How am I supposed to get a job with no experience?

Every student I talk to is thinking more and more about their career and where their major could take them. They’re all saying that the available jobs require months or even years of experience just to meet the requirements for the position.

If entry level positions require experience, how can you get one step ahead of other students who are in the same position as you?

One solution could be to take a look at doing a co-op term. A co-op gives students the opportunity to get real-life experience in a job that they may love or hate. It’s a great way to see what working in the field that you’re studying is like.

Maybe what you’re studying right now isn’t what you thought it would be. Getting out there and getting some real-life experience is a great way to find out what is actually the right path for you.

Do I automatically get a job on a co-op term?

Me (on the left) with my Chatter High colleagues

Co-op is a great way to see what it is like in the real world competing for jobs.

At the beginning of the semester students must take a class once a week to prepare them with the various parts of the hiring process such as a resume and the interview. They have the opportunity to be asked questions by mock interviewers to get an understanding of the process.

From there they are released onto the job board, where it’s then up to the students to take the initiative to get a job. Students are encouraged to apply for as many jobs as they can. In my case I applied to 9 jobs for my co-op and heard back from 2 of them.

The first job that I interviewed for seemed to be a perfect fit. The interview went well and it seemed I had the right answers to their questions. However, it didn’t end up working out and I was set back on the path to finding another job.

My second interview was with a start-up, Chatter High. I was fortunate to land the position. I’ll be writing about my co-op experiences there soon.

The co-op experience adds perspective to your university journey while giving you experience that you can take into your next job or co-op. Go check out the UVic co-op page to see how you could see yourself in your first co-op!

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