Job Search Skills

Securing an internship or a job can be an overwhelming task. VIU’s Career Center is ready to help you polish the skills you will need to find positions you are interested in and successfully apply. Continue reading below to learn more about the job search skills you will need to achieve your employment goals.

Résumé & Cover Letter

When you apply for a job or an academic internship in most countries, you must submit a résumé with your educational and employment history. In addition, you may be asked to submit a cover letter which connects your résumé to the position you are applying for. These documents are the applicant’s first opportunity to make a good first impression, so students should take time to revise them for each position.
North American cover letters and résumés tend to be clear and concise and state as much information as possible in as little space as possible.

Cover Letter

  • Your cover letter should also be no more than a page long. It should include your contact information (including email and phone number), the date, the address of the person who will be reading the résumé, three paragraphs, and a valediction.
  • You can address the letter to the person who will be doing the hiring, or – if you do not know the person’s name – you may address it to the Human Resources Department.
  • The first paragraph should be 2-3 lines long and include the title of the position you are applying for, the job number, the place where you found the job listed, and basic information about yourself.
  • The second paragraph should express to the employer your interest in the position and demonstrate how your background of education and experiences are related to the opportunity. By using the job posting’s requirements and general overview, you can develop 3 to 5 bullets to insert into the body of the paragraph, which mention your related skills, experiences, certifications, and computer proficiencies.   
  • The final paragraph should state that you would like to thank the employer for their time and consideration of you for the opportunity. Indicate that you would like to speak with the employer in person to learn more about the opportunity. State that you would be glad to provide the employer with additional information as needed. Close the cover letter with a valediction like “Respectfully” or “Sincerely.”  

Résumé

  • In general, your résumé should be short (no more than a page in length). It should include your contact information, summary of qualifications, education, experience, skills and training. All information should be clear and easy to read.
  • Limit the use of bold, italicized, or underlined text. Use simple looking bullets to highlight your points. Do not insert a picture of yourself, your country, or a declaration statement.
  • If your work experience is closely related to the position you are applying for, list this first. If your education is more closely related to the position you are applying for, list this first.
  • You can fit more onto one page by using font size 11, using Times New Roman theme font. You should also consider using skill sets rather than listing one skill or piece of information per line (e.g., Skills A, B, and C – Programmed games, search engines, and information storage systems).

RésuméWebsites from Around the World

General Country Comparisons UK/Europe
Nxtbook
Aroj
Résumé Resource
Grand Résumé

Résumé Edge
Résumé Edge
Red Star Résumé
Alec
About.com (European)
India Mongolia China
Job Seekers India
Résumé Naukri
Biznetwork Europchinajob

Make an Appointment
If you would like to meet with the Career Center to have your résumé or cover letter reviewed, please use the appointment form or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please email us a copy of your documents as well as your student profile.

Interview Practice

Before you interview for a position, you should research the interview questions most common in your field and prepare answers for them. There are many websites which offer suggestions on how to answer these questions. You can also use Interview Stream, our practice interview software.

Interview Stream Interview Stream

Interview Stream allows you to record yourself as you answer interview questions typical of your field. You can practice any number of questions, cycle through the same questions to perfect your answers, or select questions at random. You may also share your videos with professionals to obtain their feedback. The program offers tips on interviewing and introductions, as well as videos and tutorials.

Use your campus ID to create your Interview Stream account.

Read More about Job Interviews

Networking


To obtain internships and employment you must network! Meet people in your field and learn about volunteer, internship, and employment opportunities.  Students can network by joining national or international professional associations, the VIU alumni LinkedIn community and other Linked-In communities, as well as by attending professional development opportunities for professionals in their fields. VIU Students may want to start by contacting VIU alumni to find a mentor in their field. Mentors can explain what route they took to find their current positions and may have helpful contacts to share.

Read more about professional associations and international professional associations.

Professional Networking Websites

General Development & NGO Education & Research Arts & Music
Information Technology Entrepreneur Business Demographic Based