LET us help you get job ready!
- Book one-to-one appointments (opens new window)
- Access job postings
- Create/update your resume and cover letter
- Create an e-portfolio
- Prepare for an interview
What is CareerReady?
CareerReady is Mohawk Colleges's portal where you can view co-op opportunities as well as full time, part time, and seasonal jobs. From this site you can also book an appointment for individual help with your resume, cover letter and interview skills and view workshops and employment related events.
CareerReady also provides a listing of Co-Curricular record (CCR) activities you can participate in to create an authenticated record of your volunteerism and leadership while attending college. This system records and validates your activities and creates an authenticated record to complement your college credentials.
If you are a Continuing Education student access CareerReady by selecting Portal User at sign in and complete the portal user registration.
Self-Assessment of Your Skills
A self-assessment of your skills is the first step in the process of finding the right job. It provides the foundation for your campaign, preparing you for the process of “selling yourself”. Your resumé is the first thing a recruiter will read about you when selecting a potential employee. In order to accomplish this goal you must begin the process with a self-assessment. You must reflect back on your life, describing your education, training, skills, achievements, and experience, documenting these in detail. Your self-assessment is virtually a download of what you have learned and accomplished. Your ultimate goal is to show a prospective employer the knowledge, skills and abilities you have acquired and present them in your resumé, proving that you are a "good fit" to meet their job requirements.
Research is a very important aspect of the job searching. You must determine what companies you would like to work for. You must also examine what types of jobs are available, by looking at various Job Titles. In addition you must look at job descriptions in detail to determine exactly what the requirements of the job are.
Check the Company Website
Most companies have a website. The main page of a company's website will give you an overall idea of the image they want to project. The company will often include their mission statement or purpose, their values, and their goals. Ideally, you should share their values, which is an important factor in working for the company. Their website will also describe related business functions or activities. In addition, and internal job postings can usually be found on a company's website.
Use the Library
Scott's, Fraser’s and Vernon Directories and many other resources are available in the Career section of the library at Mohawk College and in other libraries across the country. These directories list companies in the field you are pursuing and provide good information about them. Details can be found on what they actually do and their line of business, the number of employees, names of individuals who represent the organization and many other company specific details. Reference books are invaluable resources when researching companies.
Check the Telephone Book
Do not forget that your telephone book is also good resource. Aside from getting the mailing address, postal code, fax and telephone number, you may find a map or directions to their location. Even small companies without a website might have an ad in the yellow pages. These ads often give you interesting information about what that company is proud of or known for. For example, an ad might say "Serving the Hamilton community since 1931". They are obviously proud of having been in business for 80 years. There are not many companies that can boast about surviving that long, and their management strategies must be solid. This statement may also mean they are proud of being a community oriented business, a neighbourhood business, and a local business. Do you share these values?
Visit the Company in Person
Find out where they are located and drop into the reception area to see what is available. You might see an award hanging on the wall for a special accomplishment. It could be an award for outstanding beautification of their property, or the number of safe hours worked without injury to their staff. You might pick up a copy of their year end report, or see a newspaper clipping or magazine article that they are proud of and have on display. You might even pick up a brochure on what they actually do, produce, or manufacture.
There are many of ways to collect information to create a good cover letter and to prepare for an interview. A popular question is "What did you do to prepare for this interview?" or "Tell us what you know about our company". Be prepared with a little research.
Create a Resume
- Your resume is a formal document which highlights knowledge, skills, abilities, training, personal achievements, education, and experience.
- The resume is the first opportunity an employer gets to see you. Make a great 1st impression.
- It’s an in-depth look at what you know, what you can do, and what you have to offer to a potential employer. Be proud to present and advertise your well explained accomplishments.
How to write a Resume:
- Architecture (opens PDF, 76kb)
- Aviation (downloads document, 81kb)
- Cabinetry (downloads document 52kb)
- Biotechnology (opens PDF, 89kb)
- Early Childhood Educator (opens PDF, 53kb)
- Gas and Oil (opens PDF, 54kb)
- Industrial Electrician (opens PDF, 55kb)
- Mechanical Techniques - Electrical (opens PDF, 57kb)
- Motive Power Technician (opens PDF, 106kb)
Create a Cover Letter
- Your cover letter is the first document that an employer will read about you.
- Always submit a cover letter. Take the time to compose an impressive letter that will professionally introduce your resume to the prospective employer and make them want to read on and learn more about you. Make a great 1st impression.
How to write a Cover Letter:
References support the claims you make in your cover letter and resumé. If you say that you have "excellent keyboarding skills" you should have a reference who can attest to that statement because they have seen you keyboarding quickly and accurately. If you say that you have "strong presentation skills" you need to have someone who has observed your presentations and agrees that your skills are strong.
It is usual to have 3 references in your application package. Listing more than five references is probably too many. There are 2 kinds of references: professional references (to do with work and skills) and character references (to do with who you are and your personal qualities.)
Who Can I Ask to be a Reference?
Ideally, you would have 3 professional references. If you have little or no work experience, try to have at least 2 professional references and 1 character reference. Think about volunteer experiences, or teams or groups you belong to, in addition to any work experiences. Depending on the skills required by the job you are applying for, you can ask supervisors, co-workers, teachers, coaches, clients or customers - anyone you've done any work for. It’s a good idea to give your reference a copy of your resumé.
