Tips on finding and Co-op placements and internships during Covid
By: Nandini Patel
Trying to find a co-op placement during Covid is an immense struggle. Job posting numbers are less than half of what they should be, and large numbers of q
ualified people are out of jobs. This leaves us university students with barely any opportunities.
Stated below are some tips that I used when securing my first co-op placement amidst the pandemic:
1. Keep applying
I cannot stress enough how important this is. You may lose hope and motivation as the job application process is tedious but do not stop applying. Sending out applications only increases your chances of landing a placement. I remember applying to over 300 jobs, a few a day, over four months
2. No experience is bad experience when it comes to a job
Beggars can't be choosers is the best way to put this. Finding a job is extremely hard, so being picky is not an option for everyone. Try to find an opportunity that aligns with your interests but even if it does not happen to be everything you dreamed of, I suggest you take the opportunity. Any experience gained is helpful and only adds to your skill sets and resume. I did my co-op at a small pest control company located in Finch. It was not what I dreamed or hoped for but I was able to gain experience that I would not have otherwise. I worked as a Financial Analyst but was able to gain experience in fintech and system automation.
3. Constantly improve your resume and cover letter
In a time when technology and the internet are so freely available, I would suggest leveraging tools that various companies provide on how to improve your resume to land better positions. I use Harvard and Google’s resume builders to improve my resume, along with various edits by friends and family. Tip: Do not just have one standard resume. Create different resumes to cater to different job types. (I have over 50 edits of my resume and countless cover letters)
4. Start early
With the job markets being uncertain during covid, there is no saying when you may land an internship or co-op. This is why I suggest you start applying early. I recommend beginning the process four months before you need a job to provide you with enough time for the recruitment process. Starting early will also increase your chances of securing a job, as most students start applying much later, leaving you at an advantage.
5. Cold emails, calls, and messages
Sometimes finding an opportunity is not as easy as just applying to job boards. You have to find and create your own. This is where cold emails, calls, and messages come into play.
Find a company you are interested in working at and an employee at the company.
Formulate a message or email that states your interests, intentions, and what you as an individual can offer them.
Keep your availability open. They may not have a job for you right then. Let them know to contact you when they do, to allow for potential future job opportunities.
6. Use and build your connections
Networking is essential no matter which field you are planning to work in. Having connections and learning to build new ones is a skill that will help you land placements even when you are in situations of being less qualified than other candidates.
Tip: Do not reach out to connections only in times of need. Keep a steady relationship. Show interest in what they do and be inquisitive. People are more likely to help you when they know you have a genuine interest or when they like you as an individual.
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