Guiding the jobless

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By Allison Heather 

Twenty-nine year old Kevin Makra went through such hell trying to find a job he decided to make his own – helping others breaking into their field.

The president of the Student Employment Network thought he’d make life easier for struggling unemployed youth by writing The 1998 Canada Student Employment Guide. Which lists profiles of more than 800 companies and what they’re looking for in employees.

Makra came up with the idea for a student guide to jobs almost by accident. After graduating from the University of Toronto in 1992, Makra researched companies as he looked for a full-time job.

“Friends kept borrowing my notes and then I’d get calls from their friends and people I didn’t even know wanting to borrow them,” said Makra, a graduate of economics and commerce.

Two years after landing a job with Canada Trust, Makra decided to leave the bank and write a guide for students seeking jobs. He said a lot of the books and guides he came across during his own job search were sufficient, but didn’t answer all the questions he and others had.

There just wasn’t anything with practical company information,” said Makra.

With a 7,500 student venture loan, Makra broke free of the workplace and became an aspiring young entrepreneur.

He gathered information directly from companies through surveys to give students a better understanding of employment opportunities and companies’ requirements.

Now his research is compiled in the  Canada Student Employment Guide, available at bookstores for $24.95.

“While the outlook on youth employment is encouraging, there remains a fundamental gap between what companies and students expect of each other,” said Makra.

“The information in this guide is intended to bridge that gap and ultimately save students time and money in their job search efforts.

Makra has also written a second book, The Canadian Job Directory, that will be on shelves in February. This book will focus on other employment information such as recruiters, trade associations, internet resources and government centres across Canada.  

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