When asking someone if they will provide a reference for you, consider being specific about what you think they can say about you. For example, say to a teacher, "you've seen me do a number of class presentations. Do you think you could act as a reference to answer questions about my presentation skills?" Some "bosses" don't actually see you doing your job. While they might be the Manager or the President of the company, if they can't answer questions about how you do your job, they won't make a good reference. If someone has been your direct supervisor at your part time job for the last two and a half years and has actually observed you doing your job, that person can probably answer a lot of questions about your work habits, your communication skills, your knowledge of policy and procedure, your accuracy level, and so on.
Be sure to talk with your references to find out their contact information, the most convenient way to contact them, and the best times. Give them a copy of your resumé and talk with them about the skills and abilities you have that they would feel comfortable discussing with a potential employer. If they are difficult to contact, perhaps they will write a Letter of Reference for you instead. If you are sending out "broadcast" letters and resumés to several companies at one time, your references should be aware of that. Also, if you are including your references with your resumé, check to see that your references are okay with that. Remember, you are giving personal information about other people to strangers, and not everyone is comfortable with that.
Remember to ask for a reference letter from current employers, customers, supervisors or co-workers. Once you leave a job, you may lose contact with those people, or the company may close or move away. You can forward copies of reference letters with your resumé IF the letter's content is applicable to the job you are applying for.
Create a Portfolio
Developing and maintaining a professional portfolio is an effective marketing tool you can use in addition to your resume. Anyone in any field can develop a portfolio to assist in presenting achievements and accomplishments when applying for a position, attending interviews, or using during a performance review session. This is an excellent tool to maintain, collect and protect your career related documents in an organized and professional manner.
What is a Portfolio?
A Portfolio is a portable collection of documents that describe, support and highlight your achievements, qualifications, and skills. By having a portfolio, it demonstrates your professionalism, your planning and organizational skills, and gives you the opportunity to provide proof with supporting documents and examples of past successes and knowledge. It is organized in binder format where pages can easily be added and removed. The most common size is an 8 ½ x 11 inch binder, which is easiest to carry and present your documents.
Preparing for the Interview
The interview is your only chance to make a favourable personal impression with the employer. You have already made a favourable written impression with your resume and now you have been selected to come in and meet with them in person.
Basic Interview Tips
- Arrive 15 minutes early. Plan ahead & allow lots of time for traffic, finding the address, a parking place, the correct office in the building. Better yet, check out the location the day before to discover these details.
- Dress appropriately. This is a formal business meeting. Dress for the meeting, not how you think people might dress to do the job. If you want the job, dress conservatively in business attire, a suit (skirt or pant suit for women); wear clean, neat shoes, a moderate hair style, day makeup (not nightclub makeup); with a minimum of jewellery. You don't want your clothes, hair, jewellery or makeup to distract the employers from what you are saying about yourself.
- Take a folder containing pen, paper, 4 or 5 copies of resume, 4 or 5 copies of References page. It's a good idea to have questions written down beforehand, and it is okay to jot down notes during the interview. If appropriate, take examples of relevant work. (See Portfolio information.)
- Know something about the company before you get there. Look them up on the web, in Scott's Business Directory, or even the telephone book to have at least some information about their business, service, products, market area, size, competition, etc.
- Shake hands with the interviewer(s) and maintain eye contact throughout the interview. This is not always comfortable with strangers, but keep your head up, and look at the interviewer(s) while answering questions.
- Be prepared to answer questions about yourself. This isn't as easy as you might think. You know everything there is to know about your education and experience, but have you practiced answering questions in a coherent and positive way? You will be asked questions that might lead to a negative sounding answer. Don't dwell on the negative, but practice turning any answer into a positive by telling what you learned from... or the skill you developed through... or the understanding you acquired from... a certain experience. Everything in your resume is material for questions. Practice saying the answers out loud so the words are ready and the answer is smooth. Think about the skills required for the job, and think of at least 2 examples of how you have used those skills in real life. This way, you will be prepared for any question.
Mohawk College is pleased to offer students and alumni access to InterviewStream – for unlimited practice and access to hundreds of industry-specific interview questions. Whether you are preparing for an upcoming interview, looking to increase your confidence or seeking feedback on your interview style – InterviewStream can give you an edge!
To get started:
Go to InterviewStream.
Create a login and password.
View the tutorial on how to conduct your practice interview.
Choose interview questions to customize your mock interview. You can review and retry your response to any question before moving onto the next
Please note: InterviewStream is an external agency and operates independently from Mohawk College.
By entering this site, you agree to comply with the Information Technology Security Policy (opens PDF, 2.2mb)
Break out those iPads/Phones and practice interviewing anywhere, anytime on InterviewStream Mobile!
Create a LinkedIn Profile and Start Networking
LinkedIn is a social network that acts as your online business card and is used for professional purposes.
Individuals use LinkedIn for networking, connecting, and job searching, and companies use LinkedIn for recruiting and providing company information to prospective employees.
LinkedIn members can search for jobs, join groups, research companies, and interact with members of their network.
Visit LinkedIn (opens new window) to get connected today!
Connect with employers
Are you tired of looking at hundreds of job postings hoping to eventually find the perfect fit? Build a profile in Magnet (opens new window) and jobs will chase you based on your skills and qualifications.
Career Assessments - find your career match!
Mohawk offers two FREE career assessment tools that can help find the best fit for your personality type. Take a quick quiz to find careers best suited to you
For contact information visit MCACES Resource Centre