Dean Gilliam

Dean is a Business Administration student at the University of Windsor. He has past experience at 3M Canada completing an internship in the marketing operations and sales space, and took part in the Business + Higher Education Roundtable’s Student Advisory Board (SAB). We talked to Dean about how to best go about searching for a job. 

How do you prepare yourself for your job hunt? 
One of the biggest things that I do before starting my job hunt is to update all of my application materials. This mainly includes my resume/CV, cover letter template and LinkedIn page. I reflect on my experiences since I last updated the materials and make any adjustments that will enhance my profile for the job type that I am seeking. Having a resume template that is concise and well-structured allows me to easily tailor my resume to each job posting as they arise. 

What do you do to make sure a company and job description are a good fit for you?
I check the company’s website. I do a deep dive into their mission statement, purpose, organizational values, employee benefits, and more. I usually find this information under the ‘About Us’ page. Next, I scroll through a company’s LinkedIn posts to check out recent volunteer initiatives or employee testimonials. 

In terms of job description, I take a close look at the core responsibilities of the role and consider whether they align with my past experiences and future career goals. I ask myself, “Will this role help me get to where I want to be in 5 or 10 years?” or I ask individuals within the company “What are some typical career pathways for a role like this?” I also evaluate what actions I can take to quickly get up to speed with the demands of the role. It is helpful to chat with individuals who are currently in the role to gather some first-hand perspective. Again, LinkedIn is a great tool to connect for this. 

What’s your biggest challenge in finding a job? How do you overcome it?
As a full-time student, it’s not always easy to find the time. Doing your research on the role and company, reaching out to recruiters and hiring managers, tweaking your resume/CV are key steps in the process but take time. I’ve learned to overcome this challenge by allocating 4-5 hours in my calendar each week during job hunts. To stay organized, I simply use a job tracker spreadsheet on Excel to record each role I have applied to or wish to apply to. 

What advice would you give to a fellow student who is looking for a job right now?
For current job seekers, I would recommend trying to nurture or establish relationships with individuals within your desired companies as much as possible. In today’s intense job market, it feels harder than ever to apply cold for a role. If you see that an alumnus from your school currently works at the company you want to work for, shoot them a message! 

In conclusion - job searching can seem daunting, but with the right amount of preparation, it doesn’t have to be tedious. Good luck!