Advice, Current Students, Interviews

Finding a Job After Graduation: Advice from Career Educator, Kimberley Rawes

To wrap up our series on finding a job after graduation, we spoke with Kimberley Rawes from the UBC Centre for Student Involvement and Careers.

Image: Martin Dee / UBC Communications & Marketing

What attributes or commonalities do students who find a suitable job after graduation possess?
What a good question – and a tough question! I find reflection and self-awareness to be one of the attributes talked about less, but one worth spending some time on. Reflection can be practiced over time (“so what… now what…” type discussions or thoughts with friends, family or yourself). With more and more practice, you learn more about yourself and what matters to you. This is the kind of thing that employers look for.

They look for you to talk about what your skills are and why they matter to the employer. They want you to tell them stories about times when you excelled or times when you were really challenged and explain what you learned from both. At the foundation of these kinds of questions or examples is reflection.

Now that you are nearing the end of your program, I would recommend asking yourself a few questions:

  • What are some memorable moments from your experience of the program where your skills were tested or strengthened?
  • What have you learned from those moments? What skills did you use in each story?
  • How do those stories illustrate the skills and attitudes of a professional pharmacist?

Write down these stories. They can be used to improve your resume, cover letter, or interview examples. Not sure how to do this? Come to the centre or check out our resume videos.

What job search tips do you have for our graduating students?
Even if it takes more time, prepare a different resume and specific cover letter for each and every employer. Most candidates send a generic resume out to all employers since the jobs they are applying to are similar. This means that the candidates often don’t speak to the specific duties or responsibilities in the role, the values of the company or organization, and miss out on linking their experience to the role they are applying to. This holds them back from the interview stage, not because the employer doesn’t think their experience is good enough, but because an employer doesn’t understand the experience or how it relates to their role.

I strongly encourage students to check out our online resources that describe how to effectively tailor and target your application, write your cover letter, or write strong accomplishment statements on your resume.

The Centre for Student Involvement and Careers offer many helpful resources on their website, along with events, one-on-one advising, and drop-in resume coaching.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *