BY ARTI PATEL
Judy Ngo applied for 11 part-time jobs this summer but is still unemployed. “As a student I don’t have much experience. So when I check back on jobs they are usually gone,” said Ngo, a third year food and nutrition student at Ryerson. Ngo was only granted one interiew. According to Statistics Canada, July 2009 held the highest student unemployment rate in its history at 20.9 per cent. Colin Fallowfield, sales manager at Watch It on Yonge St., said students should try to focus on being polite and well-groomed when dropping off resumes. “Be polite without being fake,” he said. Fallowfield suggested tweaking your resume to focus on related work experience for each position that you apply for. He also said to try and avoid putting jobs on your resume that were not kept for a long period of time. “Sometimes it’s not such a great story,” he said. Fallowfield also stressed the importance of following up with a phone call approximately five days after dropping off a resume. “It’s just long enough that you’re not being annoying, and short enough for them to still remember you,” he said. Becky Robinson, an employment support counsellor at Ryerson’s Career Centre, recommends going beyond the cover letter and resume by creating posters, flyers, postcards or even a magazine cover design to set yourself apart from your competitors. “This is your general information put together in a creative way” said Robinson. “They’ll remember better.” But for part-time hopefuls, Robinson believes that if you are proactive with your research, employers will also notice. She suggests following your own interests when looking for a job and researching companies you are interested before dropping off a resume. She once had a student who imagined working in a parking lot booth, because of the stress-free environment and she advised him to seek out an employee. “If you see someone doing a job that you think you can apply your skills, ask that person how they got it,” Robinson said.
Ryerson is hosting a part-time job fair on Sept. 16. For more information or additional dates visit http://ryerson.ca and search “part-time job fair.”