Archived: Job search success strategies: match your skills & experience

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Florists woman working with flowers at a greenhouse.


When you’re creating your summer, part-time, or post-graduation job search strategy, you’ll probably be asking yourself “what’s a realistic expectation?”


One way to improve your odds at getting a great job that fulfills your needs, is to assess your skills and experience, and when applying for the job, let the employer know what those are!


Patsy Valenzuela, Supervisor of Career Education and Employment Development at MRU’s Career Services recommends that students “don’t make employers guess” about your skills and experiences; direct or transferable to the position at hand.


However, Valenzuela also notes that doing this self-assessment is one of the number-one challenges students have, and that they often struggle to express their skills and experiences well in interviews and resumes.


Start off by thinking of jobs, volunteer commitments, or projects you’ve worked on. Then identify which of those challenged you, which elements were easy and came naturally, and which ones you’d still like to work on. If you need help with identifying your skills and experiences, contact Career Services and sign up for some personal coaching or a group workshop.


Next, look at the different job and career opportunities available to you, and try to identify where your skills match up with the skills employers are looking for. Consider how transferable your skills might be as well; the research skills you developed writing those 20-page essays come in handy here!


To improve your chances of success at getting the work you want, make sure your job search strategy includes a plan to apply for realistic opportunities, ones where your skills and experience matches the skills and experience needed by the employer.


What if your skills and experiences need a boost?

Sometimes a scary thing can be realizing that the gap between where you are, and where you’d like to be is pretty big; but that’s the reason you’re in school to begin with!


This can be part of your long-term job search strategy, to improve upon the areas you need improvement in. This could mean taking a class, going to a workshop, finding a mentor, working in a different area for a while, or volunteering to get valuable experience.


If skills development, professional development, or volunteer experience is on your ‘must-do’ checklist, check out the available opportunities at SAMRU and get what you need right here on campus. >>



-By Dawn Linnemoller, Editor & Content Coordinator, SAMRU