Timely:  Set your start and end dates. "I will begin this search today, and will have applied to ten positions within the next two months"

Job search skills

There are multiple ways a student or recent graduate can search for employment. We recommend to:
  1. Network with our instructors, educational advisors, employment advisors, industry liaisons, peers and networks about local employers and how they are related to your studies.
  2. Set up automatic email notifications on job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn or industry-specific career websites.
  3. Conduct daily or weekly visits to each employer's career web pages.
  4. With some preparation, conduct informational interviews to find out more about open positions. Remember to ask employers about positions specifically for active students.
  5. Be inspired by exploring wild opportunities such as Youth Canada, Career Launcher, Government of Canada's Youth Internships, and Jobs & Work Abroad Programs.
  6. Volunteering in your field of study can often lead to a successful employment opportunity.

Online job boards

Coast Mountain College and College of New Caledonia have partnered to create the Northern WIL Hub. Here, you can search for job opportunities from employers throughout the regions the colleges serve.  

In addition to the Northern WIL Hub, there are four types of online job boards to consider: common, government, specialized and company sites. Here are some examples to start with: 


Preparing your cover letter and resume is a vital step in achieving your employment goals. Chances are, if you spend more time in the development of an excellent application, you will be more successful at obtaining an interview. Here are some helpful tips:
  1. Read the job posting carefully. Find out what qualifications and work experience is required for the position. Call or email the employer if you have any questions. 
  2. Create a personalized, custom application for each position you are competing for.
  3. State the skills that you have that match the job posting. Besides your work experience or educational skills, remember to list your computer skills, communication skills and other qualifications you may have such as a Class 5 Driver's License and a clean driver's abstract.
  4. International students: tell the employer in your cover letter that you are legally entitled to work in Canada. Remember to include any work/student visa limitations (for example: only permitted to work 20 hours per week and include your work visa end date)
  5. Research how the employer wants you to apply and follow those instructions carefully.
  6. Have someone proofread your application before you apply.
  7. Always submit your application on time.
  8. Unless you find a position that you are incredibly happy with, never stop job hunting. You never know when your dream job will become available; stay hopeful!


Preparing for your interview skills will help you achieve your employment action plan. Here are some essential tips:
  1. When you receive a request for an interview (either via phone, email or letter), carefully note the employer's instructions; know what is expected of you by obtaining the details which include address, specific room or building, and time. Find out how many people will be at the interview and ask how the interview is structured. 
  2. Re-read the job posting; identify what types of skills, qualifications and work experience the employer is looking for and practice communicating your skills.
  3. Be prepared for behaviour-type questions i.e. tell me a story about how you dealt with a conflict at work.
  4. Bring a copy of the job posting, your application to refer to, your qualifications, licenses and credentials, your permanent residency, work visa or student visa (if you are not a Canadian citizen), your Government issued ID such as a Driver's License, and list of your current references who are ready to be contacted. 
  5. Be ten minutes early!
  6. Check your hygiene and dress according to the company's standards.
  7. If an emergency happens and you cannot attend your interview, contact the employer as soon as you know and let them decide if it is possible to reschedule. Express your regrets for the inconvenience.

Need further assistance?

For assistance in advancing your employability skills reach out to Careerhub